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How to put up a tent


Man assembling an orange tent outdoors near a lake.

Get ready for your time away from the hustle and bustle in in the peacefulness of nature. Ahhh… you want to feel relaxed and happy. Here is the three-phase process for successfully pitching a tent, your home away from home:

Phase 1: Pre-Trip Preparation

A successful back country or campground camping trip includes getting all of your camping gear in order. Putting up a tent takes practice:

  • Tent bag for packing the tent for the trip
  • Ground tarp or “footprint” tarp to go under the tent (slightly smaller than footprint.)
  • Body of the tent
  • Tent poles to build the structure
  • Rain cover to cover the body of the tent
  • hooks to anchor the tent to the ground

In your backyard or nearby park, assemble the essentials above and practice the steps for how to set up a tent for camping a few times. Bring a mate with you or go solo – either way – practice makes perfect! Practice putting all items back into the bag as well.

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Phase 2: Campsite selection guidelines

How to set up a tent means selecting a great camp site. Here are a few guidelines from camping experts: 

  • Flat and not on a steep incline 
  • 200 feet at least from any body of water on slightly higher ground as to not be susceptible to a torrent of rain flooding your tent
  • Free of rocks and other items found in nature
  • Offers partial shade to cool off in hot weather
  • Not where a lot of vegetation is present – a bare floor is best for not disturbing the environment.
  • If you’re camping in a hot climate, orient a door toward the wind for cooling.

Phase 3: Pitching a tent properly

Knowing how to set up a tent step by step is crucial. The order of these steps will assist you in building a sturdy, safe and dry tent:

  • Take all the tent materials out of the tent bag and lay them out on the ground.
  • Spread out your ground tarp with the shiny side up
  • Lay the body on the tent out flat on the ground tarp orienting the tent to your desired font door direction.
  • If the ground tarp was included with the tent, they will be colour coded to match the tent placement.
  • Assemble your tent poles and lay them out on the flat tent. Attach the poles to the tent which will have loops or sheath to thread them through.
  • Place the tent poles into the small grommets on the tent. The tent is now standing on its own.
  • Next is the rain cover which might also be colour coded as to where to place it so you can access the door opening. Fit the grommets of the rain cover on all 4 corners.
  • Now stake the tent on all 4 corners with the rain cover into the ground at a 45° angle for sturdiness. Use a mallet or your boots to secure the stakes. 
  • Now stake the rain cover corners that are near the door(s) and the tent sides. Sinch the tabs on the corners to strengthen the structure. 
  • The space between the tent and the rain cover is called the vestibule and it a great place to store your dirty shoes.
  • Now you can occupy the tent by rolling up the rain cover and the lower part of the screen door.
  • Welcome home!

We hope you enjoyed our DIY article on how to put up a tent. Be sure to check out our other articles such as how to clean white shoes, how to remove oil stains from clothes and how to create a prepper list, which might come in handy.