Sat outside your tent watching a sunset with a cold beer and barbeque on the go is often what people envisage when they think about camping.
What they don’t think about however, is struggling to pitch your tent in the pouring rain or howling wind – a challenge can put a strain on your relationship with whoever you’re camping with!
Knowing how to pitch a tent is one of the most essential camping skills. This guide will ensure you can get set up as quick as possible, leaving you to experience all the joys that camping has to offer.
1. Find Good Ground
Finding the right ground to pitch your tent is essential. The ground should be flat, dry and clear of stones, stick and debris. If you can’t find flat ground, position the tent so that the door is facing downhill.
2. Lay your Tent Footprint
If you have a tent footprint, peg it down exactly where you want your tent to go. This will make pitching it easier as well as providing an extra layer of protection against the ground.
3. Peg Down the Groundsheet and Back of Tent
Unroll your tent and lay it over the groundsheet or tent footprint, If you do this before inserting any poles you will anchor the tent and prevent it from blowing away in the wind.
4. Lay Out and Assemble your Poles
Assemble your poles by following the instructions – yes, we do recommend reading the instructions!
5. Attach the Tent Poles to the Body of the Tent
Be careful not to force the poles into the tent as this can damage the poles or the fabric. If you feel the poles are blocked, work your way down until you find where it is blocked – it could be snagging on something.
Smooth the fabric and continue to insert the poles. If your poles are attached by elastic, ensure you push the poles through instead of pulling to keep them together.
6. Pull the Tent Upright
Once you have inserted all the poles, start at one end and pull the tent upright. It’s easier to do this if the doors are unzipped, as trapped air will create a vacuum and make pulling the tent upright difficult.
Once the tent is upright, zip the doors back up so you can pull it taught without overstretching the fabric.
7. Peg Out the Tent
Work your way around the tent, pulling it taught and hammering down your pegs. Use a mallet or a rock and try to keep the pegs at a 45-degree angle to the ground with the hook pointing away from the tent.
Ensure you do not make the tent too taut, as you still need a bit of give in windy conditions.
8. Pull Out your Guy Ropes
These should, where possible, follow the seams of the tent.
9. Set up the Rain Sheet
If you have a rain sheet, set it overtop the tent. There will be latches on the roof to keep it in place. Even if you don’t expect showers, I still recommend setting up the rain sheet – just for peace of mind!
Setting up a tent is extremely easy once you know how, it’s the sheer amount of equipment that can get people in a muddle. If you’re worried about bad weather, practise putting your tent up in the garden before you go – you’ll be a professional in no time!