How to Pitch A Camping Tent

23rd May, 2018

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Never been camping or don’t know how to pitch a camping tent? 

Don’t worry, after going through this article, you’ll see how simple it is to pitch a camping tent.

Camping is becoming popular by the day as more people realise that they can spend quality time with their friends and family in nature. Camping usually involves sleeping overnight in a camping tent out of the city in a secure camping spot. Camping can be combined with trekking where backpackers pitch a camping tent to sleep for the night or casual social; camping in designated space where friends and family can bond beside a camp fire.

Many of us feel that we should get away from the city, away from traffic and chaos and spend more time in nature, sleeping under the stars and camping is very economical way of doing that.

Is pitching a tent difficult? Simple answer is no, its not difficult but how easy it is really depends on the brand and the camper that they have designed it for. 

The ease or difficulty of pitching a tent depends primarily on the manufacturer of the tent and the intended audience. Manufacturers are now making it easier than ever to have a camping tent set up in under 10 minutes. If you have struggled to pitch a camping tent before or if you’re doing it for the first time, don’t worry, with a little practice and patience, you will be able to pitch a tent with ease after this article.

First let us look at the parts of a tent.

  • Main Body
  • Fly Sheet / Rain Sheet
  • Ground Cloth (depends on manufacturer)
  • Tent Poles
  • Stakes. Comes in two styles 1) J hook 2) V shape
  • Guy Lines (For large 3 person tents)

Ensure you have all the parts of a tent before you head to your camping site.

There are 8 steps involved in pitching a camping tent.

Step 1: Find a Suitable Camping Spot

Find a suitable camping spot. If you are not familiar with how to select a camping spot, please read our Simple guide to selecting a Camping spot

Step 2: Lay out all the parts of the tent

Lay out all the parts of the tent on the ground beside each other so that they can be easily reached.

Step 3: Put the ground sheet on the floor and ensure there are no sticks and stones below it.

Lay the ground cloth or the footprint if available with the shiny side facing the sky. The ground cloth is a tarp, provided by some camping tent manufacturers and provides additional waterproofing from the ground surface and also prevents the main tent body from getting damaged. Please note this not a standard part of the tent and really depends from brand to brand.

Step 4: Put the main body on the ground sheet

Lay the main body on top of the ground cloth with the hooks being on top. The corners of the tent usually have colour coded nylon tags. Match the tags of the main body with the colours of the ground cloth.

 Step 5: Assemble the poles

Assemble the poles and ensure they sit firmly into the other section. Most tents come with 4 poles, two long poles in one colour and 2 small poles in another colour. The poles are sometimes colour coordinated with the nylon tags on the tent body.

Step 6: Fix the Poles to the tent

Lay the poles down on the main body and insert one end into the grommet or the holder on the tag. Now insert the opposite end of the pole into the opposite side of the grommet which creates a tension and makes the pole into a semicircle shape.

Now use the small plastic clips on the tent body to hook it the pole.

Take the other long pole and repeat the same process.

Pro Tip: Ensure the door of the tent faces away from the wind to keep yourself warm during the night.

Step 7: Insert stakes into the ground

Loop the tent’s grommet or nylon loops to the stake and insert it into the ground. Insert the stakes into the ground at a 45 degree angle facing away from the tent and creating tension. Some people prefer inserting the stake straight into the ground if the ground is loose or wet. You can use stone to hit the stake into the ground. Aluminum stakes or J hooks tend to get damaged when stones are used to hit it into the ground so be careful. Do this for all four corners of the tent

And watch your fingers.

Step 8: Put the rain fly on top of the tent. Ensure the seams are on top of the pole and the nylon straps match. Use the grommet on the nylon strap to insert it below the tent pole that is touching the ground, this ensures the rain fly does not blow away in the wind. Make sure the door on the rain fly matches the door on the tent

Use the extra stakes or pegs on the loops of the rain fly and insert it into the ground just like you did for the main body.

If your tent has a vestibule area or a large tent that requires extra holding down, use the guy lines and stakes to hook it into the ground.

That’s it! Your tent is up. If you had a difficult time setting up your camping tent, don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it after couple of times and become an expert at pitching a camping tent.

Now it’s time to unwind, relax and count the stars.

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