Pitching a tent properly can be very challenging. If you want to pitch a tent for camping, then there are a few things that consider before starting your adventure. There is a simple method for pitching the perfect tent every time. This method takes into consideration wind direction, location, and possible weather changes.
Find a good spot
Selecting the location for pitching your tent is important. If you are camping, then you may want to pick a campground or other established site that has equipment available (such as fire pits, picnic tables, sanitary facilities). Your tent should be placed near these amenities and out of the way of foot traffic. Check your local camping regulations to see what is allowed and recommended for your area.
When pitching a tent, you want to face it into the wind so that when you zip up the door, no draft is coming in from behind you. It is best to avoid facing the door directly into the wind.
Now that you have picked your location and have your tent facing the wind, it is time to secure your tent to the ground. If you are camping, then this would be best done with stakes driven into the ground at each corner of your tent. Make sure that they are driven deep enough into the ground to support the tension on your tent. This method will be better than trying to tie your tent off at each corner since that does not offer any security whatsoever.
Find or stake out a tent site
The ideal location is under some type of natural shelter (i.e.: large tree or rock outcropping). If you are camping, be careful to avoid areas that look like they will flood.
Select the tent and all other supplies you need for your outing
Lay down your ground cloth first and then unpack your tent. Keep in mind that it is better to unpack and set up your tent before pitching your rain fly. The rain fly will be much easier to work with when the tent is still standing and not collapsed in a heap on the ground.
Takedown your tent and ground cloth
This is the hardest part of pitching a tent. Take it slow and be patient. Most importantly, keep your cool at all times. If you become frustrated or angry, then you may lose control of yourself and damage some of the equipment. With this in mind, take down your tent slowly one step at a time.
Prepare the area where you will put your tent
When pitching a tent, it is best to establish this area before breaking down your shelter. Clean up any potential hazards that may pose a tripping or falling hazards for yourself and others. If you are camping, then this would include things like rocks, sticks, broken glass, or anything else that can damage your tent.
Once the area is clean, you want to use your ground cloth to layout where your tent will be pitched. If it is too big for the space available, then you may need to trim it down with either a pair of scissors or a knife (if you are camping). Lay it out in the designated area and then set up your tent in its final orientation (door facing water or wind, etc).
Tie off corner stakes
Now that you have your tent situated on the ground cloth, secure the four corners with their respective stakes. Use a knot like a slipknot around each stake and really cinch it down tightly to prevent the stakes from pulling out when you tug on them. Repeat this process with each corner and then move to the next step.
Stake downsides and center of the tent
Now that both your ground cloth and tent are in place, you can use your shock cord (if you have one) to tie off the four corners of your rain fly. This will relieve some of the tension on your tent’s side poles and assist in setting them up.
Secure your rainfly to your ground cloth
Use the shock cord that you just tied off to secure your rainfly to your ground cloth. Coil each end around itself tightly so that it won’t slip when pressed against the ground cloth.
Attach your rainfly to the tent
Once you have done this, you can begin to attach your rainfly to the top of your tent. The best way is to find the center of each side and secure a hook from one side’s tie down loop onto a corresponding loop on the other side. Repeat this process for all four sides and then stake each of the four corners down to the ground cloth.
It is best to secure your rain fly while both your tent and ground cloth are flat and in place. If it is too hard to do this, then you can set up your tent with its poles and secure the rain fly from underneath instead. When finished, simply attach each corner stake back onto its corresponding tie down loop on the rain fly.
Establish a covered center area for cooking, hanging out, or talking.
Now that you have your tent pitched and secured to the ground cloth, it is time to get organized. This is where the rubber mallet comes in handy. Simply tap each of your stakes into place using the rubber mallet and tighten it as much as you can using the hook-and-loop fastener. If necessary, do this with your rain fly as well.
The backside of your tent should be facing away from prevailing winds or weather conditions so that it doesn’t blow into your face while you are inside. Once everything is in order, then you can begin to organize your tent and all of its amenities. You should place your sleeping bags and equipment in the center of the tent to discourage wildlife from entering through the openings.
Even though it may seem like a lot of work, pitching your tent is something that needs to be done correctly so as to ensure the best camping experience. With this article as a guide, you should have no problem successfully pitching your tent and enjoying all that nature has to offer.