How to Set Up a Tent

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picture of all of the parts of a tent to help figure out how to set up a tent showing the pegs, poles, tent, fly, clips
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How to Set Up a Tent

So you want to set up a tent but you’re thinking to yourself “Oh my gosh there’s so much stuff here I don’t know what goes where and what to do with it all!”

Here are simple (or at least they’re supposed to be simple) instructions on how to set up a tent. 

First of all, find a good spot to put your tent.  You want the area to be somewhat flat and not too rocky.  You also want it to be a higher point in your campsite.  That way, if it rains, the water isn’t draining toward your tent.  Your tent needs to be not too close to your firepit either, or an errant spark may light your tent on fire. 

Next, get everything out of your tent bag and lay it all out on the ground in front of you in groups: the tent itself, the rain fly, the pegs and the poles.

Then put all the poles together.  Usually the poles are in segments that are connected by bungee cords.  Just straighten the segments out, line up the hole at the end of one segment with the top of the next one and push them together to make a long pole.  

Next, you’ll feed these long poles through fabric tunnels or channels on your tent to give your tent shape and hold it up.  Once the poles are through the channels, the end of the pole has a hole that goes onto a metal attachment point on the bottom of your tent.  The poles will bend to form arches that hold up the middle of your tent.  Your tent will usually have clips or ties that clip or tie onto the poles.  

Now that your tent has the shape of a tent, you want to stake it down with the pegs.  The metal pole attachment points on the bottom of your tent will have a metal loop that the tent peg can go through.  Try to spread these attachment points as wide as possible, put the peg through and use a hammer or mallet to push the peg into the ground.   The peg should be angled in such a way that the bottom of the peg points toward your tent and the top points away from it.  That will help prevent the pegs from being pulled out of the ground.

Lastly, you want to put your rain fly over the tent and fasten it to the appropriate points on your tent poles and to your tent pegs.  It’s best if there is space between your tent and rain fly as much as possible.  Points where they touch will allow water to wick through the rain fly when it rains and into your tent.  

By Pamela