Pitching a tent has become a relatively easy task these days. With a modern tent and the following tips, it practically pitches by itself.
Sweep or clear the tent site and remove anything that could damage the bottom of the tent or interfere with a comfortable sleeping position, such as rocks, branches, etc. If you have a foam mat or an extra groundsheet, you can place it under the tent (instead of inside) to protect your tent and add extra cushioning.
Unpack the tent and unfold it. If it’s windy, place heavy objects on the tent sheets as you unfold them and make sure that all other parts are safe from the wind. Now drive the first pegs; start with two or three corners. Fix the windward side of your tent first! Then assemble the frame. Make sure that the poles are connected correctly; otherwise they may bend or even break.
Now insert the poles into the corresponding fabric sleeves. You may have to follow a certain sequence (see instructions). Important: Pull the sleeve carefully over the frame. Do not force it because it may damage the tent material.
Then flex the frame arches, and push them into the corresponding fixings (rings or eyes) and tighten these firmly if possible. In strong wind or during a storm this can be tricky, so proceed as quickly and accurately as possible.
If you need to set up the inner tent first, secure it and throw the outer tent over it. You may have to connect the outer tent to the pole construction (depending on the tent model). Now drive the rest of the pegs into the ground and tighten the guy lines.
Collapsing the tent works in reverse order. If there is a strong wind, leave the pegs in the ground and do not dismantle the frame until the tent is lying flat on the ground. When the tent is collapsed, open up its doors and windows to allow air to escape.
Things to consider when choosing your campsite:
- Choose a level and shaded site – both from wind and sun (but consider that you might want have the sun facing your tent door in the morning – that´s to the east/southeast)
- When the site is not level, position your head uphill for a good night's sleep.
- Pick a site that has a few strong, live trees scattered about for protection from the elements
- However, never pitch your tent near an isolated tall tree to avoid being struck by lightning
- Check around and above your intended site for potential rockfall, weak tree limbs or dead trees that could fall onto your tent
- Is the site large enough to meet your needs and for the size of your tent?
- The site should have good drainage in case of rain
- Ensure there are no rocks or roots on the ground where your tent will sit
- Be responsible: avoid crushing vegetation!
- Plan ahead: Where will you cook and eat or light a fire?