Before you embark on your trip, practice setting up your tent a few times. Being familiar with the basic setup will make the job at the campsite go more smoothly and allow you to react more quickly to changing weather conditions.
Although each tent comes with its own instructions on how to pitch a tent (which you should bring with you on your trip), there are some general principles to follow:
- Before you do anything else, lay a groundsheet—a plastic tarp that prevents the floor of your tent from getting wet or puncturing—on the ground where you plan to pitch the tent. If possible, bring a second groundsheet for the interior of your tent for extra protection. You can make groundsheets yourself: buy two pieces of heavy-duty plastic sheeting at an outdoor or hardware store, and cut them to fit the size of your tent floor exactly. Make sure the outer sheet is exactly the size of your tent floor and no bigger: if it exceeds the size of the tent floor, rainwater can accumulate on it and funnel into the tent.
- Once your groundsheet is down, lay the tent, rain fly, and other parts flat on the groundsheet with pole loops exposed. Starting neatly reduces confusion during the actual setup of your tent.
- Once the tent is raised, make sure the material is pulled taut and stakes are driven securely into the ground. This will give you more room inside and also make the tent more stable.
How to Pitch a Tent in Windy Conditions
Once the tent is up, Make sure the fabric is taut and the stakes are securely hammered into the ground. This will give you more space within the tent while also making it more stable.
If you have to set up your tent in high winds, do so with your back to the wind. Have everyone in your group help, and use your bodies and any heavy objects you have to weigh down the groundsheet and tent as you lay them out on the ground.