Putting up a Tent

bronze / silver / gold / overseas
A walkthrough on how to put up a tent

First pick your spot. There’s no science to this just pick the flattest, driest bit.
Know where your stuff is. The group members who are carrying the tents should also be in charge of putting up the tents and they should know exactly whose bag all the tent bits are in and where in each bag they are. It’s simplest for one person to carry a whole tent and then take some weight off them rather than splitting tents but some groups like to split the weight of the tent between two people. Remove the material, pegs and poles from the tent bag. Place the tent bag inside a pocket or a rucksack immediately or it might blow away or get lost.

Spread the tent material out. Remove the poles from their bag and place the pole bag in the tent bag immediately or you will lose it! Assemble all the poles. Most tents have two long poles the same length and one shorter one. Sometimes the tent will have some colour coding to help you figure out which pole goes where. Pick a pole and insert it all the way. Remember to only ever push poles. Never pull on poles as they will come apart. Do not plug the ends of the pole in yet. Push all the remaining poles through. Once all the poles have been inserted start plugging the ends in and the tent will start to take shape.

Start pegging. With a hoop tent like this peg one end in and then the other pulling the whole tent taught and making sure it is straight at the same time. With a dome tent it is not so critical which pegs go in first so start with the four corners where the poles plug in then peg out the porch pulling it tight and making sure it’s straight.
Push pegs in at a 45° angle with the tip facing in towards the centre of the tent. The opening in the head of the peg should face away from the centre of the tent or the material can slip off the end of the peg.

Next either hang your inner if the poles are inserted through the waterproof outer of your tent or drape and secure your outer if your poles are inserted into the inner. In our video the tent has an inner which is hung from the inside of the outer but we have cleverly not removed the inner last time we took it down. With some tents like this one you can save yourself time by leaving the inner and outer attached to each other at all times. With other tents however this is not possible.

Guy ropes are only necessary in the following situations: your tent requires them to stand up properly, you are expecting rain and wind or you find a baggy bit of your tent which requires pulling out. Otherwise they are just a good way of tripping over in the middle of the night. Finally make sure you place the peg and pole bags in the tent bag if you haven’t already and place that inside the porch of your tent so they don’t blow away.

Extra Hints & Tips

To remove stubborn pegs stuck in the ground either insert another peg through the head of the peg in the ground and pull out or pull on the material which the peg is inserted through and pull on that. Make sure in both cases you are pulling the peg out at the same angle you pushed it in: hopefully 45° away from the tent.
If you see slack areas of your tent re-peg out your tent to make it more taught or use your guy ropes to increase the tension.