How to Assemble a Pup Tent

How to Assemble a Pup TentPup tents are the basic standard for back-country camping. While there are a variety of self-raising tents available these days, the standard pup tent is still the most durable and rugged. The last thing any camper wants is for his tent to collapse because a tree branch fell on it in a driving rainstorm. Assembly of these tents is meant to be easy, and shouldn't intimidate novice campers.


Difficulty: Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Pup tent with poles
  • Stakes
  • Tent cords or rope
  • Hammer/hatchet
  • Rain fly
Step 1
Pick a flat spot of ground to pitch your tent. It shouldn't be near a stream or at the bottom of the hill if you are expecting rainy weather, or things could get very wet very quickly. Also, if you don't have a bedroll, spread out a thick layer of leaves and pine needles to serve as insulation and padding. It also isn't a bad idea even for those with bedrolls.
Step 2
Snap together your tent poles, following the directions included with your tent. The sections either will or will not be joined by bungees.
Step 3
Insert the tent poles into their appropriate sleeves. The front and back of the tent will use two poles and the ground to form a triangle, with the poles joined at the top by insertion into a curved metal or plastic tube connector. Another pole will then bridge these two triangles from above the top of the tent, also by insertion into those two connectors. This forms the rigid frame of the pup tent.
Step 4
Drive the stakes through the rings at the tent corners to anchor the tent in the ground.
Step 5
Run a cord across the top of the tent from front to back. There should be either rings or loops in the connectors from Step 3 for threading this cord. Anchor it with stakes driven into the ground at an angle for maximum cord tension.
Step 6
Set up the rain fly by throwing it over the top of the tent, aligning the corners, hooking it into the tent's corners and stretching the fly's corners to be staked in. Once again, drive these stakes in at an angle for maximum tension.

Tips & Warnings

These instructions cover a fairly typical example of a two-man pup tent with a rain fly, but individual tent designs can vary widely. Check the particulars of your own tent and try to assemble it at home before taking it into the field.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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