How to Pitch Pop-Up Tents

How to Pitch Pop-Up TentsPop-up tents are self-erecting and therefore very easy to put up, but a few preparations will make your camping experience more comfortable and safe.

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Selecting and Preparing a Site

Things You’ll Need:
  • A pop-up tent with any included pegs, guy lines and waterproof fly.
  • A waterproof tarp
 
Step 1
Any tent should be erected on flat, level and preferably well-drained ground to which tent pegs and guy lines can be secured. Allow sufficient adjacent space to allow ventilation and placement of any guy lines that extend from the tent.
Pitching a tent under a tree may offer cooling shade and some shelter from light rain, but overhead trees also can be a source of falling debris such as twigs, leaves and bird droppings.
In locations with sustained winds, find a site downwind from bushes, scrub trees or land features that provide a wind break and upwind from any place you will have a campfire and any smoke it produces.
If rain or snow is in the forecast, your tent site should be free of or protected from any water runoff areas.
Step 2
Clear any debris such as rocks, branches, twigs or nettles. Clear anything that makes the ground uneven or may poke a hole in your tarp or tent floor.
Step 3
Put the tarp flat on the site to prevent ground water from entering the tent. Make sure the tarp is larger than your tent floor. Position the tent on the tarp so any additional tarp area is in front of the tent door to provide a dry doormat and a storage area for items not needed in the tent yet handy from the door. The corners or edges of the tarp can be folded under where needed to allow tent pegs to be driven into the ground.

Erecting and Securing the Tent

Step 1
Pop-up tents typically are round in shape when collapsed and are stored in a circular storage bag. Open the bag, remove the tent, its pegs and/or any guy lines and waterproof fly. Holding the edge of the tent and its internal support wires firmly, remove the restraining strap or straps and allow the tent to erect itself on the ground tarp.
Step 2
Position the tent as desired, keeping in mind the tent door should be positioned away from any prevailing wind to prevent debris from blowing into the tent. If the tent site is not level, position the tent so your head will be higher than your feet where you will be sleeping inside the tent.
Step 3
Secure the tent to the ground using pegs and/or guy lines if necessary and according to tent specifications. Install the waterproof fly if the weather is threatening or keep it handy in case conditions could change. Open the windows to air out the tent if it has been stored for a lengthy period.

Tips & Warnings

 
If you have not used this type of tent before, set it up at least once before venturing into backcountry. Bring a flashlight, preferably one that can be worn on the head, or lantern to provide light in case the tent must be erected in the dark. If your tent has L-shaped pegs, reserve one for hooking and removing the others when taking the tent down.
 
If you have not used this type of tent before, set it up at least once before venturing into backcountry.
 
Bring a flashlight, preferably one that can be worn on the head, or lantern to provide light in case the tent must be erected in the dark.
 
If your tent has L-shaped pegs, reserve one for hooking and removing the others when taking the tent down.

Article Written By Gary Olson

Gary Olson is a freelance writer, editor, photographer and designer with 34 years of experience. His work has appeared in such publications as Sailing, Northwest Living, 5280, The Arizona Republic, The Denver Post and many other newspapers and magazines. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota.

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