How to Put up a Cabin Tent

How to Put up a Cabin TentCabin tents come in many sizes and shapes. Traditional cabin tents use heavy duty canvas and rigid aluminum poles to create a large living space. The traditional tents have one large room with standing room and the option for a stove. Many of the modern designs have two to three rooms, collapsible tent poles and nylon exteriors. The traditional tents are built to withstand extreme winds, moisture and snow. The modern designs are much lighter than traditional tents.


Difficulty: Moderate

Traditional Tents

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tarp (optional)
  • Tent poles
  • Canvas
  • Hammer
  • Tent rope
  • Stakes
Step 1
Locate a large, flat area. Remove sticks, rocks and protruding objects from the ground. Lay down an optional tarp to protect the floor from damage. The tarp is ideal for long-term use but is not required.
Step 2
Build the roof frame by fitting the poles in a large rectangle. The long sides will have angled cross-section fittings pointing toward a peak.
Step 3
Build the roof peak as a straight line with the cross-section fittings angled downward. The length of the peak must match the length of the roof so the cross-section fittings align.
Step 4
Fit the cross-sections between the roof peak and the roof frame. Place one of the four long upright poles under each corner of the roof frame. Fit the remainder of the upright poles in the connections that align under the angled roof pieces. The number of uprights will vary depending on the size of the tent.
Step 5
Drape the tent canvas over the frame. Align the roof of the canvas with the peak of the frame. Use a hammer to drive stakes through each bottom corner grommet to pull the material tightly and evenly around the frame. Pound stakes into all of the remaining stake grommets.
Step 6
Tie tent rope through the d-rings along the roof edge. Tie an overhand loop in the end of each rope. Pull the rope tight and use stakes to anchor the rope in the ground.

Modern Tents

Step 1
Locate a large flat area and remove sticks, rocks and objects from the ground area. Place the floor of the tent in the area, and pull all of the corners out so tent is flat. Hammer a stake into each corner stake grommet.
Step 2
Connect the pole sections so they latch or snap together. Slide the tent poles through the corresponding sleeves, and place the end of each pole in the corresponding grommet. Some tents are color coded; others have directions for pole positions. This will erect the tent body.
Step 3
Attach hooks on tent material along the pole lines to the poles. Drape the tent fly over the body. Match the fly door with the screen door. Attach the fly to the tent by hooking the adjustable straps to the end of the tent poles or on the tent. Cinch the straps down tight.
Step 4
Place the small poles in the tent door and windows to create rigid peaks. The poles fit into small slots and are necessary for proper water runoff.
Step 5
Pull tent ropes tight and anchor in to ground with stakes. Divide interior rooms by zipping dividers to the roof or using Velcro attachments. Clip mesh gear pockets to the interior for extra storage.

Tips & Warnings

Use traditional cabin tents for long trips in inclement weather. Use modern cabin tents for casual camping trips. The modern tents use less space and weigh less.
Use natural wind shelters, such as setting up by trees or rocks, to protect your tent. High winds can cause damage to any tent and can ruin a camping trip. Always anchor the tent with rope and stakes to prevent it from blowing away.

Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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