How to Erect an Igloo Tent

How to Erect an Igloo TentAn igloo or dome tent comes with connected poles that go through pockets in the tent fabric. The rain fly, or flysheet, covers the main tent, providing additional protection from wind and rain. With practice, this tent style sets up quickly even in the dark, and remains stable in windy conditions. The low, rounded structure takes weather well and provides a comfortable area for sleeping, notes the website Wynnster. Become familiar with the basic technique for erecting the igloo tent so you can take one on your next camping adventure with confidence.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Camp shovel, optional
  • Heavy-duty tarp
  • Tent stakes
  • Hammer, optional
Step 1
Unload your gear at a level campsite or clearing. In cold or windy areas, pick a spot with trees, shrubs or large rocks to help serve as a windbreak.
Step 2
Remove any stones, sticks or sharp debris of any kind. Push dirt into any holes with a camp shovel or the side of your boot and step on the loose dirt to pack it down to make the campsite area flat and comfortable for sleeping.
Step 3
Pull your tent out of its stuff sack. Unzip the tent door and shake the tent out away from the tarp if it has any dirt or debris in it from your last adventure. Zip the tent door closed.
Step 4
Unfold the tent and spread it out, center the tent's floor on the tarp. Orient the tent's door in the direction where you want to enter the tent. Ideally, face the door away from the wind and toward the trail you use to approach the tent.
Step 5
Straighten the tent fabric so the channels for the tent poles will be convenient to access.
Step 6
Pull the tent poles out of their stuff sack. Igloo tents come with spring-corded poles, meaning that the segments of each pole connect together with cords inside them. Assemble the longer poles by unfolding them, pushing the fiberglass ends into the sleeves provided with each segment to create one long pole.
Step 7
Slide the end of the pole into a channel next to the door and push it slowly through. At the top of the tent, push the pole through the channel diagonally across the igloo tent from where you started. The poles will form an X at the top of the tent.
Step 8
Push the pole through to the bottom of the channel and secure it with the peg attached to the bottom of the tent at each tent stake.
Step 9
Repeat Steps 9 and 10, inserting the next pole into the channel on the other side of the door and raising the tent into the igloo shape. Follow the same procedure for the remaining poles.
Step 10
Make sure the tent stands evenly. Stick a tent stake through one of the rings around the bottom of the igloo tent and secure the tent stake in the ground. In soft ground, step on it with your boot until the stake goes in. In harder ground, hammer your tent stakes. Repeat with each tent stake.
Step 11
Insert the short pole left over through the channel in the rain fly. This tent fabric extends over the main tent.
Step 12
Attach the flysheet ties or hooks to the rings or tabs along the base of the tent or to the tent poles, depending on the model of igloo tent.

Tips & Warnings

Check the area for potential hazards before setting up camp, such as animal burrows, hornet or yellow jacket nests, damaged trees that could lose limbs or water courses that could flood.
For tents with guy lines, stake each line in a direct line from a tent seam. Stake all the lines, and then adjust the tension on the line with the adjusters to get the tension even on all the lines.
Upgrade the tent stakes if the ones that came with your tent bend easily or don't penetrate the ground effectively in the terrain where you camp. Heavy-duty tent stakes with sharp tips make set up easier and often work without a hammer.
Carry a tent repair kit, available from sporting gear stores. It's often located in a small pouch included when you bought the tent. This way you're prepared in case of a rip or other damage to the tent.
Handle tent poles carefully and avoid dropping them.
Duct tape works to hold together a fiberglass pole that splits. Take care not to wrap the tape at the tip of a connecting part of the pole, as the tips need to remain narrow enough to insert into the connecting sleeve.

Article Written By Gryphon Adams

Gryphon Adams began publishing in 1985. He contributed to the "San Francisco Chronicle" and "Dark Voices." Adams writes about a variety of topics, including teaching, floral design, landscaping and home furnishings. Adams is a certified health educator and a massage practitioner. He received his Master of Fine Arts at San Francisco State University.

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