How to Fold a Pop Up Tent

How to Fold a Pop Up Tent
With patience and practice, getting a pop up tent back into its storage bag can be quick and easy.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to fold a popup tent.

Things You’ll Need:
  • A spare tent peg
  • A spare tent peg
Step 1
While putting up a pop up tent is one of the easiest and most entertaining aspects of setting up a campsite - pull it out of its storage bag, slide off the retaining strap, give it a toss and watch it settle to the ground fully erected - reversing the operation is much trickier. The first step is to take the extra L-shaped tent peg you wisely didn't use during setup and use it to hook the tent pegs that are being used out of the ground.
Step 2
Remove, fold and store any rain fly, awning and/or retaining straps along with the tent pegs.
Step 3
Folding the tent is much easier with two people working together, especially on larger tents, but one person can do it with patience and determination. If the tent is in a confined space, first move it to an open area where there is room to work. Open the tent door, invert the entire tent and shake out any dirt or debris before folding. Dry off any moist surfaces as well. Leave the tent door open.
Step 4
Some background: Most pop up tents have two or three very flexible metal hoops sewn into the tent's fabric. When released from being folded, the hoops spring open from their constraints to erect the tent. Reversing the process involves overcoming the tendency of the hoops to remain unfolded. Grab either side of the hoop forming the perimeter of the tent's floor and fold it upward toward the horseshoe-shaped hoop holding the roof in place. Imagine bending a very large fabric taco.
Step 5
When the two or three hoops are folded to the point that their opposite sides touch, slide one side underneath the other, collapsing all the hoops down upon one another, which turns each large hoop effectively into a double ring half the original size. The tent should flatten and resemble a multilayered disc. This can be tricky the first few times because the rings tend to be very resistant to such folding and want to squirm to one side or another. Slide the retaining strap around the disc to prevent redeployment and then tuck it into its storage bag.

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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