Camping provides the perfect opportunity to get in touch with nature and disconnect from the daily grind. Camping is a timeless tradition forged by cooking over portable stoves, foregoing indoor plumbing and sleeping under the stars.
A 2015 survey from Kampgrounds of America (KOA) said camping attracts people looking for an opportunity to explore the many wonders of the environment. The great outdoors affords people an opportunity to recharge in the peace and quiet of natural surroundings. Results from the 2017 North American Camping Report found an increasing number of people say they plan to camp more, and camping is helping to add more balance to a person’s life. Currently, 75 million households in the United States include active campers.
Although there are many ways to camp, tents are often key components of camping trips. Learning to pitch a tent correctly is an important part of successful camping. Here’s how to become a tent-pitching pro.
1. Purchase a freestanding tent. While there are many variations to tent designs and ultralight backpackers may prefer a tarp or another non-freestanding device, tents that are able to stand on their own are easier to set up. Many tent designs have two poles and fabric that creates a dome shape and are relatively easy and straightforward to set up in just a few minutes.
2. Practice at home. Before arriving at the campsite, learn to recognize the parts and instructions for your particular tent. Make sure all equipment is present and in working order.
3. Buy a footprint. Many tent floors are sturdy, but campers can always use a little extra protection against the ground. Footprints are essentially a tarp that fits underneath the floor of the tent as an extra layer of protection, advises REI. They should be slightly smaller than the area of the tent.
4. Scope out the tent location. Avoid sites littered with sticks, stones, roots, or branches. Stay away from low-lying areas that may get soggy in rain storms. Look for natural windbreaks, and place the tent so the side that has the strongest pole structure is facing the wind.
5. Make it a team effort. Enlist a helper or two to set up the tent. Ensure all zippers are closed when erecting the tent. Try to push poles through openings instead of pulling on them. Allow for some wiggle room when extending the poles. Guylines should follow the seams of the tent where possible, and lines should be pegged down back to front. Guylines help keep tents sturdy and also keep a rainfly away from the tent body to minimize leakage, according to the Appalachian Mountain Club.
6. Use daylight to your advantage. Set up the tent while it is light outside, and outfit it with anything that will be needed in the middle of the night, such as a lantern and other gear.
Camping is easier when people can erect a tent swiftly and accurately.