A Beginners Guide to Setting Up A Tent


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This article is going to cover how to set up your tent efficiently, how to stake it out for maximum stability and ventilation, and the best way to stake out your tent, to keep it secure and quieter in the winter.

With all the outdoor “guru’s” out there, sometimes we need to remember that some people are just looking for some good advice about the basics. We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t give a nice article on how to set up your tent.

If you’re new to the outdoors, welcome! We’re glad you’re here, let’s gather around the campfire and sort out how to properly set up your camping tent for your outdoor adventure.

Finding the Right Location

Easy steps to follow, to get your tent pitched quickly, and keep it secure. If the weather turns stormy overnight, the first thing to do is pick an appropriate campsite. Of course, you want to find level ground, and a view is nice, but a lot more goes into it.

Start At Home

The best advice is to practice setting up your tent at home. The last place you want to learn, how to pitch your shelter is after dark is bad. Weather rolls that no matter which tent you use, the order in which you set it up is the same.

Tarp Under Tent

It’s a good idea to use a ground cloth or footprint to protect the bottom of the tent. Lay that down first with the shiny side up next, lay out the body of the tent on top of the footprint. If there are color-coded nylon tabs on the corners of your tent, make sure to match them to the tabs on the footprints.

Tent Poles

Now come the poles, assemble them carefully and make sure that each poll is fully seated in the next before moving on, When the polls are together, match them up to their grommets on the 10 body and foot. Some tents use color, coded, pull sections to help make this process a little easier. I saw the poles are attached to the grommets. You can attach the tent body to the polls.


Most tents use little plastic clips. Lay the rain, fly over the tent. Make sure that the Velcro tabs at the seams are on the inside. Also, make sure the door on the fly matches up with the door on the tent. Now you can connect the Velcro tabs to the poles and loosely connect the fly to the corners of the 10 body.

Securing with Stakes and Anchors

You’ll want attention it after you stake out the tent position, your tent so that the strongest side, the end with the most pole structure is facing the likely direction of the wind. It’s especially important to avoid the wind, hitting the broad side of the tent and turning it into a sale.

Once you’ve chosen an orientation, pick a corner, slide a stake into the tie-down loop, and pounded in at about a 45-degree angle back toward the tent. Next move to the opposite corner, pull the tent tight, and pounded in the next. Repeat until each corner is secured.

Corners are staked down. You can move to the fly, make sure the vestibule door is closed. Pull it down until it’s moderately tensioned to stake it out. Do the same. On the other side, if your 10 has two vestibules,

If your tent has extra loops near the bottom of the fly or on the sidewalls, stake them out for increased ventilation and less condensation. Now that the tent is fully staked out, you can adjust the tension on the fly.

Don’t Overtighten

The key is to avoid over tensioning one corner from the get-go. You want to tension each corner evenly to make sure that the seams line up over the poles, keep in mind that the material and most tents stretch slightly when cold or damp. So retention the fly before bedtime.

Your lines attached to the tents. Rainfly on fabric loops about halfway up the seams over each pole. The point of these lines is to strengthen your tent pole structure and the wind.


Depending on the weather, check out our guide on How To Not Let Your Tent Blow Away

Now, If you’re expecting mild weather, it’s usually enough to just stick the guideline down into the ground as far from the tent as you can. But if you know, you’re hunkering down for a windy night, it’s worth taking the time to really secure your shelter properly.

First, if you only have enough cord for a couple of lines, it’s important to use the guy points that are facing into the wind. Start by tying the guideline cord. To each point, you can use whatever not you like, but the Bolin is a good choice. The other end of the cord attaches to your anchor and it usually includes a plastic plate or cam lock to adjust the tension on the line.

Depending on your ground type (sand /mud) you may need to grab some of these really good corkscrew style tent stakes, check them here on Amazon.

If that plastic tensioner breaks or you decide to attach a longer cord it’s worth knowing how to use the trucker’s hitch to tighten it down, guidelines work best. When they’re perpendicular to the pole, they’re reinforcing for maximum strength. You want the guidelines to come out of the fly at as close to a 90-degree angle as possible.

You can attach the guideline up to a tree branch, but if you don’t have a convenient tree, you can also use an upside-down tracking pole. All you have to do is attach the cord to the tip of the pole. A clove hitch works well for this and anchor the line to the ground and keep in mind that big natural anchors like logs or rocks are sometimes stronger options than steaks, which can loosen up in the wind.

Once your tent is set up, all that’s left to do is kick back and enjoy the evening.

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I’m a Colorado resident who lives at the base of the Rockies. From truck camping to backcountry exploring, if it’s outdoors, you can find me there! Check out Offgridessential.com for more outdoor content. Instagram: Offgridessential Twitter: @OGeseential Facebook: offgridessential

Fort Collins, CO

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