How to Assemble a Camping Tent

How to Assemble a Camping Tent

Setting up a tent can seem complicated for people who are camping for the first time and this should be done right because it will serve as shelter for the entire trip.

There is a chance that you will get frustrated, lose patience, and even become really irritated to the point of giving up. This should not be the case because it will spoil all the fun.

When you have done it perfectly for the first time, you will not have a problem doing it again and you won’t struggle again next time. Everything will seem easy and you won’t consume too much time setting up the tent.

Practice beforehand

Before you go camping, check your newly-bought tent for instructions on how to set it up. Practice setting it up on your yard and do it several times. There are tents that have simpler design, but there are others that are more complex like dome tents which is more challenging to set-up.

Choose a good area

  • Make sure that before you decide to set-up your tent, the spot you have chosen is flat and does not have sharp objects.
  • Remove sticks, rocks, or other elements that will cause discomfort while you are inside the tent.

Time to unpack the tent

  • Remove everything from the box and set them in groups according to type. The stakes go together in one group, poles in another, and so on.
  • By organizing them in groups, it will be easy for you to spot which one is missing and you’ll be able to find it easily. It will suck if some parts of the tent are missing because you won’t be able to set it up.

Unfolding the tent

  • How you unfold the tent will depend on where you want it to face. East is always where the morning sun is so if you want that, make the opening of your tent face that way.
  • Some people don’t want the sun early in the morning because it can disrupt their sleep, but that is a case to case basis.
How to Assemble a Camping Tent

Put stakes on each corner of the tent

  • In case that your tent has a footprint or ground cloth, put that down first and then you can start putting stakes on the tent. The floor of the tent should be pulled according to the instructions.
  • If it is a backpacking tent, you don’t need any stakes, but other types of tents need to be staked down.
  • Backpacking tents are ideal if you are going to be in an area where you don’t need to put stakes on your tent because that is easier, but sometimes you still need to put stakes for better comfort and stability. A lot of tents being sold need stakes for them to stand up.

Tent poles

  • They are usually divided into sections that you can combine. Check if the tent poles are separated according to color to avoid confusion.
  • If they have no color indicators, check the instructions on how to do it, but this should be easy to follow. It should tell you the differences so you can set-up the tent properly.

Frame of the tent

Tents nowadays already have different shapes and sizes. There are dome tents that are free-standing and some types have different poles that are connected for supporting the tent, and other tents only need two poles, but need stakes to stand up.

No matter how your tent is supposed to be set-up, making the tent’s frame stand up would mean that you would have to slide the poles through the sleeves of the tent or securing their ends at the tent’s base. After that, you will attach the body to the poles using clips.

Putting the rain fly on

  • Most of the tents being sold do not have water resistant bodies. The ones that are waterproof are very pricey and they are for mountaineers who are serious about camping even under tough situations.
  • A rain-fly is a cover that is waterproof used to cover the tent. This will be able to protect the tent from the rain because it is supposed to be placed at the top of the tent. If your tent comes with a rain-fly, use it and make sure it is secure at the top of your tent.
  • This can be done properly by attaching the corners of the rain-fly to the base which can be done by using the clips to attach the rain-fly to the poles of the tent.

Additional tips

  • When packing the tent, check if all the parts are there because one missing piece will affect how the tent will stand.
  • For reference, bring a photo of the tent after it’s been correctly set-up so you can compare it to the one you are trying to put together.
  • Choose a spot that is not hill bases to avoid the water that’s running downhill in case it rains because you can’t always predict the weather. The spot should be flat and not near trees because their branches can fall on you when lightning strikes or because it is already weak.
  • You can choose a spot that is near a lake or stream where you can catch fish in case you want fresh catch for dinner.
  • You can bring a tarpaulin with you for extra flooring. This can be placed inside your tent to serve as a barrier between the tent and the ground. If it rains, the tarpaulin will protect your back from becoming wet. Some people tie heavy stones to pin down the stakes into the ground for more stability.


Knowing how to set up a tent is important because you will be sleeping in it for the next few days and it should not be a problem once you get to the campsite. Any first timer will find it a bit challenging, but once you learn how to do it the right way, you will love camping even more and teach first timers who are with you.

About the author


Hey there, I'm Lisa, founder and editor in chief here at Recreation Space. We found fitness through recreational activities. And we want to share it with you. We believe in empowering people with knowledge to make smarter, healthier choices in their lives.

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