Are you new to camping but want to try it out? Many people get scared of going outdoors because they perceive it as difficult, especially the tent-pitching part. After all, you do not want to look like a fool with the poles and the complicated instructions. It does not have to be tough at all, though. All you need is the right knowledge and maybe a little bit of practice at home. Soon, you will find yourself pitching a tent like a pro.
What Are The Different Types of Tents?
Camping can be done in a cabin or an RV, but for the feeling of really being close to nature, there is no better way to do so than sleeping in a tent. Being in a campsite, under the stars, is an experience you will want to have at least once in your life.
The best thing about camping nowadays is that there are many different kinds of tents to choose from. Some are simpler and even require no construction, which is perfect for beginners:
Ridge or A-Frame
This is the classic tent that has been popular for many decades. They are sturdy, and setting up is not as difficult. They rely on guy lines and tie-outs so that they are stable. Modern tents use poles made of aluminum.
These tents look like a long tunnel, constructed with curved poles. They are quite comfortable and have lots of space, but the disadvantage is the heavy weight. Plus, they tend to collapse when there are strong winds.
Pop-up tents are very easy. They open up and form the right shape without needing any poles. You will only need to tie them down because they are really light. They are the best to carry around and they provide enough space. However, they are pricier and not as stable as other tents.
Cheap, light, and easy to set up, dome tents are the most common nowadays. They have 2 flexible poles that cross the top and bend down to the ground. Unfortunately, they are not the sturdiest of tents.
Geodesic and Semi-Geodesic
These are similar to dome tents but sturdier. This is because it has more poles and the design is more complicated. This means, however, that they are trickier to set up. Though lightweight, they are stable when the weather conditions are bad.
These new tents require less work (though pop-up tents are easier). Instead of poles, they have air-filled beams to prop them up. While they are light and easy, they are more suited for casual camping trips than for rugged campsites.
Cabin tents are for the whole family and thus bigger than all these other tents. They have tons of space, although dividers provide privacy for sleeping. They are, unfortunately, heavy and difficult to assemble. Plus, they are not suitable for strong winds or bad weather.
These are the lightest and smallest tents, designed for long hiking trips. They are small and sturdy, plus constructing them is not that difficult.
Knowing the various kinds of tents may help you with finding the perfect one for you. For less experienced campers, there are very simple ones that do not require a lot of effort but if you are into camping in a more rugged environment with harsher weather conditions, you should go for the stable kinds of tents.
Setting Up Camp
The construction of your tent depends highly on the kind of tent you end up buying. But one of the most important things about pitching and setting up your tent is knowing how to set up camp. When you choose the right spot, the whole work becomes easier for you as well. Specifically, you need to watch out for the perfect characteristics:
A Level Spot
As you can imagine, a flat and level spot is best. You can only imagine how it will be to sleep in a sloping tent. You might end up rolling down while you are sleeping.
Unless you want to repeat the work, you might want to make sure your spot is big enough for the tent. You can always lay out the whole tent to check first before actually setting it up.
Far Enough From The Grill or Fire Pit
While being close to the fire seems like a good idea to stay warm in the night, being too close might also put you at risk of catching fire. Open pits or grills often release embers or sparks that may land on your tent and cause an accident.
Stay away from bodies of water or creeks, and make sure your tent is on higher ground. In case of rain and water levels rising, you will stay safe from water. You will also avoid rainwater run-off making you and your tent wet.
You want to stay safe from the strong rays of the sun, especially during the summer months. The tent may become hotter under the light.
No Sticks or Rocks
Debris can damage your tent and worse, make you very uncomfortable when you are lying down. While finding a spot that has absolutely no sticks or rocks, you can instead try to clear the space of them before actually pitching your tent.
Most tents are waterproof to a certain point, and you might also have a tent footprint to protect your tent from extra moisture from the ground. Still, choosing a wet or muddy spot can make your tent dirty and unstable.
Finding the right spot is the first big step in pitching your tent easily and properly. Now you can go on to setting it up.
How To Pitch Your Tent Quickly In Any Condition
Whatever type of tent you have, the basic steps remain the same. Of course, when it comes to assembling or putting up the poles, you need to refer to the instructions of your tent itself.
1) Lay Your Tent Footprint
A tent footprint is always a great idea to use because it gives your tent additional protection. Beyond that, it makes pitching much easier because you know more or less where the edges of the tent go.
2) Unroll The Tent Over The Footprint or Groundsheet
Unfold or unroll the whole tent before putting any poles inside. Peg the back of the tent first if the wind is strong so that it does not get blown away in the wind.
3) Lay Out And Assemble the Poles
Refer to your tent’s instructions as to how to assemble the rest of the poles. If it is a new tent, it’s always a good idea to read and even try it out at home so you have an idea of how it goes when you go camping.
4) Attach The Poles To The Tent’s Body
Do this step carefully to make sure you do not damage the poles or the fabric of your tent. They may snag and you should not try to force it when this happens. Instead, look for where it gets blocked and untangle it carefully.
5) Pull Your Tent Upright
Start at one end to pull the tent up. Leave the doors unzipped to make this step easier. Any trapped air creates a vacuum, making it more difficult to pull the tent upright. Make sure to close them again before pulling the rest of the tent so that the fabric does not get overstretched.
6) Peg Out The Tent
Starting from one side and slowly making your way to all sides of the tent, pull it taut and hammer down the pegs. A rock or a mallet makes this step easier. Keep the pegs at a 45-degree angle with the hook pointing out and away from the tent. While you want it taut, make sure it is still flexible enough when it is windy.
6) Pull Out The Guy Ropes
Make sure they follow the seams of the tent.
7) Set Up The Rain Sheet
If you have one, this is the last step of pitching your tent. Follow the latches on the roof that are meant to keep it in place. Even if the forecast is sunny weather, you might still want to set it up, just in case. Plus, it gives you a bit more shade when the sun is strong.
At best, pitch your tent when it is bright and dry. If you are unlucky and the weather is bad, you need to look for a spot where you are protected from the rain and you can pitch the tent without making yourself fully wet. In any case, practicing how to pitch your tent beforehand will save you a lot of time and stress because you already have an idea of what to do.
Are you looking for a unique adventure for the holidays? Forget about city trips and flying somewhere exotic. Instead, try to rediscover nature by camping in your closest National Park or lake. Once you have mastered the art of tent pitching, all you need is to find and book a campsite.