How to set up a tent
It seems like a very easy thing to do – until you try it for the first time. Setting up a tent isn't as simple as you'd think, especially if you're a beginner or you're doing it in a cramped space or bad weather. Luckily though, as long as you follow a basic system and some simple steps, setting up a tent doesn't have to be rocket science. Here are some videos to take you through it, whether you're putting up a bell tent, dome tent, A-frame tent, cabin tent or yurt.
First up, decide what type of tent you want. Unless it's a pop-up you're going to use once for a festival, you'll need to know what type of tent best suits your needs for long term – taking into account what size, weight and shape of tent you want and what type of camping you'll be doing. This clip goes through the basics, as does this.
Once you're all set to go and at your camping place, pick a spot to pitch your tent. Obviously you'll need somewhere flat, but also make sure it's sheltered, out of any wind that might arrive during the night, and away from any trees where branches could drop overnight. If you're at a festival, there are some good tips around on picking the best spot.
Next up, make sure the pitching spot is clear, brushing away any twigs or stones in the way. Lay out your groundsheet, then lay the tent out on top of it, top facing up. Put some pegs in to secure the tent for a few minutes until you get it fully ready to go.
Now start inserting your tent poles into the tent frame. Thread them into the tent fabric, starting at one corner then going to the one opposite. This is probably the most fiddly part of the process, but once it's done you're pretty much finished.
Time to raise the tent. You'll usually do this by threading the poles through a clip at each corner of the tent, but check the instructions for your particular model to be sure.
Once the tent's up, tug the poles as as far apart as you can to make sure the tent is as taut as possible – this will mean the tent has a bit more room and also that rain will flow away from the roof.
Then reset the tent pegs and hammer them in, using a mallet or rock to get them as deep as you can. Check the pegs every morning on your trip and pull them taut again if need be.
Finally, put on your rain cover. Done!
All you need to do now is find somewhere to pitch your tent from our campsites with tent pitches. You could:
- Pitch up on a farm in Co Meath at Slane Farm Hostel
- Stay on a Highlands croft at Sunnyside Croft Touring Caravan and Camping Site
- Sleep near Snowdonia at Bwlchgwyn Farm and Pony Trekking
- Camp five miles from York city centre at York Touring Caravan Site
- Pitch up all year round in the Lake District at Hawkshead Youth Hostel, or
- Chat to the water buffaloes at Grange Farm on the Isle of Wight.