How to Pitch Your Tent for a Better Camping Experience
There is more involved in pitching a tent than snapping together a few poles. With the right tent selection and proper setup, your tent can protect you from much of what Mother Nature might throw your way on your next camping trip. Follow these guidelines for the perfect pitch.
Prepare Ahead of Time
Imagine getting to your campsite and finding out that your tent has a bent pole. Even new tents can arrive damaged or incomplete. Being prepared starts at home. Pitching your tent at home also provides you the opportunity to become comfortable with the process before you go camping.
If your tent does not come with a footprint, you might want to consider adding one for additional protection from the rain. You can purchase one designed for your particular tent, use a tarp or make your own. It's important that whatever option you choose, it is sized a little smaller than your tent's base to prevent water from collecting and pooling under the tent.
Find the Perfect Spot
Once you've arrived at your camping location, you need to scout out a good location to set up.
- Be mindful of your impact: In designated campsites, use pre-existing sites. In the backcountry, disperse sites to prevent creating established campsites and set up camp in areas of low vegetation 200 ft. from water sources.
- Protect yourself from inclement weather: Look for locations that will protect you from the wind. Keep to higher ground to prevent getting flooded out if it rains.
- Orient your tent: The direction your doors face is an important consideration. If the weather is warm while you're camping, you'll want to orient your tent to allow for the flow of air. If it's going to rain, face your doors so that the rain won't blow in.
Pitch Your Tent
Now that you've found your perfect spot, it's time to set up. Don't get in a hurry now that you're actually out there pitching your tent. Take it slow, so that you don't damage any parts in the process and keep your directions handy.
If it is windy, stake out the corners first to secure your tent. Stakes should be vertical for increased holding power. It is a good idea to bring along extras for your camping trip in case one bends. Bringing a rubber mallet can help make driving in your stakes an easier process.
Attaching the fly securely keeps you dry during the storm. Before tightening any lines, it is best to get the entire fly attached, and then tension each of the corners evenly.
Pitching the perfect tent takes some planning and practice. Once you get your system down, the process will be easier, making for a happy camping experience.