How to Pitch a Tent for a Family Camping Trip

The experience of the great outdoors can be a big enough thrill for anyone looking to go camping. Getting away from civilization for a few nights in the wilderness is an excellent way to escape it all for a relatively inexpensive price. Pitching a family tent may seem easy enough, just put the poles through the designed holes and your done, right? Wrong. There are many variables to consider when pitching a tent such as location, whether to use a canopy tarp or not, and many others. This article will give a tutorial for pitching a tent, and will examine the variables so that your camping trip turns out great!

1. Look for elevated ground

If choosing a campsite, look for one that has elevated ground, preferably a hill. If you do not have preference, try to make do with the site you have and look for any slight elevation. Low elevations are awful camping because they allow water to build up directly under the campsite, which can cause tent leaks and a mess when packing up. Also never, set the tent up within 20 feet of the fire pit and cooking area, as fires are a likely cause for camping accidents.

2. Is your tent and rainfly waterproof?

Common advice when camping is to pitch a hanging tarp above your tent to prevent water leakage; however, unless the weather is extreme you do not need to do this. Waterproofing for tents, such as the Nikwax waterproofing spray is perfect for ensuring that no water seeps into the tent during a rainstorm. I like Nikwax because it comes in a spray, which is much easier to apply than the traditional liquid. If you properly waterproof your tent, there is no need for a hanging tarp above the tent. I have camped for over 15 years and have had no trouble with water getting into a waterproofed tent with rainfly.

3. Lay a ground tarp

Find a ground tarp that is at least half a foot larger in both directions than your tent is. Lay the ground tarp out and place spike it down with tent spikes, which can be found at any camping store for under $1. Make sure the tarp is not over any roots, and has no wrinkles or creases, as they will store rainwater, which is not good for campers.

4. Laying the tent canvas

Lay the tent canvas with the front door side facing up. Follow the instructions for your specific tent and place the connected support beams through the canvas until the tent erects.

5. The rainfly

Most tents, even family tents only have two main support beams with minor other attachments for additional rooms. The other poles are typically much smaller and are either for the rainfly or for minor support. Place the rainfly on top of the erected tent and attach the connector pieces to the tent. If your tent requires support poles for the rainfly, make sure to place these in after the rainfly is secure because the poles have to go through the other main support beams.

6. Tent spikes

Secure the tent with the included tent spikes in the tent kit. The spikes are best put in the ground with the use of a hammer or heavy rock as it helps the pegs to secure to the ground. Make sure to place the spikes at an angle as it provides better support and fewer chances of them coming up.

7. Final check

After steps 1-5 are complete, you have successfully pitched your tent. Check the support beams for disconnection, and make sure the spikes are secure to the ground.

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