Basic steps to pitch a tent in the wild!
Here we take a look at pitching up a two-person, double-fly, dome-shaped tent with a pair of collapsible tent poles made of fibre. We set up camp in a place enough for a single tent and needing some improvisation to secure the tent properly. Also, a single person sets it up quickly in rainy conditions. The steps remain the same if there are more persons available to help pitch the tent – the job just gets done quicker and easier.
First a look at the parts of a tent and terminology involved:
1. Unpack your tent and lay out the contents
Get the tent out of the bag and lay out the groundsheet / tent inner in the desired area. The tent outer, pegs and poles should be removed and kept aside. Ensure all contents are in place and in good condition. Make sure the entrance of the tent inner is zipped close and faces the leeward side. Also, place some rocks or heavy objects on the tent bag, tent outer and other light-weight tent accessories so that these do not get away blown away in the wind. Cover them if possible to protect from the rain as well.
2. Spread out tent inner / groundsheet and insert corner pegs
The groundsheet should be spread out flat on the ground to insert the four corner pegs. Insert any one corner peg first through the rings provided at the corners of the groundsheet. Pegs should always be inserted at a 45 degree angle to the ground and inclined away from the tent.
Fix the peg at the diagonally opposite corner thereafter stretching the groundsheet outwards as much as possible before inserting this second peg. Insert the remaining two pegs in a similar fashion, stretching the ground sheets outwards, directed away from the other pegs. This ensures the ground sheet is stretched to allow maximum room inside the tent once pitched up. It also ensures there are no folds or creases in the groundsheet as well once the tent is up.
3.Position collapsible tent poles and hook up tent inner to the poles
We assemble the two collapsible tent poles and lay them beside the tent. Start with one pole and position it diagonally across the groundsheet. Insert the end of the tent pole into the pins attached to the rings at the corners of the groundsheet. The elastic chords inside the tent poles allow the poles to bend and form a smooth curve while doing so. Attach the hooks provided on the tent inner to the pole. The tent should now stand up partially as shown in the picture below.
Position and secure the other tent pole in the same way along the other diagonal and hook up the inner to the tent pole. The tent inner should not form the dome shape as depicted below.
4.Place tent outer over the tent and secure it to tent inner
Lay the tent outer over the dome shaped structure now formed and align it properly such that the entrances of the inner and outer overlap. Velcro attachments are provided on the inside of the tent outer to secure the outer properly to the tent poles. Use the hooks provided at the four corners of the tent outer and attach them to the rings of the groundsheet. The inner and outer are now pitched up and ready to be anchored to the ground. Close the zip of the tent outer before moving to the next step.
5.Secure guy lines using pegs to anchor the tent outer to the ground
Locate the guy lines provided on the tent outer and secure them one by one using the pegs available to anchor the tent firmly to the ground. The guy lines should ideally be at a 90 degree angle to the outer. Typically, for two/three person dome-shaped tents, four guy lines are provided on the sides of the tent outer – two guy lines towards the rear and two towards the entrance. An additional two guy lines are provided at the front to be secured with pegs in front of the tent entrance.
Here some improvisation was necessary as there was insufficient space and rocky terrain around the tent. The guy lines were secured using stones available at appropriate places.
6.Inspect tent to ensure it is pitched properly
Inspect the following to ensure the tent is pitched up properly:
7.Set up the tent for a comfortable camping experience
Once inspected and confirmed that the tent has been pitched up properly, organize the room available inside the tent for a comfortable stay. Place your sleeping mattress / carry-mat inside first and then place your backpack inside. Keep frequently used or essential items, such as water bottle, first aid kit towards the entrance of your tent. Your shoes can be kept in the covered area near the entrance between the tent inner and outer as shown in the picture. Avoid keeping sharp objects or using camping gas and stoves inside the tent as the tent material is flammable and can tear or catch fire easily.