Q. My friends keep telling me I’m setting up my tent wrong. How should I be setting it up?
– Jake, Portland, Oregon
A. Few things make camping tougher than a bad tent setup. Fortunately, it’s an easy fix. Keep these three tips in mind:
Practice makes perfect. Get comfortable with your tent before you leave for your outing. Practice at home. Read through the instructions and be sure you have everything you need to pitch it, including guylines, stakes, a footprint, and a rainfly or tarp.
Choose the right spot. Pick a level spot that drains well. Consider where the sun will rise and set. Remove rocks, large twigs and other objects that could poke through your tent floor. Don’t camp under dead trees or trees with dead branches that might come down in a storm or light wind.
Pitch it. When pitching your tent, spread out your footprint to keep moisture from coming through the tent floor. Keep your stakes as vertical as possible to ensure a maximum hold. If the weather is iffy, use taut-line hitch knots to secure guylines for extra stability.
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