Camping 101

The Dos and Don'ts of Tent Setup

A comfortable night's sleep and effective protection from the elements: two things you'll definitely be happy to have.

By Allison Williams April 27, 2016 Published in the May 2016 issue of Seattle Met

Tent notes psd file from clinard revised v5 fcgzle
︎  DO Scope out a spot.

Even if a tiny, tilted spot by a babbling brook would be awfully romantic for sleeping, that bigger, flatter clearing in the middle of the site is there for a reason. Uneven ground is uneven sleep.

 DON’T Tag team on assembly.

Little known fact: Most tents can be set up by one person, given a little extra time. Lesser known fact: Few relationships, be they parental, romantic, or platonic, can survive the frustration of “No, the other other end!” 

✔  DO Agree on a shoes-in-the-tent policy immediately.

Wrestling off muddy hiking boots while tipping headfirst onto a sleeping bag is awful. Watching your camping buddy bring his muddy boots into your still-kinda-dry tent is worse.

DON’T Turn it into a kite.

Wind plus semi-set-up tent means not having a tent anymore. Throw your pack inside immediately after unfolding the tent to weigh it down.

✔ DO Decorate.

Flags, banners, or a battery-operated string of Christmas lights says this isn’t an overpriced nylon lean-to, it’s home.

DON’T Add the rain fly if you definitely won’t need it.

Though they’re necessary in a storm, most tents can handle a small sprinkle, and in hot weather the fly just turns the tent into an oven.

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