The camping holiday can only really begin when the tent is up. Before that, however, the first thing to do is to pitch a tent. What may be a no brainer for camping veterans is often a frown for newbies. So that everything goes smoothly, we show you tried and tested tips for setting up, tensioning and dismantling and show you which typical beginner mistakes you should avoid.
Before you travel
Check in good time whether your tent’s pack sack is complete! Outer tent, inner tent, pegs, guy ropes, floor mat, tent poles – everything you need to pitch a tent should go with you when you travel. This also includes the necessary know-how: If you are going to use your tent for the first time, make sure that you are familiar with the structure. It is best to practice a few times at home so that every grip really fits. So you can pitch the tent as quickly as possible, even in bad weather, darkness and rain.
Find the right campsite
Choosing the right location is crucial for a quiet night in the tent. This will not only extend the life of your tent, it may also help you get a good night’s sleep. The following rules apply to camping on the campsite as well as in the field.
Do not place your tent on uneven terrain or even in a hollow. Because that way you lie more uncomfortably and when it rains there is a risk of flooding and permanent moisture in the tent. Pile up any small bumps in the ground with some sand, earth, or gravel. Ideally, the tent is on a dry meadow in combination with a tent floor.
Clean the subsurface
Free the ground from stones, branches or rubbish lying around and avoid protruding roots. Pointed objects on the floor are not only extremely uncomfortable to lie on, but also damage the tent floor and possibly even the sleeping mat in the long term.
Do not pitch the tent directly under trees! This is where most of the dangers threaten: lightning strikes, falling branches or thick pine cones. In addition, dripping resin attacks the coating of your tent. Should it rain heavily, the irregular splashing that penetrates the trees is much more annoying than the even pattering on the tent roof in the open air.
Place in the shade
Nevertheless, find a shady spot with a light wind blowing. This will prevent UV rays from attacking the outer skin too quickly. This also improves the air quality in the tent. Places in the shade of buildings or trees that are not directly under a branch are ideal.
Not directly on the water
Campsites right on the water are very popular, but in reality they are counterproductive. During the night, the humidity increases the condensation in the tent, which can lead to problems, especially in poorly ventilated tents. Therefore, it is better to keep a little distance from the water.
Always use all parts belonging to the tent construction! It may take a little longer, but in the end you will be happy about the time invested in strong winds. After you’ve prepared the ground, spread out the pole arches and place them within easy reach next to the stand. Then it is the turn of the tent.
Fully unfold the inner tent and turn the entrance to the leeward side.
Then secure the wind-facing side of the tent in the ground with pegs so that it is not blown away but is not fully anchored with guy ropes.
Then, depending on the type of tent, you connect the poles to the inner and / or outer tent. In the case of pole ducts, thread the poles and then attach the end to the tent floor (usually with eyelets or pins). For tents with hooks, on the other hand, you first attach the end of the poles before you clip the tent into the hooks.
Do not use force when setting up! Otherwise the first crack will appear before the start of the camping holiday.
Put up and tension the tent
Only if the pegs are really securely anchored in the ground can the tent withstand storms and gusts of wind.
As soon as the inner tent is up, throw the outer cover over it and attach it to the ground. In the best case, wait for a moment of calm or talk to the helpers about who will raise which pole and when. Then you do the following:
After putting up the outer tent, pull it tight and fix it to the ground with pegs and guy ropes.
Never force the pegs into the ground! If necessary, tie a tent cord into the anchoring point and use this extension to sink the peg into another place.
If the outer tent folds after it is set up, it sags too much. In this case, tighten the guy ropes again.
If the zippers are difficult to move, pegs and guy ropes also have to be corrected again.
In tents that are primarily intended for use in bad weather, the outer tent can be set up first, then the inner tent, so that everything inside stays nice and dry. The tent dismantling is done in reverse order. The dry inner tent is hung up and preferably packed separately.
When dismantling, the tent should be as dry as possible so that no moisture gets home from the condensation. If necessary, pack the dry inner tent and the still wet outer tent separately. If you have a bit of time, however, it is advisable to first spread out the outer tent for a few minutes and let it dry in the sun.
Before packing up, shake out the tent thoroughly! It is best not to use a broom: when sweeping out the inner tent with a broom, sand and dirt particles damage the material. Arrived at home, unpack the tent, hang it up and let it dry.
If pitching a tent is a bit too complicated for you and you are looking for a more comfortable alternative, a camping throw tent might be just the thing . Also check out which countries allow wild camping in the great outdoors .