10 Tent Tips for Happy Camping

Have you ever woken up to a soggy tent or struggled with stubborn stakes? Read our infographic and learn 10 tent tips for happy camping!

tent infographic

Tip 1: Ground Cloth

Tuck the edges of your ground cloth under your tent so water dripping off the rainfly won’t collect and pool underneath. Or buy a footprint, a ground cloth made to fit the tent floor without extending beyond the fly.

Tip 2: Stake out your rainfly using a handy taut-line hitch.

Loop the guyline around a tent stake. Bring the end under and over the tight line and twice through the loop you just made. Then, again, bring the end of the rope under, over and through the new loop you formed, and slide up on the line until the knot holds.

Tip 3: No stakes?

If you have stuff sacks handy, fill them with rocks and attach to the guylines. At the beach? fill the sacks with sand and bury them.

Tip 4: Camping on snow.

On snow, anchor your tent by burying a trekking pole or ice axe “deadman” style. Tie into the center of the pole or axe, then bury it so that the line and stake form a “T.” Be sure to bury several feet deep or they can melt out.

Tip 5: Grommets

Many tents have two grommets at the corner stake-out tabs. Poles normally fit snugly in the outer grommets when you set up the tent. When wet, the tabs can stretch and allow the walls to droop. Move the poles to the inner grommets to restore the nice taut pitch.

Tip 6: Travel Light

Carry just the poles, fly and foot-print. This setup won’t fend off mosquitoes, but it’s cool and airy–and with the room you save in you rpack, you’ll be able to bring along your tiny designer canine.

Tip 7: Outwit Mosquitoes

(Wait, do mosquitoes have wits?) Anyways, in breezy weather, face your tent door into the wind. The buggers will be hiding on the downwind side of the tent to keep from being blown away, so your cleaver scheme will prevent them from following you in!

Tip 8: Dry it out.

Always dry out your tent before packing to prevent smelly mildew. Too late? It’s possible to remove the odor by soaking the tent in a tubful of water and MiraZyme, or similar product, and hanging it out of direct sunlight to dry completely.

Tip 9: Shock-Corded Poles

Don’t shock the cords, man! Collapse poles starting in the middle, not the ends. And flinging poles like light sabers? Fail!

Tip 10: Minimize fold lines.

Each time you put your tent back in its stuff sack, fold it differently, or simply stuff it in. Thi shelps prevent creases that can wear out the waterproof coatings.

The REI experts are here to help. Check out our Camping Checklist, read more camping hacks, or view our selection of tents.