The Best Ways On How To Fold A Tent For Your Next Camping Trip

Setting up a tent is a necessary camping skill, of course, especially if you are planning to stay the night outdoors and you don't want to be feasted on by mosquitos and rodents all night long. While it may not give you the same security of your home and bed, there is much to be said for sleeping in a tent instead of braving the wild outdoors without one.

While there are many types of tents, we will try to discuss several ways on how to fold a tent based on some of the most frequently used ones.

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Why You Should Know How To Fold A Tent Properly

how to fold a tent

Tents are not very cheap, and if you want something that you can put up quickly and make you comfortable even on a single night outdoors, you will surely want to invest in something that is more than decent to give you sufficient protection and comfort.

While many struggles with just the idea of putting up a tent, more are unaware that knowing how to fold it away properly can be just as important.

To avoid accidentally tearing off the materials, or crumpling it unnecessarily, knowing how to put it away can, in addition, make it easier to carry especially when trekking or hiking. An ill-packed tent can feel heavier and bulkier, because of the unequal distribution of weight.

While this may not seem to mean much during the first ten minutes of carrying, you are going to notice the difference after the first hour walking with it.

There are different types of tents. Here are some tips on how to fold some of the most common ones.

How To Fold A Dome Type Tent

1. Flysheet Must Be Packed Up

You would want to start by straightening out the flysheet. This step is going to be a lot easier if you will be placing the material of the tent on a level and flat area and straighten-out the flysheet.

Start by folding it lengthwise so that the outer side, where the guy ropes are located, will be folded inside and then fold it again lengthwise so that the outside, still with the guy ropes, will be inside the fold again.

It will take some practice and an extra pair of hands to get the hang of sweeping the flysheet off a standing tent. But what you should keep in mind is that you want your tent to end up lengthwise.

2. Folding The Flysheet

For folding the flysheet, your main point of reference is the pole closest to each end. Tuck each end of the flysheet towards the adjacent pole. Keep gathering in the ends of the flysheet towards the center. Once you have reached the center, fold it in one more time.

If you were able to do follow this procedure correctly, you will notice that the flysheet of each folded pole all going to have the same width.

3. How To Roll Up The Flysheet

Begin at the top portion of the flysheet, especially the lightest section which most likely is also the section that is in the center of the roof. Roll it up tightly and then tie it up.

The tighter the flysheet is rolled, the easier it will be to get it into the bag at the end.

4. Folding The Main Tent

Start by laying out the main body of the tent in the same orientation as when it is erected. Make sure that all zippers are done, not only for the door but also for the windows and any other zip that might be there.

5. Adjust The Roof Portion

Utilize the center roof mounts such as clips and tubes for the support rods. To prevent the canopy from being too bunched up, pull the canopy so that it will lie flat. Pay extra attention to the door, and make sure that is flat.

There will be excess material but don't worry about it, you just need to lay it over the rear door portion. In case your dome tent does not have a vestibule, you should be working in a circular direction, pulling each side tightly and ending up with the front. It will help a lot if your tent is still secured when doing this step.

6. Fold The Vestibule

If your tent does not have a vestibule, you can skip this step and proceed to the next one. Fold the vestibule over so that it would lie over the main body of the tent, making sure that the top portion will lie on top.

7. Fold the tent

Fold each side towards the center of the tent, then fold into half again so that you end up with a quarter of the tent's actual size.

8. Put Everything Together

Start piling everything on the front portion of the tent. The best way to do is to lay the flysheet first, then the poles, pegs and then all other components. The trick here is to add one item in, roll once, adds another item and roll again. Just keep doing this until parts are safely tucked inside. Roll the end of the tent and tie it securely.

Make sure that you roll the tent tightly and securely. Avoid unnecessary creases as this can only allow for extra air spaces which will make it practically impossible to fit into the bag.

How To Fold A Cabin Tent

It is very easy to disassemble a cabin tent, which can also be said for other types of tents. The main challenge is putting a tent up and fitting it back into the bag.

A cabin tent is much bigger than a regular tent, and can fit around ten people, maybe even more. The storage bag that comes along with the tents are designed to be space efficient, and it will be a very snug fit. There is hardly any room for errors when packing a tent back in.

  • Remember to wipe both the inner and outer materials of the tent with a towel before you start disassembling the tent to get rid of any dirt or moisture.
  • ​Remove the tent poles and tent stakes.
  • ​Lay out the tent flat on a level ground to forming either a square or a rectangle, depending on your tent's design.
  • ​Fold the tent into half, and smooth over any bunching and lumping as much as possible that the tent will lay flat.
  • ​Fold the tent in the same direction into half again, to form a lengthwise rectangle. Smoothen down the any creases and lumps as much as possible.
  • Check the length of the storage bag. The width of your folded tent should be smaller than the length of the bag. If it still longer, fold the tent in the same direction again, smoothing the lines as much as possible.
  • Start at the narrow end, tightly roll the tent up and push it inside the storage bag. Easy breezy!

How to Fold a Backpacking Camping Tent

A backpacking camping tent is very popular among people who wants to travel as lightly as possible. Here are some tips to make your life easier when folding them away.

  • Make sure that your tent is clean and dry, with no moisture left in before you even begin folding it. Tents are very prone to mold formation and can stink really badly if you don’t maintain them well.
  • ​When your tent is ready to be packed away, remove the stakes or whatever you have used to secure it to the ground. Store all pins and stakes inside a separate but never with your tent bag, to prevent puncturing or tearing of your tent materials.
  • ​Slide the tent poles out from the tent loops and fold them. Some tent poles are intended to fit along in the storage bag but in case yours isn’t, you can simply bundle the poles together or use a separate bag for it.
  • ​Shaking the tent material can allow you to straighten it out, just like when you are folding a blanket. Also, this is a good way to get rid of any more dirt that might still be clinging to it.
  • Lay the tent material flat on a level ground. Fold the sides toward the center of the tent, making sure that the door lies on top of the fold. Fold into the middle in the same direction. Pat and straighten out with each fold to make sure that there no unnecessary lumps and creases. Also to make sure that there no air trapped inside.
  • Starting at the end farthest from the door, start rolling the tent tightly. Once you have completely rolled up the tent, secure it with a tie and stuff it inside the tent bag.

Easy Tips

fold a tent easy tips

Whatever tent you may have, the most important tips you should keep in mind are:

  • Clean before your pack your tent. This will ensure that your tent will have a longer lifespan.
  • ​Eliminate lumps and wrinkles to prevent unnecessary bulk.
  • ​Make sure that you do not store pins or any other pointed or sharp materials with the tent material itself to prevent any damage.
  • The width of your folded tent prior to rolling up should be less than the length of the storage bag.
  • Roll tightly to make sure you don’t have any unnecessary air space that can make fitting it into the bag difficult.

Let us know what you think and post any comments or suggestions below. We would love to hear what you think and any special tricks you may have up your sleeve. Not all procedures are effective for everyone, so the more options we have, more fun! 

Happy reading!

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