How To Setup A Pop-Up Tent

Setting up a pop-up tent is usually quick and easy – unless, of course, you've lost the instructions that come along with it! Read on for more instructions on how to set up most pop-up tents.

Pop-up tents have become all the rage over the past decade – and for good reason. Instead of spending hours struggling to set up a jumbled pile of poles and canvas, pop-up tents can be set up in a few minutes with a few simple tools. That is, if you can still find the original set-up instructions that came with your tent! If your instruction booklet has gone MIA, read on for step-by-step instructions on how to set up most pop-up tents.

First, start by laying out all your pieces. For most pop-up tents, you should have the main body of the tent, a tarp to go over the tent, 2-4 collapsible poles and a handful of stakes.

Once you're sure you have everything you need, you'll need to locate the best place on your campsite to put up your tent. Ideal tent sites are relatively flat and free of debris, like major rocks or tree roots. If you're staying in a popular campground, you'll want to try to place your tent as far back from the edge of the campsite as possible to minimize the amount of road noise you hear. And, of course, be sure to keep the tent a safe distance from the fire pit!


Next, lay out the main body of the tent in the space you've chosen, being sure to locate the door so that it's facing in to your campsite. Stretch out the corners of the tent so that the body of the tent is as flat as possible. Locate the loops at each corner, thread a stake through and begin to hammer the stakes into the ground at each corner, pulling the tent taut as you go. If your tent has any additional stake loops on the sides, hammer these in after the corners are set.

At this point, the main body of the tent should still be lying flat on the ground. Take out the collapsible poles and begin assembling them by straightening each joint and allowing it to collapse in on itself. Most pop-up tents come with two long poles that cross in the middle of the tent and attach to pins located on the corners.

Once your poles are assembled, try to locate a tie or crossed sleeve in the middle of the tent roof (which should still be lying flat at this point). If the tent comes with a tie, cross the two poles so that they're also lying flat on the ground and pointing to the corners of the tent, then tie them together using the tie. If your tent has a sleeve, thread each of the poles through and then place them flat on the ground.

Next, take a closer look at the corners of your tent – most pop-ups have small metal pins attached that insert into the ends of the poles. Once you've located these pins, grab hold of one end of the pole and place it on the metal pin. Move to the opposite corner and bend the pole into an arc so that you can insert the pin into the other end of the pole. Repeat with the second or third pole as necessary. Finally, check along the corners of the tent body for clips that attach to the poles, which pull the tent out to its final position.


Lastly, if your tent came with an awning or tarp to cover your tent, it's usually assembled in much the same way as your tent. Typically, the awning comes with a single collapsible pole that's inserted down the middle before the tarp is lifted up and over the tent. Once it's in position, use any remaining stakes to tie the awning cords to the ground, and connect any other fasteners to the tent corners or poles, as necessary.