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How to Set Up an A-Frame Tent

Although other tent designs have gained popularity, the A-frame is still preferred by many backpackers.


  • Step 1: Select a place for the tent Locate a flat, open area that is away from stands of trees. Clear any rocks, sticks, and other sharp objects from the ground.
  • Step 2: Stake down the tent Stake down the four corners of the tent. Pull the tent tight as you hammer in each stake at a 45-degree angle.
  • Step 3: Put up the tent poles Assemble the tent’s support poles and erect the tent. In traditional A-frame tents, separate poles are placed at the front and back of the tent.
  • TIP: In modified A-frame designs, two poles at each end of the tent form a triangle with the ground. The two poles support a central ridge pole that extends the length of the tent.
  • Step 4: Secure the guy ropes Secure the tent’s guy ropes to ground stakes. Make the guy ropes taut to support the tent.
  • Step 5: Attach a tent fly Place a rainproof tent fly over the tent so that the corners line up with the ends of the tent. Secure the fly to the ground with stakes.
  • FACT: The eastern tent caterpillar has been observed in the United States since 1646.

You Will Need

  • An a-frame tent
  • A hammer or mallet
  • Tent stakes
  • Tent poles
  • Guy ropes
  • A tent fly

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