Things that always go wrong when putting up a tent…


I’ve put up a fair few tents in my time and with the festival/camping season upon us it’s a problem which many campers battle with. No matter how experienced you are, a tent can either be your friend or your worst enemy. Recognise any of these common problems?

1. Putting your tent up in the dark

It’s happened to us all; arriving too late only to find that darkness has set in and you’re left with the thankless task of erecting a tent in the dark. As you fumble for your torch (if you’ve remembered to bring one) locating the various pegs and poles needed can be a nightmare. You will get there in the end but in the morning you’ll probably find it’s nowhere near what it should look like in the picture.

2. Putting your tent up in the rain

It’s the ultimate dilemma. Do you try and get the tent up as quickly as possible so you can huddle inside it, or sit under a tree and wait for it to pass? Putting it up in the rain might mean the inside of your tent gets wet but if you try and wait it out, who knows how long it will be? Dilemmas…

3. Leaking tent

That £15 tent you bought doesn’t seem so sensible now. As the rain sets in, you feel the sides of your tent getting damper then, a solitary drip falls from the roof of your tent, and then another…The moral of the story is, don’t go for a cheap tent.

4. Wind

Ever seen a tent flying across the campsite on a windy day? Wind and tents don’t mix (unless you have some good guy ropes and pegs in place). Battling with your tent on a windy day is not the easiest thing in the world – rope in a friend to help you keep it under control.

5. Which bit goes where?

You’ve bought a large, impressive tent with a porch, a few bedrooms and maybe even a lounge in the east wing. It’s great in theory, but not when it takes 3 hours to put up. If you’ve got a new tent, practice putting it up before you set off! (This also means you can check that all the bits are there)

6. Location

You’re lying in your tent and realised that you’ve camped on a bed of rocks…It starts to rain and you realise you’re camped at the bottom of a hill…Don’t be in such a rush to put up your tent that you don’t think about your location!

7. Poles

They provide the structure for your polyester abode yet they are the most annoying thing in the world. They’re long, they are difficult to navigate through the seams of your tent and the sections always pop out of place.

If you’ve battled through all these problems, then well done! Now it’s time to curl up in your cosy tent. Now, where’s that sleeping bag…?

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