How to Build a Tent in 3 Ways


If you're new to camping and don't have all the fancy gear that you require like in the case of modern tents, you'll need some help. In this blog, we will go over three different ways to set up a tent.


Where Should You Set Up Your Tent?


Before you can begin constructing your DIY tent, you must find a suitable camping location. There are several factors that you need to consider when looking for the ideal campsite.


1)  Check the Terrain

 Some grass and soil with trees in the background

Credit: Envato Elements/ ckstockphoto


First and foremost, you must ensure that the terrain is not too hard. You also don't want it to be too soft. Before analyzing the terrain and laying down the bottom tarp, remove any large rocks, stones, and twigs from the ground. Your tent platform or bottom tarp should be laid on a smooth terrain that is free of potential punctures.


2)  Look for Natural Shade and Trees

 Some leaves on the ground in an open space with trees around it

Credit: Envato Elements/ Luisbaneres


The second consideration you should make when selecting a campsite is weather protection. Is there enough natural shade to keep you safe from the hot sun? How about a natural windbreak, such as a row of trees, to keep the wind at bay?

Make sure that you find a spot between two trees that is close enough to tie your rope between yet far enough away to accommodate your tarps. Remember not to pitch your tent directly beneath dead or weak branches that appear to be in danger of falling in a storm.


3) Avoid Lower Locations and Valleys

 A rocky road with long grass on either side and mountains on in the background

Credit: Envato Elements/ Shaiith


Next, is the location you've chosen dry enough, or does it have too much moisture? You'll want to hunt for higher-up locations because they'll be much drier than lower-level locations. Furthermore, make sure that the placement is not too high, as it can get cold at night. Also, avoid erecting your tent in a steep valley that can collect water, especially if it looks like it is going to rain.


Materials Required

 A piece of bright blue waterproof tarpaulin used for making a tent

Credit: Envato Elements/ stavanovicigor


The first item you'll need to set up a tent is a waterproof tarp. When purchasing a tarp, you must select a size. To make a two-person tent, you'll need an 8-by-10-foot tarp for the shelter and a 6-by-10-foot tarp for the ground. If you only need a tent for one person, a 6-by-8-foot tarp and a 6-6 tarp will suffice (you can increase the length if you need the extra room). You'll also have to choose between materials like coated nylon, Cuben Fiber, and mylar. All of these materials are suitable for building a shelter. In addition to the tarp, you'll also need roughly 50 feet of paracord.

If you don't want to deal with figuring out the length and type of material to use, you can get an emergency shelter from Emergency USA, which contains everything you need to set up your tent as well as an emergency whistle, survival hook, and compass.


How to Build a Tent


Now that you've gathered your supplies and chosen a good place, it's time to start building your tent.


Here are 3 ways to build your own shelter when camping:


1)  How to Build an A-frame Tent

 An Emergency USA red shelter tent in a sandy area

Credit: Emergency USA


To build an A-frame tent, follow the steps below:


Step 1: Tie the paracord between two trees. Before tying the knot, loop it around a few times. Make sure that the knot is tight so that the tent ceiling remains rigid.

Step 2: Place the floor tarp on the ground beneath the rope.

Step 3: Spread the second tarp over the rope and pull the two bottom corners down to make a triangle. To keep the sheet in place, lay rocks along the edges of the sheet.


2)  How to Build a Lean-To Tent

 A simple blue lean-to tent to shelter from the elements

Credit: Survival Jack


To build a lean-to tent, follow the steps below:


Step 1: Tie one end of your rope to a tree about three or four feet from the ground.

Step 2: Tie the other end of the rope around a post, pole, or stick. Pull the rope taut and secure the end in the ground away from the tree.

Step 3: Place the floor tarp on the ground beneath the rope.

Step 4: Cover the rope with the tarp.

Step 5: Anchor the lower end and edges with sticks or weigh it down with rocks.


3)  How to Build a Central Pole or Dome Tent

 A blue central pole tent has a single pole in the middle

Credit: Tim Tinker


If you are not camping in a forested area but have long sticks, camping poles, or tent poles that you can use, this particular tent is ideal for you.


To build a central pole tent, follow the steps below:


Step 1: Dig your longest pole till it is stable in the ground. This will be the focal point of your tent.

Step 2: Place the tarp's center over the middle pole.

Step 3: Insert an anchor stick into each corner of the tarp and stretch it out till the tent walls make a pyramid shape.

Step 4: To anchor down the corners, insert your anchor sticks into the earth.

Step 5: Tie the tarp to the center pole.

Step 6: Cover the tarp's edge with rocks or a layer of dirt. This will reduce wind and help it stay in place.

Step 7: Place the floor tarp on the ground inside the tent.


How Do Tents Offer Protection?


Before you go tent camping, here are four things you should know about how a tent protects you:


1)  Tents Shield You From the Elements Such As Snow and Rain

 A dark gray/black tent in the snow with trees around it

Credit: Envato Elements/ ivankmit


Without a tent, you will be forced to sleep on the wet forest floor. While this might seem nice, it could make you sick and possibly cause hypothermia, especially if it is snowing or raining. Having a tent ensures that you are protected from such elements.


2)  Tents Keep You Warm

 A person lying down with their feet pointing towards the entrance looking out over the forest

Credit: Envato Elements/ Rawpixel


As mentioned before, the weather when camping can get extreme. A tent, in addition to shielding you from rain and snow, can also keep you warm at night. You don't want to shiver at the campsites as the temperature drops.


3)  Tents Safeguard Your Camping Gear

 An open tent with some belongings at the entrance

Credit: Envato Elements/ seventyfourimages


Tents not only keep you safe, but they also keep your possessions safe, such as your camera, laptop, charger, cell phone, and sleeping bag. Leaving such equipment outside in the rain, sun, or snow can cause damage to it. Tents prevent this from happening.




You now know how to build a camping tent from the ground up without spending countless hours watching YouTube videos. Keep this post in mind for your next camping trip.

If you want to be completely prepared for an emergency camping situation, check out Emergency USA emergency shelters. The Emergency USA survival tent includes a tent, a whistle, a compass, a survival hook, and a sturdy carry bag, all of which can be used for emergency survival.