No poles? No problem! How to Pitch a Tent Without Poles

No poles?  No problem!  How to Pitch a Tent Without Poles

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I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a forgetful guy, and there’s hardly a day that goes by that I don’t go back into the house for something I left behind before heading out on the road.  There was also a time when I was heading out on a camping trip with all of my gear and a really nice tent.  However, when I got to the campsite I realized that I left the bag of poles at home.  Thankfully, my youth leader showed me a really neat trick that never crossed my mind so I could pitch my tent without poles.

Take a look at the simple trick below and see how helpful it can be if you ever end up in a similar situation.  It only requires some material that you’re guaranteed to come across on-site, and it only takes a few minutes to put together.  In fact, this trick may turn out to be more stable and easier to assemble than by using poles as well.

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Gathering the Material

You will need two long, green branches that are as straight and flexible as possible.  They need to be at least 1 to 1 ½ feet longer than the length of the fabric channel that holds the poles.  You will also need some cordage along with a long piece of strapping in order to reinforce the structure once complete.  Finally, you will need to choose a site that is situated between two trees that you can use to anchor the cordage and strap.

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Putting Everything Together

Prepare the tent as you normally would.  Choose a site that will drain water away if it rains, clear it of debris, unpack the tent and spread it out on the ground.  The first step is to feed one of the poles through the material.  Make sure that the stick is flexible enough to reach through the entire length of the channel of fabric and stick out a few inches on either side.  You also want to make sure that the stick is free from outcroppings that can cause the material to tear.  Clean the sticks as necessary and insert carefully.

Once the sticks have been inserted, the tent should be in its assembled position.  However, you want to anchor it to the two trees instead of staking it in the ground.  While you can do this by using some cordage and attaching it to the improvised poles and wooden stakes fashioned out of some smaller sticks, it is just as easy to use the trees.

Tie off one end of the cordage to one tree.  Then, feed the cordage or strapping BENEATH where the two sticks intersect on top of the tent.  Pull it out on the other side and attach to the second tree.  If you have rope and some bungee cords, you can use those to secure it to the tree as well.  In any case, you can improvise as you see fit in order to secure the tent in place.

As long as your sticks are thick enough to support the weight of the tent, and the cordage is taut, your tent should be securely anchored.  Just remember to position the cordage at a height around each tree that will allow the tent to rest on the ground.  If the tent is too high, it can stretch or tear once you get inside.  A little bit of slack will ensure that this doesn’t happen.

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