How to Make a Camping Tent From Scratch

Last Updated on July 13, 2022 by admin

When you are going for camping you certainly need a tent to provide you shelter. Some tents come with all the necessary accessories that make the setup process easy while others do not. All the same, a tent without setup accessories can still be usable. Do you know that the element of learning how to make a camping tent from scratch can save you some money?

Indeed, with the right tools and ideas, you can make a camp from scratch. There are different steps that you should take when improvising the setup process of a tent from scratch. You also need the right tools to set your camping tent. 

Identify the Right Location

The first thing that you should do is to identify the right location for your camping tent. Try to identify a campsite that has natural shade from a tree in case it can be hot during the day. You must also avoid a catchment area so that you do not wake up in a pool of water if it rains. 

How to Make a Camping Tent From Scratch

A flat surface is ideal since it gives you the comfort that you need during your camping. You should also make sure that the surface is clear of obstacles that may disturb you and it should be safe. Before spreading the tarp, check if the ground is safe. 

Materials Required

You need the following materials to setup your tent from scratch.

  • Waterproof tarp to protect you in case it rains 
  • Ropes to tie the tent and support on anchor posts
  • Wooden poles that support the tent

When you have gathered all the necessary materials, you then move on to the setup process. Setting up the tent includes different steps outlined below.

Stage 1: Setting Up the Tarp

You should start by laying out the tarp on a flat ground then measure the diameter of the poles that will support the tent. Make holes on the corners of the tent and this is where the sticks will come in. After making the holes on the tent, you then tie the rope through them and it will support the tent on the anchor post or you can secure it using larger boulders. 

Stage 2: Building the Structure of the Tent

The structure of your tent should consist of five poles altogether. Be sure you have a centralized post that should be higher than the other four corner posts. Check that the poles you erect in the ground align well with the holes that you have made on the tent. 

Stage 3: Placing the Tent 

This stage is a bit heavy since it involves lifting up the tent and aligning it into the holes on each wooden pole. Start by placing the tarp on the centralized post then move to each post and hang the tent in the holes. When your tent is suspended on all the five posts, it should give you a pyramid shape. 

The shape of the tent is important since it helps the water to flow down when it rains. A pyramid shape is also ideal because it does not trap wind which can disturb the tent. When your tent is now in place, you are almost done since you would be left with minor things to do. 


Stage 4: Securing the Camping Tent

Using the ropes you tied on the corners of the camping tent posts, you should then secure the tent on the sticks diagonally pinned into the ground. You should have a total of four ropes on each corner and you can secure them on rocks. 

Stage 5: Double Checking the Tent

When your tent has taken shape and ready for use, you need to check if it is strong. Make sure that all the ropes are secure and you can place a tarp on the bottom if you have one. When everything is in place, you can move into your new temporary home. 

You can also setup your tent using trees when you are in the forest. You must begin by locating trees that are closer to each other and you can use them to secure the top ends of your tarp. It is crucial to be sure that you secure the tarps on the preferred height of your tent and the top part should be level.

How to Make a Camping Tent From Scratch

Repeating the same process outlined above, you should then mark holes on each corner of the tent where you will place the poles. After erecting the four poles, secure the ropes using sticks or even boulders but you need to make sure that the tent is strong. The method also eliminates the burden of carrying additional materials that you may require to setup your camping tent.  

The method of setting up your camping tent using trees is convenient since you only need support poles. It is also easier to hang your tent using this particular method. When you identify strong trees, there are no fears of the support posts shaking and weakening the tent. All the same, you must also make sure that the tent is secure before moving in to ensure your safety.    


As you have already seen from this post, setting a tent from scratch is not very difficult as long as you have the right equipment. The basic things that should be readily available include a tent and ropes. If you are camping in the forest, you can get other items like wooden poles from the surrounding environment.  

You can also use stones to secure your tent to the ground. With the right knowledge, you can make your camping experience exciting as you will also learn new things. The other important thing about learning how to set your camping tent from scratch is that the method is cost-effective. You do not need a lot of accessories that may be costly and heavy to carry if you are backpacking.