How to Fold a Pop Up Tent
Folding a Tent is Intense
Are you struggling to put your pop up tent back in its bag? Do you love your pop up tent but are having difficulty storing it?
Pop up tents are the quickest way to add instant shelter when you’re outdoors camping, at a beach, or even in your own backyard. They get their name from the way they ‘pop up’ instantly as soon as you take them out of their carrying bag. They’re usually made out of strong nylon to withstand the elements and come in a variety of colors and styles. Pop up tents are usually shaped with a dome, and they fold down into a small diameter dish that fits into the bag for easy carrying.
Now that you’ve broken camp and are ready to fold your pop up tent, how do you get it back into a small round space? There is a trick to it that’s not as intuitive as it appears.
- Unzip the front flap.
- While facing the front unzipped flap, pick up the bottom curved edge of the entire tent and raise it to meet the top curved edge over the flap. The two curved edges fit together.
- Hold those two curved edges in your left hand.
- While holding those two curved edges together in your left hand, move around so your body is facing the side of the tent.
- Reach over and pick up the opposite top curved edge of the tent. Pull it towards the other two curved edges already held in your left hand.
- Add the three edges together and hold them all in your left hand.
- Finally, add the bottom edge of the other side of the pop up tent. You should now be holding four curved edges (two tops and two bottoms) that are the tops and bottoms of the two ends of the tent.
- The tent is now in a ‘taco’ shape with you holding the top curved edges of the ‘taco’ together.
- Still holding the edges together, turn the tent vertical, so that it’s standing on one of the short ends. It’s like a cylindrical ‘taco’ standing on one end.
- Hold the edges in your right hand. Now with your left hand, start pushing the top of the tent ‘taco’ downward. You’ll see that the curved edges make a circle on the top.
- You’ll need to bend over as you keep pushing the top of the tent towards its base. Curve the bottom edge of the top part of the tent under until it’s flipped and pressed downward.
- The tent fabric will poof out, so as you slowly keep pressing it downwards, you will need to let the air out.
- With the top part of the tent flipped and pressed downwards, the edges of the tent that you held in your right hand will create two adjoining circular shapes.
- Separate the two circular shapes, which are the ends of the tent. Hold one shape in your left hand and one shape in your right hand.
- While holding one of the shapes in your right hand, press the other circular shape downward towards the base of the tent underneath the shape behind held in your right hand.
- This shape forms the middle layer of the circular shape of the tent.
- Now, with the first circular shape pressed down and laying flat on the base, press the second circular shape on top of that one, positioning it over the bottom.
- Again, the tent fabric has a tendency to poof up at this stage, so you might have to compress it to get air out.
- Having a partner help position the circular shapes one on top of the other will assist you at this stage.
- Finally, the two shapes are pressed on top of each other and the tent is folded in a circular shape.
- Pull the round folded tent up to a vertical position, using both hands to hold the curved edges together and keep it steady.
- Turn the folded tent clockwise until you see the dangling strap.
- Holding the edges of the tent together in one hand, use the other hand to stretch the strap over the tent to secure it closed.
Become One Happy Camper
Pop up tents are great for casual tent users who just want a simple shelter for quick and easy assembly. It takes less than a minute to set up, and even kids can assemble it. It doesn’t take up much room when it’s packed away and can be easily transported from the car to the beach or campsite. They also are usually less expensive than standard assembled tents.
One easy tip that will make you a happy camper is to practice opening and closing the tent at home several times using the above steps before you use it out in nature.