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How do you fold up a pop up pup tent?

Updated on June 1, 2016

Putting a pop up tent up and down


How to pitch and fold away a pop-up tent

I love pop-up tents, I have lots of them, a 2 man one, a 3 man one, 3 five men ones. I love them because they mean we can go away on a Friday evening with our 4 children and 2 dogs and arrive near sunset, unzip the pop-up tents, unzip the sleeping bags and we're ready for the evening. We did once arrive in France after a long journey and tried to pitch a 9 man tent in the dark. It took us an hour and it was nearly midnight.

However, the downside of the pop-up is that they don't pop-down. It is a huge embarrassing struggle as you wrestle with spring-loaded wires, looking like a woman possessed with some sort of animatronic nylon shelter that bursts back into shape every time you think you're close to getting it back to that flat round disc shape that's going to get it back in the bag. The cheap camping trip can start to seem like a false economy as you work out the divorce costs with you both proclaiming that the job of putting the tent away really belongs to the other person and why should you have to be the one to do it every time.

Persevere! The pop up tents are worth it. I usually take 2 smaller pop up tents, now our older children are teenagers they like their own space. I find the flexibilty of this actually works better than our huge 9 man tunnel tent, which takes so long to put up and the older children want their torches on to read later than the younger ones want to stay awake.

When we arrive, I just put up the pop up tents to sleep in, then I can put over-door porches up the next day, to extend the space we have. Be careful to ask if pup tents are allowed when you book your pitch, as you may find yourself being charged for two pitches.

I always prefer to get a double skin tent (with an inner tent and fly sheet) for 2 reasons: warmth and dryness. In a single skin tent, the condensation from your breath gathers on the inside of the fabric, so if any part of you touches the nylon, the water drips onto you). When putting up my pop-ups, they have both skins attached together, so it doesn't slow down the pitching process. You basically find a flat piece of ground, and unzip the tent and it will spring into shape. Then you peg down the wire hoops at the front, sides and back, attach the guy ropes to the tent and peg them down and you're good to go.

To put the pop-up tent away, first clean it out so there's no food or mud inside and dry it as much as you ca (see video below), then:

  1. Take out all the pegs and store them in a peg bag
  2. Fold up the guy strings so they don't get tangled
  3. Unzip the door to let air escape
  4. Get hold of the tent at the front hoop on the ground, gather it towards the two hoops that form the roof and the back hoop on the ground and bring the 4 hoops together
  5. Stand the tent on end, still holding on to the hoops, so you've made a long thin upright cylinder shape
  6. Grasp the top of the cylinder in the middle of the arc and bring it down, tucking it in towards your knees and ankles
  7. The hoops should collapse easily into stacks on top of each other, into a flat disc shape; do not force them or it will bend the wire structure
  8. There is usually a large elastic hoop to slip around the disc to stop the tent from springing back up before you put it into the bag.

In summary, go for a double-skin pop-up tent (or get several), you'll be able to get the real bargains in September or October when the main camping season comes to an end, watch the demo videos online before you buy. Then, practise putting the tent up and down in the garden before you go and perfect the technique in the privacy of your garden. It is quite easy once you know how!

How to put away a pop up tent

How NOT to put away a pop up tent!


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    • favouriteperfume profile image

      favouriteperfume 6 years ago from Malvern, UK

      Oh dear, yes pop-ups do need a good pegging down and the wind can easily get to them. Wouldn't want to wake up with one on my face ;0)

    • dipless profile image

      dipless 6 years ago from Manchester

      The pop up tents are great if you do not intend to use them in anything but the nicest of conditions. I have wok up with one i#on my face in 30 knot winds :) Not that much fun :)