This page contains affiliate links, and that means that I may earn a commission if you buy something, at no extra cost to you. You can find my full disclosure policy here.
I’ve used various pop up tents over the past few years, and in this article, I’ll be showing you the most common way of setting up a pop up tent.
- Step 1: Take Pop Up Tent Out of Carry Bag
- Step 2: Remove Strap Across the Pop Up Tent
- Step 3: Toss the Pop Up Tent Away from Yourself
- Step 4: Watch the Tent Pop Open
- Step 5: Adjust the Position of Your Tent
- Step 6: Take the Tent Stakes Out
- Step 7: Zip the Door and Window Up
- Step 8: Stake the Tent Body Down
- Step 9: Guy Out the Pop Up Tent
Step 1: Take Pop Up Tent Out of Carry Bag
This is the Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent, and I’ll be using this tent to show you the set up process. So, first, unzip the carry bag, and take the pop up tent out of it.
Step 2: Remove Strap Across the Pop Up Tent
After taking the pop up tent out of the carry bag, you might have realized that it doesn’t pop up yet. There’s a black strap holding the poles of the pop up tent together, so remove this strap for the tent to pop up.
Caution: Do Step 3 immediately after Step 2 to prevent any injuries.
Step 3: Toss the Pop Up Tent Away from Yourself
After removing the strap holding the pop up tent together, immediately toss the pop up tent away from yourself.
I have to emphasize the word “immediately”, as the tent will pop open the moment the black strap is removed. If you don’t toss the tent away from you, and you misjudge the size of the tent (it can be as big as a 4-person tent), the tent might pop up in your face and hurt you.
The likelihood of getting hurt increases if you wear eyeglasses, sunglasses, or there are any broken poles in the pop up tent.
Also, please pop your tent open only if there’s no one else or anything around you, preferably there’s some empty space around you. Do not toss your tent indoors near breakable objects.
Step 4: Watch the Tent Pop Open
Once you’ve tossed the tent away from you, simply stand around until it pops open completely. This will take about 5-10 seconds or so.
Here are a few pictures of my Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent popping up:
Step 5: Adjust the Position of Your Tent
Once your pop up tent has completely popped open, it’s safe to adjust the position of your tent. To do so, simply just pick up your pop up tent off the ground, and move it to a place which better suits you.
Step 6: Take the Tent Stakes Out
Once you’ve decided where you’d like to camp for the night, break the stakes out. Most pop up tent brands will usually provide you with tent stakes (albeit cheap ones) for staking and guying out your tent.
For the Coleman Pop Up Tents, the tent stakes are hidden away in a separate pocket inside the carry bag.
Other pop up tents may not have this pocket; instead tent stakes are usually packed away separately in a smaller carry case. This is to prevent the tips of the stakes from piercing the fabric of your tent.
Step 7: Zip the Door and Window Up
Next, for the Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent, zip up both the inner window and outer door panels, before staking down the tent. This is so you wouldn’t have any issues trying to zip the doors up after the tent has been staked down.
If your pop up tent doesn’t have windows, then just go ahead and zip up the door.
Sometimes, you might pull the tent out too tightly, and that might make the door of the pop up tent a bit hard to zip up after. This can put a lot of tension on the door zip and spoil it, which is something I try to avoid.
Step 8: Stake the Tent Body Down
Using the provided stakes that you’ve just taken out, look for these stake loops at the base of the tent body. For the Coleman Pop Up Tents, the stake loops are black in color, making them easily identifiable against the white-colored tent body and gray-colored pole sleeves.
These stake loops are made aren’t the same material as the tent body; instead, they’re made of webbing or canvas scraps. They are usually a different color from the tent body, and protrude out a bit from the tent boy.
Simply put the long end of the stake through the hole inside the stake loop, and drive the stake through the ground. When using stakes, the best practice is to drive the stake at a 45-degree angle to the ground. Push it all the way through until only the hook at the top sticks out (above picture).
The picture below shows what the provided Coleman stakes look like before staking anything down:
Related Reading: Does a Pop Up Tent Need Pegs?
Step 9: Guy Out the Pop Up Tent
Next, look for these guylines that are likely already attached to your tent (most pop up tents have pre-attached guylines). If they’re not pre-attached, simply tie a knot (using the free end of the guyline) to the guy-out point, and you’ll have your guyline ready to go.
The guy-out point looks the same as a stake loop, also made of canvas or webbing, but are located usually near the middle height or the top height of the tent, instead of right at the bottom of the tent.
Using the other end of your guyline, which will form a loop around your stake, pull the guyline out tight, and then drive the long end of the stake through the ground (picture 1 below), until again, only the hook at the top sticks out (picture 2 below).
Guylines also usually come with pre-attached tensioners, which you can usually find in the middle of your guyline. This is to adjust the tightness or slackness of your guyline:
Make your guyline firm, but not too tight. If your guyline is too slack, it won’t be of any use. But if your guyline is too tight, it may damage your tent.
Pop up tents tend to have anywhere between 2 to 8 guylines, and you can use as many, or as few as you want to. Just take note that the more guylines you use, the better your pop up tent will be able to withstand stronger breezes.
Related Reading: How to Secure Your Pop Up Tent
And with that, your pop up tent will be fully set up. For more info on pop up tents, check out this article where I bought, tested and thoroughly compared 7 different pop up tents in the market.
|Pop Up Tent
|Teton Sports 2-Person Vista Quick Tent
|Teton Sports 1-Person Vista Quick Tent
|Coleman 4-Person Pop Up Tent
|Coleman 2-Person Pop Up Tent
|Quechua 2 Seconds 2-Person Tent
|Quechua 2 Seconds Fresh and Black 2-Person Tent
|Quechua 2 Seconds Fresh and Black 3-Person Tent
All My Pop Up Tent Resources: