There are literally thousand of tents and shelters available out there to purchase. There are all sizes, kinds, and methods to assemble. I always tend towards ease of assembly when I am suggesting a tent or canopy/shelter. The pop-up variety is any camper’s friend. Although, pay close attention when “popping up” because it never “pops down” as easily. It is important to have the instructions (the first time, anyway), be sober (there is a story there I could tell!) and have previously tested the take down. You need to test the set up and take down of any tent or shelter before you pack it away for your camping trip.

Be certain to also waterproof your tent before you use it the first time. Waterproof the seams. Be certain to waterproof the bottom and the rain fly. I suggest waterproofing twice, allowing the tent to dry between applications.

Once the tent or shelter is “popped up” at the campsite. It will still need to be tied down with the stakes and guide wires that should be provided with the tent. I bring extra metal stakes and “glow” rope to add extra tie downs. It is usually windy by lakes and in the mountains. If you didn’t bring a hammer you can use the butt end of a hatchet as a hammer, but use caution with the blade, keep it covered with the covering.

Even if you use glow ropes, I still attach neon flags to the guide wires or ropes to lessen the chance someone will run into them in the dark (or the daylight for that matter). If you don’t have flags or rags to tie on the ropes I have used white trash bags which work just as well and can be recycled as trash bags as needed.