How much wind can a tent withstand? (Solved)

Is it too windy to go camping today? How much wind can a tent or a canopy tent withstand? Find out in our guide.

Tents in the United States are rated according to the Beaufort Force 4 wind factor which is 17 mph. The majority of tents manufacturers make will withstand a force up to 25 times the 7.5 baseline, or wind gusts of approximately 38 miles per hour.

When we wonder how much wind can a tent withstand, standard tents can handle around 30 miles per hour. 

Related: Going camping on a windy day? Find out what the best tent for high winds is.

Will My Tent Survive Windy Gusts of 50 MPH?

The majority of tents are created to handle almost all windy conditions. Yet, wind gusts that reach a wind speed of 30 miles per hour or more can result in serious damage. When you go camping you should make sure to pack plenty of plastic bags and rain ponchos, just in case. In addition, prior to packing bedding and clothing in rucksacks, put them in plastic bags for extra protection. 

What Should I Do if I Get Caught in High Winds?

If you happen to be backpacking or camping and suddenly get caught in a windy storm here are a few tips: 

  • Pitch your tent next to your car, it can work well as a windbreak. If your tent starts to give, the car will also serve as an emergency shelter. 
  • Purchase better pegs for tying down the tent. 
  • Put a tarp and some gaffa tape in your backpack–just in case. 
  • You will need to design an area that is dry–bring along some waterproof bags. 
  • Before packing up your tent try to dry it as much as possible. 

How Much Wind Can My Tent Handle?

Tents are designed to guard you against the elements of wind, rain, and most insects while you enjoy the great outdoors. However, I am certain you are concerned with how much of the elements a tent can handle? One element, in particular, is the wind.  

Most tents, when not using stakes, are made to withstand winds up to 20 miles per hour. If stakes are used, then this capability increases to 40 miles per hour.  The majority of tents manufactured are not meant to withstand wind gusts over 50 miles per hour. 

How Much Wind Can a Pop-up or Canopy Tent Handle?

Some pop-up tents have been tested to withstand up to 70 miles per hour of wind velocity. However, the pop-up canopy-style tents are not designed to do much more than provide a little more shelter. These tents were not made to withstand severe weather conditions. 

Not Really Made for Adverse Weather

A canopy tent is not like the typical family tent made to handle adverse conditions of the weather. These tents were merely created to provide the family with adequate shelters, such as when at the beach. These tents will not keep you dry during a rainstorm for very long. In addition, the wind is another issue altogether in regards to a canopy tent. These tents are able to withstand wind from 18 to 30 miles per hour. 

What the Canopy is Made of Depends on its Durability

When the canopy has a strong frame, it is more likely to last longer and withstand windy conditions. Poles may be constructed from two types of material–either fiberglass or aluminum. The less costly poles are made of aluminum; however, these poles are not as strong. If you are trying to stay within budget, then aluminum poles are the best choice.  Although more expensive, the strongest tent poles are made of fiberglass. This type of pole will be more likely to withstand windy conditions. 

What is Considered Too Much Wind for a Tent to Withstand?

According to the Beaufort Wind Scale, gale force is described as wind gusts that are 40 miles per hour or more. These gusts of wind have the strength to slow the progress of putting up and maintaining a tent. Therefore, anything over 40 miles per hour is considered too much wind for a tent to withstand. 

What wind speed is bad for tents?

Windy conditions are never ideal for a tent, however, too much wind is bad. Before heading out to go camping, verify the weather forecast. Ensuring there are no low-pressure systems that are affecting the place you plan to pitch your tent. Winds in excess of 30 miles per hour will make your camping trip less than desirable. 

How Much Wind Can a Gazebo Withstand?

The amount of wind that a gazebo can withstand depends primarily on the type of gazebo it is. There are several types of gazebos such as: 

  • Rotunda
  • Folly gazebo
  • The pagoda
  • The pavilion
  • Pergola

Most gazebos are constructed with a variety of fixtures such as tables, benches, flower boxes, and insect screens. These are the sturdier kinds that will withstand wind better than some of the pop-up types. 

A gazebo should not be set up in an area where there are heavy rains or extremely windy conditions. The strongest gazebo can take up to 60 miles per hour of gusty winds. However,  you don’t want to take any chances of losing your gazebo. 

Conclusion

The answer to how much wind a tent can withstand is between 15 and 30 miles per hour. When camping beside water–lakes or the beach–one can almost be certain it is going to get breezy. By taking precautions, like checking the weather forecast, and bringing plenty of stakes, your tent should survive. Remember this when planning a backpacking or camping trip– the best defense is a good offense against adverse weather conditions. 

Author at Wilderness Redefined camping website

From early family camping trips to recent backpacking adventures, Fraser has a range of experiences to draw from. Using his passionate knowledge of the great outdoors, he wants to make getting out there accessible for all and sustainable for generations to come.