Pop-up tents are magical creations. While watching everybody else in the campground struggle to set up their nylon abodes, you unzip, it pops, you peg, and smug. However, that self-congratulatory feeling vanishes when it’s time to go home. So how the bleep–bleep do you fold a pop-up tent?
How to fold a pop up tent in ten easy steps:
- Choose Your Pop-Up Tent Wisely
- Set An Ice-Cold Drink Aside For When You Are Done
- Unzip And Shake Your Tent
- Have A Beer And Make Your Kids Figure It Out
- Create A Tent-Taco By Folding The Bottom Poles
- Tip Your Taco On Its Side, Like The Sinking Titanic
- Grab The Top Of Titanic-Taco And Bend It Down
- Slide The Poles On Top Of Each Other, Making A Circle
- Press Out All Remaining Air In Circle Tent
- Get Tent Into Bag Before It Slaps You In The Face
Table of Contents
1. Choose Your Pop-Up Tent Wisely
Folding a pop-up tent begins with choosing wisely. While all of them essentially get put away similarly, some cooperate better than others. Thus, when reading reviews of the best pop-up tents, pay attention to which ones are a bleep-bleep to disassemble.
2. Set An Ice-Cold Drink Aside For When You Are Done
Do yourself a solid and set aside an ice-cold drink. You’ll need this later. It can be ice water, tea, soda, or even beer. Just have it ready for when you’re done. You’ll be so glad you did.
3. Unzip And Shake Your Tent
It is essential to ensure the pop-up tent is dry and grit free before folding it away. You do not want to transport new pets (vermin, ticks, snakes, spiders, scorpions) or bring more dirt home than already on your clothes.
So, unzip your tent and give it a shaky shake until all has abandoned ship (tent).
4. Have A Beer And Make Your Kids Figure It Out
Many people buy pop-up tents for their children. Then the kids laugh as you struggle to put up the adult tent, pointing out how quickly they set up theirs.
If this is you and your family: now is your time for revenge. So, grab a beer, or your cold beverage of choice, sit back, and enjoy the show as your offspring try to wrestle that thing away.
Eventually, when they display genuine remorse for making fun of you at the start of the trip, you can then show them the rest of the instructions.
Warning: you’ll still require that second cold drink by the time your kids finish. The wailing and gnashing of young teeth can grate on adult nerves.
5. Create A Tent-Taco By Folding The Bottom Poles
Have your tent flat on the ground and unzipped to minimize pesky air getting trapped. Now, with one hand, hold the tent by its top pole(s) and grab a base pole. Next, bring the base up to meet your middle hand. Once you’ve secured that side, do the same on the other end.
For some smaller models, you just lean over, grab both base sides, and sandwich them up. Which method works best depends on the size of the beast you are wrestling.
You’ll know you are done when you’ve transformed your beast of a tent into a nylon taco.
6. Tip Your Taco On Its Side, Like The Sinking Titanic
Take your taco and tip it like it’s the Titanic readying to make its tragic sink into the sea. You could also pretend the “mouth” of the earth needs to eat the taco. Either way, you want one to have one end of your Titanic-taco up and the other pointing down.
7. Grab The Top Of Titanic-Taco And Bend It Down
Reach up and grab the top end of the Titanic-taco and bring it down to meet the point at your feet. Feel free to embrace your inner Godzilla as you do this maneuver.
8. Slide The Poles On Top Of Each Other, Making A Circle
In your hands should be an oddly shaped creation, resembling a soft taco with its ends folded together. Carefully, so the whole thing doesn’t pop, try to get the poles of one layer to nestle into the ridges of the poles of the other layer. In the end, you’ll have a circular of nylon, like a giant Frisbee.
9. Press Out All Remaining Air In Circle Tent
Once you have your giant Frisbee, squish all remaining air out so it will fit into its sack.
10. Get Tent Into Bag Before It Slaps You In The Face
The last step is sliding it into its bag. The job is easier if you have two people. If you are doing it alone, use your knees and legs to help hold the nylon Frisbee down while you fumble with the sack. Sip the tent inside and zip up the bag.
Now you can pop open that drink you set aside, be it an ice-cold beer or soda. You did very well and have earned a moment to savor your success.
How To Fold A Beach Pop Up Tent
Beach tents are usually more flexible than camping tents and do a figure-eight fold. While they are not typical camping gear, they can be handy in certain situations. For example, when our friends took a 4-day trip on the Orange River in Namibia, the beach tent was perfect for their overnight needs.
As stated above, the best way to fold a beach pop-up is to make somebody else do it (kids). But if you don’t have that option, put some drinks on ice and here we go…
1. Give Your Beach Tent a Shake
Try to give your tent a good shake before packing. You’ll probably still have to take it out once you are home, clean it, and then pack again. But the more you can shake off now, the easier the job later will be.
2. Grab The Sides Of the Beach Tent Entrance And Fold
Most beach tents don’t have a door. However, if yours has one, make sure it is open. Next, grab either side of the door or opening and then fold one side down to the ground and then the other.
It works like this:
- Pretend one side is a barn door.
- Shut it.
- Then collapse it down.
- Repeat on the other side.
This should turn your beach tent into a long oval of nylon.
3. Fold The Tent Oval Into An 8, Then Fold Again
Next, turn your oval on the side, grab the middle, and push it down, creating a figure of eight. Stick your knee on the center twist, grab one far end of your eight and bring it to meet the bottom of the eight.
4. Stuff Tent Circle In The Bag
If your beach popup has an elastic strap to hold it together, use it. If it doesn’t, try to get a friend to keep the bag open while you stuff the tent inside. If you don’t have a friend, keep the tent on the ground; use knees, elbows, legs, and forearms to keep the tent squashed as you stuff it in the sack.
Congratulations, as once you are done, you’ll have enough contortion skills to join the circus.