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How to pack away your tent or awning

Posted in Camping Tips & Ideas / FAQs / How To on 15th October 2021

Author - James Coplin

So, you’ve done the fun bit,  enjoyed the sunshine (or sheltered from the rain) the fresh air. Got back to nature. Made the kids realise there’s much more fun to be had in the great outdoors than in front of their phone or gadget (even if you had to hide it from them and endure a few hours of sulking). Your camping equipment is all in the boot, you’ve even managed to get the sleeping bag back in the stuff sack, but then last but certainly not least, your new tent or awning is stood there waiting to be taken down and packed in the tiny little bag it came in!

Robots pack them in the factory right? It’s a physical impossibility many campers say as they shove their half packed caravan awning bag into the boot with bits hanging out where the zip won’t close.

The truth is it’s pretty straightforward, and doesn’t take too long, it just requires a little bit of fore thought and organisation and a tiny bit of patience. Problem is, most of us can’t wait to get the thing packed and get home, so we rush it, make a mess of it and end up having to do it 3 times before we get it right!.

If you follow a few simple guidelines you’ll get it right first time, every time.

  • Collapse the tent and spread the material over the groundsheet
  • If it’s an Air Tent, make sure all air is expelled from the valves. Leave the valves open so trapped air can escape whilst you’re packing it
  • Place the tent bag at the end of the tent so you have a pack width to aim for
  • Fold the tent in on itself 3 or 4 times until it’s just a bit narrower then the width of the bag
  • When you have a narrow rectangle, from the end you need to start rolling the tent towards the bag
  • Make sure you roll the tent from the rear towards an open door at the front. This prevents trapped air.
  • Roll as tightly as you can. Kneel on it as you go and keep squashing it, fold in straggling bits on either side towards the middle to stop it spreading. The bag is your target
  • BE PATIENT. If you get the rolling bit right you’ll only have to do it once. Slow down, deep breaths!
  • Tie the tent up using the ties which it will have come packed in (don’t chuck them out!)
  • Pop it in the bag and do up the zip. If you’ve taken your time it will fit without any stress

If it still doesn’t fit?

Don’t spend ages tying to do the impossible. If it’s ended up still too big, unroll it again and start again. The first attempt will have likely expelled most of the air in the tent, so re-start it, make sure you start off scrunching it as tightly as possible , and re-roll, it will go samller on the second attempt. Promise!

If it’s wet and muddy and you didn’t buy a footprint groundsheet when you bought the tent……you’ll be regretting it at this point!. If so just take a towel or cloth and wipe it as you’re going….

Have a look at the guys from Outwell here making it look easy 🙂

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