How to Make a Homemade Tent For Camping?

How to Make a Homemade Tent For Camping

It’s not uncommon for the most dedicated campers to consider ways to take their hobby to the next level. By making your own tent, you can do so without taking a big risk. However, this can be a little tricky if you do not know what you are doing.

After spending months on your new tent, you don’t want to go out and get soaked because you built it incorrectly. Whenever you need help, we are here for you! It is precisely for this reason that we created this guide for how to make a homemade tent for camping. To find out what supplies you’ll need and how to make this project, read the rest of the article.

What You’ll Need Homemade Tent

Tarp Material for Tent

Tarp Material

Tent material is the most important thing you need. A simple tarp (like this heavy-duty tarp from Amazon) or canvas sheet (like the ones from MyTee) work well. 

Material that has been waterproofed saves you time and effort since it doesn’t require any extra effort to seal it. In some combination, you’ll need two sheets. Those for the tent body, or walls and ceiling, and those for the tent footprint, or the bottom. 

The footprint should be protected with a tarp, which will wear down more quickly over time and is generally less expensive than a tent. Because canvas is generally more durable, it would be best to use it as the top layer. 

There is no real difference in size, it just depends on what you want.  At the smallest size, pick a bottom that’s 8 x 8 feet. There should be a large difference in size between the top and the bottom.

Tent Stakes

Tent Stakes for Camping

Tent stakes are crucial to securing the tent’s footprint and top. Alternatively, you can make your own wooden tent stakes if you want to keep it as natural as possible. This MSR dart stake is suitable for those who just want a few and want them to do the job.

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Tent Rope

In order to keep your tent up with the rope method (which we recommend) you need some paracord or rope. I find it to be easy to use as well as affordable. It is true that a tent held up by rope is less secure in wind than a tent staked to the ground, but stakes can greatly reduce the effects of wind. 

Nite Ize paracord is a good choice. 50 feet (15.24 m) of tough, reflective material. 

Tent Poles

Tent Poles

Poles are used to hold up tent tops such as tarps and canvas sheets. Rope methods are also possible, but each rope method requires at least one tree.

Using tent poles or long sticks, the tent pole method can be used. Unlike sticks (which are nothing! ), tent poles like these Ridge Outdoor Gear ones are lightweight and durable.

Step By Step: How To Make A Homemade Tent For Camping

This section covers our directions on how to set up your homemade camping tent. Follow these directions for general ideas and details. 

Gather Materials 

As a first step, you should ensure you have all the materials listed above on hand. Make sure you have all these things before you go camping:

  • Bottom tarp
  • Top tarp or canvas
  • Tent stakes (at least 4, 6 is better) 
  • Either rope or tent poles

Find a Spot

The reason you want to pick a good spot is because you’re making your own tent. Ideally, you should choose an area free of large rocks or at least move them if they are blocking your path.

It is best not to choose a location that is lower in elevation than your surroundings. During a rainstorm, the water could collect there and flood you. Rope requires two trees, but at least one is needed if you choose to go that route.

For those who use tent poles, trees aren’t necessary, although we do recommend them to break the wind. Whenever choosing a location near trees, be sure to look closely at them to make sure no limbs or branches are broken or dead. The last thing you want during a windy day is to have something fall on you.

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Secure The Footprint

You can spread your tarp into a footprint once you have picked your spot. Flatten it out as much as you can. Embroidery and folds may collect and allow water to penetrate. 

Branches and rocks should be removed from the area where you are spreading your footprint. The edges of the tarp should be secured with tent stakes once the tarp is down. Check to make sure it’s snug.

Keep in mind that tent stakes should be inserted at a 90° angle, not angled inward. Straight in helps spread the pressure out when the wind blows from a single direction, whereas angled in helps block wind from entering the stakes.

Pole Or Cord

Now you need to decide which method works best for you. Cords or ropes are easier to work with and actually provide more security. There is no doubt that the pole method is easier to understand and perform. All the steps in the “A” version are for cords, while the ones in the “B” version are for poles.

Run The Cord

Tying the cord tight between two trees is the best way to secure it. Make sure the cord is wrapped around the tree several times before tightening it. If your top sheet is large enough, it can reach higher and still touch the ground without lifting the cord off the ground. 

The chest height is generally regarded as a good goal height. Use an extra tent stake or a wooden stake if there is only one tree in the vicinity of the tent between 2-4 feet (1.22 meters) from the tent footprint edge. A rope should be tied to this stake as well as the one tree.

Spread Out The Top Tarp And Secure

Once the rope or cord has been hung, spread your top sheet uniformly over it. You must ensure that it reaches down to the ground and covers the tent footprint. Top and bottom sheets can be staked with the same tent stakes or the top sheet can be tied tightly to the stakes.

Set Up Your Top Tarp

A tent pole is required for those who use them. Put the top sheet over the footprint and spread it out. The top sheet should be securely connected to the ground with tent stakes or ties.

Currently, you might have two sheets stacked one on top of the other, with the top sheet slightly larger than the bottom one.

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Which types of tents are you able to make yourself?

Tarps are great for creating different types of shelter because they can be arranged in countless ways. With everything from classic A-frame and lean-to structures to C-fly wedges and Adirondacks, there are shelters for every need.

Which tent design is best for building your own?

Simple setups, such as an A-frame or a lean-to tarp, will work for most situations. It is easy to set up and provides decent weather protection for both of them.

Do I need a particular kind of tarp to build my own tent?

In the end, it all depends on what factors are most important to you. A lightweight fabric like silnylon is a great option if you have weight concerns. When choosing a tarp, choose one made of polyethylene if durability is your top priority.

Hello, my name is James Tinnin and I am an outdoor enthusiast, writer, and avid camper. I have always had a deep appreciation for the great outdoors, and my passion for nature has only grown stronger over the years.