Wall tents have grown in popularity in the past few years because of the strength, size, and comfort they provide. Like their name suggests, wall tents have vertical walls and a roof-like top rather than a pyramid shape like a traditional tent.
If you’re looking to invest in a wall tent, it’s a good idea to ensure that it comes with a built-in stove jack, windows, bug mesh in the door and windows and at least 5’ walls. White Duck Outdoors’ Alpha Wall Tent is equipped with all these add-ons at no additional cost, whereas you’d otherwise likely have to incur an additional cost for them.
Wall tents, because they’re designed to withstand almost any sort of weather, are usually made from 100% double-fill army duck cotton canvas as the fabric and a heavy-duty aluminum frame. These aspects of the wall tent make it extremely durable for hunters, glamping and camping but it also means that the tent is usually a little heavier than other types of tents and a little more complex to set up.
Below is a step-by-step overview for setting up your canvas wall tent quickly and easily. While this doesn’t go into complete details, it should help supplement your instruction manual when you get one or give you an understanding of the setup process if you’re thinking about investing in a wall tent.
Before beginning the setup process, it’s helpful to have another person with you to ease the process. While it’s possible to set them up alone for smaller wall tent sizes, it’s considerably quicker if you have a partner.
Once you have a partner to help, make sure you have a ground area that is free of debris to build your tent on. Next, lay out all of your materials neatly so that you can see everything that you have. This helps you organize your wall tent parts before beginning the process and you can also compare the items in your wall tent bag with the ones listed on the manual, to make sure you received all the necessary parts.
Assemble the Tent Frame
The first step of your setup process will be to assemble the middle ridge poles, forming one long piece with the help of the 3-way and 4-way golden colored angle kits. You can then place the roof poles in the angle frames to complete the frame.
Once you see that the side ridge, middle ridge and roof poles are in line and properly positioned in the angle kits as per their color codes (golden and silver) you can attach the steel wire on top of the front part of the tent frame on the side (silver) and middle (golden) angle kits.
Installing Foot Poles on the Tent
For the foot poles, you’ll begin by attaching foot poles (with base plate at the end) of one lateral side to the (side) ridge poles. Lift the edge of the tent frame and place the foot poles in the angle kits of side ridge poles.
All of the pins on the tent poles and angle kits are color-coded so the color of the pole button should match the one on the angle kit for accurate installation of your tent. Make sure the wall poles are up only on one side, this will make the next step easier.
Pull the Tent Canvas Over the Frame
Once the roof is together and the frame is low to the ground at one side, pull the tent cover over the roof, making sure to orient the front door as you need and position the tent so it sits over the frame at all angles. Grab the bottom part of the tent and pull it up and over the frame.
The angles of the tent wall should match with the angles of the frame as you pull down the side walls to ground level over the frame of the tent. Make adjustments to even or square the tent as you pull the canvas over the frame.
When pulling the canvas fabric over the frame, it’s important to remember to:
- Unzip all door zippers to prevent strain on zippers
- Adjust your tent to the frame. Don’t pull hard on your tent or seams and zipper doors will be weakened. The canvas fabric cover should fit the tent effortlessly and smoothly without requiring any force.
Setting Up the Tent Walls
Once the canvas is over the frame of your wall tent, you’ll install the remaining foot poles on the opposite side of the tent. Then, you’ll need to mount the lateral side and attach the remaining legs on the other side of the tent.
Staking the Tent to the Ground
Once the canvas fabric is completely over the frame of the tent, you’ll begin staking down the tent by placing the stakes through the guylines and staking down the perimeter of the tent.
In line with each bungee cord on the eaves of the tent, you’ll place a stake in the ground at least five feet away from the tent. Attach and tighten the guylines gently through the metal runners to adjust the tension. Pound the stakes in a way that the top of the stake is touching the ground.
First, insert the pins that are used to stake the tent through the bottom eyelet/grommet at the front door and back wall. You can also do this to stake the mud flap at each section.
Jpegs are used to stake the foot pole into the ground. Make sure the clip at the end of the foot pole’s base plate is locked.
Vpegs are used to stake the guylines attached to the bungee cord outside the wall tent to the ground, then adjust the tension accordingly.
Final Pro Tips for your Wall Tent Setup
As this post demonstrates, setting up a wall tent is a little more nuanced than, say, a bell or a cabin tent. That said, it still shouldn’t be more than a twenty or thirty-minute process if you have someone to help you. For smaller sizes, this can even be as little as fifteen minutes.
Wall tents of different sizes have varying sleeping capacities, so if you have a larger wall tent with you, there’s a good chance you’ll be with a larger group that will enjoy partaking in the setup of the wall tent.
Some final things to keep in mind when setting up your wall tent are:
- During the pitching process, it’s a good idea to avoid dragging the canvas of the wall tent to avoid damaging it.
- When staking the tent, the stakes should be driven into the ground at a 45-degree angle away from the tent for optimal pitching.
- All the guy ropes should follow the lines of the seams in the roof of your wall tent. It’s important to ensure the tent remains symmetrical throughout the setup process.
Packing Away the Wall Tent
When your trip is over and you’re ready to take down the tent, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your tent stays in good condition and is primed for your next trip. Here are some key tips to keep your wall tent in the best possible condition and increase its lifespan:
- Never store your tent away wet or damp. If you were camping in a humid area or experienced rain or snowfall, it’s essential that you let your tent dry out completely before storing it away. If you don’t have time to let it dry before getting home, be sure to lay it out when you get back to give it time to dry, otherwise, you run the risk of mold and mildew developing on the canvas fabric.
- When you store your tent after getting back from your trip, make sure the area is well ventilated to prevent the formation of mold or mildew on the cotton canvas cloth.
- To remove marks, use a soft brush or sponge with fresh water and mild detergent only. Remove stains as soon as they appear, as this is easier than trying to remove them once the stains dry up.
- Take care of each aspect of your wall tent so the individual parts stay functioning properly. For example, properly caring for your wall tent zippers can go a long way in making sure they don’t start to get caught.