How to Set Up a Tent on a Concrete Slab

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The only difference between setting up a tent on a concrete slab and setting one up in softer ground material is the inability to tack the tent down with a traditional staking method. Traditionally when a tent is set up on softer ground, you have the ability to place tent stakes through the loopholes at each corner of the tent and then drive them into the ground, securely holding the tent in place. If you must set the tent up on a concrete slab, follow the steps below.

Things You'll Need

  • Dome tent
  • 50 feet of nylon string
  • 4 rocks, medium size
  • 4 pieces of extra clothing, towels or random cloth
  • Knife (optional)
  • Scissors (optional)
  • Clear the area of any debris. You want the concrete free of any pebbles and other objects that could potentially rip the bottom of your tent. You also don't want to be laying on top of any during the night for comfort purposes.

  • Take the tent out of the package and lay it down on the concrete with the tarp or bottom side down.

  • Unfold the tent completely and stretch out all four corners. If needed, pick up the tent and shake off any debris that may have been folded in from the last time it was put away, then stretch out all four corners again.

  • Install all necessary poles into the loops running across the top of the tent. When finished, begin to erect the tent by placing each end of the poles inside the loops or hooks at the bottom of each corner. You may need more than one person to stabilize the tent while erecting it depending on your experiences.

  • Pull gently on all four corners of the tent one at a time to straighten it out after it is set up.

  • Unzip the tent door and place one medium size rock in each corner of the tent on the inside. Do this gently so you do not tear the bottom of the tent. This will hold the tent in place if a strong wind picks up. If needed, place an extra piece of clothing, cloth or towel under the rocks for added protection.

  • Cut the nylon string with a knife or scissors to a length you need to reach any nearby trees or shrubs that can be used to tie down other items, such as a rain fly. If you do not have to tie something down, you may skip this step.

Tips & Warnings

  • To determine if a rock is a medium size, it should be large enough for you to pick up using both hands unassisted without straining. If you begin to feel yourself strain or if the rock even feels "kind of heavy" to you, it is too large. If you are using an "A-frame" or other type of "tube tent," you will need to reposition the tent so that the tie down strings you lengthened can reach a pole, tree or other shrub.
  • Do not lift anything larger than you can safely handle. Do not tie the added nylon string to any personal property that does not belong to you without expressed permission.

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