How to Make a Tent and Pole Awning

Adding an awning to a tent provides protection from rain or heavy sun near the door.
Adding an awning to a tent provides protection from rain or heavy sun near the door. (Image: Camping - tente image by albillottet from

Many modern tents come with built-in screen porches or awnings that offer protection from the sun and rain. Older tents rely on a more creative solution to the problem. A do-it-yourself awning is surprisingly easy to construct using only a handful of materials available from most any home improvement, hardware or camping supply store. This project takes approximately 20 minutes and is even easier if done with the help of an assistant.

Things You'll Need

  • Tent
  • Tarp
  • 2 or 3 tent poles
  • Tent cord
  • Utility knife
  • Stakes
  • Rubber mallet

Erect the tent in an appropriate location, on a level and sturdy surface. This will make sure that the tent and tarp are mounted securely in the ground. Spread a tarp out over the top of the tent and pull it so half hangs down over the tent door and the other half is still over the tent.

Cut a length of tent cord with a utility knife and tie it through one of the end grommets. Tie a loop in the other end of cord and repeat the step with the second tent-side grommet. Drive tent stakes into the ground with a rubber mallet and hook the loop around the stakes to hold the back end of the tarp steady and wrap around the tent itself.

Place tent poles in the two end grommets of the tarp that hangs over the tent door. Lift the poles so that they are vertical and pull the tarp taut over the front of the tent door. You may need to angle the tent poles slightly to get them standing up properly.

Tie tent cord around the top of the tent poles protruding through the top of the front grommets. Tie the other end to a nearby tree, or place stakes in the ground and loop the second end of cord around the stakes just as done on the back grommets.

Adjust the tent pole positions, or tighten the cords at all four corners to get it taut over the top and front of the tent. If desired, you may also angle the awning front end down slightly, or position a third pole in the center of the tarp awning. This will allow the front part of the awning to drain any rain or condensation that may collect on the top.

Related Searches


  • “Camping in Comfort"; Lynn Haney; 2007
  • “Your Ultimate Guide To Family Camping"; Manuel Ortiz Braschi; 2008
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