Day One at the 2016 Prepper Campout, and Tips on How to Set Up a Wall Tent

The camp didn't officially open until Monday until most campers arrive. If this were a normal, short term camp, I would arrive Monday, set up my minimal gear, and get ready to enjoy the week. But this camp is not normal. This is a camp for preppers to learn how to live in the wilderness. This camp provides the opportunity to learn how to use your gear, see what deficiencies you have in your gear and your skills, see how others have solved issues like filtering water, sanitation, keeping clean, storing, prepping and using food. There will be many types of shelters that people bring. There are three campers here tonight, all three are captains. One has a Geoshelter dome, one has an Alaknak and I have a large canvas wall tent from Cylinder Stoves. The sponsor of the camp is the owner of Barebones Tents. He has a number of his tents set up for demo purposes.

We arrived at the camp around 4 pm and selected our spot. The camp is divided in six areas with a captain for each. We are anticipating 300 campers so each captain will have 50 members in his company. One of the advantages of being a captain and the first to arrive is the ability to select whatever camping spot you want. We selected an area that has shade in the afternoon. We are camping in a hay field that has had its last cutting of the year. It is late July in Utah. The temperature today was around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Shade is my friend in the summer. Shade however is not good for solar panels. Tomorrow I will set up my solar panels. They need to be in a sunny place.

Debbie by Truck

When we were putting up our tent it became evident that we were missing some poles. The tent is 18x21 and the attached porch is 18x15. It is like a 3 wall tent that attaches to our main tent. That is our kitchen area. We had enough poles to put up the kitchen. The first thing my wife wanted to put in the kitchen was the Deluxe Camp Sink so she could wash her hands. Then we put up a table to prepare a sandwich for dinner. We were very tired and are now in a dome tent we set up for a friend that is coming in a couple of days.

My wife used the sink also to wash her face and brush her teeth prior to coming to bed. We are using a new light in the tent, a Luci light. It is an inflatable solar light and does very well in this 10x10 dome tent.

I put two cots in the tent with the blow up pads, the 3” foam pad and cot head boards. This system is a great sleep system. You can get more detail about the sleeping system in this blog post: 10 Tips for Great Sleep While Camping

Tomorrow we are going to finish setting up camp with all of our gear. This will be the first time that we will have set up our kitchen with all shelving, ice maker, fridge, double sink and water system as well as our solar system.

There have been some questions from other wall tent owners regarding how to set them up. Here are some pictures and tips that might help.

Step one – assemble the roof. When one section is formed, use a strap to keep the poles and brackets together. Notice the orange strap and bungee cords that hold the rafters and side brackets together. This helps the frame hold together as you lift it up and install the legs.

Porch frameRoof frame

Once you have the roof frame assembled, slide the tent on top of the roof while it is still down low. Then slide the rain fly on top of the tent, positioning both in preparation for putting on the legs. Make sure that the tent and fly grommets sit on the bolts on top of the end brackets.

Setting up porchPorch on rafters

After the tent and rain fly are on top of the tent frame, lift up one side of the tent and install the legs. It is usually a good idea to start on one end and move towards the other end. Do this on both sides. With the tent at full height, zip the doors at both ends and stake the tent. You might need to move the legs in a bit so the door zippers aren’t stressed and pulling. Then stake in the bottom of the tent. Cylinder Stoves provides a stake with a hook on it to go in the grommets all around the tent.

Tent Stake

Next you stake down the tent and the rain fly and your tent is up. Here is a picture of our completed porch and a view looking out of the open end.

Porch with FlagLooking north

Here is a picture of my co captain pulling in on Saturday. He has a 26x8 foot trailer and is well equipped. He has a 1,500 watt solar system and basically runs whatever he wants in his tent.

Stowes truck and trailer

I will provide more information and pictures in subsequent posts.

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