Setting up a wall tent using lodgepoles

When selecting poles for pitching a tent, try to use poles that do not taper much. A minium diameter of four inches (on the smaller end) is preferable. Young Lodgepole Pine Trees make ideal poles for this purpose. Use the best pole (clean and strong) for the ridgepole as it takes the most stress and is the most difficult to change should something go wrong. When attaching one pole to another, lash them together with rope and/or drive pole spikes through them. If you are likely to use the same campsight in the future you should cache the poles when breaking camp. They can give you many years of service if you care for them.

  1. Select three poles at least three feet longer than the length of the tent (for the ridge and two eaves) and four poles approximately twice the height of the tent (for the legs).
  2. Attach ropes (10' each) to eave grommets. Insert from the top side and secure with a simple overhand knot.
  3. Attach ropes (20' each) to ridge grommets in the same manner.
  4. Install rope slips on the free end of each rope.
  5. Make stake loops by tying a small loop in the rope and cutting it off. Insert loops through grommets at the bottom of the tent.
  6. Insert lodgepole through the ridgepole openings at the roof peak. The pole should protrude at least 18" on each end.
  7. Lash and/or nail two legs together about one foot from the top (small) end. Place the attached ends of the poles next to one end of the ridgepole. Spread the legs to form a wide 'V' with the point at the ridgepole. Repeat this for the other end of the tent.
  8. Attach ridgepole to the legs by tying it to the small 'V' above the point where the two legs are tied together.
  9. Raise the tent by lifting one end of the ridgepole at a time and adjusting the legs to support it. Adjust to the proper height by moving the legs in or out until the center of the endwall just touches the ground.
  10. Stake the ridge guy ropes and adjust tension. Stake the bottom center of the endwall
  11. Attach eave poles to legs. Find the proper height by pulling the corners of the tent out. The poles should lie just below the eave of the tent.
  12. Run the eave guy ropes over the eave pole and stake to the ground.
  13. Stake the bottom of the tent (with the door fastened closed).
  14. Place dirt, snow, rocks, or branches on the sod cloth (if equipped) to help seal the bottom of the wall.

Lodgepole tent frame