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How to Fold a Backpacking Tent to smaller than a kids football in under 2 minutes.

folding a backpacking tent

“How do you roll your backpacking tent so small it is smaller than a kids football in under 2 minutes”? 

Well, after being asked many times, we finally decided it was time to write a blog on how we fold our trekking pole backpacking tents. After folding thousands of tents we finally came up with what we consider the right way to fold a tent (don’t laugh – many things are obvious in hindsight – but it really did take us weeks of packing tents before we found just the right method that works with almost all backpacking tents). We roll and bag every tent just before we ship it, so we consider ourselves experts in the field. So here it is the backpacking tent packing secrets that your scoutmaster forgot to tell you:
Step 1: Lay your backpacking tent flat with the tent floor on the ground and all cords and fabric laying within the four corners of the tent floor.

Lay backpacking tent flat
Step 2: Fold the edges inward so that all cords and fabric are contained within the tent floor.
Step 2 folding backpacking tent
Step 3: Fold in one more time.
Step 2 folding backpacking tent B
Step 3 B: This leaves you with a long flat tent with all loose fabric tucked inside the tent.
Step 3 folding backpacking tent
Step 4: Now fold edges inward again. This further contains all loose parts of the tent so nothing can come out when rolling the tent.
Step 4 folding backpacking tent
Step 5: Now fold the edges together again creating a square.
Step 5 folding backpacking tent
Step 6: Finally fold the edges together one more time.
Step 5 folding backpacking tent B
Step 6 B: Forming a small rectangle.
Step 6 folding backpacking tent B
Step 7: Roll or fold the rectangle up and tie with a piece of cloth.
Step 6 folding backpacking tent C
Step 7 B: Tie with a piece of cloth.
Step 7 folding backpacking tent A
Bag the tent.
Step 7 folding backpacking tent
and compare to a kids football.

There it is, how we roll almost every tent before we bag it and ship it to you.

Laugh all you want, but it took us years to become experts in the tent rolling field. In our experience, if you skip any of the above steps, instead of a neatly rolled backpacking tent that is a pleasure to unroll and use next time you go camping, you will end up with a wadded up ball with strings and fabric sticking out all over the place, that won’t fit back in its bag and is a tangled mess next time you go to use your tent.

Happy Camping

River Country Products

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