How to setup a beach tent

Posted by Anton Katunin on 26 December 2018
Tags: beach, tent, geogebra

UV index is very harsh in Australia. While 11 index is considered Extreme, it's often you'll see 13 in Melbourne. Thus I bought a beach tent.

I checked all of the available resources on how to set it up and still miserably failed to do it myself. It's almost always windy on the beach. During the setup the tent cover becomes a huge wind sail and it's a challenge to secure it with ropes before it flies away.

As a result I came up with new way to set it up.

But first have a look at the recommended way.

My way

My way is secure the pegs before lifting the cover. That way when the cover is lifted it's already secured to the ground.

The challenge is positioning the pegs. For that I calculated the distances.

On the image is top down and sideways views. The goal was to be able to easily replicate the peg position on the beach without any tools other than the tent itself.

Have a look at the top down diagram with the simplified calculations.

One section of the pole is 58cm. You use it once to the side and then three times plus hammer's length. That would be the peg's position. The rope should be set in the middle. Or in short

  1. 1 pole sections to the side
  2. 3 pole sections + full hammer length
  3. rope at half length

Repeat that another three times for the each peg. After you just lift the cover and tight up the ropes. That's it.

Alternative setup

There is another way to setup the tent for the low sun. It's asymmetrical, so instructions differ per side.

Short side

  1. 1 peg to the side
  2. 3 pole sections length
  3. rope at full length

Long side

  1. 1 pole section to the side
  2. 5 pole sections + 1 hammer head length
  3. rope at half length

Did it work?

Absolutely. I setup both configurations on the first try. It was quite windy as well with 11-12 knots wind speed (20-22km/h).


Update 1

To make it stable in the wind the angle of the rope to the cover should be 45 degrees. In the original calculations I've sacrificed the perfect setup to the simpler instructions. In the second version I bought a rope and used it to triangulate the peg position. To make it easier at the beach, I've pre-marked the distances on the rope at home.

The rope distances (cm):

  • Long side: 342 & 436 + max rope (link)
  • Short side: 166 & 304 + max rope (link)
  • Symmetrical side: 201 & 313 + half rope (link)

Update 2

Peg 45 degree angle position worked much better. I've found that in the loose sand pegs are not secure enough. The best solution was to position the pegs on the maximum rope length.

  • Long side: 342 & 436 + max rope
  • Short side: 166 & 304 + max rope
  • Symmetrical side: 257 & 370 + max rope

Update 3

It takes 5 minutes to setup full tent in the wind for 1 person. That's from the packed bag to 100%.

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