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How to Set Up a Tent in 100 Easy Steps
Setting up a tent is as simple as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7... 12... 43... 88...
Find a clear, level spot.
Double check that there aren’t any better spots.
Remove any sticks, rocks, or pinecones.
Locate your tent amidst your camping gear.
Extricate your tent from the trunk of your car or backpack or pile of gear you haphazardly dumped on the picnic table.
Determine which way to orient your tent. Factor in windbreaks and slope.
Lay out your groundcloth or tarp.
Walk circles around the edges of your tarp while the breeze repeatedly folds the corners in on themselves.
Place rocks on the corners of your tarp to keep it from blowing away.
Unroll your tent and spread it out on the footprint.
Maintain your composure when your partner says they found a better spot for the tent.
Go look at the spot they found.
Argue the merits of each spot for 10-20 minutes.
Move the tent to the new spot.
Repeat steps 2 - 7.
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Ask your partner help you lay out the tarp.
Wonder why you didn’t ask for help the first time..
Locate the tent poles.
Dump them in a jumbled heap on the ground.
Attempt to figure out how the poles fit together from memory.
Eventually, check the bag for instructions even though you know you threw them away a decade ago.
Keep trying to fit the poles together from memory.
Discover new laws of geometry while attempting to force the poles together.
Scratch your head in confusion.
Push a pole through the tiny nylon sleeve until it gets stuck.
Push harder until you hear the nylon start to rip.
Stop pushing and try to pull the pole through instead.
Murmur curses to yourself when the pole comes apart inside the sleeve.
Try to put it back together inside the sleeve.
Somehow pinch your finger between the poles through the nylon all without getting the pieces back together.
Work it inch-by-inch through the sleeve until it comes out the other side.
Swear you will never try to pull a pole through one of those sleeves again
Bend a pole too far until it breaks.
Argue with your partner about house chores.
Dig through your gear to find duct tape.
Remember you didn’t bring any duct tape.
Wonder aloud why you haven’t upgraded your tent in 20 years.
Attempt to repair the pole with a bandaid from your first aid kit.
Surprise yourself with how well your bandaid repair works.
Realize you still don’t know how this tent goes together.
Walk up a hill in search of cell service.
Attempt to look up a YouTube video about how to set up your tent.
Find no cell service.
Walk back down the hill.
Apologize for arguing with your partner.
Try the poles the first way you had them. This time they fit together perfectly.
Exhale a deep sigh of relief.
Sit down in the shade for a minute.
Take a quick snooze.
Prepare a snack.
Go for a hike.
Play some corn-hole.
Wander back to your half-assembled tent.
Find one extra tent pole laying on the ground.
Spend 10 minutes puzzling over where it goes.
Put the pole back in the bag and pretend it never existed.
Locate the tent stakes.
Remember that you forgot a hammer again.
Berate yourself for forgetting a mallet/hatchet every time you go camping.
Forgive yourself, for you are only human.
Reflect on the way engaging in positive self-talk makes you feel.
Take another deep breath and feel gratitude for the miracle of life.
Search for a rock to pound in the stakes.
Find a rock that is too small.
Try it anyway. Hurt your hand.
Search for a bigger rock.
Pound in 3 of the 4 stakes easily.
Try the fourth stake in a dozen different orientations. Strike an underground obstacle each and every time.
Accidentally break the fourth stake.
Re-enact the apes scene from 2001 A Space Odyssey.
Decide 3 stakes is probably good enough.
Take another snack break.
Search for the rainfly. Realize it somehow ended up under the tent.
Un-stake the tent.
Retrieve the rainfly.
Re-stake the tent.
Question why you go camping in the first place.
Take a deep breath. Look at the trees.
Remember why you go camping in the first place.
Unfold the rainfly.
Put the rainfly on inside out. Remove it.
Put the rainfly on so that the zippers are going the opposite ways as the doors. Remove it.
Put the rainfly on correctly. Rejoice.
Argue with your partner who wants to remove the rainfly so they will be able to see the stars at night. Try to explain that you can look at the stars before you go to bed and once you are in the tent you’ll just be sleeping anyway.
Give up and remove the rainfly. (optional: skip step 85 and proceed directly to step 86)
Pray for no rain.
Dump your gear inside the tent.
Put a small lantern in the tent so you won’t lose it in the dark later.
Go watch the sunset.
Get inside the tent.
Realize you forgot to pee.
Climb out of the tent.
Walk far away from the tent to do your business.
Get back inside the tent.
Wish you blew up your air mattresses before you wanted to be sleeping.
Lay down and realize that despite your calculations your head is facing downhill.
Turn yourself around.
Contort your body to avoid the one rock you missed in step 3.
Sleep soundly in your successfully set-up tent.