How to pitch a patrol tent

PL to direct the Activity, with some help from Leaders if needed.

Safety briefing by leaders – trip hazards, use of mallets, check condition of equipment

  • Unlace tent bag
  • Explain angle of pegs
  • Demonstrate how to use a mallet and bang in a tent peg
  • Lay out groundsheet in desired position of tent – make sure there is room all around for guy ropes
  • Remove tent from bag, and place half-folded tent lengthways on the centre of the groundsheet
  • Unfold and open out the tent, half on the groundsheet, such that one edge of the sodcloth lies along the centre of the groundsheet.
  • Make up the pole set, placing the ridge pole along the inside ridge of the tent with the pole threaded through the securing loops of the ridge (if any)
  • Insert the upright poles into the rodge, and pass the spikes through the eyelets in the canvas
  • Bring the half of the tent that is off the groundsheet over the ridge pole
  • Place the dollies onto the pole spikes
  • Untie the hanked-up main guy ropes on the dollies
  • Two people handling each upright pole, and one (preferrably a tall Scout) on the centre of the ridge pole.
  • Raise the tent, both ends equally.
  • Peg out the main guys (*NOT* storm-lashed at this stage)
  • When all the main guys are tightened, Scouts holding the poles can now let go of the poles – making sure the uprights are verticsl, and on the centre line of the groundsheet.
  • Lace up the doors. Explain and demonstrate how to overlap the doors, rather than making a ‘zip’.
  • Peg the corner brailings first! (Demonstrate one), hard up against the edge of the groundsheet.
  • Now peg out the remaining brailing points along each edge of the groundsheet, tucking the sod cloth under the groundsheet
  • Untie and peg out the corner guys (45° to the eaves), then the remaining side guys – explain that guy ropes need to be in line with the stitched seams.
  • Pegging out the brailings first ensures that the walls of the tent will be vertical – and there’s no struggling underneath the eaves to find room to swing a mallet!
  • Storm-lash the main guys.
  • Peg out the end-eaves of the ridge
  • Open the doors.

Voilla! One nicely pitched, straight and square tent!

Explain to Scouts that patrol tents are expensive, and must be cared for.
Striking and packing away is a reversal of the process. Ensure that the Scouts know the main guys must NOT be taken off, or the pegs removed, until the tent is ready to be collapsed.