pack a tent in a backpack

How to Pack a Tent in a Backpack

Backpacking is very exciting, but what about packing a tent in a backpack? The thought of trudging through the wild and experiencing it all firsthand sends down a shiver of excitement through our spine. The goal is to emerge yourself into the vastness of nature.

But at the end of the day, you will need to pick yourself together and make camp for rest. That is why you always need to carry a tent with you. Small Pop up tents can take up a lot of space in your backpack if not packed properly. That’s why you need to know the proper method of packing a tent in a backpack.

In this article, we will discuss two methods of packing your tent properly in your backpack.

Why Is It Important to Pack Your Tent Correctly When Backpacking?

First, we need to know the importance of packing your tent properly so that we can always prioritize this.

A tent is to shelter you and protect you from the wild. That is why it needs to be in a good condition all the time. To keep it in good shape you need to pack it properly. If you don’t pack it properly, the fabric of the tent may get damaged and break down.

Again, if you put an improperly packed tent into your backpack, it can damage other necessary gears in the backpack.

Weight distribution is another concern here. A properly packed and placed tent in your backpack can feel lighter than an improperly packed tent.

For all these reasons, you must pack your tent properly.

Methods Of Packing a Tent in a Backpack

When it comes to packing your tent in a backpack, there are two methods. The first one is true to its name, where you pack the tent inside of the backpack. The second one is packing the tent outside of the backpack.

Both methods have their advantages and considerations. Let’s start with the first method of packing the tent inside the bag.

Method 1: The Interior Packing Method

The first step of the interior packing method involves you to choose a proper backpack and a proper tent.

There are two types of camping bags for backpacking. One type comes with an external frame and the other type has an internal frame. For the internal packing method, you should pick the ones with an internal frame.

The reason is that a camping bag with an internal frame will have more space inside. Although the difference of space is not that big in comparison to bags with external frames, this small difference plays a vital role in placing the tent inside.

But if you have a camping backpack with an external frame, then not to worry. It will still do.

The next step is to choose a tent. The design of the tent is up to you, but the size of the tent matters.

For backpacking, everyone chooses a  one-man tent. Although they are designed to be small, it is always better to check if they can fit well in your backpack when you pack them. Now that you have chosen your tent, let us see how you can place it inside the backpack.

To pack the tent inside the backpack, you will need to fold it properly. Lay the tent fabric on the ground. Put the poles in their bag and place them on the fabric. Now fold the fabric to match the edge line of the poles. Now hold it firmly. Use the pole as a center support.

Place the tent in its peg bag after rolling it firmly.

Now we need to place the tent in the bag. Usually, when we pack a backpack for camping, we place the heavier items on the bottom of the bag. That includes the sleeping bag. So place the sleeping bag first, then you may place the tent immediately on top of it. Try to keep the tent in the middle position of the backpack.

You can place it vertically, which will make it easier to pull out. Or you can place it horizontally, which will make more storage place in the bag.

That shall do it. Just remember to properly fold the tent and place it in the middle of the backpack.

Another important thing is to pack the tent when it is dry. Do not pack a wet tent. It will dampen the fabric of the tent and make your backpack smelly. Also, it will be significantly heavy with the weight of the water.

Method 2: The Exterior Packing Method

Packing your tent outside of the backpack makes more space inside of the backpack. It also gives you easy access to the tent.

For this method, we need to choose a proper backpack first. The ones with an external frame are suitable. A backpack with an internal frame can also be used for this method. But for that, we need to see if the backpack has compression straps/ closed loops on the exterior. We will use those for attaching the tent with the backpack.

Now we need to fold the tent first. For that follow the same method as the internal packing method. But this time you will need to cover the tent with a durable and waterproof peg bag. This will prevent the tent from damaging.

Now attach the tent at the bottom of the external frame. We know that it is a little contrary to the positioning of method 1, but if you place the tent on top or middle of the backpack externally, it will make it quite difficult to move. Also, you will need to stay careful of your path when packing the tent externally to avoid damaging the tent.


So, these were the two correct methods of how to pack a tent in a backpack. If you ask us for recommendations, we will recommend the internal packing method.

Although it has more requirements, the tent will stay protected from any external damage such as scratches from tree branches. Check out some of the most amazing tents for backpackers

Then again, it is up to you to choose the most convenient method for yourself.

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