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By Raani Starnes

Setting up tents and camping in your own backyard

Setting up tents in your own backyard is an affordable way for your family to experience camping this summer. By keeping a few things in mind, you can make sure your campsite is as comfortable as possible and avoid damage to your tents and lawn. There are a few things to consider before setting up tents in your outdoor space.

The ground

Find a level area and clear it of any rocks or debris. A level campsite will keep campers from sliding downhill while sleeping, and rocks, sticks, and other sharp items can damage the bottom of a tent. It might be a good idea to place a tarp under each tent for added protection. This tarp can even be a piece of fabric cut from an older tent.

Wind and sun

Be sure to stake the tent, so it doesn't blow out of position when the campers aren't inside. You may also want to take wind direction into consideration before securing your tent with stakes. Position the tent doors away from wind, or consider putting up vertical tarps nearby to block the wind. The house or a fence might also serve as a windbreak. Although wind may not be a major concern in your climate, sunlight probably is. The same items used to block wind can also be used to create shade.

The possibility of rain

Placing a tarp over the tent can help ensure everyone stays dry if it rains, since unfortunately, tents aren't always designed to withstand heavy rain. If possible, position the tent on high ground to prevent water from pooling around it. Even though sleeping on a level surface is the most comfortable, you might need to select a spot with a slight slope if you are expecting rain. Your kids may not let you cancel the festivities due to unfavorable conditions, so make sure your campsite is water resistant. If you live in a rainy area and do a lot of camping, an all-weather tent might be a good investment.


Not even children like sleeping on hard ground, so you will need to provide something soft to put underneath the sleeping bags. Line the tent with a large piece of foam or provide each camper with an air mattress.


Positioning two tents so that the entrances face each other can allow campers to interact through the screen doors. It's even better if you have one large tent for everyone, but a few dome tents will be just as fun if positioned strategically.

Damage to your lawn

Although it can be tempting to leave the tents up for a few days, you will only want to camp for one night at a time if you have the tent set up on the lawn. To avoid leaving an ugly footprint in your yard, break down the campsite the next morning.

Camping at home is not only affordable but can serve as a trial run for your new camping gear. You will become faster at setting up your tents and will have an idea of which supplies you would like to bring on a real camping trip. Now what are you waiting for?

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