A common problem people encounter when camping, or using a canopy tent, is keeping their tent from blowing away in the wind.
So, whether you’re pitching a camping tent or setting up a canopy/gazebo, we’ll show you how to keep a tent from blowing away, plus a few tips to help protect your tent in windy conditions.
How to Keep a Tent From Blowing Away
To secure a tent in high winds and keep it from blowing away, you first need to choose a location with a wind block, pitch the tent properly, use the right tent stakes, and reinforce the tent with guy lines, sandbags, etc.
Let’s break each of these down in more detail.
Choose the Right Spot
The first thing you want to do when using a tent in strong winds is to pitch it in a sheltered spot. This will help act as a windbreaker and block damaging winds that could potentially blow your tent away.
To block wind when camping, pitch your tent next to bushes, camping facilities, your vehicle, or another type of windbreak, with the windbreak between the wind and your tent.
Tip: While trees may make for great windbreaks, they can pose a serious threat from falling limbs (or the tree itself). So, if you need to use a tree as a windbreak, be sure to pitch your tent far enough away to keep you and your family safe!
The same rule applies to canopy tents, whether used for an outdoor event or beach use. If possible, try to find some sort of shelter to shield the tent from high winds.
Pitch the Tent Properly
This should be common sense, but it often doesn’t happen. In fact, I’ve been guilty of this in the past.
It’s important to properly pitch the tent, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
But, who has time to read instructions? I know, I used to say the same thing, but you either make time to read the instructions and set up your tent correctly, or you may have to make time later down the road to fix a collapsed tent or chase it down after it blows away.
A few additional tips to ensure proper setup of your tent include:
- Use all the poles, guy lines, tent stakes, etc. provided per the instructions.
- Make sure you are using the tent stakes the right way. Follow the staking instructions in the tent’s manual and check out our guide on how to use tent stakes the right way for additional tips.
- Do not put the rain fly on your tent unless you absolutely have to. This will help allow air to flow through the tent instead of pushing against it.
Use the Right Stakes
Staking your tent to the ground is essentially what will stop it from blowing away. So, you want to get this step right.
This is one instance where we recommend you deviate from the manufacturer’s instructions. Why? Because the stakes that come with tents are typically cheap and not designed to hold your tent in the ground in extremely windy conditions.
Instead, you’ll want to use tent pegs or screws specifically designed for these sorts of conditions. The Orange Screw Ultimate Anchor is our tent stake of choice in high winds. They are super lightweight, nearly indestructible, come with a lifetime warranty, and are the best option to keep your tent from blowing away.
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Check out our guide to the best tent stakes for high winds for more stake options and tips and tricks to secure your tent.
If you’re securing a canopy tent on hard ground, for example, in a parking lot or on concrete, then attaching sandbags or weights to the legs of your canopy is going to be your best bet.
Reinforce the Tent
In extremely windy weather, a little reinforcement is not a bad idea. Here are a few tips to reinforce a tent in the wind:
- Guy lines and the aforementioned tent stakes are essentially what hold your tent to the ground. Ensuring you use all of the guy lines and stakes, plus maybe a few more if the conditions are bad, will help protect your tent in strong winds.
- Tent weights are another great option to prevent a tent from blowing away. They are a great way to secure a tent without stakes, as well. You can either place the tent weights (sandbags, cinder block, logs, or any heavy object) along the outside edge of the tent, inside the corners of the tent or tie the stake loops around the tent weights.
Tip: Beyond reinforcement, using a tent designed for windy conditions will help prevent it from blowing away and being damaged. Dome tents, for example, are more aerodynamic than cabin tents, allowing the wind to glide over them and helping them better withstand powerful winds.
Watch the Weather
Before your camping trip or event where you’ll need a tent, check the local forecast. If the outlook calls for extremely windy conditions, then consider canceling or rescheduling the event or trip.
The best way to keep a tent from blowing away in the wind is not to set up a tent in windy conditions!
Also, keep in mind heavy winds are often just a sample of what’s to come. Be on the lookout for inclement weather conditions that like to accompany heavy winds – rain, hail, thunderstorms, or worse – and plan accordingly.
Don’t be scared away from the outdoors by poor weather, but be smart if it comes upon you. If the weather turns too bad:
- You can always pack up your things and leave. Safety first when it comes to you, friends, and family.
- Plan ahead the best emergency routes in case you need to leave in a hurry.
- Know the location of the nearest shelters.