Today’s post is a little shorter than usual, but I’ve heard a few new hikers ask the same question, so I wanted to pop in and share it here. And that is how do you pack a tent in a backpack or where do you put your tent on your backpack? And what do you do with it when it’s wet?
At first, I did a little research and asking around to try to find out what other hikers do, just to see if what I do is ‘normal’ or not, and I was surprised to hear several hikers recommend just stuffing their tent and sleeping bag together in their own stuff sack or contractor bag and putting that in the bottom of their pack.
But I would never want to pack my dirty, wet tent in the same bag with my sleeping bag.
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How to pack a tent in a backpack
Here’s what I do instead, I always stuff my tent, and stakes, in the stuff sack it came with. Then usually pack it vertically, inside my pack, and to either side of my food bag (food bag goes in the middle.)
If I’m packing up my tent on the trail after it’s been raining, first, I try to dawdle around camp and let it air out a little. Then, I stuff my wet tent back in its stuff sack, start packing my pack like I normally would. Since it’s wet, I put my tent inside my pack, but on the outside of my pack liner/contractor bag and gently try to push it into its normal spot, so it still fits in with the rest of my gear, but isn’t inside the contractor bag with all my dry stuff.
You just want to always be sure if you pack up a wet tent, that you unpack and let it dry out as soon as you can so it doesn’t grow mold and mildew! Cause that’s a huge bummer.
Some hikers like to carry a shammy cloth to be able to wipe down their tent and get it mostly dry before packing it up. So that’s an option if you really don’t want to pack up a wet tent.
If you have any special hacks for how to pack a tent in a backpack or where to put a tent on a backpack, please share them in the comments below.
For more backpacking tips and how-to’s check out:
- How to pack a backpack for a multi-day hike
- Hiking snacks to add variety to your pack
- 8 Tips to make hiking in the rain a little less miserable
- How to prevent blisters on the trail