How Long Does It Take To Set Up a Tent?

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Jay Elliott

Chief Camping Officer

How Long Does It Take To Set Up a Tent?

The usual set-up time of a tent can be somewhere between 10 to 20 minutes. However, it will depend on several factors such as the size of the tent, how used you are at setting the tent up, the type of the tent, and the weather conditions. Depending on such factors, the set-up time could be more than 20 minutes.

There are a variety of factors you need to consider when you set up a tent. However, if you know these factors and you have taken them into consideration before you set off on your camping trip, you will be able to cut down the setup time.

As long as you are prepared for the trip, you won’t have problems setting your tent up.

How long will it take to set up a tent?

In most cases, the answer to that will vary because there are plenty of different factors to consider. We’ll go over the different factors one by one so that you will understand what factors will affect how fast and efficient you are at setting your tent up.


The size of the tent should be one of the biggest factors that need to be considered whenever you are looking to set the tent up as quickly as possible.

That’s because bigger tents will be more difficult to set up because you need to cover more ground and corners and use more parts and components to make sure that the tent is up and ready.

However, if you are setting up a big tent for a pretty large group, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem as long as multiple people are helping set it up.


For those who are used to setting their tents up, the time it takes to set the tent up won’t be too long because of how efficient such people have become as they no longer need to look at the instructions or ask themselves which part goes where.

As such, the more familiar you are at setting a tent up, the easier it will be for you to do so.

Of course, this involves a lot of practice on your part, and that is something that you can do while you are at home so that you no longer have to practice on the spot while you are out in the woods.

Tent type

There are different types of tents that can be used for camping. Each type of tent is designed to have different advantages over the other, and we can’t really pinpoint which one is the best for you.

But what we do know is that different types of tents are designed to be set up differently. That means that the type of tent you have will factor into how long you will be able to set the tent up.

However, familiarity with the tent type can cut the time down and allow you to set the tent up more efficiently.

Environment and weather conditions

Despite how familiar you are with the tent and how well-practiced you are at setting tents up, the environment and the weather will always be your enemies because they can affect you quickly when you set up a tent.

For example, if the day is getting darker and darker, the lack of available light will make it more difficult for you to set your tent up.

Of course, if it is raining, it will take more time for you to set the tent up because of how annoying the rain will be while you are setting up your tent. That’s why it is best to set your tent up while there is still enough light and before the rain starts falling.


Of course, the more people there are helping you out with the tent, regardless of how large it might be, the faster you will be able to set up a tent.

This is why you should also teach your family members or friends how to properly set the tent up or act as a point person that guides them throughout the entire process.

As long as there are more people involved and they actually know what they are doing, it will be quicker for you to set the tent up.

All that considered, setting a tent up will most likely require 10 to 20 minutes of your time.

Again, this can vary depending on the factors that we have mentioned. For example, if you are only one person setting up a tent that is particularly large, it might take more than 20 minutes for you to do so.

However, if you are setting up a smaller tent and there are at least three of you working on it, you might need less than 10 minutes to set the entire thing up.

How to set up a tent up quickly

If you want a quick guide on how you can set up a tent as efficiently as possible, here are some tips that can be useful:

  • Practice setting your tent up while you are at home. You can do this a few times a day, at least three days before the actual camping trip. The more well-practiced you are at setting the tent up, regardless of how big it is, the more efficient you will be during the actual camping trip.
  • Of course, if you are familiar with the tent, you will also be able to guide your campmates better when they are helping you out.
  • Familiarize yourself with the instructions. Don’t wing it out when you are setting your tent up because some tents may be too complicated for you to simply learn how to set it up on the spot. Instead, make sure that you read the instructions carefully so that you will really understand how to set the tent up.
  • Keep track of the light. Don’t use the time as your basis for when you need to set the tent up while you are trekking. Instead, make sure that you are using the sun as your guide because there will be some days when the sun might go down faster, which will make it more difficult for you to set your tent up when there is less available light to help you out.
  • Choose a camping site with a leveled plane and less debris. It will be easier to set a tent up on a flat surface. Moreover, clearing debris from the site can take up a lot of time as well. That’s why it is always better to choose a site that doesn’t have plenty of debris like rocks or twigs.
  • Make sure that everyone is pitching in (pardon the pun…) when you are setting the tent up. But at the same time, make sure that you don’t have too many people setting the tent up because this might make you less efficient.
  • Be sure to take the weather conditions into consideration all the time. You don’t want to set a tent up in the middle of the rain. That’s why, the moment that you sense that it is going to rain soon, such as when the air is beginning to smell like rain, that is when you might want to find a campsite right away so that you can set your tent up as soon as possible before the rain gets you.
  • Always inventory the parts of your tent. You will never know what one missing part can do to you while you are setting the tent up. As such, before you embark on your camping trip, make sure that everything is in order and that all of the parts are accounted for.