Instructions on How to Assemble a Dome Tent

Updated February 21, 2017

The dome tent was designed as an alternative to pup tents, the military-style A-frame shelters with little interior space and poor wind resistance. Dome tents have a rain-fly, a lightweight fabric draped over the structure to keep rain out, which allows manufacturers to use lightweight fabrics and mesh in place of heavy canvas. This construction makes a dome tent a popular choice for many outdoor enthusiasts. Dome tents are available in sizes ranging from a one-person dome tent to a 10-person family tent. Assembly is universal, with only slight variations of some features.

Unpack the tent at the campsite. Choose a clear, flat area in which to set up the tent. Avoid setting camp under a single tree or small, isolated group of trees to reduce risk of a lightning strike in the event of a storm.

Inspect the ground and remove rocks, sticks and other debris. Lay the tent flat and pull it tight at the corners to ensure that its completely unrolled.

Assemble the tent poles and the fly pole. Depending on tent size, tent and fly poles have between six and 10 interlocking sections along an elastic cord. Fit the sections together to assemble poles. You should have two long tent poles of equal length, and one fly pole one foot or two feet shorter than the tent poles

Slide tent poles through the top sleeves on tent. The sleeves typically form an X pattern. When the poles are in the sleeves there should be an equal length of tent pole on all four sides.

Place tent poles onto the pole stubs or pole grommets, depending on tent model, located at each tent corner. As you bend the poles down and place the pole ends into position, the tent will start to take shape. Connect the pole hooks, located at each corner seam, to each tent pole. These hook onto the poles; some models may not have them or may have Velcro straps instead.

Place a tent stake into each corner ring, pull taut on the ring, then hammer the stake completely into the ground at each corner.

Drape the rain-fly over tent, then stand at tent entrance and slide the fly pole straight over the dome apex. Look for two small pockets--directly across from each other--on both sides of the rain-fly. Insert fly-pole ends into the pockets, and attach the fly hooks, or Velcro, to tent poles to secure fly.


Use a tarp or tent footprint pad to help protect tent floor. Many manufacturers of dome tents also make footprints, which are sold separately from the tents.

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