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Camping is an extraordinary experience in itself. Experiencing nature while enjoying a true sense of freedom from stress is a heavenly feeling.

However, mother nature can sometimes be ferocious. Bad weather conditions like strong winds, rain or storm can destroy your camping experience. You don’t want your tent blowing away in the wind and getting damaged or, even worse, lost.

So, how to keep a tent from blowing away in a storm? Well, it’s not so difficult.

Use sturdy stakes and guy ropes to stop your tent from blowing away in strong winds. If you pitch your tent carefully with extra stakes and anchor it to a tree or big rock, it will hold down.

If you plan with care and keep certain points in mind, you can save your camping tent in a storm.

On another note, how much wind speed can your camping tent withstand? Let’s look at this point first, and then we’ll move on to some fantastic ideas to protect your tent from a windstorm.

How Much Wind Can A Camping Tent Withstand?

There is no fixed speed barrier in this scenario. There are various types of tents available in the market, and each has its own capabilities.

That said, most of the tents can withstand wind speeds up to 20 mph without any issues. If you have a sturdier tent combined with high-quality stakes, it can easily face winds up to 40 mph.

Anything above 50 mph is extremely dangerous for your camping tent. If the winds start crossing the threshold of 40 mph, the best thing to do is take down your tent and move to a safe location.

But what if the wind speed is below 40 mph? Even in the range of 25-35 mph, your tent needs some solid ground to hold upon.

Let’s see some valuable suggestions to keep your tent from flying away at lower wind speeds.

1. Look Out For The Weather Forecast

As I always say, precaution is better than cure. If you already know there are high wind and storm chances in the area where you are going to camp, you should abstain.

Before camping, look for the weather forecast at your camp location. It will give you a rough idea of what to expect.

If you find even slight chances of heavy storms & rain, it would be ideal to change your location. You can also postpone the plan for a few days.

However, if the storm is not so strong (wind speed < 30 mph), you can camp using the upcoming suggestions.

2. Find A Suitable Location

Finding a safe location where you can camp safely during high winds is crucial. You’ll need to find a place where natural barriers are already present that can block some wind.

Natural barriers help decrease the wind flow. Locate a place with big rocks, a group of trees, or bushes and camp near them to avoid the wind destroying your tent. You can also use them as an anchor when pitching the tent.

Choose a level ground to pitch your tent since it makes setting up the tent easier.

Avoid camping directly beneath a tree or a rock which you think can fall off. Due to the wind, tree branches or loose rocks could unexpectedly break off and fall on the tent. This can be dangerous.

3. Use High-Quality & Durable Camping Material

Your camping material plays an important role in surviving harsh storms. So, it’s vital to have a quality camping tent & materials.

Let’s see which things you need to take care of to survive high winds.

Tent

There are a variety of camping tents available in the market today. From cheap single-person tents to luxurious full-sized family tents.

These tents use different types of materials, and each has its own pros & cons.

Tents made with nylon or quality polyesters are best in terms of weight. They come in different sizes & colors, are lightweight and not so costly.

Another option is to use canvas tents. Although strong, they can cost a bit of fortune and are heavy to carry around.

You can also use a 3-season tent that can bear even extreme climatic conditions with ease.

Rainfly Or Tarp

Rainfly of a tent

Most of the camping tents have a rainfly included with them. It’s used to cover a tent completely from above to provide an extra layer of protection.

If your rainfly is too small, or your tent doesn’t have one, you can buy one.

You can also buy a big tarp to use as a rainfly. It’s stronger & larger than a common rainfly, providing you with some extra covered space around your tent.

Poles

Your tent comes with poles that help create a frame for your tent setup. Most of the small tents have 2 poles placed diagonally, one over another. Larger tents have more poles to provide a stronger and more stable frame.

Here, you need to consider the material and build quality of your poles. They are made of either steel, aluminum or fiberglass.

Fiberglass poles are cheaper than aluminum or steel ones, but also less strong than them. Steel poles are the strongest of all but a little pricey.

It’s best to have a tent with either aluminum or steel poles, to survive strong winds without them bending or breaking away.

Stakes & Guy Lines

Stakes (pegs) help anchor the tent and the rainfly to the ground. They are available with the tent you have bought, but you can also buy them separately.

Aluminum or steel stakes are the most common and budget-friendly option to anchor a tent. Additionally, costly options like ultralight titanium stakes are also available. But they are not as strong as their counterparts.

Guy lines are ropes made of synthetic materials tied to a tent, rainfly or tarp and then anchored to a sturdy support (preferably to a stake).

They help maintain equilibrium on all sides, keeping the tent stable and in place.

If your tent doesn’t come with guy lines, it’s best to buy them separately. It’s helpful when you are camping in a location with continuously blowing wind.

4. Prepare Your Tent Carefully

It can be a pain to unfold & pitch a tent in the wind. For this reason, you need to do it with proper planning to avoid any mistakes.

The first thing you should do is to read the instructions manual provided with the tent. It will give you a rough idea to set up the tent correctly.

When you unfold the tent, keep some natural weight (small rocks, stones) on all four corners to stop it from disorienting or blowing away. Quickly assemble the poles and prepare the frame of your tent.

After this, fasten the pole ends to all the corners of the tent as soon as possible.

Use your rainfly or tarp to cover the tent. Anchor all the corners & edges of the rainfly tightly using guy ropes and stakes to prevent it from blowing in the wind.

If the stakes are not holding well, tie the guy ropes to a rock, exposed roots or a tree trunk. You can also insert the stakes into a tree branch.

Look around carefully in your surroundings and find a firm base to tie the guy line.

5. Position Your Tent In The Right Direction

The position of your tent also has a role to play in protecting it from the wind. If you place the tent correctly, it’ll help a lot during a wind storm.

Don’t let the door of your tent face the wind directly. Otherwise, it’ll be a mess inside whenever you open the door.

The best way is to let the back side of your tent face the wind. To make it safer, stretch your rainfly a little more to the backside and anchor it to the ground.

This will create a streamlined structure, and the wind will glide over the tent roof without causing much harm.

6. Use Stakes & Guy Lines Effectively

Using stakes (pegs) & guy lines wherever necessary should be your first priority. They create a strong foundation for your tent.

As I mentioned above, it’s better to get steel or aluminum stakes as they are strong and will come in handy in a storm.

I always remember to carry extra pegs & guy ropes, apart from the ones I got with my tent. If there is a whiff of a heavy storm, I use all the peg points to secure my tent completely. In an emergency situation, they can be a huge help.

When fixing stakes, maintain a 45o-60o angle with the ground in the opposite direction of your tent. This technique will ensure that the stakes don’t come out easily in case of a storm.

If you plan to buy guy ropes, don’t compromise on the quality. You can also buy illuminated guy lines that glow in the dark. They help you to identify them in the dark and not accidentally trip over them.

7. Using Weights

If nothing is working out and the tent still does not seems secure, try putting weighted objects on the corners of your tent.

Put heavy rocks both on the inside and the outside corners of the tent. If there are no rocks nearby, anchor the tent or the rainfly to a nearby tree or large rock, preferably on all sides.

You can also place large stones on the top of the stakes to hold them in place. In case nothing is available, fill plastic bags with sand if there’s any nearby and use them as weights.

8. Bonus Tip- Take It Down

I understand this isn’t what you wanted to hear. But I am saying this from my experience. Having camped numerous times, whether in a storm, rain, or snow, I have had a handful of experiences.

Sometimes, a storm can become too dangerous. If you can’t fight it, it’s better to take your camping tent down and move to a safe location. Wait till the storm gets over, and then head back.

Conclusion

Camping in extreme weather can be a memorable experience, but you need to be careful to not get in trouble.

Your first priority when camping in a storm is to keep your tent from blowing away in the wind. For this, you need to:

  1. Choose a safe location to pitch your tent
  2. Pitch your tent and secure it carefully, following all the instructions
  3. Use enough stakes & guy lines to secure the tent
  4. Position your tent correctly according to the wind direction
  5. Use weights on the corners for extra safety.

If nothing works, take down the camp and move to a safe place. After all, we can’t always fight mother nature.

You’ll have a pleasant camping experience if you remember & follow all these tips & suggestions.

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