How To Pack A Tent In A Backpack


Have you thought about how you will pack your tent when you go backpacking? Do you think you can stuff your tent in the backpack? It sounds like the most straightforward thing to do. However, if you do not correctly pack your tent in your backpack, you will end up with a ruined tent, which will become an unpleasant surprise once you open up the backpack and see that. Fortunately, there is a way to pack your tent in your backpack that will not only ensure it remains intact but makes it easier for you to carry. So now, let’s go over how you can pack a tent in your backpack when you go on your next hiking trip.

You Need A Stuff Sack

You will need to get a stuff sack, and the advantage of that is that it can help compress your tent. That way, you will have more space in your backpack to carry other items. However, you would not want your entire backpack full because of the tent. So you would like to get one that is waterproof, too, if you end up somewhere rainy. Remember, when you are no longer camping, you will want to ensure that you take your tent out of the stuff sack and put it in storage. You do not want to store it in a stuff sack, or else that will ruin the tent. The stuff sack is a temporary thing to keep your tent in the backpack. Now, let’s talk about how you can carry your backpack with the tent in it.

How Do You Carry Your Backpack With The Tent In It?

When you pack your tent in the backpack, you will put it in the middle. That way, when you carry it, you will have an easier time balancing yourself. Likewise, when you carry any heavy item, you want it to be in the middle so you can have a much easier time balancing your weight. That way, if you have to move to another campsite and you pack your tent before going on a hike, you will have an easier time carrying it that way. Therefore, when you pack your tent in the backpack, you will want to put it in the middle. You can also lash the poles on the backpack’s exterior. However, you do not want to pack the tent either tightly.

Pack Your Tent Loose

You may not need a stuff sack if you are a very light backpacker. You can pack your tent loosely in your backpack if you find it too heavy with the stuff sack. However, you want to ensure that you pack your tent carefully to avoid damage to it. Only do so if the heavy weight makes you very tired when hiking. If you decide to go this route, you will want to lash the poles on the backpack’s exterior. Be aware of one thing. Even if you pack your tent very carefully without using a stuff sack, then understand that there is a slight chance that damage to the tent could still happen.

However, the other thing to keep in mind is that you can have your partner help you carry the load if you are not camping alone. Think about splitting the tent components so one will carry the main body of the tent, and the other can carry the poles and the rainfly. However, only ask them if you plan to sleep in the same tent with them. Otherwise, that would not be the right thing to do. Now you know what to do when you need to pack a dry tent. Let’s talk about packing a wet tent because of the rain. You will want to wipe it dry before packing it anyway. However, you will not be able to dry every component. Let’s talk about what to do in that situation.

How To Pack A Wet Tent In A Backpack

Even though you will want to dry the tent as much as you can after a torrential downpour drenched it, you will not be able to dry every spot. So instead, shake the tent to dry, which will help remove excess rainwater and allow it to dry for several minutes. That will help somewhat. However, if you don’t have a stuff sack and you fear that the tent will wet your other items, then you have the option to pack the tent outside of the backpack.

Packing your tent outside the backpack is somewhat risky because you could inadvertently snag the tent on your hike as you encounter debris. Only do that if your tent is too wet and you need to pack it up right away without waiting for it to dry. Aside from that, how do you pack your backpack with the tent so you can carry it comfortably?

Tips On Packing A Backpack With The Tent

Let’s go over how to best pack your backpack so you can comfortably fit in your tent even if you don’t have a stuff sack. Let’s start with the bottom of the backpack. First, pack the items you will not need until you get to the campsite, which means you will pack your shoes, sleeping material, clothing, and anything else. Then, when you get to the middle of the backpack, that is where you put your tent, whether you use a stuff sack or not. You can also put your camping stove and bear canister with food inside it. Then finally, at the top, you will want to pack anything accessible to you, such as your water bottles, rain jackets, toilet items, or first-aid kit.

Don’t forget the backpack’s pockets where you will want to put your wallet and phone, and ensure they are secure. Also, keep your GPS, keys, insect repellant, sunglasses, compass, paper maps, and so on. Finally, place some high-calorie bars and snacks such as trail mix and extra water.


When it comes to packing up a tent in your backpack‘, you will want to ensure you do it in a way where there will be no damage to the tent. You will also want to ensure that you can carry the tent comfortably on your back. A stuff sack is ideal for packing your tent because it keeps it secure in your backpack. However, at the same time, a stuff sack makes the backpack heavier, and you will not have an easy time carrying it while hiking. Therefore, you may need to pack your tent loosely in that situation. However, prepare yourself for the possibility that there could be damage to it.