Most of the time, canopy tents work well against the forces of nature. They block out the sun with ease, and they stop the rain from falling on whatever or whoever is underneath. However, they can struggle a bit with the wind. While many tents these days can withstand stronger breezes, they still need some assistance to ensure they don’t blow away.
If you don’t know how to keep a pop-up tent grounded on windy days, then we’re here to help. We’ve put together some things to keep in mind when buying your tent, as well as strategies for securing your investment against high winds.
Buy One Made of Sturdy Materials
Before we can start going over what you can do to keep your canopy stationary, we need to look at the tent itself, beginning with the materials. Let’s start with the canopy itself. Some of the more common fabric types used for the top cover of these tents are polyester, nylon, vinyl, and canvas. While these vary in terms of their benefits, they should all hold up against fierce winds if they’re thick enough. However, if you want the strongest option, go with polyester.
As for the tent’s frame, you’ll want something made of steel or fiberglass. Both materials do not bend or break in intense winds. Some forms of aluminum are thick enough to withstand heavy winds but cheaply made versions cannot.
Get a Vented Canopy
On top of materials, another thing to consider when buying a pop-up tent is the type of canopy it uses. Most will be a solid piece of fabric, but you can do yourself a favor by choosing a canopy with a vented top. When it gets windy out, you can open this vent to give the air an escape route. If the wind can blow straight through the top, it will be less likely to pull the tent along for the ride when it breezes through.
Find a Larger Tent if Possible
For those still in the buying stage, the tent’s size is the final thing you should consider. When factoring in the wind, many people think a smaller canopy might be the better option since it will catch less of the breeze.
While there’s some truth to that, big tents are much better at staying grounded due to their weight. More poles and supports are necessary to form a larger tent, which significantly increases its weight and defends it against strong gusts of wind.
If you decide to go with one of Westshade’s custom-printed tents, you’ll be able to choose from a wide range of sizes. On top of being able to customize the colors and pictures on the canopy, you can also choose a larger frame size to combat the wind more effectively.
Find a Safe Spot for It
Once you’ve bought your tent and go out to set it up on a windy day, the first thing to do is find a safe spot to place it. Just because it’s gusty doesn’t mean that the wind will be ripping through every section of the area you’re setting up shop in.
If there’s a grove of trees or some tall buildings nearby, they will break the wind for you. You’ll still experience some breezes, but they won’t be as extreme as they would be if you were in the middle of an open space.
Assemble It Correctly
Once you find a spot, you must ensure that you set up the tent correctly. Most canopy tents have quite a few joints you need to connect. If you don’t hear a loud click when snapping these pieces into place, the chance of the tent collapsing during the next strong gust of wind rises drastically. Also, make sure you tightly fasten all the hook-and-loop straps on the canopy. Failing to do so might cause the top to blow away without the frame, which will be much harder to catch.
Anchor It Down
Fortunately, most pop-up tents come with ropes and stakes that allow you to anchor them tightly to the ground. These will be the best option for ensuring that your tent stays grounded on those windy days. Start by attaching the ropes to each of the four corners of the frame. If you have a larger tent, you can also put a few on the edges.
Once you hook those on, tie the other end to the stakes. After you’ve secured the attachments, it’s time to hammer them into the ground. Make sure you do this at a length that keeps the rope taut. Some frames also have holes at the base of each leg specifically for stakes. Be sure to also utilize those designated openings when they’re available.
Add Some Weight to It
If the stakes aren’t enough, add some weight to the base of the frame for extra support. You can purchase weights that fit perfectly around the legs of a pop-up tent. However, sandbags or any other heavy bag can do the trick if you don’t have tent weights on hand.
Strategically Use Sidewalls
Some people suggest removing any sidewalls you might have attached to your tent once it gets windy. While this isn’t a bad idea, you can actually use these attachments strategically to make your tent even more stable. The problem with wind is it grabs the canopy from underneath and tries to lift it off the ground. However, if you put your sidewalls between your tent and the direction of the wind, you can prevent this issue.
Just bear in mind that if the wind keeps changing direction or gets too strong, sidewalls might make matters worse. In the right circumstances, though, it can be an excellent fix, especially if you’re only dealing with light breezes.
Take the Tent Down
In the end, no matter how hard you try, the number one way to ensure the safety of your tent during a windy day is to take it down. No matter the tent’s quality or how well you position it, there is always a risk heavy winds will either break it down or blow it away.
Most canopy tents will hold out against 30 mph winds just fine, but once they reach the 40–50 mph range, you should consider taking it down and heading indoors. This choice protects you and your investment, ensuring you can set up at future events that are hopefully less windy than this one.