How to Carry a Tent on a Backpack

How to Carry a Tent on a Backpack?

Camping or trekking are some of the very famous and fun-filled activities to plan with your family, friends, or you can also go alone for nature exploration. Camping and trekking are great adventures but if you do not pack your stuff properly for the tour then this adventure can turn into a nightmare. The most important part of packing is how to carry a tent on a backpack properly so that you do not have to worry and can enjoy your trip with great pleasure.

As always, we came forward to help you save the day and have a carefree tour with your friends or family. This informational guide or article consists of different types of frames for a tent along with methods described step-by-step and things you need to avoid in such situations for you in understanding important details to survive without hard efforts.

How to Carry a Tent on a Backpack?

To make you understand easily, we divided how to carry a tent on a backpack into different sections and parts that will give you clear instructions of what, when, and how to do the task so you do not have to put extra effort and time.

First, you need to understand what type of frame will be used in what method. Here, we explained frames in case you do not know what they are and then followed by the methods. We also listed the pros and cons of both frames individually for a quick revision and easier acknowledgment.

Internal frame

An internal frame is a type of frame placed inside a bag to carry a backpack. The internal frame is capable of providing you more space so you can also put other necessary things easily. You need to consider the size of the frame and backpack before buying because you will need a bigger frame and backpack if you are planning to take a bigger-sized tent with you on tour.

If you did not consider the size before, then you can use a compression bag that will let you tighten the bag as small as possible so it can fit. Internal frames are recommended so your tent does not get lost or damaged during harsh conditions of trekking or moving. If you are using or not using an internal frame, make sure that you always place your tent in the middle and necessary things on top for easy access.


  • Different sizes available
  • More space
  • Securely placed tent
  • No damage of tent in severe situations


  • A wet tent can’t be placed in a backpack
  • Can be heavy on the back


External frame

The external frame is the second type of frame used for tent packing in a backpack. Unlike the internal frame the size of the frame does not matter as the tent will be attached to the outside of the backpack. Also, this is helpful for you if you need to pack a lot of things and you do not have space for a tent in your backpack. External frames also have the advantage of more attaching points and you can attach bulky and heavy tents also as it will not put pressure on your back like internal frame backpacks.

One of the other advantages of the external frame is that if your tent is dampening or wet due to some reason it will dry quickly outside and will not affect your belongings whereas if you have the internal frame you will not want to put a dampen tent in your backpack. The disadvantage of the external frame is that the tent may get lost but if you attach it securely or tightly then this mishap will not occur.


  • Easy on back
  • Compatible for all sizes
  • More attaching points
  • Good for bulky and heavyweights
  • Great for damp or wet tents


  • Might get lost if not secured
  • Might get damage
  • Can get wet in the rain


Method # 1: Placing the tent inside a backpack

Step # 1:

The first step in placing the tent inside a backpack is to choose a suitable internal frame backpack. You need to check the size and compatibility of the backpack according to the size of the tent.

Step # 2:

The next step in this process is to fold your tent reasonably. To fold your tent, you need to put the tent on the ground and make it lay straight and flat without any crumbles. Do not pack the poles of the tent inside it. Take the poles of the tent outside and place them in the pole bag. Now, you need to fold your tent along the sides. Make sure you do not fold it in the center.

Step # 3:

The process continues with the rolling of the tent. You need to roll the tent with the pole bag placed inside the folded tent so it can be rolled as much straight as it is possible. This will help in protecting the tent from any damage.

Step # 4:

Before packing the tent into the bag of the tent and then in a backpack, make sure that it is completely dry because a wet tent can be difficult to pack and will be heavy while carrying. It can also get damaged if packed wet because the moisture gets trapped inside it.

Step # 5:

The next step is the main step of this process to pack the tent inside a backpack. You need to open the tent bag and put the rolled tent inside the tent bag carefully. Here is a tip for you for easy and convenient packing. You need to make sure that the pole bag is placed at the center of the tent bag so it can provide the necessary support to keep it in a good position.

Step # 6:

The second last step is to pack your camping, hiking, or trekking stuff according to the trip. You should know that heavy things are placed at the bottom and light things are placed above. Also, consider placing the things on the top or outside pockets of the backpack so they can be easily accessible.

Step # 7:

The last step is to place your tent in the backpack. You must place your tent in the middle of the back so there is more space for other things and you can easily carry it. Some frames are easily available so they can also be attached inside a backpack for more security of the tent.

Step # 8:

You can place the tent vertically and horizontally. Both come with their advantages so you can choose according to your comfort and packing. A vertically placed tent is easily accessible and can be taken out at any moment without removing or displacing other items. Placing the tent horizontally can give you extra space to put your things and they can easily be placed on top of the tent. If you place the things on the tent then they will have extra protection while the tent will not be easily accessible.

Method # 2: Attaching the tent outside a backpack

Step # 1:

The first step in this method to attach the tent outside of the backpack is to find out a perfect external frame to hold the tent. Before, buying an external frame backpack or making a decision that you choose an external frame over the internal frame, make sure you know all the risks and hazards that it comes with.

Step # 2:

The next step in this procedure is to ensure all the measures before packing your tent like check if your tent is wet or damp. There is no problem if the tent is wet or damp because it will get dry when placed outside with the air passing through. The main problem is that you make some arrangements that can protect your tent from rain like zipped-lock bags or plastic sheets so you do not have to sleep in a wet tent during your tour.

Step # 3:

The third step is to roll and pack your tent in a tent bag like we described step-by-step in the above method. If you are still confused let us explain the procedure once more. You need to put your tent on the ground or a flat surface with the poles detached from the tent. Then fold the tent along the sides and put poles in the pole bag. Now you need to roll the tent with the pole bag inside the tent. Put the rolled tent inside the tent bag and you are done.

Step # 4:

The next thing in the procedure of attaching the tent outside the backpack is to look for the external frame and backpack for conditions and straps that can hold the tent securely. Some good quality backpack comes with strong compression straps so that your tent does not loosen up and is lost on the way.

Step # 5:

The second last step is to always make sure that your tent is highly secured and there is no risk of any damage. To keep your tent tightly tied or placed in the frame is to use closed-loop ties. It comes with loops on both sides so in case if your tent loosens up and slides off, it will get stuck in the loops and your tent will not be lost on the way.

Step # 6:

The last step in this method is to attach your tent to the external frame of the backpack. It will be best that you place your tent at the bottom of your backpack because then it will not cause any trouble for you. It will also be easy to move when the tent is placed at the bottom. Use compression straps and closed-loop ties to fasten the tent with the backpack.

Factors/ things to consider

Make sure that you consider these things or factors before setting on a trip or tour to avoid any mishap or occurrence with carrying a tent.

  • If you are using the inside carrying tent method then make sure that the tent and other heavy items are placed in the middle of the tent and fragile things at the top so they do not get crushed.
  • If you are going in a damp or rainy area for a tour and using the external frame method to carry the tent outside by attachment then make sure to provide complete protection to the tent with zip-lock bags or plastic sheets so it does not get wet.
  • Always make sure that the tent is tightly secured with the backpack and frame when placed outside because if not tightly secured then you may lose it on the way. You can use closed-loop tights to attach it with full safety.
  • Roll your tent neatly and as small as possible so it does not get damaged or cause any trouble for you.

As we reach the end of this informational guide, we assume that you have completely understood how to carry a tent on a backpack. We are glad that we were able to help you in this need of the hour. You can choose any method that is convenient for you to pack your tent with the backpack and remember to avoid things that are mentioned above so you can easily handle everything.

We recommend you to practice at home, both the methods or which you are going to use in your journey so it does not become a trouble if you are doing it on the trip for the first time. You will also learn or know about your shortcomings or mistakes while practicing and you can easily overcome them before starting your journey of adventures.

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