Camping Tips

How to Split a Shared Tent

Best Way to Split a Shared Tent

two campers walking with packs towards mountains

Poles and Stakes

The first thing to split off is the poles and stakes. Depending on which tent you have these are usually the heaviest items, but the easiest items to pack away. Since these are split off from the main tent you can put them on the side pouch of your bag. Another place you can put them is in the main pouch next to your sleeping bag and food.

Once you figure out where your poles go the next thing to pack is your camping stakes. I like to keep these and the poles together to know that one person has all the hardware for the tent.

Rain Fly and Tent Foot Print

The next thing to split out is the tent rain fly and the tent footprint. For the rain fly you want to fold it down as compact as possible. Typically for this set the person that takes the tent poles will also take the rain fly and tent foot print. The tent rain fly is usually less material and weighs less than the main tent body.

Depending on how strict you are you might want to give the person with the main tent body the tent foot print. That way you can evenly distribute the weight, however it just depends on design of your tent. Usually tent footprints come in a small pouch so this is really easy to move around.

Main Tent

The last part of your tent you want to split out likely weighs the second most and that is the main tent body. This is probably the most difficult to split out because it is the most material. Most tents come with a pouch for the tent, however with splitting up the tent you can choose to fold the tent body in the most compact way possible. If you had the tent as is then you would need to account for the tent poles, so this is a huge benefit of splitting up your tent.
Our Favorite Big Agnes Ultralight 2 Person Tent on Amazon

Accessories to Help You Split a Tent

red tent setup by snowy mountains<

Velcro Straps

When splitting up your tent it can be a challenge to keep things nice and organized since all the pieces aren’t being held in the main tent bag. One thing I like to use are velcro straps to keep things nice and tidy. I use velcro straps to tie together the tent poles. This prevents them from bouncing around everywhere and accidentally whacking someone in the face.

I also use velcro straps to keep the rain fly nice and compact. Usually the tent pouch makes the most sense to stay with the main tent body so you will have a loose rain fly. Folding the rain fly down and then using velcro straps to keep it nice and compact has worked really well for me in the past.

Our Favorite Velcro Straps on Amazon

Compression Bag

Another item you can use for either the rain fly or the main tent body is to get a compression bag. You can fold up your rain fly or main tent body and then put it in the compression bag. The compression bag is great because it will keep your tent at the smallest size possible. You can also look into getting a water proof compression bag to help keep your main tent body dry. This has been another great accessory when splitting up my tent. I have found it makes packing my bag much easier instead of having a large and loose tent pouch in my bag, it is nice and compact.

Sea to Summit Compression Sack on Amazon

Final Thoughts

Packing for a camping trip involves a lot of planning and checklists. Optimizing weight distribution so your packs aren’t too heavy can feel wonky at first, but after a couple of trips it makes more sense and becomes natural. Splitting up a tent feels weird, but as long as you both get there at the same time then all the pieces of the tent will be ready for you. Once you have your tent setup you might also want to know how to charge your phone without worry. Using extra accessories to make things more compact and organized will make splitting a tent much easier on you. Enjoy your next camping trip!