Spread out your tent all ready to erect, put your ridge pole and your two uprights in place, and then drive some tent stakes, using the flat of your axe with which to drive them, so that you will not split the tops of the stakes (Fig. 287); drive the two end stakes A and B (Fig. 289) at an angle to the ends of the tent. After the tent stakes are arranged in a row, like the ones in Fig. 289, adjust the forks of the uprights two inches from the ends of the ridge pole (Fig. 288) then make fast the two extreme end guy ropes A and B to the tent pegs; the others are unimportant for the present after that is done, raise one tent pole part of the way up (Fig. 290), then push the other part of the way up (Fig. 291); gradually adjust these things until the strain is even upon your guy ropes. You will now find that your tent will stand alone, because the weight is pulling against your guy ropes (Fig. 292). This will hold your tent steady until you can make fast the guy ropes to the pegs upon the other side, not too tightly, because you need slack to straighten up your tent poles.
Next see that the back guy pole is perpendicular, after which it is a very easy matter to straighten up the front pole and adjust the guy rope so that it will stand stiff as in Fig. 293.
Remember, when you are cutting the ridge poles and the uprights, to select fairly straight sticks, and they should be as free as possible from rough projections, which might injure the canvas; also the poles should be as stiff as possible so as not to sag or cause the roof to belly.
Just as soon as your tent is erected and you feel like resting, get busy on ditching; no matter how dry the weather may be at the time, put a ditch around the tent that will drain the water away from your living place. There is no positive rule for digging this ditch; it varies according to surface of ground, but the gutter should be so made that the water will run away from the tents and not to it, or stand around it (Fig. 294). Fig. 295 shows how to make a tent by folding a floor cloth or piece of tarpaulin; of course it must have a tent pole to support the top, and the floor pieces may be drawn together in the center. Make one out of a piece of writing paper and you will learn how to do it, because although the paper is small, the folds would be just the same as if it was as large as a church.
In sandy or soft ground it often taxes one's ingenuity to supply anchors for one's tent; an anchor is a weight of some sort to which the guy ropes may be attached. Fig 296 shows a tent anchored by billets of wood; these are all supposed to be buried in the ground as in Fig. 308, and the ground trampled down over and above them to keep them safe in their graves. Fig. 297 shows the first throw in the anchor hitch, Fig. 298 the second throw, and Fig. 299 the complete hitch for the anchor. Fig. 303 shows the knot by which the anchor rope is tied to the main line. Figs. 300, 301 and 302 show the detail of tying this knot, which is simplicity itself, when you know how, like most knots. Fig. 303 shows the anchor hitch complete.
Stones, bundles of fagots; or bags of sand all make useful anchors; Fig. 304 is a stone; Fig. 305 are half billets of wood, Fig. 306 shows fagots of wood, Fig. 307 a bag of sand. All may be used to anchor your tent in the sands or loose ground.