Techniques do differ, and to be honest there are several different 'types' of ridge tent. However the basic principles are very commonly used.
Striking a tent should be a relatively painless process if you know how to pitch it carefully. All you really need to do is to work back in reverse order through the list, undoing each step that you took when pitching the tent.
As you remove pegs and other equipment, be sure to place them by the side of the tent bag (not on, you will be cleaning them before you put them away!). Do not just leave the pegs where they are, this is how they get lost. Slacken the guyline before working the peg backwards and forwards (do not hit hard with the mallet while it is in the ground, it will break).
For ridge tents I would suggest the following guidelines;
- Remove everything from inside the tent including the groundsheet.
- Remove all brailing pegs
- Remove all side guylines. Hank the guylines now, removing the pegs.
- Remove the corner guylines and pegs.
- Let the tent fall inwards so that it is vertical, standing only by the main guylines
- With care, and with people supporting the tent, slacken the guylines from one side.
- Let the tent fall gently to one side, supporting it as it goes. (If there are few of you, control its descent by holding back on the main guylines)
- Remove the guylines/dollys and hank the rope
- Unfold the tent carefully. Remove the poles
- Collect the poles and seperate them. Tie them together.
- Seperate the tent and flysheet. Ensure all guylines are hanked up, there is nothing left inside.
- Clean the tent off now. Do not leave any dirt, leaves, twigs etc on it.
- Fold as appropriate for your tent and store away.
- Clean the pegs off (by rubbing them against one another if you have nothing else to hand).
- Count all the pegs. Count all the poles. Count all the misc. equip. Count all mallets. Check you have all the bags.
- Now count everything again. Check there is nothing left on the site at all.
- Pack everything away in its place.
- Go through the checklist below.
Folding a ridge tent
Again techniques differ for tents and for people. This is how I fold mine.
- Lay the tent out flat, so that the inside of the tent is uppermost.
- Hank all the guylines, ensure main guys are removed.
- As I proceed through the next steps, I check that the tent is clean. Brushing away dirt etc as I go.
- Fold the tent in half along the ridge, so that the left hand side meets the right hand side. (NOT from eyelet to eyelet).
- Fold in the two 'triangular flaps' that are left at either end (these are the doors) into the tent forming a rectangle.
- Make sure all the guy lines are being folded into the tent, do not leave them hanging loose. Ensure they lay flat and will not rip the tent by getting tangled.
Depending upon the size of the tent, I may fold the tent in half by grabbing both of the long sides and folding inwards so that they meet in the middle. I may then further fold it in half, by folding one of the long sides inwards to lay across the top of the other side.
- Now fold in the opposite direction. Take each of the short ends and fold so that they meet in the middle. You may need to repeat this step again. At each stage we are cleaning the tent. You will need to remove the air from the tent by pushing your arm across the tent towards the edges. Do not stand on the tent but kneel on it.
- Once the tent is in a rectangular shape, the same size as the tent bag, we can place the bag over the top of the tent.
- Make sure the bag is 'inside-out' and place over the top of the folded tent. Work the sides of the bag around the tent then tip the whole thing the other way up
- Your tent should now be snugly inside the bag. Ensure it is flat and square. Place the pegs into one end. Lay the mallets across the top. If your poles go into the same bag place them now.
- Most bags then require tying up (much like lacing your shoelaces). Thread the rope through the eyelets of the bag (side to side), pulling tight as you go.
- Finish by looping the rope through either end and tying with a suitable knot (simple half hitches should do near the eyelet). When you have finished the last few loops will give you a carrying handle for the tent bag.
- Is the tent in the same condition as when you arrived at camp?
- Are there any repairs to be made? Make note of them now.
- Is the tent/flysheet dry? Do not leave in store a damp/wet tent. The canvas will rot. Dry it at the first chance you have.
- Are all the guylines/brailing loops in good condition?
- Count the pegs. Do you have them all? Now count them again. Check you have not left any behind even if you think you have them all.
- Do you have all the other equipment? (Spacers, plastic cups, plastic hats, rubber bands, ties etc.)
- Check the poles. Do you have them all? Are they split? Are the spikes still in the uprights? Are they a full set?
- Do you have all your tools (mallets, count them. 'Peg pullers' etc)?
- Is the tent and flysheet folded correctly? If not redo them. Do not just "stuff it in the bag". Tents are valuable (expensive) pieces of equipment.
- Make sure you only have your equipment. Do you have anyone elses equipment by mistake? Even if it is "only a brailing peg"
- Are the poles secured? Do not carry them loose. Keep them as a full set.
- Was the peg/equipment bag and mallets placed into the tent bag? Keep them as a full set.
- Is the site clear of everything? Clear all litter/gadgets etc. Personal gear should be removed from site. Place all your equipment near to your pick-up point.
- Make sure the site as a whole is left as you found it (or better!).
Ask the landowner/warden to inspect your site.
Leave only your thanks.