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Setting-up a 12'x12' Escort Screen Tent

July 28, 2014

While we were camping at MacGregor Point Provincial Park, a gentleman beside our site approached me and asked me for some help. It was already getting late in the evening. The gentleman and the rest of his family members were apparently working the entire morning and afternoon trying to figure out how to set up their Escort Screen Tent. He says it wouldn't stay up, the poles wouldn't line up, pull on one side and the other side starts collapsing. It was a total nightmare for them. It was a nightmare for me too when I first set it up. I wanted to just burn it.

I usually set up our camp alone whenever we go camping. I let my wife and our kids play, explore, or have a snack.
I have to always find a way to make things eaier for me around the camp when I set up and also when I clear out. With this in mind, I don't mean buying expensive gear or just settling with one of those cheap pop-up equipment. I want to stay practical and also, sigh... sometimes have to work on what I already have to not contribute to the over-populated wasteland.

This Escort Screen Tent is cheap - both quality and price. It does the job though. It helps keep mosquitoes out and provides good shelter for light rain, I repeat, light rain.

If you got stuck with this screen tent like me, don't get frustrated anymore and do not burn it. Here are the very easy steps to set it up even with just one person.

I almost always set up this screen tent with the picnic table already inside. First, it is easier to move the picnic table to where we want it to go without worrying about it hitting anything while we move it. Second, it helps minimise the dirt attaching to the tent during set up. The con, I have to constantly watch that I don't rip the tent from the rough edges of the picnic table. Table cloth and seat cover would help here.

(1) Setting up with picnic bench already inside. (2) Secure all four bottom corners to the ground. (3) unfold all poles and sit them beside where they will be attached.
(1) I lay down the tent on top of the picnic table. Do not forget, the zippered side of the tent is the front. Also, check that it is not inside out.
(2) Secure all four bottom corners of the tent to the ground with pegs. You may want to check that you made a good square on the floor. This will have a good impact on the stability, and look of the tent once it is fully erected.
(3) Extend and place all the poles right next to where they would be attached.
(1) Insert the two ceiling poles into the sleeves. (2) Secure the ceiling poles using the supplied hooks. (3) A reminder to use the end of the floor poles with the metal ring, to attach to the ceiling poles.
(1) Insert the two ceiling poles into the sleeves at the top front and top back of the tent.
(2) Use the included hooks on all top four corners of the tent to secure the ceiling poles.
(3) For the floor poles, locate the end where there is a ring. This end will be used to connect the floor poles to the ceiling poles.
(1) Attach all four floor poles to the ceiling poles. (2) Start lifting the back of the tent up using the two back floor poles. (3) Lift the two front poles next.
(1) Connect the four floor poles to the ceiling poles. The tent will be heavier at this point. Be careful not to rip the tent from the table's rough edges.
(2) Start lifting the two back floor poles. I lift up one side of the back pole, I walk to the other side (minding the back ceiling poles), and I lift up the other side of the back pole as well.
(3) Lifting the front poles are much easier when the back poles are already up.

The key to all this is securing the bottom four corners of the tent to the ground first. Omitting this step will result in costly anger management sessions.

When all poles are adjusted to your specifics, start securing the included guy lines to the ground. This will help stabilize the tent, and will also prevent the tent from collapsing during heavy rains and high winds.

Here's a photo of the tent after a heavy rain. My guy lines weren't attached here and so the tent started caving in. the water collects on the mesh walls, and becomes heavy. If you're stuck inside while raining, you better off sitting on the table and not on the seat or you'll get soaked from the splashes of water coming in from the mesh walls. The roof would work well as a shelter from the rain, perhaps after applying a seam sealer treatment.
It is really good for light rain only.

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Author: Kajtek S