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How To Build A Tent Pad [2023 Guide] Here Are 5 Easy Steps

Are you new to camping? There are many terms people use that you’ve probably never heard before. One example is a tent pad. Do you have room for this in your luggage? Do you require a tent pad, and what are they specifically? Camping in a tent is a fantastic way to see nature without buying expensive equipment. A quality tent pad is among the essential items you’ll need for relaxing tent camping.


A comfortable tent pad is one of the essential items you’ll need for resting tent camping. I will illustrate how to build a tent pad in this article. Any outdoor hobbyist who enjoys being outdoors will find this project interesting. Building a tent pad is easy and requires only a few supplies and tools.

What is a tent pad at a campsite?

It is an elevated and level area to set up a campsite. It will aid in protecting the ground from damage caused by the tent’s weight and its inhabitants, which is vital in campgrounds without designated campsites.

You can construct a tent pad in several different ways. You may learn how to build a tent pad from this article. However, if you want something more durable, you might use patio stones or consider laying a concrete slab.

Although a tent pad is not required when sleeping in a tent, it is practical and will improve your sleep quality. Let’s examine why choosing a campsite with a tent pad is essential if you plan to pitch a tent.

All You Need to Know about Tent Pads

Even though they make life easier, tent pads are unnecessary when camping. All the tent pad specifies where you can set up your tent. Since the pad has been made to be flat, this area is often the most incredible place to set up your tent at a campsite.

The flattest spot on the land will no longer require your search, and since the pad is already prepared for usage, you won’t need to perform any effort. Using a tent pad, you may avoid pitching your tent on obstacles like roots or uneven terrain.

Typically, a tent pad is built of soil and gravel and enclosed by a wooden frame to keep the material in place. When the interior is filled with dirt or gravel, the surface will be level with the wood frame’s design, which also helps to understand how to build a tent pad.

On rare occasions, tent pads will consist of a flat wooden platform. You can set up your tent on a flat, level surface created by this raised space. The platform works effectively when it is not windy, and your tent does not need to be staked down. If not, you will need to lengthen your guy lines to reach the ground, or you will need to connect them to a tree or the edge of the platform.

How to Build a Tent Pad in 5 Easy Steps

Follow the given five steps to learn how to build a tent pad, and you will need the following essentials to make a tent pad:-

  • Rake
  • Level
  • Shovel
  • Chisel
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Ruler or Square
  • Measuring Tape
  • Cardboard Boxes (optional)

Step 1: Digging the Hole

Excavation is the first step of building your tent pad. Use a shovel to make a hole at least 20 inches broad and 12 inches deep. Please ensure the holes’ sides are level, then smooth them out using a rake. Once you’re done, check the hole’s depth and width to be sure they are accurate.

You must dig at least a18 inch deep and 24 inches wide hole if you intend to use a tarp as the base for your tent.

Step 2: Pouring the Concrete

The concrete needs to be poured after the hole has been dug. To mix the concrete properly, follow the directions on the container. With a shovel or rake, smooth the concrete after it has been poured into the hole. The concrete surface needs to be level and should be given 24 hours to dry once it has been poured.

Step 3: Adding the Mesh

It’s time to add the supporting netting after the concrete has had time to dry. Cut a mesh piece that is just a bit bigger than the hole. Ensure it is level before inserting it into the hole with a hammer and chisel.

Step 4: Adding the Concrete Blocks

After that, fill the hole with concrete blocks. Ensure that the blocks are level and arranged in a straight line. If there are gaps between the blocks, fill them with concrete and hammer them into position. Give the concrete 24 hours to dry.

Step 5: Finishing the Tent Pad

With the help of a rake or shovel, remove any extra material once the concrete has dried. Make sure the tent pad’s surface is level and smooth. If you intend to use a tarp as the floor of your tent, cut it to size and secure it with nails or staples to the bracing net. It is how to build a tent pad.

How to Use a Tent Pad

You have learned the process of how to build a tent pad; now, let’s have a look at using a tent pad. Pitch your tent as you usually would, but within the perimeter of the Use a tent pad to guarantee level ground. The ground is typically softer and simpler to post tents on because the tent pad area is artificial.

It is better to stake the guy lines inside the boundaries of the tent pad if your tent has a rainfly. When you are on a raised tent pad, it will be much simpler to stake everything at the same level.

Campsite dangers can be reduced if the tent pad you use to pitch your tent is level with the surrounding ground. You will be able to stroll safely in the dark so that you don’t trip once all of your lines are contained inside the tent pad’s perimeter.

Do You Need a Tent Pad?

Camping does not require a tent pad; unfortunately, you cannot carry one. You will need to search for the ideal location to set up your tent on your own if there is no tent pad available. Find a flat clearing with as few rocks and roots as you can. Depending on how frequently a campsite is used, you might need to clean some rocks or sticks from your chosen location.

However, it is best to use the tent pad if one is available at the campground where you are camping The optimum place to set up your tent at that specific site will be on the pad. Although you might need to clear a few stray rocks and sticks, this is the ideal location for a tent. If you have an interest in knowing the benefits of a tent pad, look into the following benefits:-

Read More: How to Secure A Tent Without Stakes?

Benefits of a tent pad include:

  • A level and even surface to make sleeping comfortable.
  • An elevated area stops rain-induced standing water from collecting around the tent base.
  • Additionally, retaining boards direct any pouring ground water away from the tent pad.
  • Much less danger of the tent floor overflowing in times of heavy rain.
  • Even though the campsite is on the rocks, the tent pad fill does not contain large rocks or tree roots and is suitable for tent posts.
  • In most rainstorms, the level, packed surface prevents softness and going to slow and reduces soil erosion.
  • The defined area helps prevent damage to the rest of the campsite from ongoing tent staking.
  • It helps to keep the dedicated space free of tent floors that could harm nearby plants.

Tent Pad Sizes

The size of tents varies widely depending on the country’s area and whether the tent is used for vacation camping or backpacking. While there are no set sizes, tent pads are frequently square and come in the following sizes:


A family tent for four people can fit on a small tent pad. The 8’x8′ size tent pad can occasionally be found at an established campground, but hiking campsites are more likely to have them.


A family tent that sleeps six people can fit on a medium-sized tent pad. Luxury tents used to be smaller than they are now, and a 10’x10′ tent pad could accommodate most early-era family tents.


An 8-person family tent sizing 12’x12′ can fit on a large tent pad. The tent pad size can be found nationwide, though it is more prevalent in parks and the mountains.

Extra Large

Up to a 10-person family, the tent can fit on an extra-large tent mat. 15’x15′ can handle larger family tents and are frequently found at modern campsites. This tent pad size is typical for camping in the Midwest but also in other regions of the nation.

What if No Tent Pad is Available at Your Campsite?

If the campground where you are staying does not have a tent pad, you will need to know how to build a tent pad and find the ideal location for it staking. Start by looking for ample space to accommodate your tent’s footprint.

Roots and large rocks should be kept to a minimum in the region. Don’t forget to check the sky to ensure there are no dead limbs that could fall on your tent while you sleep.

Next, check to see if the site is appropriately level. In contrast, a minor slope is OK.

The flatter the surface, the better. Consider what direction you should position your tent if the area is sloped because you usually want your head to be on the high side.

Any large rocks or sticks that might be unpleasant to sleep on should be removed from the area. Although you don’t have to go overboard, a little site upkeep might improve your sleep quality.

Pitch your tent once you are satisfied with the location and have removed any trash that might be difficult to rest on.

Final Thoughts: How to Build a Tent Pad

So, there you have it! How to build a tent pad. Tent pads are an excellent solution for the two primary issues with choosing a tent site: level, even ground to lay on, and higher ground to prevent flooding of the tent floor during heavy rain. On your next camping trip, you’ll be able to use what you’ve learned. Sizes are mentioned to build a suitable pad size as per your requirement.

Frequently Asked Questions: How to Build a Tent Pad

following are the frequently asked questions about how to build a tent pad.

Q: What is a gravel tent pad?

Answer: A gravel tent pad is a place where campers can pitch their tents on top of a gravelly surface. It will help prevent the tent’s weight and its occupants from damaging the ground, which is especially crucial at campsites without defined campsites.

Q: How big is a tent pad?

Answer: Depending on the size of the tent you’re using, a tent pad’s size will change. Most tent pads, however, need to be at least 20 inches wide and 12 inches deep. Make sure your tent pad has at least a hole of 18 inches deep and 24 inches wide if you intend to use a tarp.

 Q: Can you set up a tent in a forest?

Answer: You really can pitch a tent in a jungle. Before pitching your tent in the forests, it’s crucial to know how to build a tent pad. Always use a map and compass when trekking, and make sure you are familiar with the area.

In addition, please follow the safety measures and make sure not to build a camp near streams, cliffs or waterfalls as they cause create a panic situation.

Q: How do you make a base for a tent?

Answer: You only need cable and a tarp to make a tent pad. Afterward, knot the string around the tarp’s edges after setting it down on the ground. Doing this can provide a robust and weatherproof base for your tent. Always fix your tent correctly to prevent it from slipping away in the wind.

Q: How do you make a simple tent pad?

Answer: One option is using two logs, some rope, and a simple tent pad. Place the logs parallel to one another, and then use the rope to bind them together at the top. You don’t want your tent to collapse, so make sure the logs are solid and not too close together. After that, you can build your tent on the pad.

Q: Can you put a tent on a deck?

Answer: You can set up a tent on a deck, yes. To hold your tent’s weight, you must ensure that your deck is strong enough. Additionally, to prevent your tent from being blown away by the wind, you might need to add a few extra supports, such as poles or ropes. When putting your tent together, always adhere to the details on how to build a tent pad.