Gone Outdoors

How Do I Set Up an Old Hillary Canvas Tent?

by Joelle Dedalus

Named for Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Mt. Everest, Hillary Tents provide a relatively inexpensive option for campers looking for a reliable tent. These dome-style tents range in size from small to large. The largest tents lose the dome for a square profile. You don't have to have Sir Edmund's ambition to learn how to set one up. Hillary tents are easy to assemble for your next camping trip.

Choose a camping site on flat, dry ground. Clear any stones, branches or objects from the area.

Spread a tarp flat on the ground. This will keep the tent bottom dry and free of dew and other moisture.

Lay the tent flat on top of the tarp. Be aware of where the door of your tent is, and position it in the direction you wish to enter and exit the tent.

Stake your tent. Find the loops at the corners and in the middle of each side of your tent. Insert the stakes in the loops and push them into the ground. If the ground is particularly hard or dry, you may need to use a hammer.

Assemble your tent poles and insert them into the proper sleeves. The two long poles go through the sleeves across the top of the tent. The small pole is meant for the rainfly.

Slip the small pole through the sleeve of the rainfly. To protect your tent from the elements, spread the rainfly over the roof of the tent and secure it using the hooks at the corners.

Items you will need
  • Hillary tent
  • Tarp
  • Hammer


  • Hillary Tents may be purchased at Sears, where three manufacturers provide them: Wenzel, Jin Woong and Sunk Yung.


  • Seal the tent seams before camping in rainy weather

About the Author

Joelle Dedalus began writing professionally for websites such as PugetSoundMagazine.com in 2009. She received her B.A. in English education at Iowa State University and is currently a M.F.A. candidate in creative nonfiction writing at Emerson College in Boston, where she is developing a manuscript on literary travel. Her areas of expertise include travel and literature, the outdoors and the arts.

Photo Credits

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