A screen tent is often used to provide a bug-free area for picnics, barbecues, camping, and even a small play area for children. These portable tents are widely available on the market. However, in years past putting up a screen tent was rather difficult. Since the varied number of screen tents available each require a different setup, what you need are basic instructions for any number of screen tents.
Determine if you need to build the top of the screen house tent structure first, or if you need to lay the screen house fabric down and then connect the poles to it. If the screen house fabric must lay down first, do so. If the poles are built before any fabric is added, do not lay the fabric down yet.
Build the roof of the screen house. There might be a center plastic piece to which the roof poles all connect. If so, connect the roof poles to the center plastic piece. If there is not a center connecting piece, assemble the four roof side poles and then connect them in the middle with cross pieces. You need to make the roof of the screen house and add the connecting four or more legs, so that the screen house is about three or four feet tall.
Lay the screen house fabric over the screen house frame, or attach it to the underside of the frame if the fabric was not attached earlier with provided attachments. Be careful not to dislodge any poles. If poles do become separated, simply push them back together.
Attach all hook and loop closures, clips, ties or hooks for the top of the structure while the screen room frame is only partially built. Someone may need to get down on the ground underneath the short structure to complete this step. This is much easier than waiting until the screen room is all the way up, as you may not be able to reach the attachments later.
Construct the rest of the screen house's leg poles. There could be four or more of these. Attach the poles to the screen house frame two at a time. Do one side first and then the other side. If the legs are adjustable, adjust to the desired height.
Connect the rest of the screen house fabric to the frame. These might be hook and loop closures, ties or clips.
Pick each leg up off the ground and place them either in the pockets at the base of the screen house fabric. Or, simply place the legs on top of the screen house fabric itself. This will help hold the fabric down and keep out small animals.
Check to be sure all zippers can close fully all the way to the ground. If not, adjust the leg poles accordingly.
Stake the base of the screen room to the stake loops. Push a stake through the loop and hammer it in the ground. There also may be holes in the frame's leg poles to stake those down as well.
Attach guylines if your screen room came with them. If not, ropes can be used as well to create guylines. Tie the guylines onto loops or poles at the top of the structure. Pull the ropes out and downward until you reach the ground. Stake them a couple of feet from the edge of the screen room.
- Staking your screen tent down well is important in windy areas or places prone to storms. A screen tent is not aerodynamic and can be damaged in strong wind. As there is no floor of a screen tent, it could be picked up off the ground and blown quite a distance. It is best to make sure they are staked and guylines used to secure them well.
- Some screen rooms consist of one entire piece that simply folds out and up. If so, keep unfolding, pushing and pulling until the screen room is extended. The fabric may or may not be connected ahead of time. If it is not, lay the fabric over the top and connect with connected attachments.
- Always follow manufacturer's instructions, since all screen tents are designed differently.
- camp image by Vasiliy Koval from Fotolia.com