How to Build a Tent Platform

Camping on terrain with pebbly and rocky surfaces or swampy conditions requires an added level of protection – a tent platform. It keeps your tent clean and dry no matter what conditions arise.

Before beginning work on the platform, locate an area large enough for it. Next, dig four square holes that measure 2 feet by 2 feet each and dig four additional rectangular holes around these.


Tent platforms elevate your tent off the ground and provide a dry and comfortable sleeping surface on which to camp for extended camping trips. Not only can it keep rainwater from seeping into your tent and causing water damage; it can also keep out insects and small animals that could otherwise invade. Building one requires minimal tools and materials and can typically be completed over a weekend trip.

Locate an accessible flat area where you wish to install your tent platform. Make sure it can accommodate the size of tent you are installing, and clear away any undergrowth so as to make working in this space simpler.

Once you’ve located an ideal spot, dig holes for your tent platform’s leg posts to be installed in. Each post should be 12-18 inches deep and set into concrete before covering them in more concrete to cure before moving forward with any further projects.

Start by building the perimeter frame for your platform, which should form a 12-by-16-foot rectangle. Connect each of its outer corners by joining together 2×6 beams; interlock all hinge leaves so that when your legs are secured and your tent placed atop, it remains stable.

Utilize the remaining two pairs of 2×6 beams to build your tent platform’s front and back sides using C-clamps, then cut ten 6-inch lengths of 1 1/2-inch PVC pipe for legs to secure them to leg posts using threaded through tee-nuts on each leg post and hand tightening each leg by threading through them to tighten.

If you plan on using your tent for glamping, make sure that there is at least a 1/2-inch gap in the plywood immediately in front of its frame to allow rainwater to drain away from it. Also consider investing in leg anchors to secure its frame during high winds; these anchors screw into your tent platform’s wood floor for additional support and provide additional levels of stability.


Tent platforms must feature sturdy, watertight floors that secure to their frames securely. Pressure-treated plywood should be cut to fit each platform frame for best results; and its surface should be coated with waterproof marine varnish in order to prevent warping when exposed to moisture.

If you prefer, sod cloth can offer a more natural aesthetic and extra protection from splashes of rainwater rising up from the ground. When using sod cloth instead of plywood for this step, make sure it tucks under and is secured to the frame to prevent dirt washing off during storms back into your tent.

Tent platforms should always be placed on an even surface to facilitate easy access from within a tent. This 12x16ft platform accommodates a 10-by-12-foot canvas wall tent, with an included four-foot front porch for easier entry and exit from it. Lumber and hardware for building this platform will cost about $450.

Each side of the tent frame is supported on two 2x4s joined with heavy-duty 6-inch strap hinges to form its support structure. To create these hinges, divide ten 12-foot 2x4s into 20 segments each 70 and 1/2 inches long to use for making hinges, then link sets of these 2x4s using strap hinges into 10 floor joists that span 11 feet 9 inches long.

To raise the joists off of the ground, each leg is supported on one 2×4 foot. To build these legs, cut ten 2-by-4s into 10- and 13 1/2-inch pieces; use C clamps to join shorter ones together into legs; drill 7/16-inch-diameter holes into them using C-clamps; bore 7/16″ holes through them to the frame before fixing them to joists using square U-bolts with wingnuts on their rear ends.

The legs can be raised and lowered to set the tent platform at various heights depending on camp conditions and accessibility, providing you with more freedom of movement within your tent. They can even be adjusted for ease of access when entering and exiting. In addition, a sloped approach to the door makes entering and exiting easier while guy lines anchor it all together securely to frame legs welded onto wooden planks behind which stakes have been driven into the ground behind.

Outer Supports

Outer supports of a tent platform are essential to its overall structure, as they serve as anchor points to secure it to the ground and keep it from flopping around during stormy weather. Rocks provide the ideal way to anchor them securely to prevent flopping around.

Locate an area large enough to hold the frame tent, and dig four square holes that measure two feet by two feet; these will house your four 8-foot platform legs. After you have laid down your foundation, use a level to ensure its straight and evenness before starting assembly of the tent frame.

When setting up your frame tent, be sure to align it flush with the back of its tent platform in order to prevent rainwater from collecting on the floor and entering your shelter. To add an outdoor front porch space for relaxation and enjoyment you could attach a 4 x 8 foot sheet of plywood cut to fit its footprint onto its backside platform.

Once assembled, once you have your platform assembled, each 2 x 4 leg should support one of the 11-foot-9-inch-length floorboards at their center point on the bridge. Each leg should then be fastened securely to its respective joist using two square U-bolts with wing nuts attached at either end; drill an 11/32″ hole one inch deep in each connection point before inserting U-bolts and tightening with a mallet for extra tightening power.

To secure your tent, place guy ropes on both sides and back of the platform, tying these to eyebolts installed near the bottom of your tent directly under D rings or grommets on your eaves. This method keeps the ropes out of your way as they won’t be at an acute 45-degree angle from them; furthermore it provides greater stability than tying directly onto the tent itself.

Note that when anchoring your tent with guy lines, it is wise to replace any shock cord present at stake points with Dyneema core cord for optimal results. Furthermore, using longer guy lines at the tent peak to minimize wind drag.


Tent platforms can make a dramatic difference in the comfort of backcountry wall tents. By elevating you off of the ground, they help with rainwater drainage while keeping mosquitoes at bay and giving more room to move and relax in front porch areas. Build one from scratch or add one as an upgrade on existing tents!

Tent platforms built with raised roofs provide additional living space above a tent, providing extra living space that gives it a sense of permanence. A raised tent platform may also be beneficial if your campsite features steep slopes or rough terrain that make sleeping flat on the ground difficult.

To build a full tent platform, you will require 2×6 boards for framing and joists from a local hardware store; in addition, you will also need a hammer and drill. If creating only a porch for your tent, smaller wood boards may suffice instead.

Once boards are cut to size, a few nails will be driven into them as anchors to hold them securely in place. Utilizing anchors is strongly advised for tent platforms as this prevents frame walls from shifting away during strong winds.

Once your frame and floor boards have been secured to anchors, you can begin building your tent platform. To do this, the easiest way is to assemble the outer structure first before adding in legs – for this task you will need to open zippers on your canvas tent, locate eyebolts in each pole (including those you removed and held onto earlier), locate leg anchors that allow for fitting them onto those same eyebolts and insert each pole into them with ease.

If you’d like to sponsor or sole sponsor of a tent platform, click “Read More.” Your sponsored platform will then be inscribed with whatever text is important to you – perhaps your name, camp or unit number, or something special from camp or Wood Badge!

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