Bad Weather Tenting

Jul 25, 2018

This time of year we always seem to get one or two nasty storms that blow through that really seem to do some damage.  They cause issues with wind or hail damage, downed power lines, fallen trees, and sometimes issues with tents.  We wanted to bring you some helpful pointers to keep in mind when “tenting” against the elements.

1- Tents are temporary structures.  Always remember that no matter how big or strong of a tent you have, it isn’t as strong as a brick and mortar building.  We hate to admit it, but even wind rated tents won’t hold up if the conditions get nasty enough.  Don’t choose to hunker down in a storm under a tent when a better option is available.   

2- Have a Safety Evacuation Plan.  Any tent company you are working with should be able to put together an evacuation plan that lists the details and conditions in which your event needs to be shut down.  These can be temporary or permanent shut downs for the safety of the guests to let the weather come through and not have anyone in harm’s way.

3- Anchoring – Tents no matter how small should be staked whenever possible.  If staking is an issue, then concrete weights should be used to anchor the tent down.  Use of water barrels or small 5 gallons buckets full of rocks or concrete can be dangerous in bad weather even on small 10’ x 10’ Tents.  If bad weather is in the forecast additional stakes or weight can be added to the tent to increase anchoring. 

4- Placement – Tents that are placed in “Wind Tunnels” on properties are more highly effected by the weather.  If possible placing a tent next to trees or a building will help reduce the amount of direct wind and rain the tent will receive. 

5- Tent Performance – On some tents, with enough rain you will potentially see “bagging” in the corners or along the perimeter.  This occurs when the tent loosens slightly allowing rain water to gather in a certain location.

If the ground gets wet enough you will also potentially see tents legs start to sink. 

If any of these things happen, call the tent company and have them come out to remove the water and reset the legs.  If the problem is not dealt with before another line of storms comes through, it can affect the performance of the tent and cause structural issues that lead to failure. 


When it comes to tenting for weather a lot of things come down to common sense practices and planning for worst case scenario.  Hopefully these tips will help keep you, your guests, and your tents safe and partying away!