Should You Pitch a Tent Under a Tree? (NEVER Do This!)


When it comes to camping, most of us will choose a location with plenty of shade or where we can simply put up our tent. So our first option could be to pitch our tent under a tree. So that we can conveniently set up our tent and also shelter ourselves from the sun.

Should You Pitch a Tent Under a Tree?

No. Don’t pitch your tent under dead branches, dangling limbs, or fruit that could fall from trees. During thunderstorms, you should also avoid lone trees and the edges of forests. 

In addition, with the right measures, you can camp under healthy trees in mild weather. If you want to pitch your tent under a tree, there are several things you need to consider.

In this article, you will learn the specific reasons why you should pitch your tent under a tree, as well as some tent pitching recommendations that will help you in your camping experience.

Reasons To Avoid Camping Under a Tree

Your willingness to accept some risk will determine whether or not you should set your camp under a tree. Pitching a tent under a healthy tree in calm weather (without wind, rain, or snow) is relatively safe.

Never set your tent near trees with decaying branches or limbs that are dangling precariously. While camping under a tree, there are various dangers to be aware of. As an illustration, consider the following:

Risk of lighting Strike on Trees

Lightning is more likely to strike trees during a thunderstorm, so if you’re out in the open, you’re really increasing your chances of being struck. Camping in an open field during a lightning storm is just as risky as doing so immediately under a tree.

It’s common for lightning to strike the highest object in its path. Camping in an open field, though, your tent will likely be the highest thing in sight. Increased chances of being struck by a side flash will occur due to the tent poles and ground passing through the lightning.

Use a sleeping pad to raise your body off the ground and keep your distance from the tent’s edges to minimize the risk. Tent poles and walls should never come into contact with your body or sleeping setup. You won’t get a full jolt of electricity from the sleeping pad, but you’ll still be able to feel it.

Falling Dead Branches Or Loose Limbs

Trees that have dead or unstable limbs should be avoided at all costs. The sky is unpredictable, thus you never know what will fall from the sky.

It’s a bad idea to set up camp under a tree with dead limbs. Falling branches claim the lives of approximately 100 Americans each year.

Taking a risk when you can move 10 feet in any direction to avoid the impact zone isn’t worth it. In the best-case scenario, a falling branch could rip through your tent, but it could also rip through your body.

An even small branch can do significant damage. My shed’s ceiling was punctured by a 2-inch branch. In the event that it can penetrate a metal roof, it might easily pierce your tent’s canvas and pass directly through your body.

Facing Birds Pooping from the tree

Birds nest in trees, thus it’s a given that bird droppings will land on your tent. Despite the fact that it poses a danger, the unsettling sensation it causes as well as the foul odor it emits have the potential to negatively impact our mood.

You can easily get rid of fresh bird poop from your tent. To clean it, simply hose it off and use a brush and some mild soap. Tent fabric stain removal is a more pressing problem. You can try scrubbing the walls of the tent, but a more powerful material is usually needed to remove dirt.

The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is the ideal product for removing stubborn stains from tents. Simply wet the Magic Eraser sponge and start scrubbing away! It takes a long time to cover a large area, but the results are worth it because it can get rid of almost any tent stain.

Enzyme-based stain removers, such as Zout and Puracy, are also effective. Spritz them on, let them sit for a few minutes, and then rinse them away.

Tent wash issue

Even though pine cones are an eyesore, getting grazed by one isn’t that bad. My experience with pine cones isn’t exactly like being hit in the head with a corn hole bag, but it’s close.

While unpleasant, this will not cause a concussion or any other type of injury. Pine trees pose a major problem for tents because they leave behind a thick layer of needles and sap that can be difficult to remove.

Hundreds of tiny punctures will be left on your tent floor from pine needles quickly ripping it apart. Tenacious tape can be used to repair the holes, so make sure you have enough of it on hand.

A pine tree can’t always be avoided when camping. This is when tent footprints, or ground cloths, and tarps, come in! Using a cheap tent footprint will protect the tent floor from wear and tear.

Your tent will not be damaged, but a sticky residue left by pine sap is tough to remove. Spot-cleaning your tent with mineral oil is the best method for removing pine sap from it.

As an alternative to using WD-40 or Goo Gone to remove stubborn sap, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wet wipes. Take care not to damage the waterproof covering by scraping too hard.

Risk of Being Hit by Fruits

If you pitch your tent under a coconut or a pine cone, you may be in for a big surprise. Because coconuts and pine cones are constantly falling.

This should be obvious sense, but I still see individuals making it. When they fall on you, they are quite painful.

Trees are being blown down in the middle of the night by strong winds. A dong is ready to land on your head! If you have children or newborns in your tent, the situation is much worse.

Risk of Being Hurt by Any Animal

There is a good probability that a sleeping bat in the trees will injure you before any fruit or branch can. A creature may fall on you if it is asleep in a tree near where you are sleeping because of dreadful circumstances!

You might be bitten or stung by a dangerous species, and the venom or poison they inject could be fatal! You could be infected with rabies and die from a bat’s bite if it falls on you.

Difficulties due to Rain Dripping

It’s true that camping in the rain can be a delightful experience, but that’s not to say it won’t disrupt your trip owing to campfires, leaky tents, and other water-related issues.

However, if you are camping under a tree, the dripping effect will linger for a long time. Simply put, the rain will linger in the air for days after it has stopped falling.

Over time, the leaves’ water reservoirs overflow and produce the problem. It’s preferable to prevent this impact because it can increase your problems.

Carbon Dioxide Reaction

Photosynthesis, which utilizes sunshine, is the process by which plants create their food, as you may or may not be aware. The plant uses carbon dioxide from the air as a source of sustenance when it is exposed to sunshine during the day.

Carbon dioxide is only exhaled by leaves because they are the only organisms in the forest that are capable of breathing at night. It is advised to avoid sleeping near trees because high levels of carbon dioxide can be fatal to people.

It may be argued that it doesn’t necessarily harm you, but prevention is always better than treatment. The least I would do in such a situation is not take any chances.

Insects and bugs Problem

I think I’m bug-resistant, but if there are a lot of them in one place, I’m done. There are some trees that attract more bugs than others, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the bugs.

People have reported being overrun by insects and vermin when camped under a tree.

Pollen from trees and other debris Problems

There are a number of species of plants that produce pollen that is capable of emitting a certain color.

Even after you’ve cleaned your tent, you’ll still notice color differences. Fortunately, this is a problem only in the springtime.


Trees can generate a lot of noise when it’s windy or pouring. Owls and other night birds may also be attracted to them, keeping you up all night.

Tent Pitching Suggestions (Our Top Tips)

If you’re going camping, you’ll want to know how to set up your tent properly. A novice may have difficulty, especially in the event that they arrive at their camping site late at night. When it comes to setting up your tent for the night, these are some pointers to keep in mind:

  • If you’re a beginner, practice pitching your tent in your backyard garden before taking it on a trip. Pitching the tent on the campsite could be complicated if your tent has poles of varying lengths. Use colored tape on such poles to assist you to identify them and avoid issues.
  • Never pitch a tent next to a campfire. Newer tents are typically composed of plastic, which can burn or melt when exposed to heat.
  • A tent should not be pitched on steeply sloping land since you may slip downward while sleeping. You can wake up with a headache if you sleep with your head downward. This is because of the increased blood flow.
  • Clear the surface of sharp items and stones before pitching the tent. Such things have the potential to puncture your tent. In addition, you won’t have to get out of bed in the middle of the night to remove a painful stone.
  • You should also be familiar with weather forecasts. If a storm is a forecast, position your tent in the lee of a wall to provide shelter from severe winds. As a precaution, avoid pitching too close to trees if strong gusts are expected.
  • In windy weather, ask a friend or use pegs to secure the tent before pitching it. It’s possible that your tent will blow away if you don’t do this, requiring a kilometer-long search.
  • Filling sacks for tents are also light and easily lost. Weigh them down with something or put them in your pocket.
  • All the seams on a high-quality tent are taped to prevent leakage. Set up your tent in the backyard and use a garden hose to check for any leaks. After the tent has dry, apply seam sealant to any areas where there are leaks. To avoid a problem, seal any light stitching that you notice.
  • A tent with a good tight outer will keep rain and wind out. The new synthetic fabric tents, however, expand when wet, so a snug tent in the heat would become loose in the rain. On the other side, a damp canvas tent will contract in size.
  • Tent stakes might get lost or broken while pitching a tent, so it’s a good idea to have extras.

Wrap Up

Finally, it’s better not to camp under a tree, except in the most extreme cases. There’s no reason to take extra risks, especially when camping under a tree has more drawbacks than positives. This means that even if it was completely safe, it would be a horrible decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is It Possible To Pitch a Tent on a Slope?

However, contrary to popular belief, pitching a tent with its head-end facing downhill is a disaster in the making. If you put clothing beneath your legs to keep them from slipping, the price will be a hammock-like position and probably a hurting back in the morning.

2. Which Way Should a Tent Face?

Though many campers may position a tent with the smaller side facing the wind to lessen resistance, it is more critical to position the side with the strongest pole structure towards the wind. When camping in a hot region, point a door toward the wind to keep cool.

3. How Should I Pitch My Tent in the Wind?

In windy conditions, pitch your tent in the direction that provides maximum protection and stability; this usually means directing the lowest and narrowest components towards the wind. Pitch the tent at an angle to the wind to distribute the force of the gusts more equally.

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