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Matt Johnson

How to Build a Raised Tent Platform

MattGlamperGear
Author: Matt JohnsonPhotos/Graphics: Mike HawthornePublished: Jul 8, 2022Updated: Dec 13, 2023

A raised tent platform may be the answer if you’re looking for an elevated camping experience. You can build a raised tent platform for a level surface on which to pitch your tent or you can buy a tent platform kit. This not only makes camping more comfortable, but it can also help keep your tent dry in wet weather. In addition, a raised platform can provide some protection from insects and other small critters.

For this, we’re going to walk you through a DIY tent platform. This could be a wall tent platform or even a bell tent platform. Whichever you choose as we’ve made them for both styles.

Building a raised tent platform is a relatively simple project that can be completed in a day or two. The following instructions will show you how to make a basic raised tent platform.

  • Choose the location. Find a level spot in your yard that’s large enough to fit the platform. This step shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.
  • Dig the holes. Create four square holes, each one measuring 2 feet by 2 feet. Depending on the type of soil and tools you have, this might take around 1-2 hours.
  • Measure and cut the lumber. Tailor the lumber to match the dimensions of your platform. This may take approximately 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Assemble the frame. Use nails or screws to put together the lumber and form the frame of your platform. This step can take about 1-2 hours.
  • Attach the plywood. Cover the frame with plywood and secure it firmly. This could take around 1 hour.
  • Position the tent. Finally, place your tent on top of the platform. This should take no more than 15 minutes.

Think you’ve got the idea? Let’s jump in and build the platform!

Choose a level spot in your yard that’s big enough to accommodate the platform.

You can build a raised tent platform in your backyard and create additional outdoor living space. But before you start construction, there are a few things you need to take into account.

First, choose a level spot that’s big enough to accommodate the size of the platform you want to build. You don’t necessarily need a flat surface, but it’ll make the job much easier. The platform should also be close to an outdoor outlet, so you can easily plug in your glamping comfort items such as an air conditioner and phone charger.

The area should also be big enough for whichever size tent you want to set up. If you want to put up a large party tent, then you’ll need a decent-sized wooden platform. Something smaller, then the area doesn’t need to be as big. Also keep in mind to leave some space to walk around the frame tent. Typically we go with a 10′ x 10′ platform as it accommodates almost all tents you can imagine – except for massive bell tents.

Finally, ensure the area is clear of any obstacles that could damage the tent or cause injuries. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, mark out the location with stakes and string so you can start building your dream backyard oasis.

Dig four square holes, each one measuring 2 feet by 2 feet.

Digging Post Holes for the 4x4 Posts

Once the area is identified and marked, it’s time to start digging. You’ll need to dig four square holes, each 2 feet by 2 feet. These holes will hold the supports for the platform and you’ll want to ensure they’re sturdy enough to hold the tent frame and tent poles into place.

These holes will be for the posts that will support the tent platform. Make sure to dig the holes at least 12-18 inches deep to secure the posts.

Next, set the 4×4 posts in the holes and fill them with concrete. You’ll want at least one bag of Quickrete per post to keep it secured.

Give the posts at least 24 hours to cure before moving on to the next step.

Measure and cut the lumber to fit the dimensions of your platform.

Using a Table Saw to Cut the 4x4 Lumber

For this step, you’ll need to take a string and attach it to the 4×4 posts. Use a level to ensure the line is completely level all the way around. Now mark on the posts where the string is. This will be your guide to cutting the lumber for the frame of your platform.

Using a circular saw, cut the posts to your desired height. Unless you’re adding steps because of the terrain, keep the platform height to around 6″. The purpose is to keep you off the ground, not in the trees.

Now you have to cut the rest of the lumber. Start by cutting the 2×6 sideboards that will support the platform. These should be cut to 3″ longer than the distance between the outer edges of the posts.

Nail or screw the lumber together to create the frame of your platform.

With all the lumber cut to size, it’s time to start putting your platform together. Start by attaching the 2×6 side boards to the 4×4 posts using nails or screws.

Make sure to use galvanized nails or stainless steel wood screws to avoid rust. We prefer screws as they’re easier to remove if you need to make any adjustments down the road. You might make a mistake or two and need to adjust something!

Before attaching the 2×6 boards, use a level to ensure they are perfectly level. Attaching one end with a single screw first, then leveling and attaching the other end, is the easiest way to do this.

Repeat this process for the rest of the 2×6 boards.

Now it’s time to attach the floorboards. We recommend using pressure-treated lumber as it will be exposed to the elements and needs to be able to withstand moisture.

Cover the frame with plywood and attach it securely.

Using a Drill to Secure the Decking

Cut the plywood to fit the frame of your platform. Depending on the size, you might need to piece several boards together like a puzzle. They typically come in 4×8 pieces. If you want to really go fancy you can use decking for floor boards. Both types of wood are suitable for a bell tent, tipi, or wall tent.

Now it’s time to attach the plywood to the frame. We also recommend using screws for this so you can remove them if needed. Start in the center and work your way out.

You might need a helper for this part as it can be tricky to hold the plywood in place while screwing it in. Make sure the screws are spaced evenly so the plywood doesn’t warp.

To avoid splitting the wood, make sure to predrill the holes for the screws. Start in the middle of each board and work your way out. You’ll also want to countersink the screws, so they’re flush with the surface of the plywood.

To finish off your platform, add some trim around the edge. This will give it a nice, clean look and help protect the plywood’s borders from moisture.

This is an optional step, but we think it’s worth it.

Now you have a beautiful, raised platform perfect for camping, picnics, or just relaxing in your backyard!

Place your tent on top of the platform and enjoy!

With your platform ready, it’s time to set up your tent. We recommend using a waterproof tarp under your tent floor and under the center beam to protect the platform from moisture.

You can also use some stakes to secure the tarp’s corners if you expect windy conditions. As for the guy lines, we like to use 1″ eyelit screws. We find that these are both durable and tough enough to hold a tent down no matter how big it is. Plus, they’re always there so if you take down your tent or leave it up all year, you’re good to go.

And that’s it! You now know how to build a raised, level platform for your tent that will keep you dry and comfortable all night long. Go and enjoy your elevated tent camping experience!

MattGlamperGear

Matt Johnson


Senior Content Writer

Matt is an experienced camper and glamping enthusiast with a Master's degree in Wildlife Science from Texas A&M University. Authoring posts for GlamperGear, he shares his wealth of knowledge on picturesque campsites, luxurious accommodations, and the best gear for outdoor adventures. His passion for nature and knack for comfort in the wilderness make him an expert guide for your next camping endeavor.

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