How to Hang Things in a Tent

You're missing out big time if you don't know how to hang your stuff in your tent
You’re missing out big time if you don’t know how to hang your stuff in your tent

Although we are biased, going camping is one of life’s greatest joys. How priceless is it to be able to disconnect from your daily stress, bond with your family or friends and explore the nature? Pretty priceless. But fumbling around in the dark for your things in an unorganized tent is nobody’s idea of a magical camping moment.

So knowing how to hang things in a tent is one of the handiest camping tricks for keeping things neat, tidy and easily accessible. What are you waiting for? Start learning now.

Why You Should Hang Items in Your Tent

Hanging things in your tent has some advantages over shoving everything into backpacks, bags or even the tent floor:

Maximize Every Square Inch of Space

Tents aren’t exactly spacious luxury suites, so making the most of what little floor and vertical space you have available is key.

Hanging frequently used items like jackets, hats, and glasses keeps them easily accessible without crowding limited floor area and even makes it easier and faster for you to grab them when you need them.

Loops inside the tent can be particularly helpful for hanging small items.

Keep Gear and Gadgets Organized

Hanging key items makes it easy to stay organized in a small space since you’ll always know exactly where to find flashlights, water bottles, and other camping gear. No more frantically digging through piles of stuff when you need something!

This setup is especially useful for kids and campers who need to grab and pack quickly.

Protect Food from Sneaky Critters

Nothing ruins an awesome camping trip faster than an uninvited guest sneaking into your tent for a midnight snack!

Safely stowing edibles in hanging bags or containers foils plans of pesky bears, ants, and mini thieves (we’re looking at you, raccoons!).

Also, keeping food off the ground and away from the trash is a great strategy during summer months.

Dry Out Wet Clothing and Gear

Don't wait for the mold to show up in your tent - always hang your wet clothes
Don’t wait for the mold to show up in your tent – always hang your wet clothes

If the weather is bad outside, hanging soaked clothes and equipment to dry prevents mold, mildew, and funky stenches from setting in (although these can be removed from your tent, it’s always best to avoid them).

Bonus: hanging wet gear keeps your sleeping area nice and dry. It’s also a fun way to play around with organizing your space, whether you’re on a light adventure or a serious expedition.

Read This Before You Start Hanging Things

While hanging items is great, there are a few important things you need to be aware of before you start stringing up your stuff.

Safety First

If you’ve been reading us for a while now, you know that one of our mantras is “safety first”.

If any hanging object falls in the middle of the night and hits you (or your family), it can cause physical injuries and damage to the tent. So next time you’re hanging things in your tent:

  • Carefully assess the weight and security of anything you hang directly over the tent floor

  • Opt for lightweight items secured with quality hooks, clips, and cord

  • Be especially mindful when hanging other items like backpacks or cooking gear

Don’t Overload Your Tent

Most tents are designed to safely support some hanging items, but overdoing it risks collapsing the entire structure.

Always pay close attention to the guidelines of the manufacturer for recommended weight limits and when in doubt, err on the side of caution.

Don’t be greedy: overpacking your tent with heavy items can be a critical mistake.

Mind the Tent Fabric

If you can avoid ripping your tent fabric... why not save you a headache in the future?
If you can avoid ripping your tent fabric… why not save you a headache in the future?

Sharp gear or poorly-secured hanging things can shred tent fabric or poke holes in your tent. While you can always repair them (and we’ve even written an article on that), why not save yourself the headache?

  • Pad sharp corners or points of contact and double-check for secure connections before hanging valuables you can’t afford to lose or see damaged

  • Talk to other fellow campers (especially if you’re still a beginner): their feedback about how the hang things can be priceless

Leave No Trace Behind

One of the most sacred principles if you’re doing activities outdoors is leaving the environment as pristine as it was found – the famous Leave No Trace Principles.

When hanging anything, even for a brief overnight, use attachment methods that don’t permanently damage trees or vegetation. Always consider the impact of your actions on nature and choose the most eco-friendly approach.

Gear and Gadgets for Hanging Items

Carabiners

These lightweight, inexpensive, and easy-to-use clips are great to attach to all kinds of hanging storage, including your backpack and other gear. They are ideal for water bottles, lanterns and small bags.

You should look for carabiners with a weight limit of at least 50 pounds.

Retractable Gear Tethers

These strong cords that wind up into a self-contained unit provide security and convenience for hanging items. They are ideal for flashlights, watches and airpod cases.

Mesh Storage Bags

See-through mesh makes contents clearly visible while providing a handy way to hang bundles of small essentials like toiletries, gadget chargers, electronics and first aid kits.

These are essential to keep small items organized and easy to grab.

Gear Net Hammocks

Sturdy netting stretched between two attachment points forms a pouch suitable for holding bulkier items. These are great for shoes, books and lanterns.

Inflatable Gear Lofts

These inflatable bags fit in tent corners to neatly stow clothes and gear overhead. They’re a lightweight solution that won’t overload your tent and are ideal for clothing, towels and headlamps.

Our Hanging Ideas for Your Camping Essentials

Have a lot of items and are not sure how to best hang them? We've got you covered
Have a lot of items and are not sure how to best hang them? We’ve got you covered

We’ll give you our best hanging ideas for different types of items, so you never run out of solutions when you’re out there.

Clothing

  • Use sturdy hangers to hang stuff like clothing on loops or hooks built into the tent ceiling

    • This keeps your camping wardrobe organized and accessible

  • Securely clip bathing suits and towels over mesh gear net hammocks

    • This is great to keep your clothes dry

  • Stuff rolled-up clothes into mesh pop-up laundry bags, making it easy to load and unload

  • Hang damp clothing with clothespins on a paracord line strung across the tent interior

    • This helps you keep the tent’s interior clean

Flashlight and Headlamp Holders

  • Add utility hooks on your tent walls to hang flashlights and headlamps

    • This keeps lighting within easy reach

  • Loop flashlight wrist straps or headlamp bands over lightweight carabiners clipped on storage loops

    • This is a great way to keep lighting handy without blocking any space.

  • Tuck lights into the exterior pouch of backpacks and hang packs from gear lofts

    • This keeps your essentials organized and your packing system efficient

Water Bottle and Hydration

  • Use stretchy Velcro straps secured around bottles and hydration bladders to hang them from clips, carabiners, or loops

    • This is ideal to keep your hydration sources nearby

  • Slide bottles into hanging mesh pouches or side pockets of attached gear hammocks

    • A creative way to store water without taking up valuable floor space of your tent

Protecting Food

These plastic bins are simple & effective
These plastic bins are simple & effective
  • Fill airtight plastic bins with food and hang them from corners with carabiners and paracord

    • This will keep your food safe and out of reach of any wildlife

  • Hang odor-proof bags with edibles via clips on loops just inside the tent door

  • Use a bear bag and rope to hang food high and away from the campsite

    • This is a must-do if you’re camping in areas with bears

Electronics & Other Gear

  • Place gadget chargers, batteries, and cables in mesh pouches hung from clips or loops

  • Use carabiners to hang personal toiletry bags from storage loops for easy access

    • This is especially useful when you need to grab your items quickly

  • Tuck paperback books, maps, and magazines into zippered protective cases secured with utility hooks

    • This will keep your reading material safe and dry

Wet Gear Drying Ideas

  • Hang damp towels, hiking shoes, or the rain fly with carabiners on a paracord clothesline

    • This airs out your wet gear

  • Use inflatable storage bins with ventilation grommets to hold soggy items

    • This helps to keep the rest of your gear dry

  • Secure wet sportswear over mesh net hammocks to dry

Final Thoughts

You really cannot go camping efficiently if you don’t know how to hang things in a tent. Doing it well will save you time, space, and patience and will keep your tent clean. So what exactly are you waiting for?

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