I got my tent last night and set it up today. It was windy outside and a few snowflakes fell, so it wasn't the easiest to keep the Tyvek ground cloth on the ground. A few rocks kept it in place until I could get the tent over it and the two end stakes in place. After that it wasn't so hard. I got the first four stakes in and sat in the doorway, like I saw in the video on the website. I had to adjust the trekking poles longer, because I had collapsed them down to the shortest length. I won't need to do that next time since I have a good idea of where to put them for tent use.
The wind blew and the poles fell a few times, but I got them braced and stable. Then I got out and pulled the fly over and staked it down. I used seven of the eight stakes and would have used the eight stake for the wedge, but I just tied that off to a bush. I won't carry an extra pole for the wedge, so I'll plan to set up my tent where I can tie off to a tree or find a stray stick and still get a little extra view and air flow. If the weather is really crazy or cold I can remove the wedge and batten down tight with just the rain fly, but the wedge does make it easier to get in and out without getting rain inside the tent.
I took my shoes off to get inside the tent because they were full of goat head stickers. My yard is infested and my dog comes in from nearly every visit to the yard holding up a paw so I can get the sticker out. I hate those stickers. They truly are evil. Even with the ground cloth I could feel the stickers poking me through the bottom of the tent, so I hope there are no goat head stickers on the AT, or they could puncture my inflatable pad (my next purchase).
The ground cloth took me about five minutes to get in place using rocks to hold it down in the wind. Maggie hated the noise it made and hung back, worried. After that it took me eleven minutes to get the tent up. Not too bad for my first time and in the wind, too. The few snowflakes are hardly worth mentioning since they didn't stick. It might actually look like winter here soon, but I don't know if this storm has any energy to it. Guess I could check the weather report and see. I'd love to set my tent up on snow. As soon as I have the sleeping bag and sleeping mat, I'll sleep outside and see how it goes. I do also need a basic set of synthetic, silk or merino wool long johns and a warm beanie hat, wool socks and maybe gloves/mittens for sleeping. But I can probably get those at a thrift store. I can get something close enough to give me an idea of what will work. I want to get a sleeping bag liner as well, since I sleep cold and it will keep me five to ten degrees warmer while protecting my sleeping bag from dirty me.
I'll be posting the pictures of my tent in a few minutes, so go look at my pictures and I'll let you know when the sleeping bag comes.