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Military Instructions for Folding Cots

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Military cots allow soldiers to sleep off the ground rather than on the floor or in the dirt. Military cots are usually made of aluminum and are lightweight. The cots fold up into a small bag and they are light enough to carry without producing a burden on the soldier. Assembling and disassembling a military cot only takes a few minutes and you can accomplish it by yourself without the use of any tools.

Set Up

Remove the cot from the travel bag by sliding it out.

Unfold all six legs of the cot and the two side rails out and away from the body of the cot.

Extend the side rails by pulling them away from the center of the cot until the fabric is tight, lengthwise. At this point, the cot should be able to support itself and the fabric should be extended, lengthwise, until it is taut.

Locate the openings in each end of the cot's fabric and slide and end rail into each end of the cot.

Snap each end of the end rail into place by attaching it to the ends of the side rail. The side rail and end rail ends will snap together. The cot's fabric will now be tight fitting and the cot is now able to support you.

Break Down

Disconnect both of the end rails from the side rails by pulling the ends apart.

Remove both of the end rails from the openings in the fabric by sliding them out.

Slide the side rails back toward the middle of the cot until they slide in as far as possible. The cot will now be rather short.

Fold the cot in half, from side to side.

Fold the legs back down. Each leg can only fold in one direction: in toward the cot or out and away from the cot, so do not force them in a different direction. The legs will hold the side rails into place once they are folded up around the side rails.

Tuck any loose fabric in, or roll it around the legs, and then slide the cot back into the travel bag.


Based in Columbus, Ga., Ashley Hay has been covering animal health and wellness since 2004, and arts and entertainment since 2008. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in psychology from the University of Central Florida.