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Posted by treks-trips-trails on August 8, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Where can I find the model name on my tent?

 Each tent has a 2″ x 4″ white tag inside the tent door beneath the zipper stating which model it is. You can also find the model name on a small white tag by running your fingers along the edge of the rain fly.

 Is it better to roll or stuff a tent for a backpacking trip?

 By rolling, you can gently push the air out to make the tent more compact and to make it fit into the stuff bag. A rolled tent is also easier to set up. However, folding and rolling a tent can crease it in the same place each time, eventually damaging the waterproof coating along the fold. Stuffing the tent will distress the coating evenly throughout the tent.

 What is the expected life of a tent with average usage?

 The average expected life of a tent is 7-10 years, using it 2-3 times a year. One usage is considered 3-7 days at a time. Taking good care of your tent is a big factor in determining the tent’s life.

 How do polyester tents differ from nylon tents?

 Polyester has been shown to be much more resistant to ultraviolet damage and abrasion than nylon fabrics. Polyester also has better structural integrity – it doesn’t stretch or sag when wet from rain, snow or dew, which means the inner tent stays protected and dry.

 What is the difference between 3-season and 4-season tents?

 Four season tents are designed to withstand wind stress and snow loads better than three season tents by having additional frame sections for stability. They have 7000 series aircraft aluminum frames, and 2.4 oz. fabrics vs. the 1.9 oz. used in our standard tents. Extra stakeout points help to secure the tents in high winds. Quick-release buckles allow you to set up the tent quickly in extreme conditions.

 While You’re Camping

 How easy is it to set up a tent?

Today’s lightweight self-supporting tents are easy to set up. Nylon tents weigh about half of what their canvas counterparts weighed, so right off the bat you’re working with a fabric that is easy to handle. Shock-cords running through the poles pre-connect all the pieces within a pole section. There’s no guessing as to how many pieces make up a pole section. The self-supporting compression arch framework that is formed in setting up the pole sections lends structure and support during set-up. Once up, the tent can be easily moved and positioned in the best location prior to staking it down.

What else other than UV could damage my tent?

Chemical contaminants can also damage your tent. These substances include insect repellents, stove fuel, hair sprays, fruit juices, and acid from leaky flashlight batteries. Keep these items away from your tent at all times.

Sand or dirt can erode a zipper until it fails to close. If you use your tent in sandy soil, clean the zippers frequently by flushing them with fresh water.

Acid rain can harm tent fabric. Rinsing with fresh water from a garden hose will limit the damage. This will usually clean your tent adequately as well. If you must wash your tent, use a soft sponge or cloth with a mild soap and lukewarm water solution. Never use washing machines, dryers, or detergents. These will damage the tent’s waterproof coating or seams.

What is the purpose of the rain fly?

 The rain fly serves as the protection over the permeable portion of the tent. In all nylon tents the rain fly is an integral part of the total tent system. The water repellant roof cloth allows heat and water vapor to move out of the tent helping to minimize condensation. The waterproof fly (outer layer) provides rain protection and traps condensation. If a lot of condensation has collected on the inside of your fly, we suggest that you remove the fly and shake off the moisture to avoid having it drop on to the roof cloth. In addition, the rain fly also protects the breathable roof cloth from ultraviolet damage, so it’s a good idea to keep it on, even when it’s not raining.

What does condensation have to do with my tent?

 Through perspiration and breathing, an adult gives off about a pint of water overnight. When you sleep in a tent, this water vapor is trapped. If it cannot escape, water vapor reappears as condensation. A tent’s permeable roof allows the vapor to evaporate through the roof to the outside, keeping the inside of the tent dry. The tent windows should also be left partially open at night. Cross ventilation allows excess moisture to escape, reducing condensation. Cross ventilation becomes more important in very humid or extremely cold conditions when the permeable roof is less effective.

 Will nylon leak if you touch it while it’s raining?

 Nylon, unlike canvas, will not leak if touched while it’s raining. Polyurethane coatings on nylon tents prevent water from passing through. Capillary action in canvas tents allows water to enter when touched.

What are the advantages of clips and rod pockets?

 Clips and rod pockets provide added stability to a dome style tent. In addition, ventilation is also improved—air is able to circulate more freely, due to the open area the clips create, between the tent wall and fly.

How do I stake down my tent?

All tents need to be staked down to keep them from blowing away. Securing the tent by placing heavy objects inside is just not adequate.

Once the tent body is erected, stake it out before the fly is put on. This enables you to square the tent up to ensure that the fly goes on properly and that the seams align with the frame. Pull the base of the tent taut between each web stake out loop or ring & pin. Make sure that all corners are square. It is important that you don’t stake the tent out too tightly. You will know it’s too tight if the door zippers cannot be easily operated. Drive stakes through the web loops, or with ring & pin; drive the stake just outside the ring so that the “J” hook catches it. Tie a piece of cord or web into a loop through the ring to be used as a large stake loop if needed.

With the tent properly staked, drape the fly over the frame; attach its tent connection points and stake down any pullouts.

Do not attempt to remove the stakes by pulling on the tent becket loop, as this could cause the fabric to tear. The best way is to pry on the stake itself.

What about staking in special conditions?

 SAND: Long broad stakes with plenty of surface area are ideal in loose, sandy soil.

HARD, ROCKY, OR FROZEN SOIL: Steel stakes work well in these conditions. Store steel stakes separately. If stored with your tent; the sharp edges can cut the fabric. Steel stakes can also leave rust stains, which might damage your tent.

SNOW: Use “dead man” anchors – bury objects (branches, tent bags, or stuff sacks filled with snow) that have a great deal of surface area. Tents can also be tied to snow shoes, skis, or ski poles, which are stuck in the snow.

Do I need to use guylines? How do I guy out my tent?

When high winds or a storm are predicted, do not count on staking alone to keep your tent secure. Depending on the model, your tent fly has built-in loops or rings at optimal guyout locations. It’s important to put in the extra time guying out your tent. Correctly done, it can save your tent during harsh weather.

 Attach parachute cord to the loops/rings and stake them in the ground three or four feet from the edge of the tent. If staked too close to the tent, wind can cause an upward pull that could dislodge the stakes.

Make sure that the top fly is securely attached to the framework underneath. Ties, hook and loop closures, or dog-bones and elastic loops are typical fasteners sewn to the underside of the fly for this purpose.

If your tent does not have loops or rings for guyouts, attach guylines 1/3 or 1/2 of the way up the framework on the main sidewalls. This enables the guyline to support the lower section of the pole, while the upper pole can flex the side of the guyout. This will prevent all movement except toward the anchor. The idea is to get the guylines to work together through opposition.


When You Get Home

 What is the best way to store your tent?

 Color Transfer

 Due to the nature of tent fabrics, color can transfer from darker fabric to lighter fabric if two colors are in contact over time when wet, damp, or exposed to the combination of moisture and high heat. This does not affect a tent’s performance. To prevent/minimize color transfer from occurring, always make sure that your tent is completely dry prior to packing and storage.


 Make sure the tent is completely dry, then store loosely rolled, in a dry, cool place. To prevent dust from collecting on the tent, cover it with a cloth. This allows the nylon/polyester fabric to breathe.

 Ideally, the tent poles should be stored in their fully assembled state. This reduces the tension on the shock cord, prolonging its life. We recommend that the tent bag be used only as a carry sack and not for storage.

 How can I change a zipper slider?

 Loosen the stitching at the end of the zipper, where the slider is positioned when the zipper is fully unzipped. Rather than using zipper stops (metal fittings), we simply tuck the end of the zipper into the seam.

Once the end is freed from the seam and can lie out flat, you will be able to unzip the original slider off the track.

Fit a new slider back onto the track, and then re-stitch the seam to complete the repair. If you are in need of a new slider, you can call our Customer Service Department and we will send you a slider kit, free of charge.

How can I replace the shock-cord in a tent pole?

Make sure to keep the poles in the correct order. This will not be successful if they aren’t.

Cut the old cord and pull it out, or if it’s already snapped, just shake out the cord.

Take one end of the shock-cord and knot it off, then feed it through all of the pole sections, and put the pole together so it’s one long piece.

Pull the shock-cord taut and tie a knot at the end, and then drop it back into the pole. Be careful not to cut any excess off because your pole may not be tight enough.

With the excess hanging out of the end, and the knot inside the end of the pole, break down your tent pole into individual sections, ant then put it back together. They should pull right together if this is done correctly, but you don’t want your poles snapping together, because this can cause the shock-cord to be cut again.

If there are rough or sharp edges at the ends of your poles, a piece of sandpaper will work to make them more smooth.

What does it mean when my tent sticks together?

When your tent sticks together, it means that the waterproofing on your tent is getting older. When this happens, the natural portions of the waterproofing break down, and this is what causes the stickiness. If this happens, please follow instructions on how to re-waterproof your tent given in the next question.

How can my tent be re-waterproofed?

We recommend the use of Aquaseal® Polycoat for re-waterproofing your tent. Be sure to check directions on the side of the container for specifics before beginning the waterproofing process.

 Apply in a well-ventilated area.

All surfaces to be coated must be clean & dry.

Use a medium bristle brush and spread evenly.

When applying to coated fabrics, always apply to the side opposite from that which is coated. This means that you should be applying Polycoat to the outside of your tent.

One application is all that is necessary for the majority of the tent. Heavy traffic areas (such as tent floors) may need two coats.

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