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Proper setup of 2 man wall tents

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  • Proper setup of 2 man wall tents

    Mom & Me camp had some issues because a strong storm that blew through Saturday afternoon. they didnt get to the campsite until the storm was over. Almost all the cots were wet at her site. She described how the bottom corners of the tents with the grommets were stretched open. Is suspect that and the doors not being secured caused the problem. Everything was all set up for them because week long Webelos camp was the previous week. One mom from our pack slept in her minivan, one set up her own tent, and another went home and came back in the morning. My wife was a GS in CA her father is a Marine, so she stuck it out. At BS camp the other week we set up in a deluge and one of the tents was not right. The walls were not touching the ground and the corners we not laying right. We did not take the time to analyize the problem and just grabbed another. The ridge poll fit so is suspect the vertical poles were to long, but that does not explain why the corners did not lay right, in my mind. Do these tents experience shrinkage issues over time? I suppose if the guy lines were out to far that could cause a problem but they were not out farther than all the others that were fine. Also what is the proper method to secure those corners if you are expecting strong storms? Should you lace it up or six or so individual knots? The other problem she complained about was the strong stench of urine when she opened the doors. Lol. Strike one for letting cubs use wall tents. I guess they figured they could just pee in between the floor boards. I actually liked my wall tent, but may just bring my own for Dad & Lad in the middle of July. 98F and urine stench is were I draw the line.

  • #2
    For the most part, I see wall tents set up with platforms and cots already to go for summer camp One takes their chances on what they end up for the week, but there are a number of "features of a wall tent, that if sent up correctly, offers some nice "comfort".

    First of all the grommets in the corners are there for a reason. If set up correctly can be a god-send on a hot day. Unless the boys have cut them all off, the walls roll up as does the doors and fastened with the little ties.. This offers basically a fly. The breezes come through quite nice and makes the sleeping a ton more comfortable than being boxed in with no circulation.

    If "laced" properly, the corners can be quickly released to free up the walls, or be staked down in bad weather without blowing in the breeze, letting in rain. Tying off at each grommet means one is up to a half hour ordeal to release the walls instead of a 5 minute fix.

    If the tent is set up properly, one doesn't need the little ties, instead, tie a rope on the corner post (most of the time they don't have them, but they should. and then loop them over the pin on the top of each post that all one has to do is pull the rope tight and the wall pulls up in a matter of seconds. The four corner posts also offer some assistance when one daisy chains the grommets to close it up in bad weather. If done correctly with the lacing and full rig of the walls, the tent can be opened up and closed, FROM THE INSIDE.

    Also, when tying off everything tie always in a half bow. one loop, one long string. That way in the dark all one has to do is pull the sort tie and the knot always pops open.

    Also the tents were originally designed to have the fly OVER the tent, not as some dining fly extended out in front. With the rain fly, the "don't touch the canvas" rule doesn't apply anymore and one can touch it all you want, the rain fly is handling the rain, as the name implies.

    If one really doesn't mind the bit of extra effort, all the ropes to rig the wall grommets can be done quickly with dog clips. In a quick brewing storm it makes it nicer than trying to daisy chain the seam shut.

    If one wishes to jury rig a wall tent for a week at summer camp, bring a generous amount of parachute cord and 8 wall 2X2's with a 2" spike in the end that fit the tent grommets. That with nice long metal stakes, should hold your tent in even in the worst of weather. If the main uprights are too long... dig a hole and shorten them. If they aren't long enough a couple of equal diameter logs flat on one side will raise it. If staked down correctly, they won't slip off the wood. Otherwise put a stake next to the long and lash the pole to it so it won't slip.

    I have always heard many negative comments about the problems with these big wall tents, but if done correctly, will make your tent as comfortable (or more comfortable) as any cabin.

    Of course if the Cubs have been using the corner for a latrine, one can always move the tent. It takes only about 15 minutes with two people who know what they're doing. The platforms can be washed off and hit with a bit of Pine-Sol.

    And if the Cubbies have wet the bed, Fabreeze and a cheap mattress cover will take care of that problem.

    Part of being Prepared is just that, Be Prepared.
    Last edited by jblake47; 06-24-2013, 10:21 AM.


    • King Ding Dong
      King Ding Dong commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks. Good info. No corner posts on the ones we had at BS camp. No fly either. I have a pic and will post later from a PC. Might get accused of being "prissy" with a bottle of Fabreeze. Lol.

      The local camp for the cubs is close by so I may stop by for a hike this week and take a look at them. See if it is as bad as the women say.

  • #3
    Wiled away a fair amount of my youth in a wall tent with the sides and doors rolled up. Even spent a Jamboree in one in PA in 77, but that's another story.


    • qwazse
      qwazse commented
      Editing a comment
      Definitely the primary way to configure the tent. Bugs fly in one way and fly out any of three others. Perfect shade and ventilation for siesta. Still enough open at your head to enjoy the evening stars.

      Only problem: when you lay down for the night and discover some over-zealous scouter left the latrine lantern on and it's shining in your eyes!