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sctmom

Tent storage

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To fold or not to fold? That is the question.

 

I have a "Ozark Trails" tent. Not a high quality tent, but I still want to NOT destroy it. It says it is made from "uv-poly-titanum", a "durable tent fabric."

 

Of course the instructions say to fold the tent. I hear some about that creating creases that will wear down easily. Do I fold or stuff? Or does it really matter with this low end tent?

 

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My information comes from a friend who owns one of the largest canoe outfitting concerns in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota, who owns hundreds of tents. He always instructs his customers to STUFF. It always baffles the newcomers who methodically start to fold the tents until we teach them. I would imagine the same applies to high or lowe end equipment.

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Hey MOM,

 

What is this about Ozark Trails being a "low end" tent?

 

Rememebr my retirement, (every day its a day closer) you go right ahead buying all your gear from Wal-Mart. The GreyEagle household has 5 Ozark Trail tents we bought from Wal-Mart and they are holding up fine.

 

BTW, on the advice of a "real outdoorsman" a gentleman for whom I have the upmost respect when dealing with outdoor topics I stuff my tents.(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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Just wanted some sage advice before I stuff my tent in front of the troop and "set a bad example" for the boys. :)

 

I always leave the tent door open when rolling it up, but another scouter insisted my son zip the tent door on his before rolling it up.

 

With enough duct tape and proper storage this tent should do just fine. Living in the south, I don't need a 4-season tent built for snow.

 

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I learn something new every day it seems. I have never heard of stuffing a tent before. It goes against the grain for sure! :)

 

But it does seem reasonable, and much easier to get in the bag that way (perhaps). it would come out wrinkled, but I don't think you get style points for a tent.

 

Brad

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I like the stuff method. It would make it a lot easier to pack up when breaking camp!

 

I always leave the tent door & windows "ajar" so I can get the air out. Packs tighter, ya know!

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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I'm more concerned with quick setup than quick breakdown. Just try setting up that stuffed tent in the rain. It ain't pretty, more often than not you will be sleeping in a puddle. Been there, done that, ain't doing it again.

 

I unashamedly fold. I've been told about the stuff thing and did it for a while but found absolutley no benefit over folding other than faster breakdown. My folded tents have never shown any ill effects from being folded and I camp MUCH more than once a month.

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My method is to stuff. I think that it is better for the tent in the long run. I also think that for the younger boys it is easier to stuff than to fold or roll.

 

As to zip or not to zip the doors I read in Backpacker Magazine, and it makes perfect sense, to zip the doors. If it is raining when you're setting up the tent you will get less water inside if the doors are zipped.

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I go by the manufacturers recommendation, but most nylon type tents are a stuff. I leave the doors open about 6 inches to let air out and avoid ballooning, and to keep the weather out during set-up.

Bob

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Okay, I don't mean to nitpick here, but when you guys say "fold", does that include rolling it to slide it into one of those cylindrical storage bags? I have a Eureka 4-season with a huge vestibule, and I always gently roll it around my pole bag while saying soothing kindly things to it, then I glide it into the storage bag like slipping my baby girl into a receiving blanket (okay, she's 8, but still my baby girl). Am I hurting my tent? Is the "no fold" admonition a throwback to the canvas days?

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My tent instructions are like Koreascout explains....fold a couple of times so it is the width of the pole bag, then tightly roll it around the pole bag, and carefully put it in the carry bag. My carry bag has a big zipper down the long side of the bag. If it is not rolled tightly, you can't get the thing zipped. I'm also a little concerned about stuffing it and the tent getting caught in the zipper.

 

Since I only car camp, when breaking camp, if weather is bad or I'm tired, I roll / fold the thing up the best I can and throw it on top of the other gear in the back of my van. I'll need to set it up at home anyway.

 

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Yeah if its raining during break down I use the "Cram and Scram" method too.

 

That zipper thing bothers me. I'd replace the bag with an oversized stuff sack.

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These tents with the zipper type bag are made so the tent just BARELY fits in it from the factory. So imagine the fun of getting that tent in it again after use. Like folding a road map! Sometimes I end up leaving it half unzipped just out of frustration.

 

Actually I do have a various assortment of other bags that would work, including an old stuff sack from a now-long-gone tent. I'm such a pack-rat, I save all the pieces that might be used for something else later. I also picked up a canvas miltary type bag at the Army Surplus store for something else, but ended up it didn't work for that. Hmmm...okay time to do some equipment rearranging this weekend in time for camping season.

 

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I think it is OK to fold a tent when carrying it. If you want to prolong the tent, try and fold it so it doesn't crease in the same place. That's really the down side to folding, if you fold it in the same place all the time, it will break down the coating. Now, when STORING, always stuff in a large bag. I stuff mine in a large laundry bag. Happy camping!

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