Unashamed confessions from a gear hoarder


#1

OK, please read at your own peril or navigate elsewhere now unless you share my tent fetish😂

Yes, I will never use up the tents I own and plan to own and I am totally OK with that.

No, I will (sadly!) probably never use any of my tents to their maximum abilty and I am kind of OK with that too.

However…

Speaking as someone who probably knows the first 15% there is to know about tents I remember how completely frightening and bewildering my first purchase was and how little really useful info was readily available to guide me.

What say, anyone who might not feel “worthy” of doing a full review but with worthwhile info or lessons learned worth sharing?


#2
  • The more pole-crossings there are, the stronger the tent
  • A big vestibule is always nice
  • Don’t use your fancy 4-season, bomb-proof hiking tent for car camping - the sun will shorten its lifespan significantly
  • Using a groundsheet under your tent will increase the lifespan of the floor

#3

Cheers for that, Arno!

I only very recently picked up on pole crossings. This is something one only understands many hours of research later and good luck finding this info on most websites.

Big / small / number of vestibules and entries also a point of compromise…weight vs the purpose of the tent and type of destination, right?

On car camping with the fancy tent I would rather shut up because that is something I would do because I can…

Footprint sheets are dawning on me because I see the practical application but local tents do not offer them so I am looking at sourcing / making them myself. I actually mailed K-Way / Cape Union Mart with a “what-the-hell enquiry…waiting to hear back from them.

Cheers!


#4

Ja, K-Way tents are lacking in the footprint department. Vango sells tent-specific footprints separately and First Ascent has a generic groundsheet, which is on the heavy side, but can be used for most tents. Naturehike tents come with a footprint.


#5

Mountain Hardwear also has dedicated footprints per tent…

I had a very fruitful outing to a fabric wholesaler this morning and identified 2 possible types of sheet. Will make up and test a few options for my K-Way Basecamp and report back with some piccies.

The one specific is a lovely tough heavy duty nylon taffeta or something that MIGHT just be suitable (light enough!) for hiking purposes IF it can roll or fold compactly.

Depending on the outcome I will probably do the same for my Nerolite 2 and 3 and eventual Kilimanjaro 2 person.

Will keep you guys posted!:+1:t2:


#6

Just one point on the pole crossing comment;

Yes it does make the tent stronger. Also bare in mind that tunnel tents (with zero pole crossings) are regularly used in alpine and arctic conditions. They are flipping strong.
(I don’t own a tunnel tent btw.)

Also doubling up on Arno’s comment about the big vestibule. Can’t punt this enough. I’ve spent so many nights on mountain tops, cooking in the vestibule while it’s raining horizontally outside.


#7

Rather descriptive…I imagine we are to interpret that as raining howling gales?:grinning:


#8

A lesson I learned the hard way was to use every anchor point on the tent. It only takes a minute or two to add the other 4 or so tent prys, but will save you the trouble of getting up in the early morning hours in sleet rain and a howling wind trying to prevent your tent from becoming airborne :hushed:

Still on this point, some times the ground is soft and you can’t anchor your tent security- find a couple of rocks and place it on top of the tent pegs. If the rocks are of sufficient weight your tent will survive a windy night.


#9

Good advice for us fair weather campers in moderate sites, thanks!

I am personally guilty of eye-balling conditions and tying down half or less of the guy ropes…I suppose I was lucky so far…


#10

Yip, good advice @Riaang. We spent 2 nights in Welbedacht Cave in the Cederberg waiting out a storm. When we got back to Algeria campsite, half the roof of the admin building was missing - they measured winds at 108km/h :dizzy_face: So, ja, use those guy ropes.