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Technical - Tents
- Found 15 faqs. Displaying 1 to 10
With modern polyester and nylon tents, it is not generally necessary to proof your tent on an annual basis. If you use your tent frequently, you may notice that when it rains, water is no longer forming into small balls and running off your flysheet, it is giving the fabric a wet look. This is due to the water repellent finish on the outside of your flysheet having been worn off (either through dissolving in rain, or rubbed of as you pitch & strike the tent). Whilst this does not affect the waterproofness of your tent, it may take it longer to dry. Hence the application of a water resistant finish, such as Storm Waterproofer, will restore the water shedding properties to your tent.
Having a good level of airflow circulating through your tent, will reduce the effects of condensation. Therefore, make sure all the vents in your tent are open. If you are in and around the tent, then roll the doors open. At night it is advisable to close the midge net door on your inner, but leave the fabric door partially open, as this will also help the air to circulate.
There is no right or wrong way of doing this - find a method that works for you, and stick to it. Remember to leave your inner tent doors slightly open before folding or rolling to prevent air being trapped inside; this also applies to flysheets with sewn-in groundsheets, and obviously fold or roll towards the door, to allow air to escape. Have the tent bag beside you as you fold the tent, so you know what size you are aiming for!
The simple answer, is as much as you can afford. Like most products, the more you pay, the more you are going to get. The important considerations are:
How many people are going to use the tent, and how many bedrooms are you going to need? I would suggest that each person in a family tent will need a space for an airbed, which will be around 80cm wide for a single, and 140cm wide for a double, both are around 195 cm long. Some manufacturers use a little artistic licence when describing the number of people you can get into a tent, so check that you can fit in the required number of beds.
What are the weather conditions likely to be? If you plan to use the tent in the UK in spring and autumn then you will need something that is both sturdier, to withstand the weather, and something that is a little larger, so that you can live in the tent when the conditions are inclement. If you are planning to camp near the sea, or in an exposed location, check out the guying system on the tent and make sure that it can be securely attached to the ground in readiness for that afternoon sea breeze or sudden squall. If you plan to use the tent in warmer conditions then you are more likely to sit outside the tent, but check the tent has plenty of ventilation options so that it is more comfortable at night.
Don’t forget that your budget may need to allow for items such as sleeping bags, air beds, a stove, chairs etc. in order to get the most from your holiday.
Finally, seek the advice of your local retailer. They offer a range of tents and most are happy to answer your questions and advise what products are best suited to your needs.
Most reputable tent brands, will supply pegs that match the suggested usage of the tent, however, some will be supplied with pegs that are suited only for ideal ground and weather conditions. It can be worthwhile investing in a few, more substantial pegs to be able to deal with both soft and hard ground. This also has the advantage of providing spares, as pegs will not last for ever. Bashing pegs in with a mallet, hitting stones below the surface, tripping over the pegs, or standing on them, will bend them and ultimately they will need to be replaced.
A SIG is a sewn in groundsheet. This means that either the flysheet, or living area of your tent, will have a groundsheet permanently sewn in to it. This helps create a draught free, and insect free environment, inside your tent.
The simple answer is ‘Yes’. Not only in direct sunlight, but also on bright days the fabric of all tents will degrade. The speed it will degrade is based on a number of factors; camping near the sea or at altitude will accelerate the speed of degradation. Some fabrics contain UV inhibitors to slow the rate of degradation. Some colours, particularly reds and purples, but not all reds and purples, degrade faster than other colours. Today most tents are tested for UV degradation, but the weather is not predictable and as such it is not possible to indicate how long a tent will last. In some conditions, a tent may last for 15 years, but the same tent may only last 6 weeks in say, equatorial Africa.
Contact your local camping shop or www.tentspares.co.uk, who will be able to sell you a section of the correct diameter. You can then thread off the damaged section, cut the new one to the same length, and re-thread it on to your pole.
Hydrostatic head is the measure of resistance that the tent fabric has to a column of water penetrating it. In other words, its waterproofness. When choosing a tent there are two considerations, the waterproofness of the flysheet and the groundsheet. The flysheet is exposed to the rain and the wind, but tests have shown that even in the worst conditions, a hydrostatic head of 800mm is sufficient to prevent rain being forced through the fabric. However, the level of waterproofness of a tent will fall as it is used, hence the lowest level I would recommend you purchase is 1,500mm for a flysheet. A groundsheet needs to be able to withstand much higher levels of water pressure as when you walk across a groundsheet or kneel on it, especially on wet ground the pressure can be equivalent to a water column of 3,000mm or more. Hence for a family tent, I would suggest 5,000mm is the minimum you should be looking for. In the manufacture of lightweight tents the waterproof coatings on groundsheets can be enhanced with additional finishes, such as a silicone treatment, or are reduced to decrease the weight of the tent.
Yes it is. All nylon tent fabrics, and to some extent polyester, will expand when wet, and contract again when dry. You can regulate this to suit the conditions, by adjusting the guylines, and anchor straps on your tent.
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