Little tent, big wind.

8:37 p.m. on February 13, 2013 (EST)
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"Gale warning in effect." Pretty much sums up our winter. We've had many days of sustained 100k/60mph winds with gusts in the 120-140k/75-85mph range. Now, my current practice is just not to be out in 100k winds, and I think I'll stick with that approach. But what if?

I know some of you have solid alpine tents designed for strong winds, but just suppose you had a sub 3 pound tent and a wind like that came up unexpectedly. (This tent has seen 85k/50mph winds with no trouble, but 120k/75mph and up is a different beast altogether.)

Assuming a person has already found what windbreak they can, oriented properly, staked and guyed their very best, are there any other tricks that might avoid catastrophic tent failure?

Also, what form would that failure probably take? Would the fly rip apart? Would the aluminum poles break, or would they just bend?

Is there a point at which you wouldn't put the tent up at all, or if the wind came up later, a point when you'd take the tent down? If you did have it up, are there warning signs you'd be watching for?

9:16 p.m. on February 13, 2013 (EST)
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Great question, I am interested to hear the answers you get.

4:33 a.m. on February 14, 2013 (EST)
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Wind exploits imperfections. It will provide all the required stress to load a given weakness in stitching or imprecision in radius past its working limit, which would likely lead to fabric failure first, followed very quickly by pole failure.

If I knew the sh1t was about to hit the fan, I'd add mid-panel tieouts (the clip-on kind), and tie small loops of 1/4" shock-cord into my guylines for a bit of give. Alternatively, I'd use cordage with a good amount of stretch for the guy-lines, 550 cord, basically.

I'd also try to rig up an internal bracing system out of 550 cord.

I suppose I'm assuming that since its a 3-season tent, it won't be built to resist very high winds--I think anything used to reinforce the tent structure should have some stretch if only to prevent the guyline from ripping out at the tent...

I have a Hilleberg Akto for nasty conditions, and it goes up pretty easily...I've seen video of people trying to set up tents on the bluffs of Scotland and Ireland, and that does not look fun...if the car was 5 miles away at that point, I might just walk it out...

Yeah, and as far as once the shelter's up, I suppose if at some point I "knew" the tent was not oriented "correctly" to the wind, or if the wind direction changed, I might try to adjust things. Also, if things all of a sudden appear to be "looser" than before, it's often a sign a stake has moved or has come out completely.

6:39 a.m. on February 14, 2013 (EST)
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If the terrain is flat as far as you can see on the ground or map, you probably have to put it up and probably have to stay inside when the monsters come. In that case, prayer might help. I have been forced out twice, once ending up sleeping on a ledge with a broken tent wrapped around me and the other time sleeping between two boulders with the tent draped over the gap, held down with rocks.

Now I just speak softly (respect to the weather) and carry a big tent.

8:39 a.m. on February 14, 2013 (EST)
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I have had one experience like that. I didnt know what to do, so I pulled my stakes and poles then rolled up in my tent, with my pack and gear. Not the best solution, but it worked and I stayed dry and warm. I was hopin somebody knew a secret that I didnt.

7:46 p.m. on February 14, 2013 (EST)
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Some tentmakers use internal pole-to-pole cords to help spread stress.

See my thread and photos in "GEAR SELECTION" on how I bought a heaver duty pole for my main pole and moved Scarp 2 crossing poles inside the fly. Those mods plus guying at each side and each end should permit me to withstand 150 kph winds.

But, in the worst of a storm you and any friends in the tent may have to lean against the poles on the windward side to give them support. Not a fun thing to do but it may be necessary to prevent pole breakage. A few hours of this and you will not want to ever do it again.

And as Hotdogman said, when in extremis, rolling up in your tent may be the best survival solution.

5:47 p.m. on February 15, 2013 (EST)
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A 'friend' wanted some company along to try out his new tent (Stephenson) in a blow.  Forecast in Southern California was terrible - good time sez he.

In some really rotten weather, we pitched the tent on an exposed portion of Mt Baldy (Mt San Antonio) east side at around 9600'.  Put up a temporary rock wind break and bomber connections to the mountain - not just a rock, then settled in to see what would happen.  We built an emergency wind break a few feet away that we could exit to if paranoia set in.  A bit of over engineering was tying our harness into a bolt outside.

We would have gotten stronger winds well down in a canyon, but we didn't want the risk of fire along with a 'fun' outing.

You sort of have to be through a significant 'Santa Ana' (katabatic) wind system to appreciate how bad a night or day can become quickly.  A major high north east of us on the deserts was forecast and severe wind advisories to canyons near the mountains were broadcast.  The cities below were pounded.

I'll not soon volunteer again for that.  We spent the night pushing against the windward side when the direction changed with large extended gusts. We were expecting at any minute to be balled up and sent tumbling down the hill. It also gave us something to do. And seemed fruitless, but it was getting harder to deal the cards. It was relatively easy to keep the tent taut from inside.  But WOW! still noisy and we were being pelted with rocks and sand. The bare rocks around us were roaring from wind passing across them.

At no time were we tempted to bail and be on our own in that wind and sand blast. The hoops didn't deform, the tent didn't flatten except a small amount when a gust came from the sides. Under wind stress from the rear of the tent, it seemed to just hunker down a bit.

In a call to the maker he chastised us for a stupid trick without the tent's designed internal support for winds that high.  We didn't really have a clue how fast they were.  But he assured us that since we lasted the night, we were in no danger and should have just slept through it.  Yeah - raight.

8:56 p.m. on February 15, 2013 (EST)
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well, failure can take a variety of forms.  very high winds or very heavy snow put a lot of stress on tent fabric and can simply rip it.  once it starts ripping in a high wind, the tent can get torn to pieces.  poles can bend or snap from weight or high winds.  guy lines that seemed very secure may not be doing so well after your tent is buffeted by high winds & hours of high-speed flapping works the guy lines loose.  

the bottom line is that no matter how 'bomber' your tent is, the wrong weather conditions can destroy any tent.  if the weather is that bad, your best bet is to postpone the trip.  if you have enough snow to dig a cave, that presents other challenges (suffocation, hypothermia) but does shield you from the wind.    

9:33 p.m. on February 15, 2013 (EST)
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Tornados in Iowa

Two little stories

First one is my first daughters little kids tent $15. We were out camping and in the middle of the night came the warnings. We went to the bathrooms and took cover. The tornado went though the camp ground. We got the all clear and returned to camp. My large canvas tent had taken a beating but was still up, but wet inside and out. My daughter crawed back into hers and went back to sleep. I checked it out in the morning and she, and all was bone dry.

Second story.

I had just become homeless, bought a cheap Coleman dome tent. That night the warnings were coming in. Then the park ranger told me that there were 3 tornados moving toward the camp grounds. He said I should go. I told him I would stay with the tent. The tent colapsed and went back to form all 2-3 hours. I did put a sock in one corner were I saw a leak. In the morning campers had been over turned. Trees up lifted. And there was 2-3 inches of water around this tent. I was high and dry.

There were no guy lines on these tents. The poles were FG. I used that Coleman for the next ten years.

Moral of the two stories: Not a clue.

But maybe If it works keep it!

8:32 a.m. on February 16, 2013 (EST)
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The only time I have seen 60+ mph winds was winter camping.  Even if our tents could bear such wind, the flapping noise would be so loud as to make you crazy.  We only stayed in tents when digging a cave was not an option.  If we fear tent failure, and had no alternative, collapse the tent – not a comfortable shelter, but better than a shredded tent.

Tent failure modes are unpredictable, as tent design, alignment to the wind, kind of wind, site selection and skill used to erect and protect the tent all play a part.  But the typical failure points are

Tent peg and guy line anchor points where they attach to the tent.

Seams where pole pockets or pole attachment points meet the tent.

Tent poles where they meet the pole ferrules.

---------------------- 

leadbelly2550 said:

..if you have enough snow to dig a cave, that presents other challenges (suffocation, hypothermia) but does shield you from the wind.    

Actually a snow cave is usually quite a bit warmer than a tent on snow.  The snow insulates you from nightly low temperatures.  The closer you dig to the ground the warmer the cave becomes.  You can often strip down to your wool or fleece shirt and still be comfortable.

2:39 p.m. on February 17, 2013 (EST)
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I vote for staying home!

6:17 p.m. on February 17, 2013 (EST)
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If you are out in winter with snow on the ground, I'd go with a snow cave, quinzee or igloo before a tent. I have limited experience with a snow cave, but once we dug it out, which took a few hours because it had to be big enough for seven of us, it was totally stormproof and quiet. It was dug into a mountain with a slope at maybe a 30-45 degree angle and dug in pretty far as I recall.

No experience with either igloos or quinzees, but Igloo Ed (who makes the igloo tool) has plenty and can attest to their sturdiness compared to a tent. I can't imagine them not being better given the materials and the shape compared to any tent.

If none of those are practical, I'd dig as far down as I could to protect the tent as much as possible with a snow wall. I think my tent (five poles, freestanding) would fare pretty well in heavy weather, but I would still want to protect it as best I could.

These photos are from two different trips to Yosemite, but the same area-near Dewey Point. There is more snow in the smaller one, but you can see I dug it in both times, although much deeper in the smaller photo.


IMG_2172.jpg

 


camp.jpg

11:50 a.m. on February 18, 2013 (EST)
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About 20 years ago I did a six month winter trip along the west coast of Hudson Bay, from Churchill Manitoba to Igloolik, in what is now Nunavut.

The first couple of weeks in, I was camped in a small grove of trees at the mouth of the North Knife River just north of Button Bay and almost directly at the tree line. After setting up camp I decided to go for a walk with only my camera. A wind picked up strong and fast from the north and suddenly I was in a total whiteout. It was very difficult to stand up let alone walk and I fell down several times due to the wind. I spent several hours trying to locate my camp before finally looking for shelter along an ice ridge. I spent a most uncomfortable time waiting out the storm. After a couple of days of sitting in what amounted to a hole in the snow, the winds were calm and I found my camp almost completely buried in a snow drift.

My tent was a North Face VE24 with the original snow tunnel/windows. After digging out I was releaved to find the tent none the worse for wear.
014.jpg
I was also happy to find my food and stove, and started immediately to brew up some tea.

Good times! 

2:57 p.m. on February 19, 2013 (EST)
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Thank you all, good information and great stories! Our internet's been out for a bit due to, you guessed it, high winds. This time gusts in some places were 170km/h! That's over 100 miles per hour. At what point are you beyond hurricane and into a really really big tornado? We build for wind over here, but still some destruction. A bus full of people got lifted off the road, nobody hurt, but nearby one poor fellow is in hospital because he stepped outside and the wind picked him up and threw him over his deck.

I don't camp in that and hope I never have to. I have walked in it, and it gets a bit scary when you actually can't breathe without cupping your hands around your face, because the wind sucks the air out of your lungs. Then the difficulties caused by weighing 100 pounds...I've had to crawl on my hands and knees quite a few times.

However, even we consider that extreme. 80-90 kmh, though, is kind of normal. I've managed fine in that so far, but always found decent windbreak. Now I have some good tips from you fine folks: add shockcord to the guys, build snow or rock walls, and don't hesitate to take it down and sleep wrapped in the fly if the alternative is tent annihilation.

North1, that is one heck of a story. Two days in a snowbank! You are obviously both lucky and tough, a good backcountry combination.

Correction: the evening news tells me 188 kmh, or 117 mph. Category 3 hurricane. Crikey.

6:20 p.m. on February 19, 2013 (EST)
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snow caves can keep you out of very cold temperatures, true.   but hypothermia is still a very real issue with them - first because they are still cold, just not as cold as the frigid outside air, and second, because between digging them out (arduous) and dripping, it's not uncommon to end up damp/wet and therefore at increased risk of getting chilled. 

1:22 a.m. on February 20, 2013 (EST)
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Uh oh! The last time someone on here talked about camping in high winds (I believe it was a hurricane), he was never heard from again :-o

8:27 p.m. on February 20, 2013 (EST)
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leadbelly2550 said:

snow caves can keep you out of very cold temperatures, true.   but hypothermia is still a very real issue with them - first because they are still cold, just not as cold as the frigid outside air, and second, because between digging them out (arduous) and dripping, it's not uncommon to end up damp/wet and therefore at increased risk of getting chilled. 

A snow cave in itself does not present any additional risk or exposure to hypothermia compared to other sheltering options.  A tent or other surface shelter will leave you more vulnerable to heat loss.  In any case if you are at risk for hypothermia in a snow cave, you either did not bring enough warm gear, or are did something wrong that undermined the effectiveness of your warm gear, or experienced an accident that rendered your gear ineffective. 

The two times I experienced exposure were both extraordinary circumstances: the first was stupidity. I went day hiking away from camp with insufficient warm gear, got caught out in a near freezing rain and ended up hypothermic; the second circumstance was caused by bad weather pinning us down in camp for ten days, causing us to exhaust our food provisions. Actually we didn’t degrade into hypothermia, but some members of the team sustained frostbite.

If you make your layers wet with sweat while digging a cave, you should be: 1, digging less vigorously; 2, peeling off layers to permit excess heat to escape your body, and precluding your layers from getting soaked with sweat in the first place.

If you are getting wet from wallowing in the snow while digging the cave, wear a hard shell and minimal layers underneath.  Use digging techniques that minimize spalling snow all over the place.  Minimize contact with snow surfaces and use your shovel and tools to work with the snow whenever possible, instead of your hands.

If you have a dripping problem, you need to refine the shape of the cave's  ceiling to eliminate contours that encourage drips.  Sometimes a poorly vented cave will build up enough heat to cause the snow to melt.  Adding more ventilation will help manage this issue.  But sometimes it is just too warm to dig a cave, as profuse surface snow melt may percolate down into the pack and overwhelm you in your shelter.  In 2002 I went on a mid February solo trip to the Minarets in the Sierra.  The day time temperature in the shade got to the low 50s.  I made the mistake of digging my cave on a slope receiving direct sun.  I ended up digging another cave in a shaded location.  Rain can also chase you out of a snow cave.  I have never had that dilemma, but I have been told that you can deal with this by draping a poly tarp over the snow surface that forms the roof of your cave.   Sounds sketchy IMO.

Ed

1:15 p.m. on March 1, 2013 (EST)
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This will be a great page one day :D

 It would help Islandess if you placed your about locations for camps anyway. Like the 36 kinds of snow there is different wind.

The best tents i know of for high wind is the Native American Tee Pee, however i have seen them fail in tornadoes and hurricanes, but not ALL of them failed. Of course even a small 14 footer is to heavy for 1 person to pack.

Perhaps a modern 'Leanpee' single pole shelter made of lighter more modern materials might work, but only to a point.

Another shelter type that i witnessed stand up to a tornado is a tarp diamond shelter, which was set very low. Just about everything else was smashed, busted up and torn to bits.

The location was Bledso St Pk in Tn. for a 'Primitive Eastern.

Straight line winds I have seen on the summit cone of Mt Washington have been in excess of 125 mph... IMO there is no tent that could stand that wind period, and if there is, you couldn't set it up in that wind at all.

I no longer recall the year or the exact date but it would have been in the middle 70's and from New years Eve to the last full moon of February.

I do recall it being in dusk, full blown white out and waking into a weatherman out for his evening stroll. When I state walking into a man I mean I crashed physically into his body because we were invisible to one another in the wind and blowing snow.

In the early 90's i recall being camped on Lk Ontario during a summer T storm and the winds blew the rain so hard that water came thru both rain fly and the nylon walls of a dome tent I no longer recall the brand of.

I recall sitting with a fixed blade knife in my hand in case the tent did blow down and break up, so I could get out. The whole point of staying inside the tent was just the attempt to save if from blowing into the lake.

The alloy poles did take a set and stayed that way until I sold that tent years later. My canoe was loaded with lake weeds of all sorts and very hard to find. I was lucky it was not wrecked being it was a WW-1 vintage Old Town Otka. All I could do was tie it down well... That boat was so full of weeds that at first i did believe it was gone.

 

Winter camping in the Whites: IMO tents are just a plain bad idea there. But i am reconsidering things myself. Must come with age.

I have woken up buried in deeper snow than I knew it to be, and dizzy, which says i almost never woke up at all.

Since that time i never used a tent again and used assorted bivey sacks pre gortex, and when gortex came to be i used them, and dug what we called a grave site, which was to get just under the wind.

Over to Thunderstorm Jct mid way between My Madison and Mt Adams, I encountered a ice block igloo, which was very well made. On that day I was a sub for the RMC care taker, and Pinkham Notch had radioed in requesting a search go out for lost hikers at the Madison AMC shelter.

Pinkham cautioned me as to the temp -20, wind speed 96 and gusting more, and the wind chill being something like -96 below.

I will admit it was a little brisk. At the time the RMC camp known as Grayknob (the old one) had one guest named Chris. He wanted to come with me if i went and so we both went.

On the way we tripped over the igloo and went in for a rest and to eat. I still have 35mm slides of this shelter from the inside, and just one of the outside since it is nearly invisible from the outside in the weather.

This is the trip i came as close as i ever have to get frost bite. At the time I didn't know parts of my face were exposed, and i only found out after seeing the slides my first time.

The point is that igloo was all sorts of warm and toasty inside compared to what was going on 12 inches on the other side of the ice blocks.

It is my hope to some how convert these slides in good quality to be digital images soon.

A reason for that is because the day before i was standing in about the same spot in blue skies later in the afternoon. Other reasons are I took pictures of strange markings I have not seen before, except one. The one I have seen before is a simple equilateral triangle painted on the summit stone of Mt Adams.

So I have no idea who built this igloo in a few hours of darkness when a storm came brewing, and find the entire event strange to this day, and I also hope to re-discover Chris somehow...

 

 I could go on about wind, but perhaps this post has enough of my wind as it is now! (sorry)

5:01 p.m. on March 1, 2013 (EST)
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That post was a little long-winded!!!.......sorry, couldn't resist ;)

5:32 p.m. on March 1, 2013 (EST)
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Never you mind, Lodge Pole. Long-winded, well maybe, but a lot more pleasant to navigate than what's outside the door here. :)

Good point on the different species of wind. Even if it's the same according to the weatherman, it sure isn't the same on the ground.

Right now I'm in northeastern Newfoundland, on the eastern side of the Northern Peninsula. Which means I'm one heck of a lot closer to Greenland than I am to Montreal. So Greenland was the last land this wind saw before it got here.  Only icebergs (like in my shiny new avatar pic!) have any hope of slowing it down. Yup, it gets chilly. I'm hoping the 190km/h blow we had a few days ago was this season's peak.

I also spend a lot of time in parts of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia that seem a bit more like North America. Here, it's pure Labrador Current, no Gulf Stream. If you look at a map, you'll see that Nova Scotia and southern/western Newfoundland are like a geological catcher's mitt for hurricanes and tropical storms. The difference isn't just temperature, it's gustiness. There, the gusts will knock you over and take your coat. Here, the sustained wind will suck the breath out of your lungs. Literally. Like trying to breath with your head out a car window at highway speeds. Scary, sometimes.

That's the stuff for whiteouts, as you know. Not a bit surprised by your story of walking smack into somebody. I've been unable to see my own hand while it was wiping my nose. True story! We rope ourselves to stuff sometimes.

So now I'm the long-winded one :)

Really what I wanted to talk about was your bent poles. Does anybody know if they can or should be forcibly straightened afterwards? We have a tool used to straighten copper pipes. I suppose the poles are weakened once they're bent,  so would straightening them do more harm or good?

6:29 p.m. on March 1, 2013 (EST)
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LodgePole said:

I recall sitting with a fixed blade knife in my hand in case the tent did blow down and break up

You must be made of nails!

There was this guy I knew back in the day who arranged these gonzo trips into nasty weather.  I later determined he had a death wish.  I went on ONE trip with him. I state this emphatically, to indicate I learned my lesson and was not so crazy as to trip with him ever again!  This venue was a very long south to north, east to west high Sierra traverse.  (This trip was his shake down for a winter trek to Fitzroy.  Imagine that!)  We started out 12/29/83;  that was the El Nino year that destroyed many of the piers along the west coast.  While this was not THAT storm we were beset by bad weather almost the entire trip, seeing only about twelve hours of clear skies over a two and a half week period.  Nothing like marching into a head wind the entire time, getting blasted by ice and crud.  Nothing like being in a white out, hearing avalanching snow and not knowing if it is above you or elsewhere.  Nothing like being in winds so harsh they can drown out sounds like avalanches.  Nothing like navigating with fifty foot visibility.  Note to self: don’t trek in Sierras in early season; way too dangerous.  Another note to self: Don’t take off into high-up snow with impending storms; very frustrating finding way with no visual references.  Third note: never go treking with Eddie!  But I digress.  Eddie calls me the next year and asks if I would be interested in a similar trip.  HELL NO!  On that trip a NF VE24 dome tent got ripped off its moorings with three inside.  They escaped when one occupant was able to dig his pocket knife out of his survival kit (all were required to keep their survival kits on their persons at all times). The idea if being in that tent, tumbling ass over tea kettle over each other, while one wields a knife sounds like more fun than I want to ever enjoy.  Glad I stayed home…

Hey I'd love to one up you and Islandess on riding out bad weather - and I have seen some awful stuff - but mine were just a few exceptional experiences.  You guys sound like you camp on a different planet altogether!

Ed

6:39 p.m. on March 1, 2013 (EST)
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Really what I wanted to talk about was your bent poles. Does anybody know if they can or should be forcibly straightened afterwards? We have a tool used to straighten copper pipes. I suppose the poles are weakened once they're bent,  so would straightening them do more harm or good?

I forget which tent manufacturer said it, but it is possible to use slightly bent poles after you have straightened them. Gently roll them along the floor wrapped in a towel or roll them on your thigh if it is even less severe a bend. I think 'aircraft aluminium' can be reshaped once bent without serious degradation but someone with more knowledge might chime in.

Straightening the joints might be more difficult and degrading, however. Incidentally, why have manufacturers been adding only one spare pole? I always break two poles at the joint and find it less practical to carry the spare than simply a sleeve.

7:01 p.m. on March 1, 2013 (EST)
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Jake W, Well that isn't the first time that has been stated about me.  I did take both, 'Around the Camp Fire lessons, and, the pro series' Liar's Bench' lessons as well. I passed with flyin' colors on each class.

Considerin' that wuz about 3 different kinds of winds and there IS far more kinds than that, it wuz short! :D

Also it may be handy to know i can whistle up a storm in 18th century terms of course.. (this site really need emoshuncons, I am grinning like a cheshire cat ok)

...............................................................................................................

Islandess, Nice ice cube :D
ice-circle.jpg

There is a ice circle i made mention of in the past day i have been here. The picture is about 2 weeks old, and this is the first time i ever witnessed nature do this 'ice circle' ever. it was free floating and turning slowly in Oliverian Brook of Rt 112 the kanc in NH.

 Alloy tent poles: if the wind bent the poles, it is possible to bend them back to be straighter than they are pretty easy. You can do that just a few times before the allow metal will work harden.

I am not sure i know which tool you are referring too, as my pipe tools are for bending pipe, not getting it straight. I am a mechanic with a wide back ground and currently work for a machine shop building a wide variety of machines. I am a x foreign car tech, with experience in a lot of other applications. Every day we deal with stainless and T 6061 alloy.

The tool you have may be the ticket and it may not. other means might be just by hand bending, or making wooden V blocks and hand pressing to get as straight and easy a bend as you can.

Another means might be cutting a U shape from a larger hunk of waste wood like a 2 x 6 to a tree stump and hitting the poles with a soft face mallet.

If it were me I would start with the least force and work up to the most force which is typical of a foreign car tech when something is rusted stuck and seized.

One more way might be the ancient methods used by the First Peoples to straighten arrows, but you need a lower deer jaw bone for that tool :D or a hunk of 1 by board cut like a ping pong paddle that has a hole drilled in it some what larger than the pole diameter.

I may be crazy, but i can be handy to have around.

Cape Bretton: If I lived in CDN it would have to be on northern CB somewhere... And you could locate me under a rock maybe a sugar maple tree with a jug of Screech .... The Kanc I mention is rather a lot like that area less any sea water.

Hope this helps.

7:22 p.m. on March 1, 2013 (EST)
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whomeworry said:

LodgePole said:

I recall sitting with a fixed blade knife in my hand in case the tent did blow down and break up

You must be made of nails!

Ed

 LOL I read that loud and clear... no man, I am just wicked cheap and tents cost money....

I do understand the terror of things like wind drowning out sounds... or dark of night, and hearing a tornado, but being completely unable to tell where it is. I earned that Terror Tee Shirt out on Pine Ridge the day I crashed my mc and broke 3 ribs. Oh what fun that was. Didn't end the trip though.... what did you say about nails again?

Oh hey I know... I did Mt Mono in Cal the one with stairs and i still had them busted ribs doing it. And there was a this bear down by that tree you can drive a car under.... I said something like Oh well and here comes a BEAR... That lesson was motorcycles can be faster than a bear thinks.

Does mc camping count here? 10 months, 40 states, and 7 out of 5 possible deserts.. And just for you Ed. In NM in some of that high wind you mentioned i was attacked by a tan thing doing 65 mph on my bike. That thing drew blood thru my leathers and my jeans and i screamed like a little girl, which made my wife laugh so hard i thought she was in terror too and went total dementia on me! So i made the bike go fast till I got this wicked pounding on my back.

When i stopped i got a really bad lecture on what tumble weeds were. Is it my fault I made the mistake of thinking a tumble weed was a panther?

Wind!, that's right the wind... On I-10 the wind caused triple piggy back trailers to take all 3 lanes... That was impressive too.. i couldn't pass and i couldn't be passed. 

 

This place will be fun if i don't get BUSTED...

7:27 p.m. on March 1, 2013 (EST)
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Pathloser said:

Really what I wanted to talk about was your bent poles. Does anybody know if they can or should be forcibly straightened afterwards? We have a tool used to straighten copper pipes. I suppose the poles are weakened once they're bent,  so would straightening them do more harm or good?

I forget which tent manufacturer said it, but it is possible to use slightly bent poles after you have straightened them. Gently roll them along the floor wrapped in a towel or roll them on your thigh if it is even less severe a bend. I think 'aircraft aluminium' can be reshaped once bent without serious degradation but someone with more knowledge might chime in.

Straightening the joints might be more difficult and degrading, however. Incidentally, why have manufacturers been adding only one spare pole? I always break two poles at the joint and find it less practical to carry the spare than simply a sleeve.

 Good Point... The joints can and will crack the outer sleeve first and i would suggest leaving that part of poles be as they are as much as possible.

 Also if the pole is bent to the pint it has collapsed or kinked there isn't much hope and leaving that as it is will be best until it can be replaced. 

9:34 a.m. on March 2, 2013 (EST)
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Lodge Pole: I checked on that straightening tool. Turns out my dad made it himself. It's kind of like a large-scale wire straightener. A couple of 'guardrails' adjustable with clamps, and a geared thingy on one end that pulls the pipe through them. Here's hoping I'll never have to find out if it works on tent poles. The few slight bends I've had over the years were easily rolled out on a hard surface, but they were miniscule to start with.

One more way might be the ancient methods used by the First Peoples to straighten arrows, but you need a lower deer jaw bone for that tool.

Will a moose jaw work? :)

2:14 p.m. on March 2, 2013 (EST)
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Last week we were camped on the lower Colorado River in an old fish camp.  The wind started to "freshen" about 2300.  By 0300 it was blowing 40 with gusts to about 60 I am guessing.  My old Sierra Designs tent was starting to lift on the windward side with me and my old dog in it.  The ground was so hard I could not get any stakes in the ground.  Finally I removed the poles entirely and slept in the tent in a flattened conditon.  It was warmer and kept the sand off us.  My dog never moved.  Several other tents by Kelty and REI were in a slightly more protected spot under an enormous tamarisk tree.  They remained upright.  I was not willing to sleep under a leaning giant in a gusty wind storm.  The flattened tent worked amazingly well and I spent the rest of the night in there getting some sleep after about 0500.  I would do the same thing again without reservation, unless there was a snow storm.

As for tipis, I used to have an 18 foot Sioux style lodge with a 3 pole set.  I used to set it up each winter for about 6 weeks with a liner and a traditional rope around the top of the poles 4 times and a deadman in the ground.  My tipi came down twice, but bothe times the wind was in excess of 70 mph at least.  We get high winds a couple of times a winter here in Nevada.

3:23 p.m. on March 2, 2013 (EST)
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ppine, you need a bigger old dawg! And yeah i have camped out more than once wrapped up in something or another. Sometimes in the rain and in a mud hole to boot, and because the mid hole is higher than anything else.

The only really bad part of that is waking up in the morning to discover a body next to me happens to be my wife. Now if she didn't get as muddy as she has I would know who she was, so when i don't know it's her i just figure all Hell is Gonna break Loose.. Either way i end up a dead man.. too!

...................................................................................................... Islandess, Yeah a moose jaw is just bigger. If you hold the jaw by the most narrow portion, the larger hinge will be most away from you. At the lower corner where the mass of bone is there should be a notch. With a pole placed there you should be able to work the pole back to be somewhat straighter with care.

The only problem is the notch may be too big for a pole I am guessing is around 8 to 10 mm diameter. (SAE 5/16ths to 3/8ths")

A deer jaw might be better.. Once you come to understand a hole in a board could work, and that board could have washed from the sea...

There is always another way to skin cats.. other jaw bones could also work. I just know of these things because of my back grounds in sewing and making things by hand. I use bone tool for sewing a lot. Ulna bones from coyotes are natural awls. Ribs from most any dog/deer size and up mammals can be quill flatteners and assorted tools.

I don't know if i still have needles made from fish ribs now or not but i did.

I have made wooden and or goose quill bodkins too for pulling a ribbon thru the hem of a hat or skirt.

Pretty much no matter where i end up a job comes along where i don't have a modern tool to get it done, and so i just fall back on what nature has to get that job done with.

Some people claim I can do the impossible with nothing.. Now i didn't say that myself..

September 22, 2014
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