To stuff or not to stuff...

5:06 p.m. on September 29, 2011 (EDT)
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So I was getting some gear ready today for a trip I am headed out on and I had a thought... When packing your tent on trail do ya take the time to roll your tent & fly up or do ya just stuff it in the stuff sack so you can get back on trail asap?

Me personally? I stuff the fly in 1st, then the tent body, then the footprint so it all comes out in the order that I will be setting up.

Some say folding can cause problems as far as weak spots in fabric/pu coatings. I really don't see how this could pose a potential problem unless one was to store their shelter like this for a prolonged time period.

Next question. When ya store your tent for a prolonged period how do you store it? I have a method in which I utilize a rubbermaid tub with a thin cloth sheet covering it so the tent material can breathe. Any other methods out there being used?

Just a few things that kinda spark my curiousity and I thought it may have the potential to be an interesting conversation.

Thanks for any feedback in advance. Happy hiking Trailspace....

5:56 p.m. on September 29, 2011 (EDT)
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I have a Hille so they actually say to just stuff it in, fits in the bag quite easily. My other tent, a MEC tgv needs to be folded to have any chance of fitting in the supplied sack. Even still I often get frustrated trying to pack it. One of many upgrades I've found that Hilleberg had solved with a little common sense. Storage wise I just use a cheap mesh bag- loose, breathable and throw it in the closet.

6:41 p.m. on September 29, 2011 (EDT)
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I've finally quit being a Fold Freak and now just stuff it down into my backpack, sometimes with my sleeping bag still inside.

I store my tents & bags in mesh laundry bags.

8:05 p.m. on September 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Hillebergs have a lot of guylines and ground cords and tapes---those lines running underneath their tents which keep the tent shaped when up.  No other tents seem to have these cords.  On my Keron 3 tent I have a total of 13 lines or cords, and they can get twisted and tangled on occasion, making set up a hassle.  The Staika has 8.  For this reason I always fold and roll up the tent and slide it into its stuff sac---no big deal.  Stuffing tends to get these cords more tangled and I can roll up the guyline cords with some amount of organization.  Minutiae.

As far as storage goes, and as every Hilleberg owner knows, there's more work with a Hilleberg to air dry it since you have to detach the inner from the outer which takes some time.  The Keron has 33 elastic attachment toggles, the Staika has around 25.  You really can't air dry a Hilleberg all in one piece and so they should be detached.

In addition, when I'm ready for my next trip I have to, yes, reattach all the elastic connectors back in, easier done with the fly poled and up and the inner hooked in then.  This is more of a hassle than with standard two-wall tents.

8:10 p.m. on September 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Im a stuffer convert. Used to take great pride in being able to fold a tent and get it back into the bag it came in from the factory. Quite the challenge sometimes since they are fold and packed by machine usually.

Maybe Im getting lazy in my old age but its just so much quicker and easier to stuff em.

My bigger base camp tent I ditched the original bag, I sorta roll then stuff it into a much larger duffle/gym bag.

I seen somewhere that UL'rs liked folding and placing in pack without a bag

10:18 p.m. on September 29, 2011 (EDT)
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I use a roll and stuff system I take the fly vents and put them together. holding the fly up I then start to roll the fly. Basicly wadding the ends in while I roll it up. The inner tent I fold then roll. The footprint is just stuffed in.

1:06 a.m. on September 30, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

So I was getting some gear ready today for a trip I am headed out on and I had a thought... When packing your tent on trail do ya take the time to roll your tent & fly up or do ya just stuff it in the stuff sack so you can get back on trail asap?

Me personally? I stuff the fly in 1st, then the tent body, then the footprint so it all comes out in the order that I will be setting up.

Some say folding can cause problems as far as weak spots in fabric/pu coatings. I really don't see how this could pose a potential problem unless one was to store their shelter like this for a prolonged time period.

Next question. When ya store your tent for a prolonged period how do you store it? I have a method in which I utilize a rubbermaid tub with a thin cloth sheet covering it so the tent material can breathe. Any other methods out there being used?

Just a few things that kinda spark my curiousity and I thought it may have the potential to be an interesting conversation.

Thanks for any feedback in advance. Happy hiking Trailspace....

Some tents I stuff and some tents I fold and some tents I roll.  All of my tents are different and my packing requirements sometimes require me to stuff when I would roll/fold, and sometimes the other way around.  Sometimes I start out folding the tent and then end it by rolling it the rest of the way.  I find that the Garuda tents are very semetrical and fold very nicely.  Others such as some of my TNF tents stuff much better than folding or rolling.  Some tents pack better with the poles rolled up inside, and some like the ones with prebent poles take up to much room when rolled up in the tent.  I seldom take storage bags that are unnecessary when backpacking.  I use rubber bands on my poles rather than a bag.  I try and use socks to hold small parts such as stove parts or other small items that need to be kept together.  Socks work great to hold smaller stoves as well.  The Svea fits very nicely into the top portion of  a wool sock.   I then just change out the dirty socks for the clean socks which are holding the small items.  Stove parts and batteries really don't care if there in dirty socks or clean socks and neither do I. 

I have found that folding and storing a tent for long periods of time is what weakens tent in the maner that Rick is speaking of not folding then on a trip, IMHO.  I find that when storing it my tents it really dosen't matter if it's lightly stuffed or folded or rolled as long as its in a much larger bag/container than the original bag it came in.

I store all my tents in army duffel bags, large & med sports bags like the ones used for softball or basball teams.  Many of these have alot of webbing on them so that the tent is exposed to as much air as possible.  I have also as of late have started using older internal frame backpacks to store tents.  I keep finding really nice good quality backpacks from yesteryear that nobody wants and I can get for $10-15, might as well give them a second life.  Again I leave the backpacks and the sports bags open much as possible so the tents are exposed to the air.  The exception to this is when I have a tent that could be prone to sticky tent syndrome, I store these in a mesh laundry bag so they get as much air as possible.  I also use mesh laundry bags to store sleeping bags when I can't leave them in a laid out position.

 mikemorrow is back as said: "I use a roll and stuff system I take the fly vents and put them together. holding the fly up I then start to roll the fly. Basicly wadding the ends in while I roll it up. The inner tent I fold then roll. The footprint is just stuffed in."

Mike brings up a good point regarding single wall tents and flys from double wall tents.  The materials that are used in some tents to hold open the vents can be damaged if handled improperly.  As mike said a good way to do this is to fold the vents into each other and then fold or roll the tent and or fly.

2:30 a.m. on September 30, 2011 (EDT)
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For long time storage I actually keep the poles extended. While they are folded it actually puts extra tension on the shock cord...

Granted, I know how to replace the cord but I am lazy.

Why do an early fix unless it is absolutely necessary?

6:15 a.m. on September 30, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

For long time storage I actually keep the poles extended. While they are folded it actually puts extra tension on the shock cord...

Granted, I know how to replace the cord but I am lazy.

Why do an early fix unless it is absolutely necessary?

I've heard that to be the case.  Over the years I never done this other than a couple of years.  I continued trying it until I got so many tents and I started to get the poles mixed up.  Figure 40 tents times an avarage of 4 or 5 poles per tent.  Way to many poles to keep track of.  Personally I don't believe that it puts much more tension on the shock cord.  My TNF Oval Intention which was made in 1976 still has it's original shock cord and is only now loosing up a bit , though it still has enough streatch to hold the pole sections together and is weaker than in past years.  There nothing worng with keeping your poles extended but I believe it to be unnecessary unless one has poor quality shock cord in the poles.  IMHO of cource 

1:11 p.m. on September 30, 2011 (EDT)
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I am somewhat embarrassed to say that I store my tents folded and rolled, in the stuff sacks. So dry here that I haven't ever had problems with moisture, and I never store them until they are dried out. Probably going to change that behavior. The flip side is that my tents are ready to go without prep.

May just start stuffing not folding after reading posts here. Great topic.

 

 

2:35 p.m. on October 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Why do you think they call it a stuff sack? On the trail, I just stuff the whole thing in the order I take it down - fly, tent body, plastic drop cloth "footprint". For years, the little instruction sheet that comes with tents says "stuff it, don't fold it." When I clean and dry the tent at home, I do roll it and store the tent in its bag on the wire rack in the garage (chemicals are on the far side of the garage next to the required flood vents, so the vapors are vented outside - no cars stored in the garage - Hey! I live in California. We don't use garages for cars. Bicycles and kayaks, yes, but not cars.) Most of my tents tend to last for many years.

On the poles, again, for years, the manufacturers have recommended folding the poles from the middle toward the ends. This lessens the tension on the bungees. Also, when you clean and dry the tent, you generally will use the poles to set the tent up. Try to do the storage folding of the poles in warm weather. Stretching a bungee when it is cold causes loss of elasticity and hence shortens the life of the bungee. Replacing the bungees (which I have had to do way too often) is inconvenient at best and a super pain for some brands of poles (Easton poles have pretty good quality bungees).

11:06 p.m. on October 5, 2011 (EDT)
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with the right baggage, go stuff and compress

3:45 p.m. on October 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Since I have been on my 3 week long ride Flagstaff to Tucson AZ I started out with my tent rolled normally in its tent sack. Soon tho I had lightened my gear and started stuffing it into one of my pannier pails. Its much easier and is one less thing on top of my rear rack. I have also done this while on multiday hikes stuffing both my tent and my sleeping bag in my pack instead of in their stuff sacks.

July 23, 2014
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