Tent pole storage

10:02 p.m. on June 3, 2010 (EDT)
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306 forum posts

I have recently purchased an MSR Hubba Hubba HP tent (my first tent) and would like to take good care of it. I know to make sure that the fabric is dry before stowage and don't let it set out in the sun all the time so as not to deteriorate the fabrics. The one thing I am not too sure of is storage of the tent poles. They are all inter-connected using a "bungee" type cord inside and when I break the poles down to put them in the storage bag, I was wondering how this affects the bungee cord inside, as it is now "resting" on the edge of a tent pole. Do these cords have to be often replaced? Any input on the topic would be appreciated, thanks!


1:11 a.m. on June 4, 2010 (EDT)
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My old North Face VE24 lasted me 27 years before a Grizzly bear destroyed it a few years ago in the Gros Ventre Mtns of Wyoming. The shockcorded poles lasted all 27 years and I used it 180-240 nights a year thru-out all the seasons. I never had to replace the elastic cords.

8:24 a.m. on June 4, 2010 (EDT)
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I have read the recommendation to store poles extended, but who has that kind of space? As Gary said, 27 years is good longevity. One thing to avoid is sand or grit inside your poles; it tends to break down the elasticity of the shock cord over time.

1:02 p.m. on June 4, 2010 (EDT)
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Like anything else, you tend to get what you pay for. The bungees in the tents we buy for scout troops at $100 minus scout discount tend to lose elasticity in 4 or 5 years (if the scouts haven't destroyed them by then). But the bungees in my top quality tents (Integral Designs, Bibler, Mountain Hardwear, etc), are in some cases over 20 years old and still plenty elastic.

One thing to note, though, the elasticity tends to decrease in cold weather.

Yes, bungees do need replacing from time to time, usually due to accidents or misuse. However, for most good quality poles, it is actually a pretty easy task.

1:45 p.m. on June 4, 2010 (EDT)
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306 forum posts

Thanks for the input! I would say 30+ years of experience with a good quality tent and no issues is good enough for me. I just need to take care of it and keep it clean and grit free!


8:02 p.m. on June 4, 2010 (EDT)
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5,245 forum posts

If its self supporting like a dome, every day when you break camp after you sweep it out, I carry a lil wiskbrush, turn it over laying the tent on its top still supported by the poles and aim the floor bottom at the sun or just at least air it out and let any moisture evaporate away. Never roll a tent up wet asmildew will form as the moisture trys to evaporate. If you have no choice then dry it as soon as possible. A friend recently bought a tent that smelled like sour milk when he sat it up. The previous owner had not dried it out. The smell will goaway if you set it up and use a light half and half water/vinegar solution to entirely wipe the whole tent. It won't harm the fabric or waterproofness, just besure to let it dry first. Direct sunlight will also after a few hours or maybe days take away the smell from mildewed nylon.

I have been camping out 3/4ths of the year every year for 33. My tents tend to last well because I take good care of them. I own no land or house's so my mansions are stuffed in my pack. My current wilderness home cost me $125 in 2000. I pay $200 a month to rent my place in town a month.

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