About | Blog | Forums | People | Free Newsletter
Trailspace is a product review site for outdoor enthusiasts. Use it to find and share great gear.

Tent components and stretching

8:53 a.m. on May 2, 2012 (EDT)
42 reviewer rep
312 forum posts

Hello

I am hoping someone can remember the particulars and list the things to note when it comes to avoiding stressing the tent fabric as it dries (usually in the morning). On domes, I can hear the poles being compressed if the tent was pitched/tied out wet the night before. I understand that this may have something to do with 'spontaneous' pole breakage on this form of tent, which you encounter now and again?

For all tent designs, is it wiser to use dyneema/spectra guy-lines, as there is less chance of pegging it out too tight when wet/stretched and thus risking contraction when dry? Or does the general modulus (resistance to stretch?) factor in too little slack in the first place?

Polyester flys are less problematic? Silnylon?

Anyway, all I am doing right now is trying to remember to loosen things if it starts getting sunny in the morning (tunnels and geos).

Thanks, Jon.

9:30 a.m. on May 2, 2012 (EDT)
87 reviewer rep
2,221 forum posts

Hmm…

The guy lines on my tent are always more slack in the morning, and the sun doesn’t cause my guy-outs to become more taut, so I don’t see this as a problem, regarding imparting stress to a tent.  I happen to use nylon parachute chord.  Never had a reason to use another material.

I have never heard of “spontaneous pole breakage” in my fifty plus years of back packing in all sorts of conditions.  I am guessing such poles were already damaged and marginal when this occurred. 

Forces from shrinkage are minor in comparison to damage from ultraviolet rays, winds, mildew, physical violations (stuff falling on them) and user error.  If you are this concerned, take down your tent at sun rise or otherwise protect it from the elements when not occupied. 

Ed

11:16 a.m. on May 2, 2012 (EDT)
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

Usually less wind in the early AM daylight and he tent and guy lines may seam a little saggy. Don't tighten fly, guy-lines or similar until dryer.

1:16 p.m. on May 2, 2012 (EDT)
42 reviewer rep
312 forum posts

I have never heard of “spontaneous pole breakage” in my fifty plus years of back packing in all sorts of conditions.  I am guessing such poles were already damaged and marginal when this occurred.

Probably the case. However, I have found bent poles (at the intersections) without any recollection of mistreatment. And it was at a guy point when I am usually careful not to over-tighten.

An early design of a UK brand geo changed pole structure a few years ago to deal with poles breaking, possibly related to this. On polyester flys, which may now be surpassed by silnylon completely, one of the hypes was a better resistance to sagging, IIRC, as well as UV resistance - I was wondering if it's related to 'over-contraction'?

I think the noise of a geo contracting in the sun is fabric then?

There seems to be a link to saltwater (see here) but I found that when I treated poles with silicone, it made them more likely to pop out on assembly, due to the grease, and cause damage that way.

Anyway, most damage to poles is done during assembly, especially with geodesics, and sunlight induced contraction isn't really a UK problem - so maybe it's not a worry.

9:23 p.m. on May 2, 2012 (EDT)
BRAND REP
0 reviewer rep
138 forum posts

Bent poles are common with certain designs because either the pole is  too long ( I have a Bibler pinon  like that...) or the arch radius too tight for the pole. This second type can be caused or exacerbated by some fabrics, and I would think silnylon most of all, shrinking in the sun.

So if you happen to have a dome tent or a hoop/tunnel that you set up really nice and taut in the rain/cold/humid weather  and then leave it up like that when the sun comes up pole failure or bends can happen.

One day I left one of my tents set up taut after a somewhat damp night next to a river. The next morning we went for a walk and left the tents up as they were. We came back when the temp had gone over 100f. I found one of my pegs several yards away from where I put it in. The pole did pick a slight bend by the rest was OK (it was my TT Rainbow)

Franco

April 19, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: 3 or 4 season tent? Newer: Polartec Neoshell tents.
All forums: Older: Teaching SAR/survival skills to city kids (and grown-ups) Newer: Death by swan