Heeeyho Readers! A bit of an important topic for camping novices!
Checking any equipment before use is crucial.
Countless times, friends of mine — those who camp once a year — were left hanging on the spot after discovering their malfunctioning tent. It happens frequently when a tent is packed year long without inspection. Mold, stuck zippers, tears, broken poles and missing pegs are among the issues.
I have a bicycle race in another state coming in two weeks. So, as a good brokepacker, my trusty tent will help me save giganormous money on accommodation — that if the bloody thing is in order.
On this post I'll run through my tent check up before camping. Hopefully it's useful for camping newbies.
The tent I'm using today is a two-person Naturehike Cloud up 2. I bought this tent in 2019, after having my older rig nicked during my cycletouring passage in London. Naturehike is known for their budget, yet super high quality, light-weight tents. Because of the tent's specialized materials, it's important to inspect everything before heading out.
First inspection starts with the poles, pegs, and guy lines (those cords used to tension the tent's cover). Make sure to check the following:
- The poles are not broken or bent. It's very common for fiberglass poles to split if packed for long enough; aluminum is alright.
- There aren't missing pegs (make sure you have spares)
- The guy lines aren't missing or snapped
Next up, unpack the tent cover and inner mosquito net. I don't like to fold my tent; just stuffing it in the bag works well. Keep in mind: it is critical to properly store the tent when not in use. A tent will create mold or even rot away if packed wet for a long time.
Tents have all sorts of assembly methods. Naturehike uses buckles to attach different parts to the tip of the poles. Check every buckle to see if they aren't broken or need replacement for whatever reason.
It's time to fully pitch the tent to look for rips. Some older tents may also need a seam sealant application to ensure waterproofing.
- Check for rips
- Check the seams
Finally, it is important to check one of the most common parts to have problems: the zippers. Zippers like to jam, break, rust, rip and you name it. And fuck no, I don't want sneaky spiders inside my sleeping bag.
Go zip zip zip a few times to certify the zippers work.
Now that you've checked the tent is clean and working well, it's safe to head out. No mishap should ruin your delightful night outdoors — only your friends who haven't checked their rig.
I hope you have enjoyed these tips. Sound basic for outdoor enthusiasts, but you won't believe how common these issues happen in seasonal camping spots around me.
Don't forget to have fun!
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Disclaimer: The author of this post is a convict broke backpacker, who has travelled more than 10.000 km hitchhiking and more than 5.000 km cycling. Following him may cause severe problems of wanderlust and inquietud. You've been warned.
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Shame man, I'm sorry to read that your previous tent was stolen, that sucks. I'm glad you got a replacement. I've had the issue with stuck zippers before and they can be a bitch to get loose if you don't have the right lubricant and if they've corroded, they can even break while you're trying to get them loosened up so it really is best to check out before hand or you're going to be sharing your space with something, even if it's only mosquitoes, they can really spoil a night out.
Bought with money from the blog, fuck yeah.
I've heard that it's a good idea to lubricate the zippers. Are you using something for that? Although zippers on newer tents are super awesome.
Mosquitoes are hell on earth!
That's most cool that you got it from blogging money, I admire that!
I know that I should have done that but I didn't and when I had to get the zipper unstuck, Q20 came in super handy to help me out. Tents really aren't made the same way they were when I was a kid. They're really quite fancy now days.
That's super helpful tips! For some reason I remember tents were much complicated to build than what we have now. When I went camping just early this year, I noticed how easy it was building a tent after years of building one or maybe I just didn't remember how I built it.😅
Heyho! Some tents are a pain in the behind indeed, especially those that you need to pass the poles through the fabric and then raise the tent 😤
These newer ones we can first raise the poles then clip the inner part, it's so easy. The only problem is that they are so lightweight that a mistake and bang... you tore something
It is important to check the equipment AFTER camping and rectify any faults immediately.
No doubt! Especially cleaning everything and making sure the tent is dry. A wet tent is ruined if packed for a long time.
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To support your work, I also upvoted your post!
Well, that explains the "uncaring" look 😄
We are the folders 💪
Just like myself \o\o\o\