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Backpacker Magazine – April 2009

Gear School 2009: Tents

Mend a broken pole, fix leaky seams, and get rid of that musty smell.

by: Marcus Woolf, Illustrations by Supercorn

PAGE 1 2

TENT SELECTION TIPS: 3 SECRETS FOR DECODING THE NUMBERS
1. Floor space Check the dimensions, not just square footage. Tall guys need a longer layout; stout hikers, more elbowroom.
2. Peak height Headroom depends on the wall slope (hubbed or short "eyebrow" poles often mean steeper sidewalls). Tents with consistent headroom from end to end are great for foul-weather card games. Ultralight designs–often low-ceilinged or sloped at the foot–are better for sleeping than sitting.
3. Vestibules Consider shape: High-roofed, rectangular designs offer more dry storage and a safe place to cook in wind and rain.

No-Brainer Guy-Out
Forget fancy knots and rigging systems: Buy an MSR Cord Tensioner Kit (12 pieces for $13, gearx.com). Attach a guyline to your tent and weave the other end through the figure-8-like device. Pull a loop of cord through the widget, plant your stake through it, and slide the tensioner up to tighten.

WHEN TO CALL AN EXPERT
Delaminated seam tape and broken zippers are worth fixing. Best bet: Contact the tent manufacturer–most have in-house repair facilities. (Tip: Save your tent receipts!)

WHEN TO CALL IT QUITS
Heavy mildew is impossible to eradicate without damaging tent fabric; there's no fix for a brittle or cracked fly that's suffered extreme UV damage.
PAGE 1 2

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READERS COMMENTS

Tyler
Dec 01, 2011

Yes same question, how to I fix the mesh screen on my lunar solo?!?!

Adam
Oct 11, 2009

Same question here, how best to repair tent screening?

jenkins
Oct 03, 2009

I have a small hole in the mesh venting window, how do i fix it, how do you fix the mesh

Doug
Sep 28, 2009

I've got an older Sierra Designs Antares tent. The kind with the clear window in the fly over the doors. The window has come un-bonded. What do you recommend fixing this with?

Roscoe
Jul 06, 2009

What about the best way to patch the screen in a tent? Right now i got duct tape on both sides but is there a cleaner less... "duct tape" way of fixing it?

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