Adventure Reference: Tips for Trips
One of the best things about being tent makers is that we have to use our product, constantly! As a result, we have learned a few things about ways of making backcountry travel and living just a bit easier. We hope these tips will make your next trip(s) just a little better.
general tent pitching
Tunnel Tent Pitching Tip
A Hilleberg tunnel tent is at its best when it is pitched properly. Its roof-line should be stretched tight, as in the photo, with no sagging and minimal wrinkles. This imparts the optimal structure â€“ and the maximum space inside â€“ to your tent. The key is pegging one end and then pulling out and pegging the other end, and then making the tent taut by adjusting the peg loops â€“ see below.
The Adjustable Peg Loops
Loosen the peg attachment loops on your tent fully before pitching. Tightening the webbing strap adds tension and contributes to providing maximum stability.
Using the Guy Lines
Even though setting guy lines is not always necessary, it is always a good idea, since mountain weather can change in an instant overÂnight. Thatâ€™s why all of our tents have a full set of guy lines attached at spots that will maximize stability. Make sure not to over tighten the guy lines. They should be holding on to the tent but not pulling on it and deforming it.
Alternative Peg Options
Sometimes you need more "pegs" than you have, and you must improvise. In the winter, skis provide excellent peg capability, as do ski poles, used Deadman-style. Trekking poles, canoe paddles, trees and even large logs or rocks can be used: simply tie one end of a short line to the metal ring on the peg attachment loop of the tent and the other to your "anchor." If you do this, it is a good ideas to put rocks on top of the line to keep the tent corner down.
While only necessary (and recommended) for the most extreme conditions, adding another set of poles to a tent does provide a tremendous increase in stability. All of our tents are built to accomÂmodate an extra set of poles: in the tunnel models, you simply slide a second pole into the sleeve. In the dome models, you attach every other clip to each of the two poles.
Extreme Wet Weather Packing Option
In very high condensation conditions â€“ super humid days, torrential rains, or the like â€“ if the inside and outside of your outer tent is wet, you can detach the inner from the outer tent and pack it separately. At your next camp spot, pitch the outer first, then climb in and attach the â€“ still dry â€“ inner. note: This is only needed in extreme conditions!
keeping your tent healthy
Clean the Zippers
Zippers take a huge beating, so keeping them clean is essential. Brush them off after each use, and check them after every trip. Doing so will ensure a much longer life for your tent. Avoid using zipper lubricants, since these inevitably attract grit and other zipper-eating debris, thus causing more harm than good!
Finger in the Zipper
Whenever you zip your tent door, put the tip of your finger ahead of the slider. This keeps the door fabric from catching (and subsequently getting stuck or, worse, getting chewed up), and will increase the life of your zippers, as well.
Dry Your Tent
When you return from a trip, if possible, hang your tent with the poles still in. Failing that, hang it without the poles, but try to keep the tent walls from touching each other. This keeps mildew away, and increases the tentâ€™s life. Make sure it is completely dry before packing it away!
dealing with condensation
Use a Rag
Simply wiping off the condensation from inside the tent can often prevent your gear from getting dripped upon, and it can help stop condensation from continuing to happen.
Jacket Over Your Bag
Before going to sleep, zip your waterÂproof/â€‰breathable jacket over the foot of your sleeping bag. This will help keep any condensation from getting to your insulation.
Using a footprint to cover the ground in the vestibules will help reduce moisture rising from the ground.
Using Snow Pegs
Our Snow Pegs can be used in the traditional vertical manner or Deadman style, as shown here, which is often the best choice in softer snow. Before attaching the Snow Pegâ€™s clip to the metal ring on the tentâ€™s peg loop or guy line, cut a trench for the line with the Snow Peg. Next, estimate the length of the line, and create a similar trench for the peg itself. Finally, press the Snow Peg into the trench â€“ so that the line angles down from tent to peg, and cover the peg with snow. Use the peg loop adjuster (or line runners on the guy lines) to tighten up the set of the peg.
Dig foot wells into your vestibule (s). This makes for comfortable luxury while eating or hanging out, and can even provide organization options!
Winter Camping Peg Choices
Taking a couple of either our Y-Pegs or V-Pegs, or our Stinger Titanium Pegs , in addition to our Snow Pegs (left), is a good idea in the winter, especially for times when â€“ or places where â€“ the snow cover might be thin and/or if you end up camping on bare, but frozen ground. Our Snow Pegs will work in most conditions, but if the ground is very hard, they arenâ€™t as effective. Having some sturdy, regular pegs that you can hammer into the ground will make things easier.
camping in sand
Minimize the Effect of Grit
Travel in deserts, playas, on beaches and in other similar environments puts extra stress on tents. Grit and sand amplify possible abrasion on both tent fabric and poles, and they especially increase wear and tear on zippers. In addition, such environments usually mean greater UV exposure. Here are a few ways to combat the effect of both the grit and the sun:
- Choose Hilleberg tents made with Kerlon 1800. These tents are designed with stronger fabric and heavier gauge zippers and fittings precisely to better handle harsh conditions.
- Brush your tentâ€™s zippers often.
- Pitch your tent in as much shadow as you can find.
- Carry a Hilleberg Tarp for extra UV protection (the XP versions have greater UV resistance than do the UL models).
- Avoid leaving your tent pitched during the day.