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Tent Set Up Methods In Rain or Wind

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Tent Set Up Methods In Rain or Wind

Postby maverick » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:26 pm

What's your method for setting up your tent during rain or strong windy conditions?
What do you do with your pack while setting up? What changes do you make to the
above method when your above treeline?
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Re: Tent Set Up Methods In Rain or Wind

Postby Maddog61 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:53 pm

Maverick, you ask great questions. My tent is a Mtn Hardware lightpath 2, and it's not free standing. I haven't had to set it up in the rain or a stiff wind yet, but I think it will be an adventure. I stand to learn something from this thread also. :smile:

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Re: Tent Set Up Methods In Rain or Wind

Postby RoguePhotonic » Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:13 pm

Well wind is mostly easy. Just one corner at a time but in the rain I do nothing special. Just set it up as quick as I can and get in pack and all. I'll often just leave my pack out in the rain though once I have cleared everything out of it that matters. If it does get wet while setting up or my pad is already wet from being out in the rain on my pack then I might use my pack towl or dirty clothes to dry things off a bit inside.

Since my tents are always single wall you don't have as much trouble as a double wall.

Luckily I haven't really had to set up in major rain.
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Tarptent Moment

Postby FeetFirst » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:24 pm

The past two seasons I've used a Tarptent Moment from most of my trips and it really is a pleasure to set up, even during the rain. Stake one end, pull shelter taught, and stake the other end. Adjust guy lines. Done. It's single wall so no worry about the interior getting wet during setup. If it's windy, I'll stake the up wind side first. That seems to help quite a bit and then the shelter is oriented with it's strong "face" to the wind.

The pack is never an issue. I pack my don't get wet items in a waterproof bag (trash compactor bag) and if it's windy enought to take my bag, well then I'm sure I would be next.
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Re: Tent Set Up Methods In Rain or Wind

Postby LMBSGV » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:07 pm

I have a Sierra Designs Orion purchased in 1998. Since it weighs 5 pounds and has never leaked in any storm, no matter how severe, I haven’t replaced it. Also, I’m not sure I could afford the new ultralights.

My procedure in a downpour is to get the tent out of the pack, then spread it out with the rainfly still covering the tent. I put the bear can next to the pack, which is leaning against a rock. I’ll put in a couple of stakes on opposite corners to keep the tent from blowing away. There are two long diagonal poles and one shorter pole. I’ll slip the long ones between the rainfly and the tent, then insert one set of poles in their metal holders. Since I’m traveling solo, this is the one tricky part because when the poles are inserted in their metal holders, the tent raises up. The rainfly may start to slip off at this point, so I have to make sure it stays covering the tent. I’ll attach some of the clips so that pole stays up. Once one pole is up, I raise the other. Then I add the other two corner stakes. Next, I go under the rainfly and attach the center clip to the poles. After that I put on the short third pole and attach all the rest of the clips and stake down the vestibule and the rainfly. I put the pack and bear can (sometimes - it depends on the time of day and how hungry I am) in the vestibule, go in the tent, zip shut the vestibule, take off my raincoat, and put it in the vestibule. Then I get everything else out of the pack. I spread out the sleeping pad and bag, and put on a dry t-shirt and polartec pants and enjoy Crystal Light lemonade and snack food. while writing scattered notes about being stuck inside the tent in a storm and whatever else goes through my mind.
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Re: Tent Set Up Methods In Rain or Wind

Postby oldranger » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:12 am

As a rule I don't set up a tent in the rain. Generally if rain is approaching I find a place to set up camp if I am near my destination. If it is still early and I am aways from my destination I keep on hiking with my poncho on and over my pack or sit or squat under a tree (or not if there is thunder) in my poncho. On a couple of occasions these tactics didn't work. Once one of my daughters got a little hypothermic and we had no choice but to stop. My other daughter and I were able to set up the two singlewall tents with no problem after pulling the tents out of our packs and putting our garbage bags over the packs. In 2011 I assembled my Flycreek while standing under a tree and then draped and attached the fly before laying it out on the ground. A quick wipe with my packtowel dried up the little water that got inside.

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Re: Tent Set Up Methods In Rain or Wind

Postby fishmonger » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:09 pm

maverick wrote:What's your method for setting up your tent during rain or strong windy conditions?
What do you do with your pack while setting up? What changes do you make to the
above method when your above treeline?



depends on the tent.

I have mostly freestanding tents, and one that sits on my ski poles. That last one, I lay down, peg the corners, go inside, raise the poles, done. lay out ground sheet, get comfy.

My other 4-season tents that are free standing work very much the same way, because they both have poles on the outside of the tent, so you never get the interior wet. Peg down the base, raise it. On very windy days it helps to have some guy lines ready get tighted the moment you raise the first pole, but even at 50mph wind on whitney, it was pretty easy to do.

my 3-season summer tent is pretty standard - it will get wet before you can throw the fly over it, so it has to go fast. usually I am not alone, so we get the fly over it in less than a minute.

the pack can go inside the tent the moment it gets rolled out, so there's some weight in it, plus it stays dry, however, I rarely am in conditions that are that bad and have not set up my tent before it got to that point. Basically, I prefer to set up tent before a storm hits. Many times I have found myself in a tent and the storm didn't really come through, but it beats the setup of a tent when conditions are already nasty.
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Re: Tent Set Up Methods In Rain or Wind

Postby rlown » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:19 pm

As fast as possible.

I was gonna type more on individual tent set-ups, but why? You put up what you have because you have to.

Tree line doesn't matter.. you do what you have to get shelter.

My pack is coated.. don't have to cover it.. haven't had a problem with water leakage ever.

I do a double rainbow.. it's simple. but i do carry other tents based on destination.
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Re: Tent Set Up Methods In Rain or Wind

Postby sparky » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:11 pm

I am like oldranger I try to wait out rain if I can unless it is pouring.

Then I just go as fast as possible. I don't worry about a little water inside, as long as it is minimal it is easy enough to get rid of.

My tarptent will only get a little rain at the front if it is coming down hard or sideways during set up.

My dome tent I can set up the fly first, then set up the interior after, but I have never actually done that. I have set it up during a light rain standard and just went as fast as possible, and easily got rid of moisture with my bandanna.

When setting up in the wind, I just have a couple rocks handy and use the breeze to my advantage instead of fighting it.
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Re: Tent Set Up Methods In Rain or Wind

Postby Nico » Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:14 am

I mostly use a tarp or a floorless pyramid-style shelter (like the MLD Duomid), so it's as simple as pegging down the windward side first and then going about the normal tent set-up routine (stake out corners, insert pole(s) and adjust guylines).

From there I can get my interior dialed in while protected from the rain: move sticks, rocks, etc out of the way. Lay down a ground sheet or bivy and get my sleeping area dialed in for the night.

If the Mrs is along, I sometimes am required to instead use a fully enclosed innernet with these shelters (although in her defense, she is getting better about not requiring a full bug/critter-proof enclosure). This is pretty easy with these floorless tarps since I can set up the fly first and then insert the innernet afterwards, thereby keeping it dry and clean during initial set-up.

Everything that I don't want to get wet in my pack is placed within a pack liner bag, so I don't worry about the pack getting wet sitting around camp during set-up. Nonetheless, I can always place the pack under the tarp while I'm setting up the tarp to keep it out of the rain/snow if I have to.
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Re: Tent Set Up Methods In Rain or Wind

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:54 pm

I also have a Tarptent Moment. I disagree that it is easy to set up. I battled a steady but fickle 30 mph wind a few weeks ago. Once the middle hoop pole was installed, I staked one end, the wind picked up the other and it almost became a kite! I would think that I had it oriented into the wind, and the, bam, the wind would shift and flatten it from the side. The tent is so light that it can blow away a far distance if it ever gets out of your hand. Remember to put the tent bag inside your pocket! It took me half an hour to get the tent set up! I do not trust any tent peg in a real wind so set-up includes finding and hauling huge rocks to backup-tie at least each end.

I have had real trouble setting up ANY tent in a gale-force wind. If you think it is easy, perhaps you have not yet encountered a really fierce wind. Staking down all corners first helps, but then it is a real pain to insert the poles.

The biggest problem with a rain, is that the tent material stretches when wet, so no matter how well I get it set up I have to go back out in the rain and tighten it again. I put my pack inside as soon as I can.
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Re: Tent Set Up Methods In Rain or Wind

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:04 pm

oldranger's comment reminded me of one rainy day. It was pouring cats and dogs, on the Lost Coast, and at Wheeler Camp an old wooden outhouse is located near the trail en route to the campsite. I went inside, put down the lid, sat on the pot, and assembled the tent and poles and then ran to the tent site and set it up! The funny thing is that between the outhouse and the tent site, three huge elk were sitting on the ground. I did not see them until, tent in hand, I nearly ran into them, freaked out, jumped, screamed! I set a pot set outside the tent- it rained over 4 inches that night.
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