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Thread: Tent Packing - Just Stuff It?

  1. #1
    Long Gone
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    Tent Packing - Just Stuff It?

    For years, I've been packing my tent just like the manufacturers did - fold, pack poles in the center, and roll to fit in the tent bag. I just downloaded the instructions for the Helen Twowheels Super Packing System, which tell you to put the poles in the bag, then the fly, and finally stuff in the tent. According to the instructions, it's better for the tent and faster. I sure believe the faster part, not to mention being easier on old knees!

    Do your fold and roll, or just stuff it?
    Chris

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  2. #2
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    tent packing

    I just stuff mine. I have a medium sized duffle bag that sits crossways across the saddle bags. Poles go diagonally in the bottom, sleeping bag into an Aqua Seal stuff sack goes in next, and the tent and fly just get stuffed in, with lots of room left over.

    If I'm backpacking, the tent and fly get stuffed into a stuff sack first, then into the pack.

    But if bulk is a problem, you can always stuff the tent / fly into a compression stuff sack, and then crank it down.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  3. #3
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    my tent comes with a separate bag for the poles, as they won't fit in the tent's storage bag.

    but the poles for my parawing do fit in the same bag. while it is slower, i lay the wing out flat, fold it to the same width as the storage bag, then place the poles in the center, and then roll it all up. fits nicely that way.

    if you have the poles on the exterior of your tent's storage bag and you don't follow helen's "tight is right" packing advice, you might find that the poles can wear small holes in the storage bag from vibrating/rubbing against the sides of the saddlebag or the rack..

    my tent's storage bag has an integrated compression system. i do roll up my tent, too... laying out the ground sheet, then the tent, then the rain fly and roll it up from head to toe. this makes it easier to set up, as i pick a spot and roll it out, pretty much ready to put the poles in and stake down.

    ian
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  4. #4
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    I roll the tent and stuff the sleeping bag.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  5. #5
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    Stuff It

    It's better to stuff your tent. Folding will in time weaken the fabric where it has been repeatedly folded and stored. The same with sleeping bags, but that has more to do with insulation compression.

    They call them stuff sacks for a reason.

  6. #6
    Chairman of the hoard wmubrown's Avatar
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    I still fold and roll mine, it doesn't come out looking all wrinkled up and since I use a ground cloth, I can fold and roll it so the dirt (and sometimes mud) does not come in contact with the actual tent. I don't find that its any more work to fold and roll it up.
    John A. Brown - Kalamazoo MI
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  7. #7
    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    Wrinkles

    At the last rally I lost out on the neatest campsite award when the inspectors issued several demerits for excessive tent wrinkling. Oh the shame of it!!


    Watch out for the metal pieces often found at the corner of the tent that the suspension poles slip over. These can easily puncture the tent if jammed in willy-nilly

    I believe that the tent repetitive creasing-weakening matter was more critical in the day of canvas tents than today.
    Last edited by amiles; 02-21-2009 at 05:35 PM. Reason: Willy Nilly

  8. #8
    Registered User 88bmwjeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scbmwrider View Post
    It's better to stuff your tent. Folding will in time weaken the fabric where it has been repeatedly folded and stored. The same with sleeping bags, but that has more to do with insulation compression.

    They call them stuff sacks for a reason.

    +1
    Jeff in W.C.
    1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
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  9. #9
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    I think the main thing is that neither the tent nor fly be packed in such a way that hard and / or sharp objects can chafe or puncture the material. Everybody packs different, but that's not hard to assess.

    One of our local outfitters sells long, padded bags for tent poles, that are pretty slick.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  10. #10
    Registered User REBGEN's Avatar
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    I think both techiniques seem to work fine.....comes down to personal preference. I have always rolled my tents and have had no problems whatsoever. I currently still use a circa 1989 Eureka Wind River Geodome and it is still in excellent condition.

    I have switched to stuffing my sleeping bags though. All of my bags are H2W and the compression stuff sack I use for sleeping gear allows me to really cinch things down nicely.
    98 R1200C Canyon Red

  11. #11
    I work too hard.... 86755's Avatar
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    Stuff!

    A few years ago in Backpacker Magazine's annual "Gear Guide" an article about tents mentioned that most manufacturers recommend stuffing tents into bags so as to not create creases. Creases=weakened fabric and waterproofing (as someone mentioned above).
    FORZA ITALIA
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  12. #12
    K1200RS Pilot JEBNER's Avatar
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    Tent packing

    I too have the Helen 2 Wheels bags. I'll have to try that method for the tent. The length of the poles is what always annoy me. If I didn't already have both an REI and a Eureka tent that I don't use enough, I would spend $395 for the Nemo tent that uses air bladders instead of tent poles, and packs much smaller, at least according to their website http://www.nemoequipment.com

  13. #13
    Brett
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    I'm using the same Eastern Mountain tent I have for four years now and I roll it not stuff it. Waterproof every fall use a ground Blue tarp under it. I average 33-44 nights a year in that tent and it still looks new. Stakes and poles are in with the tent but in their own bags all works perfect with no signs of wear in 154 average uses and I seem to always find rain here in the North east.

    Brett Endress
    Altoona Pa

  14. #14
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    Stuffing for 30+ years

    as it was described to me.... think of an old piece of paper that has been folded over and over again.....

    same thing happens to your tent.



    Quote Originally Posted by scbmwrider View Post
    It's better to stuff your tent. Folding will in time weaken the fabric where it has been repeatedly folded and stored. The same with sleeping bags, but that has more to do with insulation compression.

    They call them stuff sacks for a reason.
    Somers, NY

    Just enjoying the ride.......

  15. #15
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jebner View Post
    The length of the poles is what always annoy me.
    There are 3 or 4 tents out there that have poles that pack shorter than 18 inches. It took me a long time to find them. I hate strapping things on the bike. If it doesn't fit in the luggage it stays home.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

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