Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tent Practice Runs

One of the other things we did this weekend to prepare for the trip was to set up our tents.  I highly recommend setting up and taking down your tent more than once before you head out on a trip- even if you're familiar with your tent.  If it's raining or dark out, you want to be comfortable with setting up the tent without having to stand around reading a set of directions.  And if it's been a while since you've used the tent, it's always a good idea to set it up to make sure everything is there and in good working order. You don't want to fix problems on the trail when you could have fixed them in your back yard on a sunny day.

My tent sets up pretty easily.  I have the REI Quarter Dome T2+.  It's a 2 man tent with a little extra space.  I really like the tent even though I have yet to use it on the trail (I did use it in the back yard).  Reviews for this tent mention how complicated it is to set up.  At first I agreed, but realized I was over thinking the set up.  The tent and poles are completely color coded.  It's really a no-brainer and if you have trouble setting up this tent it's because you think it's more complicated than it really is.  Match up the colored lines with the colored poles and that's it.  I had heard or read somewhere that it's possible to set up just the rainfly for this tent and wanted to try that out.  It didn't work very well for me (yet) and since I have enough people to help me keep the tent dry if I need to set up in the rain, I'm not going to bother with it right now.  I did read the directions and discovered a few things about the tent I never bothered to learn about, so I'm fairly comfortable with setting it up.

My mom and cousin have a Eureka Spitfire Solo tent.  It isn't a free standing tent and has a funky shape (like an alien pod or something), so it was important to make sure we knew how to set that up.  Set up is actually pretty simple with 2 short pole configurations and some stakes. But the rainfly gave us a little trouble.  The instructions say the rainfly should not touch the sides of the tent, but in one spot we couldn't get it to not touch the side of the tent.  After some fiddling, I finally called my cousin to get her thoughts and we got it figured out.  With this tent, you need to make sure you stake it down in the exact order the instructions state.  You also need to make sure you have it straight and not "cattywampus" (my cousin's official term) because being slightly off can throw the fly out of whack.  Luckily, my cousin will be on the trip and available to help out with the tent if need be. 

I think for the most part, we're all set.  I'm hitting the store today for last minute items we need, and I'll be packing the food this evening and getting things arranged in my pack.   See you when/if we return!

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