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What is this thing on my tent for?

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Offline kevint

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What is this thing on my tent for?
« on: December 14, 2013, 02:33:17 PM »
My older daughter and I are thinking about trying our hand at a short, 1 night, backpacking trip.  I dug out an old 2 man dome tent that I pulled out of a bargain bin when my wife and I got married over 25 years ago.   At the time, I payed $25 for it.  The tent seems to be in pretty good shape but there is one part of it I never understood.


The mysterious (to me) feature is a porthole of sorts on the side of the tent.  It is a tube that usually just hangs inside the tent with mesh over the end of the tube.  There is a drawstring around the circumference of the mesh to cinch it closed or around something.












« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 02:42:28 PM by kevint »
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Offline dougstar

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Re: What is this thing on my tent for?
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2013, 03:18:27 PM »
I had a tent once with that very same thing.   All I could think of was it was so you cold stick your head out thru it to see outside.   :eusa_doh:   

Or some sort of vent..

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Offline dougstar

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Re: What is this thing on my tent for?
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2013, 03:22:41 PM »
Just did some web searching..   It might be a vent to allow humidity out to prevent condensation while still having the rain fly on.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: What is this thing on my tent for?
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2013, 04:43:16 PM »
Just did some web searching..   It might be a vent to allow humidity out to prevent condensation while still having the rain fly on.

Used to have them on mountaineering tents to allow some ventilation in snow storms without allowing blowing snow to get in but they are usually at the peak or near the peak.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline The Scorpion

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Re: What is this thing on my tent for?
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2013, 04:59:41 PM »
an AC vent?





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Offline DuneYeti

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Re: What is this thing on my tent for?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2013, 07:08:26 PM »
 :eusa_clap: And we have a winner.
"The less you want, the richer you are."

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Offline Beatrice

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Re: What is this thing on my tent for?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2013, 08:26:41 AM »
Ours has one down low for shoes. On ours, you can access the shoes from either side, thus avoiding tracking mud through your tent.

The blue and yellow tent by Sotol Vista has a down low port right beside the door so I assume it is the same, but the original pic by Kevin has it much higher so I think that must be something else.

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Offline Geezer

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Re: What is this thing on my tent for?
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2013, 10:24:04 PM »
"over 25 years ago"

It's probably not going to rain, but I do wonder if the waterproof coating on the fabric is still good. Or if the seams are still taped.

Geezer

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Offline kevint

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Re: What is this thing on my tent for?
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2013, 10:56:55 PM »

"over 25 years ago"

It's probably not going to rain, but I do wonder if the waterproof coating on the fabric is still good. Or if the seams are still taped.

Geezer

I am wondering the same. The seams are easy to seal, but how do you re-waterproof a Nylon tent?  This was going to be my next post.


Kevint
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Offline Al

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Re: What is this thing on my tent for?
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2013, 12:22:40 AM »
It all depends on how the tent was stored.  If it's not worn out, put up dry and stored under controlled conditions (indoors) just reseal the seams and it will be good to go.  The elastic cords in the poles are probably shot though.  I'd go for a new tent!

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Offline kevint

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Re: What is this thing on my tent for?
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2013, 05:16:08 AM »

It all depends on how the tent was stored.  If it's not worn out, put up dry and stored under controlled conditions (indoors) just reseal the seams and it will be good to go.  The elastic cords in the poles are probably shot though.  I'd go for a new tent!

Thanks Al. That's reassuring.

The tent was stored dry, clean and in the garage. I was "shocked" to find the cords in the poles still elastic and functioning.

I don't think there will be a new tent for this trip (although I have looked at a few online). Neither my daughter nor I have backpacked before so this will be an exploratory trip for us. I'm trying hard to minimize the cash outlay for this experiment.



Kevint
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"It's not an adventure until something goes wrong."  --Yvon Chouinard

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Offline mule ears

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Re: What is this thing on my tent for?
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2013, 06:22:00 AM »
If the waterproof coating (probably urethane) is not peeling off then you are good to go.  Usually if a tent is put away at all damp then the mildew will separate the coating from the nylon.  You can by brush on recoat and do it but it is a pain.   I would set it up and hit it with the hose and see how it does.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline Jimbow

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Re: What is this thing on my tent for?
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2013, 09:16:31 PM »
One thing to keep in mind. While your plan is sound, use what you got for a "see if we'll like experience", remember better equipment usually means a better experience. A lighter weight tent is easier on your back and legs. Cooking is easier with a nicer stove. So if the trip isn't as great as you expected see where a few dollar investment may turn things around for you.
Everything is in walking distance if you have enough time.

 


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