Leaving collapsed tarps or tents in the rain
Display Avatars Sort By:
M W
(rcmike) - MLife

Locale: California
Leaving collapsed tarps or tents in the rain on 04/11/2011 10:39:34 MDT Print View

If you are using trekking poles for a tent or tarp and need to take the poles for day hikes, what do you do with your tarp/tent to keep water out in case it rains? Is it ok to just keep it collapsed on the ground?

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Leaving collapsed tarps or tents in the rain on 04/11/2011 10:46:13 MDT Print View

If it's a tarp and you're in a forested area, just tie it off to trees...

or just don't use your poles for a day :)

Philip Delvoie
(PhilipD) - MLife

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Leaving collapsed tarps or tents in the rain on 04/11/2011 10:49:36 MDT Print View

Michael,

For me personally...I would end up packing my kit back up rather than leaving a shelter collapsed. With a nice light load I would even be tempted to bring it with me. I don't often stay in the same spot two nights in a row though so the decision is an easier one for me.

Either way I think the potential for damage is higher if the shelter is collapsed and that would be one of my driving factors in deciding to pack up rather than leave it.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Leaving collapsed tarps or tents in the rain on 04/11/2011 10:54:42 MDT Print View

If I came across a collapsed tent/tarp in the wilderness, I might believe it's been abandoned and take it with me.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Leaving collapsed tarps or tents in the rain on 04/11/2011 11:06:01 MDT Print View

A collapsed silnylon shelter would likely not do well in the rain. I'd think that water would pool and overwhelm it's waterproofness.

I'd just hike without poles. Or pack up my shelter. Or tie to trees.

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Left Shelter on 04/11/2011 11:16:22 MDT Print View

I don't like leaving a shelter unless it is ready for any anticipated weather. An unsupported shelter doesn't fare well in wind and precipitation and anything left inside is equally compromised.

With my load so light these days, I rarely if ever leave my stuff. I am amazed at how many times I find the "perfect" campsite throughout the day and like having it all with me. When peak bagging I may leave my pack below - I have done that in the past - but for the past few years I even take it all with me to the top. It leaves flexibility to move on based on a better vantage point and I really like sleeping in a different spot each night.

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Left Shelter on 04/11/2011 11:49:50 MDT Print View

Since my camera gear comprises most of my pack weight and goes with me everywhere (duh), there's not much reason to leave a camp behind any more.

It IS however motivation to lighten my camera load, which is quite a bit more expensive to accomplish than lighting my camping stuff.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Leaving collapsed tarps or tents in the rain on 04/11/2011 11:52:10 MDT Print View

When camping with a group, I leave mine collapsed with stakes in place and rocks on top, or I find a substitute stick(s). Nothing bad has ever happened.

If solo, I would take it with me.

Edited by jshann on 04/12/2011 08:27:07 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Leaving collapsed tarps or tents in the rain on 04/12/2011 02:57:34 MDT Print View

A collapsed silnylon shelter would likely not do well in the rain. I'd think that water would pool and overwhelm it's waterproofness.

No.
I have left a piece of silnylon on my clothesline all day with several gallons of water in it , not a drop at the end of the day.
Silnylon test
(note : there are water drops above water level from evaporation, but no leakage whatsoever)
Franco

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Leaving collapsed tarps or tents in the rain on 04/12/2011 04:20:11 MDT Print View

Hi Franco

Your example suffers badly from facts.

The water pressure there is probably only 100 mm at the worst. I have never seen silnylon leak at that pressure.

Any faint water which did leak through the fabric would probably evaporate off the outer surface, leaving it dry.

Cheers

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Leaving collapsed tarps or tents in the rain on 04/12/2011 06:05:25 MDT Print View

The water level in the center is about 25cm deep (the saddle on my bike is 28cm long)
but whatever...
Franco

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Leaving collapsed tarps or tents in the rain on 04/12/2011 06:59:28 MDT Print View

Would Franco's example suffice to recreate the worst case scenario of water pooling on a collapsed shelter? If the water pressure in his example is ~100mm, I can't imaging pools of water on a shelter being even half that. Could they?

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: Re: Leaving collapsed tarps or tents in the rain on 04/12/2011 08:25:21 MDT Print View

> If the water pressure in his example is ~100mm, I can't imaging pools of water on a
> shelter being even half that. Could they?

If the water's 25cm deep, then the water pressure (at least in the center) is more like 250mm (which should be elementary).

I challenge you to find a way to get rainwater to POOL water on a tarp that deep, whether it's pitched or not :)

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Re: Re: Leaving collapsed tarps or tents in the rain on 04/12/2011 09:14:01 MDT Print View

Well, I don't believe that leaving a tent out, made of sil-nylon, is a good idea. Franco's example of it holding water is a good example why it makes a good tent. But, this basically relys on the water tension. The water tension is supported by the weave of the fabric. So, yes, it will suport a bubble of water. Likely much deeper than what Franco had in his tarp. But, if you place anything against it to interupt the water film, it will leak.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Leaving collapsed tarps or tents in the rain on 04/12/2011 09:42:23 MDT Print View

Another alternative for the trekking poles is to use a stick for day hiking and leave the poles holding the shelter.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Leaving collapsed tarps or tents in the rain on 04/12/2011 10:00:45 MDT Print View

" But, if you place anything against it to interupt the water film, it will leak."

You mean inside the tent?

I've pooled water an inch deep on WPB fabric, with paper towel inside, and it was waterproof for a while, but then it leaks a little, and then it quickly leaks a lot

Silnylon didn't leak after hours

But with a tent, there are seams, and it's possible the tent fabric is damaged. Leaving it collapsed with water pooling on it is a lot more difficult test than leaving it erect.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Leaving collapsed tarps or tents in the rain on 04/12/2011 11:04:18 MDT Print View

"Silnylon didn't leak after hours"
So, you are saying that they make good dry bags???? I don't think so. Unless they have some sort of other treatment, they leak when in contact with things like cloths or bedding.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Leaving collapsed tarps or tents in the rain on 04/12/2011 11:12:57 MDT Print View

" "Silnylon didn't leak after hours"
So, you are saying that they make good dry bags???? I don't think so. Unless they have some sort of other treatment, they leak when in contact with things like cloths or bedding."

In general I agree with you, but it depends on the silnylon. I had probably coated mine with diluted silicone. Then, it is totally waterproof and would make a good drybag (until the silicone started wearing off).

What you're saying is inconsistent with the hydrostatic head argument

In the hydrostatic head experiment, it's a short amount of time (?) and two drops in the test area are allowed

If you leave the puddled water on silnylon for hours with a wicking material on the inside it's a different experiment

M W
(rcmike) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: Leaving collapsed tarps or tents in the rain on 04/12/2011 11:58:17 MDT Print View

"If you leave the puddled water on silnylon for hours with a wicking material on the inside it's a different experiment"

So a more realistic test would be to collapse the tarp over a pile of gear simulating what one might have underneath (bag, pad, pack, etc) and then turn on the sprinklers. I probably wouldn't go as far as leaving unprotected gear like that even on a trip. At the very least, I would stick everything in a dry sack if I couldn't watch over it.

Mike

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Leaving collapsed tarps or tents in the rain on 04/12/2011 12:04:47 MDT Print View

"What you're saying is inconsistent with the hydrostatic head argument"
Not at all. Water tension is many times stronger than bonding between general water molecules.
When supported by a fine woven material, such as ripstop nylon (though Roger is correct in saying that the rip stop threads interupt the film leading to leaks) it is very strong. Soo, it will hold a LOT of hydrostatic head. Even water in a glass with NO support can easily reach 1 or two mm with no support. Support that film with a good hydrophobic material, in this case sil-nylon, and it becomes a good water bag. 25cm or more is easily possible. You would think that it is water proof. Not true. Add a hydrophilic material to the outside, such as a piece of clothing, and it looses it...it will wick through. It is not water proof. The hydrostatic head does not measure this. It only measures exactly what you described regardless of the mechanism. MSR's video for the "Fast Stash" is a bit misleading, unless they are still using the PU coating as on the Thing"... Bad for condensation, good for water resistance.