The Root of the Problem: 3 Things You Must Avoid to Keep Your Tent in Good Shape

August 2, 2020

I have been Camping in military surplus tents for decades now, and over the course of those years I have worn many a hole through several yards of heavy canvas. Now, this is not a good thing, regardless of the level to which I proclaim it to be so.

The problem is that every hole that wears into the canvas must then be patched or it ends up becoming a tear and pretty soon your military surplus tent starts looking ratty and becomes ineffective at keeping the elements off of you and the critters from your private space.

I have narrowed the problem down to about three commonalities which tend to cause the majority of the holes in my tents. Predominantly the problem occurs when and where there is friction, (this goes without saying), and the easy solution to this problem is to try to avoid these situations. So here are three common problems, and their solutions, that will help you keep your tent nice and free from holes:

1. Tree roots. It probably doesn't take me to tell you that tree roots that are exposed above ground can be a pain in the backside, ( especially when one chooses to sit on them for some reason), and these should be avoided at all cost. Not only will exposed tree roots wear on your tent floor, but they cause all sorts of problems in the form of nighttime navigation, leveling, etc...

2. Your lucky cowboy boots. For some reason, my lucky cowboy boots seem to provide me with various forms of luck. Sometimes good, sometimes bad and often in a range between the two. Take for instance, the time Crazy Amos bought us a horse in foal at a hell of a deal. She only had to setbacks: first she kicked the sides out of the horse trailer for a total of 127 miles, (sometimes the left and sometimes the right. I don't think she managed to kick the roof but I know she tried). Second, she would run s hard as she could go the whole time you were on her... backwards. In that instance those lucky cowboy boots generated good luck in the form of flying from them stirrups like a greasy piglet. They didn't serve me so well; however, when I thought it would be a good idea to cut a rotten old tree down on a snowy hillside in subzero degree weather... you get my point. So, those lucky cowboy boots, (and any other footwear), are best taken off and placed near the entrance. Stocking feet are the best options for wearing inside your tent.

3. Tree branches. There is probably nothing more cozy than a tent pitched in the cool shade on a hot day; unless that shade happens to be comprised of sharpened spikes that can fall on your tent and pierce it's canvas. Keep in mind the danger of falling debris when you choose your campsite.

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