Last fall, a few of us were at a mountain bike festival called Grinduro in the small logging town of Quincy California. The town of less than 2,000 welcomes the event which benefits the Sierra Butte Trail Stewardship. The SBTS is a 501c3 non-profit that builds trails in in the Sierra Butte portion of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These guys build trails for just about every form of trail fun including, motorized OHV trails, hike, bike, horse, and multi-use trails. But we aren’t here to talk about Grinduro, Qunicy, or the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We are here to show you how important it is to properly set up your tent.
At PahaQue Wilderness, our tents are made to hold strong in adverse conditions. I’m sure you’ve noticed the guys lines coming out from each corner, and that the tent will actually stand on it’s own without them. It can be tempting to get lazy, and simply not bother with the guy lines, but the fact is that those lines are what really keep your tent up through the rough stuff. We saw a great illustration of this that weekend in Quincy.
The whole Grinduro festival revolves around one long, 65 mile mountain bike ride. Needles to say, this ride takes a long time and riders are gone for over half the day. Now when everyone left camp for the ride 8 AM, it was chilly but sunny, and the winds were calm. As the riders rode away, the temperature rose by over 10 degrees in the next hour. What also picked up was the wind, and by 10am there were winds gusts well over 30 MPH. We knew that our Pamo Valley 6 person tent and our PahaQue Rendevouz 4 man tent would hold up just fine. The tents are made for this sort of thing, and we had properly set up and staked our tents. But we weren’t prepared for the mess that waited for us when we arrived back at camp.
There were tents every where. Some of them had blown completely down, some had tipped over but were held in place by heavy items inside. Several had blown 100+ feet away to be stopped at a fence, and many tents had bent or broken poles. ut of course our tents were in perfect condition, standing tall. Any unlike many others, we were able sit and relax after a hard ride, rather than pack up a broken tent and wonder where could sleep that night.
There are a couple of important lessons here. The first one is to chose a good, high quality tent to start with. The second lesson is to make sure you properly set up your tent, including stakes and guy lines. A PahaQue tent is made to withstand the strong wind and other elements, and each part of the tent is engineered to do a job, to help keep you and your stuff protected from the elements.
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