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#200541 - 03/26/18 06:36 PM backpacking tent blew away or got stolen
toddfw2003 Offline
member

Registered: 01/08/16
Posts: 359
Loc: Texas
Just got back from a backpacking trip with a friend in the San Rafaels Swells Utah. We set up a base camp and day hiked some of the canyon last thursday. It became super windy. 40 mph gust. Maybe even higher. Got back to camp and my tent was gone. 3 or 4 stakes were laying on the ground. 2 more stakes were about 10 feet away. We looked all over for it. There were a lot of juniper trees. I would think it would have gotten stuck in one of the trees but it was gone. Came back the next day in the 4x4 and looked all over and we couldnt find it. I didnt have any gear in it. It was still in my pack. It was my REI Dash 2 i bought about 3 years ago. I dont use it a lot but sometimes I use it if i want a full tent instead of a tarp. Really sucked

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#200544 - 03/26/18 07:53 PM Re: backpacking tent blew away or got stolen [Re: toddfw2003]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1815
Loc: Napa, CA
We once came back to our xamosite to see out tent fifty yards away from where we set it, and another being lifted high into the air by a mini tornado. Winds in the West are serious business!
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#201614 - 08/28/18 04:09 AM Re: backpacking tent blew away or got stolen [Re: toddfw2003]
wildnfree Offline
member

Registered: 09/29/17
Posts: 25
Loc: Phoenix, Az
I think your tent was blown away by a tornado. No one stole just the fabrics and left the stakes.

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#201621 - 08/29/18 10:08 AM Re: backpacking tent blew away or got stolen [Re: wildnfree]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1815
Loc: Napa, CA
Yep. Wind in the Southwest is a powerful force. And I've seen tents lifted 150 feet into the air and floated far away...

Tent stakes, not so much.
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#201623 - 08/29/18 10:19 AM Re: backpacking tent blew away or got stolen [Re: toddfw2003]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1599
Loc: Southwest Ohio
So, I’m curious: you said the tent was still in your pack? That sounds like theft -it would take a very strong wind indeed to take a tent (that was stuffed into a sack) and the poles and pluck them out of a pack without also blowing the pack away, I think.

Perhaps I’m just misreading your post?

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#201656 - 09/05/18 04:00 PM Re: backpacking tent blew away or got stolen [Re: Glenn Roberts]
snapper Offline
member

Registered: 03/07/13
Posts: 45
Loc: NY
I think he meant there was no gear in the tent to help hold it down since the gear was in his pack. Just my best guess.

As for the situation at hand, we had the same thing happen on a college trip years ago with the wind. We'd pitched our tents back on the beach (we were sea kayaking) and went for a walk. When we came back they were being blown down the beach. Luckily the wind subsided and we were able to catch up with them.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time....be well.

snapper

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#201657 - 09/05/18 04:14 PM Re: backpacking tent blew away or got stolen [Re: snapper]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1599
Loc: Southwest Ohio
That makes better sense, and is consistent with the other posts - thanks.

I’ve never had a tent blow away, though I have been in winds strong enough that the staked-out tent, with me and all my gear inside, had one corner that kept lifting up; it never pulled the stake out, but had it been empty, I could see that happening. That was a case where we made camp under clear skies and calm conditions on an open slope, and an unexpected and unpredicted storm blew in around midnight, catching us on what was now the windward side of the hill, in the open. We believe the sustained winds were probably 20 -25 mph, gusting to 35 or 40.

If we had sensed a storm coming, we’d have never camped in the open, no matter how pretty the view. If winds seem possible, we try to get into the woods, or at least behind a windbreak, to make camp.

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#201684 - 09/11/18 10:44 AM Re: backpacking tent blew away or got stolen [Re: toddfw2003]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3589
Loc: Texas
Welcome to "the circle of tents". grin I once found a perfectly perfect dome tent that had tumbled no telling how far across the desert floor in Big Bend Ntl. Pk. That was in 1984 and I still use it today! But....it's managed to tumble off just like your story. I had to go looking for it, but found it. Certain free standing tents fly very well, since they are airfoil shaped and develop tremendous lift in high winds.
Earlier this year I was again camping on the desert floor and the winds were so high that stakes pulled out and I was enveloped all night in a collapsed wet mess as though I was strapped to the top of a speeding car! I should know better.
I've now replaced all my stakes with much more robust types and when car camping use screw-in leash anchors and long spikes. I've had high winds break tent hoops before but this was the first time a tent tried to carry me away. I've also replaced my car camping tent with a much more wind proof design that seems rock solid.
I'm a tarp/hammock guy when actually backpacking and have never had a wind issue when out.
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