Re: Fixing Eureka! tents
dexter lovrien (drlovrie@WOLF.CO.NET)
Mon, 8 Apr 1996 02:15:56 -0500
Time to add my 2 cents to the Eureka tents for troop use thread.
We have been using the 4-man Timberline for longer then I have been with the
troop. (joined in '86) The timberlines the troop had then were the orange
colored ones and they had several years of use already. The only real
problems have been mentioned already (zippers and abuse) I feel these are
the same shortcomings that affect any tent regardless of brand or model.
Over the years, the troop bought some new, green timberlines and also bought
a couple from the councils Jamboree troops as those ones only had 12 days
use on them when they got back from that trip.
Perhaps a troop should have a couple old, leaky tents for Webelos to use so
they learn to respect and properly care for good tents. Most of the damage
done to our tents has occured during spring camporees and summercamp. New
Scouts must understand these tents are not backyard "toy" tents and sometime
these tents will be out in the Rockies, where good, reliable shelter _is_ a
matter of life or death. The same goes for food and drink in the tents.
There are black bear in our summer camp and grizzly bear where we go in the
Rockies. IF a tent is used to eat and drink in, it begins to smell like
food. Bears and other little critters (skunks!) know if it smells like
food, there must be food inside. One year an enterprising Scout in a nearby
troop thought there might be some profit in saving his fellow Scouts the
long trip to the trading post for candy bars. So he had a good stock _in
his tent_. About the third day of camp word got around about the bear
ripping into that tent in the middle of the night and removing most of the
candy bars without waking the Scouts. The Scout was out his inventory and
on the hook for repairs to the tent. The troop gets many visitors to see
the patched hole the bear clawed.
As for repairing the zippers here is a URL from "NETWOODS VIRTUAL GAMPSITE"
Check your library for books by Cliff Jacobson. He has a good way of tying
the tents down for storms using shock cord and nylon rope. Its all drawn
out in one or more of his series of outdoor books.
Tying those plastic "tinker-toy" connectors to the tent with a lenght of
light nylon line works for us too. We've never lost or broken one but carry
a spare or two in case. Using a black magic marker to highlight the arrow
on it helps as there is only one way those go together. Arrow to the right
Marking each part helps also. Still missing a few pegs after each outing.
When you order the tents get a box of pegs too. They do bend easliy and
they do "get lost".
The folks at Eureka have always been very prompt when we have needed parts.
Always had what we needed and got it to us in two days.
We have had the local awning shop replace two zippers as the teeth got
damaged. Never did find out just how. ("it was like that when we set it
up") And have had our share of bent poles as football and hacki-sack should
be played further from camp. (but then don't listen to me, just call it an
accident) The floors will last longer if two ground clouthes are used, one
intide and one under the tent. Vestibules are a good investment as helps
keep boots out of the tent and adds some room for boots, rain gear, etc.
Also, don't use tents to protect the watermelon your patrol won the last day
of camp. The asst. gear in the troop trailer will shift and break the
melon. Best to empty the trailer when you get home as there might just be a
watermelon wrapped in a tent. Otherwise, when the next campout rolls
around, you have a _real_ mess. (trust me on this one, it was not a pretty
As for hauling the tents in backpacks, we each take some of the gear in our
packs. The tents are stuffed in the packs of the smaller Scouts, some get
the tent, some the vestibule, poles and fly. Though bulky, these are not as
heavy as the stove fuel, cook wear, food etc. Every one carries something
important to the whole crew. When heading down following a week in the
mountains, the remaining gear is redistributed. Everyone has a lighter pack
as most of the fuel and food has been consumed.
One last selling point, our council has used the timberlines at Jamboree
since 1985. They stood up well to tropical storm "BOB". Scouters I talked
to that were there all agree, "those green tents were the last ones to blow
away". Hopefully we won't have to contend with another storm that size
again. But, if we do, we will be in our 4-man timberlines! (hanging on for
Dexter R. Lovrien
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Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City