Red Rock Campground is notorious for windy conditions. This week, during a particularly bad day of 30-40 mph continuous winds with 70 mph gusts, it was fun to walk around the campground and see which tents were holding up and which were in pretty bad shape. Who needs wind tunnel testing- just head to Red Rock Canyon!
Whether you own a family or expedition tent, there are some basic tips for making sure your tent is bombproof against the wind.
1. When you first get your tent, replace the guy lines as needed with reflective accessory cord. Make sure the cord is long enough that you will be able to loop around major objects such as rocks or logs or deep buried deadman anchors. The reflective cord will also ensure you don't trip when you get up for that midnight bathroom run.
2. Buy some really sturdy stakes (the ones with the tent are usually useless) and deadman anchors for snow and sand. Always look for natural anchors you can use as reinforcement like rocks or trees.
3. Face the front door away from the wind for extra protection.
4. If you are camping in the snow or on a glacier, building a snow wall around your tent considerably helps block the wind.
5. Elllie Henke, who is base camp manager for many of the Alpine Ascents expeditions, is fantastic at bombproofing tents. She reminds you to always check that your fly is clipped in tightly to the bottom pole connectors and that every last zipper, velcro tab or snap is completely closed. In the video above you can see someone left their fly zipper undone a bit- the wind will quickly unzip the entire fly and shred it to pieces.
6. Ensure your guy lines are as tight as possible and use every single one- the more you use the more bomber your tent. Continually re-check your guy lines throughout the day as they will loosen as your tent gets blown around as well as with changes in temperatures.
7. Place rocks or snow piles around the entire base of your tent so the fly can't flap up anywhere.
8. Think about collapsing your tent before you leave camp to help keep it from getting hammered by the wind.
Do you have any further tips for pitching a bombproof tent?