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USING INNER-PITCH-FIRST WE TENTS

Your WE tent package contains the tent layers, framework components, pegs and some spare parts. A system of bags, including an outer ‘carry bag’, is provided to manage these components. Optional groundsheets, pegs for different ground conditions and a full range of other tent accessories are available separately.

Always look for a safe, well drained, level area that will allow the tent to be best orientated to the wind and terrain. In snow, use your skis or snowshoes to level and compact an area on which to pitch your tent. Clear away loose debris on the ground that could damage the tent floor. Be aware of overhead or nearby branches that could damage the tent or cause injury. Most of our tents have a preferred orientation to the wind. Pay attention to this when choosing the set-up site. Always prepare for the possibility of a fresh breeze or stronger wind, even if it seems unlikely.

Handle poles and frameworks with care. Make sure all connection points are fully engaged before setting your tent up and ensure they do not partly open up during the set-up process. Place them a little away from the set-up area to avoid accidentally stepping on them. It is also worth getting the tent pegs organised before you start, especially if it is windy. Put them in your pocket or out on the ground roughly where they will be needed.

The set-up instructions that follow below should be read in conjunction with the remaining information in this article. We think you will appreciate the tips for use we have provided based on our more than 40 years using WE tents in all conditions. You must also make yourself familiar with the care instructions to avoid damage and premature deterioration of your tent.

Setting up the i-Explore 2 and i-Explore 3

These WE ‘Inner-Pitch-First’ models use three poles, all the same length. Orientate the tent so entrances are not facing the weather. Outer tents can be set up without the inner if the ground sheet option is carried.
   
  • Spread the inner tent on the ground and locate the pole feet fittings at the corners of the floor pan. Lay two poles diagonally across the inner. Insert the pole tips into their fittings at one end of the floor (any hole), go to the other end and spring each pole up in turn, inserting its tip into the corresponding fitting. Take care not to knock out a pole end tip and have a pole spring out before the inner is fully attached. It is easier if a second person holds the poles upright until this following step is well underway.

  • Clip the inner tent up to the poles at all the 12 pole clip strap points.

  • If the outer tent is to be used, feed the third, transverse pole under the other poles, across the tent and insert the tips into the fittings at the ends of their ground tapes. At the inner tent apex, relocate two of the four pole clips onto the transverse pole so it is held in place.


  • GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS - ALL INNER-PITCH-FIRST TENTS


    Once the inner tent has been fully set up with the poles or framework the outer tent can be fitted over it. If you are not going to attach the outer skin then you should now place pegs at each pole foot cord loop to secure your shelter and obtain good fabric tension. If you are fitting the outer skin…

  • Use the colour coded webbing points to assist with quickly matching up the entrances and panels in both tent layers. Standing upwind, spread the outer tent over the erected inner. The outer skin is fitted with narrow webbing tensioning straps corresponding to all pole feet fittings around the base of the inner tent. Loosen these straps at their adjusting buckles so a loop of webbing can be caught under the strong hook at the top of the pole feet.  (Note - special instructions apply to fitting Space outer skins at this point). Once all tension loops are attached work around the tent again adjusting the straps for firm and even tensioning of the outer skin fabric.

  • Where a tent pole passes close to an outer tent door opening many outer tents are provided with touch tape tabs on their underside. Fasten these around the poles to stabilise them against sideways movement.

  • Now is the time to place pegs and, if required, deploy guy lines. If you pegged the inner tent earlier, recheck the peg positions so outer skin tension is optimised.


  • A note about why FABRIC TENSION IS IMPORTANT

    All WE tents and tarps are engineered tensile structures designed and constructed to resist storm-force winds. All models should be pitched so fabric panels are as taut as possible – Tectite models also depend on this for correct ventilation. Strong, even tension greatly reduces the risk of fabric flapping. Like the tail of a whip, when fabric is allowed to flap destructive forces many times normal fabric tensions are generated and place the fabric at risk of tearing. Just as sailors act with urgency to control a flogging sail you should do the same with your tent. Note also - all nylon fabrics are prone to going a little ‘slack’ when they get damp or wet. But, when combined with silicone finishes, nylon fabrics have many excellent properties making them the best choice for our lightest outer skins. Use the comprehensive tensioning systems provided on all WE outer tents to ‘adjust out’ this dimensional change when it occurs.

    GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR WE TENT

    WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT CONDENSATION ?

    No matter what design or how well ventilated your tent is, certain combinations of damp air and cold temperatures will produce condensation on any surface, even mesh. You can reduce the amount of condensation in the following ways: Adjust the carefully designed and located vents on your WE tent to reduce the accumulation of the moisture exhaled with each breath – up to a litre per person overnight. Camp high where the air is normally drier, and camp away from water bodies where the air is naturally more humid. Site your tent under trees to reduce loss of heat (as infrared radiation disappearing out into the clear night sky). Similarly, site your tent near rocks or other massive objects so it can gain heat from their radiation. When condensation is expected to be significant use a sleeping bag with a water-resistant shell fabric. We carry a small cloth to mop up excess moisture.

    CONDENSATION INSIDE ON THE TENT FLOOR

    The high-end polyurethane (PU) coatings used to waterproof most lightweight tent floor fabrics are not complete barriers to moisture vapour. Body heat and cold surroundings can result in some ground moisture passing through the coating and condensing inside a tent floor. (Other coating types that are good vapour barriers are unsuitable for many other reasons). Focus on reducing atmospheric condensation as described in the section above. It is overwhelmingly more significant.

    STOVES and TENTS

    Like every tent manufacturer we warn against any use of a stove in a small tent. But the fact is that stoves do get used in tents when the weather is poor. So we add this advice. You must be a complete master of the stove’s maintenance and operation, constantly attend it during operation and be prepared to deal with an emergency. Use it only in the vestibule, well clear of nearby and overhead gear. Beware of rising heat. Ventilation at ground level is essential to prevent carbon-dioxide accumulation. The combustion of gas and liquid fuels also produces moisture vapour, adding to what comes out of the cooking pot, so provide good overhead ventilation as well.

    HANDLING YOUR TENT IN STRONG WIND

    There are three rules: Correct orientation, excellent fabric tension and intelligent guy deployment. Set guy angles to take the wind direction into account. Make sure nothing is chafing or rubbing as the tent flexes with the wind gusts. Pegs and other improvised anchors must be utterly secure. In extreme wind use your body or pack to support fabric panels. If you often use your tent in exposed locations consider adding some valences around the outer tent perimeter so these can be buried or weighted down to assist anchoring and reduce wind penetration. Ask us about that.

    HANDLING YOUR TENT IN THE SNOW

    Excessive snow accumulation on flat tent surfaces poses a far greater risk to your tent’s structural integrity than high wind velocities. Site your tent in the open where the wind can scour away snow, not in turbulent areas on the lee side of ridges or in tree bands where snow drops out and accumulates. In still conditions snow build-up can go unnoticed. Clear it away regularly. Dig away accumulated snow at the tent sides if it hinders knocking snow from the top of the tent. Set a regular wake-up alarm if you need to. Maintain adequate ventilation when the snow depth increases.

    IMPROVISATION and GOING LIGHTWEIGHT

    We maintain a standard of equipment design and construction that is best summed up by ‘good gear for poor conditions’, not the other way around. There are seasons and places where you don’t always need this level of confidence and can save weight by leaving one of your tent layers at home.

    Consider our ground sheet options, practice setting your outer tent up on its own, or see how you can use one of our lightweight Overhang tarps as shelter for the whole group.

    Also experiment with improvisation when it will offer a better solution to securing your tent: In soft sand you can bury a big stick or rock as a deadman anchor when the peg you have may be too narrow. Loose rocks are often available to secure tents set up on open rock surfaces - but put then back after! Always carry five or ten metres of thin cord. It is invaluable for improvising.

    FIELD REPAIRS

    In the event of a broken pole section or connector use a pole repair sleeve to fix the problem and adhesive tape to position the sleeve over a break. Pole sections that have been bent out of shape can usually be straightened by hand, across a knee or around another smooth rounded surface such as the trunk of a sapling.

    In forty years we have not found a more versatile field repair tape than Leukoplast® 50mm medical adhesive plaster in the Blue and White container. Besides its first aid and strapping uses it works very well on the PU coated side of torn fabrics.

    Repair tapes do not stick to fabrics finished both sides with silicone. In the field repairs must be made by hand so carry a needle, thread and some strips of repair fabric. Having said that, fabric tears are rare. Old tents with severely UV-weakened fabric or misadventure with crampons digging out snow-bound tents are the only instances we can recall.

    By the way, WE Quad pegs with their four flutes make ideal internal splints for fractured ski and walking poles. Three-flute pegs do not have the necessary bending resistance.


     
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