If you can only choose one piece of equipment to represent outdoor sports, then tents must be one of the first categories that come to mind; if you want to choose a category of tents to represent the image of tents, then tower tents are also strong nominees. The streamlined spire tent largely represents people's imagination of primitive wilderness, hunting expedition and outdoor survival.
From the appearance, the spire structure of the tower tent is clearly different from the cross-pole dome tent, another common tent in the market. For various reasons, the cross-pole tent still occupies the largest market share and is the first tent for many people, so the tower tent is also slightly mysterious.
When we shop for tents, tower tents are often labeled as two things: lightweight and portable; trouble to set up.
Since the tower tent can be supported by trekking poles, the weight of the tent pole is eliminated and its dead weight depends mainly on the fabric. For backpacking tower tent, wear pole double tent is basically more than 2kg, while double tower tent within 1.5kg is very common; moving camping in wear pole tent weight is often more than 10kg, the corresponding large tower tent is also relatively lighter.
Since there is no tent pole to help set the shape, although it is not difficult to make the tower tent stand up, but it is not easy to build a strong and upright, and requires repeated practice.
In fact, the seemingly simple pagoda tent contains a lot of tricks. This article starts from the origin of the tower tent, from the fabric to the structure, from building to play, many aspects of the mystery of the tower tent for you to unveil.
The 19th century American westward movement shown in the film "The Wilderness Hunter" not only presents the conflict between tradition and modernity, indigenous and outsider, but also depicts the picture of human beings going deep into the nature and groping. Beyond the blood and tears between civilizations, the relationship between man and nature is redefined in this land. For modern people, the American continent thus still has a deep outdoor gene.
Before this "New World" was discovered, the Native American Indians had been living on this land for thousands of years with their hands and wisdom, planting the seeds of harmony between man and nature, and the "home" that provided shelter for the Indians was the tipi (Indian cone-shaped tent).
The traditional tipi is 4 to 7 meters high, and the main composition contains an outer covering of animal skins sewn together and a skeleton made of more than a dozen tree poles; canvas also became an important material for the outer covering after it entered the American continent. The top of the tent has a vent, so that the smoke from the fire inside the tent can be discharged smoothly, and when it rains, it can be covered with a piece of woven fabric on the protruding tree poles, which can both ventilate and cover the rain.
The turning point came in 1856, on the eve of the Civil War, when an American officer named Henry Sibley studied the Native American tipi tent on a long journey through the Wild West and invented the Sibley tent on the basis of it, the most significant structural change being that the tipi was wrapped around multiple poles to a central pole supporting the entire tent from the center, while The tent was fixed to the ground by 24 short stakes, and a ventilation cover replaced the original open roof.
This modification makes the tipi, which is already easy to carry and build, more flexible, with a smaller packing volume, and very easy to disassemble and transport. Afterwards, the Northern Union Army in the Civil War used this tent extensively, so you can imagine the great role played by the Sibley tent in the process.
This revolutionary breakthrough in the structure of the Sibley tent provided an important inspiration and basis for the design of later tower tents.
Time machine back to today, for outdoor enthusiasts, in the wilderness is no longer for hunting, nomadic, war and migration, but with the mentality of enjoying nature over the mountains, or looking for a beautiful piece of camp quiet time.
The development of science and technology makes new materials and new technology soaring, for the tower tent, modern technology is undoubtedly its clever structure on top of the wings of the tiger.
While the traditional tipi had a solid outer wall made up of multiple tree poles, most modern tents are modeled after the Sibley tent, a central pole structure that means the "walls" of the tent are made of only soft fabric. In other words, the main body of the tent is actually cloth cut into a special shape.
The tent fabric on the market is mainly nylon (nylon) and polyester (polyester) two. Polyester cost less, commonly used in some large tents, nylon cost more, more flexible, commonly used in backpacking hiking small tents, especially in lightweight tower tent.
Nylon and polyester are fiber woven fabrics, just like the "bricks" on the wall, just by the brick wall is not strong enough, but also need the cement bonding, fabric "cement" is the coating treatment technology. The "cement" in the fabric is the coating treatment technology. We can understand the coating treatment simply as using specific gum to immerse into the fabric to make the fabric performance significantly improved.
PU coating can greatly increase the waterproof ability of the fabric, and silicon coating can make the fabric more ductile, and at the same time can improve the tear resistance of the fabric. Tent bottom contact with the ground for a long time, high requirements for waterproof, mostly with PU coating; tent outer tent need to resist the rain and snow in nature, higher requirements for tear resistance, mostly with silicon coating.
Tents are often made of multiple pieces of fabric put together, and the pinholes at the seams are possible water seepage points, for which sealing is needed at the seams.
One of the simplest and most straightforward is the hot press tape, which is equivalent to putting an impermeable tape on the seam line, but this is only applicable to PU coating, as the tape cannot be fixed on the oil-based substance, the silicon coating often cannot be glued.
For silicon coated fabrics, the user needs to apply glue at the seams, and the tent manufacturer will generally include the appropriate tools.
After the coating treatment of the fabric, the outer tent hydrostatic pressure index of 1500mm to 3000mm; tent bottom hydrostatic pressure index of 3000mm or more, for the tent will be sufficient to cope with most outdoor environments.
Extra attention needs to be paid to the fact that rubbing, washing and some detergents can irreversibly damage the fabric coating, so cleaning the tent by simply wiping it down. The tent should be air-dried before storage, otherwise it will also accelerate the hydrolysis of the coating.
In addition to conventional fabrics, there is a special material for making tower tents - Dyneema (commonly known as Hercules). It is a kind of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fiber (UHMwPE), which can make a variety of high-quality products. The fabric DCF made from Dyneema has the characteristics of ultra-light weight, high strength and completely waterproof.
How lightweight is it? General nylon tower tent want to do within 1kg often need to sacrifice space at the expense of, but DCF tent can even do just a few hundred grams, light and strong. Such a good material is not a disadvantage? If expensive disadvantages, DCF tents are often several times the price of nylon tents.
A strong house can not only walls, "load-bearing beams", "foundation" and so on some key force part is also very important, for the tower tent, a variety of accessories, accessories act as the corresponding role. In most cases, the damage to the tower tent is from the crumbling of the corners of these forces.
As mentioned earlier, the tower tent is a specially cut piece of cloth, and to make a piece of cloth stand up, it needs at least two directions of force up and down. For the tower tent, the forces are of course complex, but they can also be reduced to the two core forces, namely the upward support provided by the spreader bar and the downward tension provided by the ground pegs. Therefore, the spreader bar and the ground pegs are important components of the tower tent.
The tower tent has a variety of spreader bars, lightweight small tower tent using trekking poles is enough to support; tall multi-person tower tent business will generally have the original spreader bar; there are also special ties can be fixed together two trekking poles, or tubular connection accessories to extend the length of the poles.
Since the camp ground conditions are variable and do not always reach the ideal level, and the fullness of the tower tent requires strong support from the spreader bar, it is important that the spreader bar length is adjustable. In some uneven ground, once the pole is not long enough will be very embarrassing, so the length of the pole should be greater than or equal to the height of the tent, in order to better adapt to different camp conditions and erection methods.
Cross-pole dome tents can be "self-supporting" to a certain extent, relying on the rigid structure of the tent poles to open up a certain amount of space, and can spend the night without even hitting the ground pegs in case of no wind.
But the tower tent can not do, a piece of cloth is not going to stand up on its own, and it can even be said that half of a complete tower tent is cloth, the other half is the ground nail.
The tower tent itself can not stand on its own, need ground pegs to do the "foundation" of the tent, the lack of ground pegs or ground can not be pegged will greatly reduce the degree of stability of the tent, or even can not be set up. Therefore, it is best to prepare a sufficient number of pegs when using a tower tent, and survey the ground conditions of the camp in advance.
Soft mud, sand and snow can make it difficult to force the spikes; hard concrete is also impossible to get them down. The former can use special sand nails, snow anchors and other professional equipment fixed, the latter is best not to use the tower tent.
Force point auxiliaries
Ground pegs are attached to the tent by ropes or webbing. This part is the most critical stress point of the tower tent, and although it is an insignificant detail, it is crucial. The rope and webbing need to be strong enough, the sturdiness and locking function of the fasteners have to be secure, and the fasteners and tent stitching also need additional reinforcement design, all kinds of details to ensure the durability and safety of the tower tent.
In addition, the skylight for ventilation, winter tower tent to strengthen the closed snow skirt, tent door zipper, anti-mosquito screen and other design is also a measure of a tower tent is excellent reference, because relatively speaking is not the unique characteristics of the tower tent, here is not detailed.
There are many different types of tower tents with various structures.
According to the use scenario, it can be divided into large tower tent for moving camping and small tower tent for backpacking hiking.
According to the number of poles, there is the classic single pole pyramid tent, the double spire tent with two poles (also known as A tower tent), and the special structure tent with multiple poles.
The single pole pyramid tent can be divided into quadrilateral, hexagonal, octagonal and so on according to the shape of the bottom surface.
Twin spire tents can be divided into symmetrical and asymmetrical by the height of the two poles and the design of the foyer, as well as special forms of tents supported by multiple poles.
According to the degree of openness between the tent and the tent, it can be divided into closed structure, semi-open structure and open structure, in fact, some canopy shelters built by special methods can also be understood as a kind of tower tent.
Since the tower tent is not limited by poles, the same tent can be turned into different structural forms by different methods of erection, which is what makes the tower tent so interesting.
In addition there are some special design deformation tent, through the new structure design to expand the use of space, but its essence is still a tower tent.
The tower tent is the reason that dissuades many people from using it, and the reason why many people are fascinated by it. Compared to the common cross-pole tent, the tower tent is difficult to set up, but also very interesting. Next we explain in detail how to pitch this spire "house".
Although tower tents have a variety of structures, they are built with a similar logic, basically following the three steps of pegging, bracing and adjustment. As mentioned before, since the tower tent itself cannot stand on its own, its erection is actually the result of the tension of the ground nails and the support force of the spreader bar balancing each other through the tent surface.
The first step of lowering the pegs is to prepare for the tension of the ground pegs; the second step of bracing the poles is to make the initial shape of the tent; the third step of adjustment is to strengthen this pair of interactive forces, and this step is also the unique and key point of the tower tent erection.
The pegging step is the "foundation" process, the order and location is very important, a square house can not be built on a hexagonal foundation, and vice versa. Regardless of the structure of the tower tent, should be the first in the main stress points under the ground pegs, and according to the number of different tent sides improvised.
Some tents are equipped with special ground cloths or positioning ropes to help determine the location of the lower pegs, which is also a very practical strategy. It is not necessary to insert the ground pegs too deep when lowering the pegs, because the subsequent adjustment session may require re-pulling and replacing the peg positions.
The tower tent pole is equivalent to the house "load-bearing beam", is the key to the tent to stand up. After the basic pegs are placed, the tent is stretched and stretched with the poles to tense the tent and get a basic force to make the tent stand up for subsequent adjustment.
The height of the spreader bar is often not completely fixed, and the height needs to be adjusted according to the site conditions. In the case of no wind stifling heat can be appropriate to pitch the tent high to increase the bottom ventilation; windy conditions should be pitched low, as close to the ground.
Adjustment is to align the untidy place to the untidy, let the unstressed place to eat the force, will not be full place to become full, the adjustment process needs to be improvised. Since there is no reference when putting down the pegs, and the terrain of the camp is not always ideal, it is difficult to accurately restore the ideal shape of the tent cutting design in the initial set up, so the adjustment process is actually crucial.
First of all, the overall observation of the shape of the tower tent is not obviously skewed, flat collapse, such as the bottom area of the rectangle to build a parallelogram. If there are no major errors, you can make detail adjustments. When the ground nail position is obviously deviated, it should be re-pinned in the correct position. With the adjustment of the length of the poles, so that the tent surface is taut and full, so that the force can be evenly and evenly distributed on the surface of the tent.
If the surface of the tent is wrinkled and collapsed, it means that the tower tent is not well set up and needs further adjustment of the poles and ground pegs. Because although the tent is temporarily erected, but extremely unstable, a burst of wind or shaking and pulling, the tent will collapse. Even in a windless environment, such a set-up will greatly compress the space inside the tent.
After the construction is completed, it does not mean that nothing needs to be taken care of, the tower tent still needs your constant "care". Because of the elasticity of the nylon fabric itself, as well as the fabric will become damp and loose after being wet by rain or dew, it is necessary to tighten the tent again, especially before going to bed to ensure that the tent is in a full state, unless you want to experience the feeling of being awakened by the tent face slap in the middle of a beautiful dream.
In short, building a tower tent should not be afraid of trouble, and should be patiently and repeatedly adjusted to the most perfect state.
Compared to common cross-pole dome tents, the vast differences in construction result in a number of features that both attract people to try out tower tents and are easy for first-timers to overlook.
Weight and space
Because there is no tent pole, the outer tent can be used separately, the tower tent often has a certain advantage in weight, which is very attractive for the pursuit of lightweight players, is one of the selling points of the tower tent.
Weight and space are sometimes like two sides of the same coin, the fish and the bear's paw cannot be combined. The top of the tower tent is small and narrow, the bottom tent wall tilt angle, plus the erection of the pole in which the space is very compressed. Especially those who pursue the ultimate lightweight small tower tent, lie down when the tent may be very close to the face, slightly "depressing", while the same bottom area of the cross-pole tent space to feel much better.
Because of this reason, the tower tent either by cutting design to widen the use of space, or the tent as a whole to make larger, but these practices are only to a very limited extent to solve the problem, or again make to improve the weight of the, as well as the expansion of the footprint of the tower tent on the camp more picky.
Good wind resistance has always been the proud label of the tower tent. The disadvantage of space is turned into an advantage at this time. The streamlined structure and relatively small windward area of the tower tent have laid the foundation for its wind resistance.
Another secret of the tower tent against the wind is "soft to overcome the strong". As the tent itself is just a special cut cloth, as long as the fabric and stitching does not tear, the tower tent will be able to survive the gusts of wind again and again. In contrast, the hard tent poles need to continue to resist the wind pressure, once the bend or even break, the entire tent will be damaged.
In addition, the tower tent is easier to set up in windy conditions. Because the pegging process does not need to fight with the wind directly, as long as the props stand up a moment to withstand the wind is good. In contrast, cross-pole tents due to the early formation, the erection process requires constant resistance to wind thrust, windy even can not be erected.
So does that mean that the tower tent is suitable for use in windy weather? The answer may not be as simple as one might think.
First of all, the prerequisite for a wind-resistant tower tent is a good build! If you do not dare to ensure the stability of the tower tent build, do not expect a flimsy cloth to help you shelter from the wind and rain.
The structure and material of the tower tent will also affect the wind resistance of the tent. Generally speaking, single-tip pyramid tent wind resistance is better than double-tip tower, the more the number of force ground pegs the better the wind resistance.
Once the build is not good enough, and encounter windy weather what will happen?
Because there is no hard material to support the "outer wall", the wind will largely squeeze the already limited space inside the tent, the continuous wind will also make the tent in a constant state of shaking. Even if the tent does not fall, the sound of the tent shaking will also affect the sleep experience.
Also, when you encounter an uneven campsite, the wind will be more likely to pour in through the bottom of the tent. Although the tower tent can "overcome strength with flexibility", but can you live in the tower tent can withstand the psychological pressure of the tent constantly shaking?
This is why many alpine tents still use a multi-pole crossover structure rather than using a tower tent. If you like absolute peace and quiet, then try not to set up your tower tent in a windy area.
The soft and versatile nature of the tower tent allows it to have a variety of ways to play, which is the reason why many people are obsessed with it.
The tower tent can usually be used as a separate outer tent, so many people use the large tower tent as a common tent in the camp, where they gather to cook and eat, chat and entertain. Whether you are backpacking or moving camping, such a happy scene is appearing in more and more campsites.
Without the structural limitations of the tent pole, the tower tent can also be built into different forms by adding support poles, wind ropes, etc., combined with the surrounding environment to play a variety of patterns. You can also combine multiple tents and canopies to build the look you like.
Also based on the advantages of the outer tent alone, in winter, the tower tent can be easily combined with a chimney wood stove. Many manufacturers will be the tower tent reserved for anti-hot chimney mouth, such a combination can be warm and cold and moody mood, is an excellent combination of winter outdoor.
Remote and ancient, tower tents have an incomparable and unique charm. Before the immaturity of tent pole technology, it and its distant neighbors sheltered generations of explorers and backpackers, using ropes, trees and tarps to build one improvised shelter after another.
Then came the era of tent poles, and the development of aluminum and fiberglass technology allowed the tent through the pole to sweep the entire outdoor field, and to this day they still occupy the absolute majority of the market share. However, the tower tent still silently attracts its loyal fans and never really leaves us.
With the further development of fabric technology and people's tireless pursuit of lightweight, this lost treasure was picked up again, a large number of silicone-coated nylon fabric lightweight tent emerged, so more and more lightweight enthusiasts addicted to it.
Among the trend of style camping and sophisticated camping that has become popular in the past two years, the tower tent has awakened many people's imagination and desire for nature with its ancient and charming appearance.
As a result of getting rid of the worry of weight, the more vintage cotton and canvas tower tent is recalled, and reincarnation makes vintage new trend again. This genie from the depths of history still holds on to the hearts and minds of people in the fast moving modern world.
How many good times have you had with the tower tent? Feel free to share in the comments section!