Tearing up the old tent
I have an old no-name tent (probably Wal-mart or something) that I never used, not even sure how I got it...but it is way too big and way too heavy and has been sitting in my closet dormant forever. Well now my hammock addiction has me wanting to tear the thing up for DIY projects on the hammock. I was browsing around for some shock cord...then came across a thread on HF about someone using the shock cord inside tent poles. That is a great idea! So I guess I am going to rip the thing up. I was also thinking of making a undercover out of the silnylon. But that will be for later as sewing is involved.
How would you get that shock cord out and prepare it for use as guy line tensioners? Should I break up the tent pole and cut it out with scissors, then burn the ends of the shock cord? Or is a scissor cut okay? Furthermore, do you think the shock cord off of a dormant tent for +10 years are still okay for use? I was pulling on the tent poles and it seemed okay. Just wouldn't want one to fail when I am out in the woods. Thanks for any suggestions/comments.
You should be able to pull the end off a pole and either untie or cut the shock cord. If it still stretches and snaps back it's probably fine. I think most people just scissor cut it. It doesn't tend to fray wildly like some other cordage. Maybe look how the ends are currently finished.
Heck, SELL the tent to some unsuspecting ground dweller and buy some good NEW cord!
I don't know if I would trust the cord at 10+ years old.
You will be surprised at all the little clips and connectors and such you'll get when you deconstruct that tent.
I did that to one of my old ones a couple of months back. Got some good material to practice on, the floor of the tent was the blue tarp type material and good for under the hammock/tarp to use as a floor and all those clips and such.
+1 on this..... That rubber core gets brittle and useless over time. You can buy some shock cord at a lot of places on line very inexpensively.
Originally Posted by dkperdue
Thanks for the replies everyone. Its beautiful out today, not too humid, and I see this as a perfect opportunity to mess around and break up that tent and see whats up. I am somewhat excited to see what clips and stuff I get because that means my imagination can run. It is indeed 10+ years old, but it has just sat around in my parents house (climate controlled enviro.). I am going to test that shock cord extensively to make sure it is okay. I am hoping it will be all good.
I thought about selling the tent, but I have no clue what it is worth. Plus I like the notion of having tidbits to mess around with. So where I might only get 20 - 40 bucks for it I can instead turn it around in to useful things for the hammock.
Not worth much....
If it's an old cheap tent then it's most likely urethane coated nylon/polyester rather than silnylon. It should work fine for stuff sacks or maybe a chair but not much else.
If you just pull the tips off each end of the poles there should be some kind of stopper knot. Just snip that off and you'll have one long piece of cord. Only problem is that the cord is under tension when the poles are folded. Age and heat break down the little rubber filaments inside the cord so it will likely have degraded pretty badly. If you can use them you'll end up with a bunch of little short pieces of cord. These might be good for zipper pulls or something but not much else. Overall an old tent isn't worth just a whole lot (I've got two old ones in the shed that I'm trying to find a use for).
For tarp tensioners I used old shock cord from a tent and it's worked just fine. The others are right though if there is a lot of tension on it you may want to go with new cord. It prevented my tie outs from pulling out also.
A lot of old tents have great material for stuff sacks and even zippers and bug netting that you can use. I trimmed off a gear loft from one tent and use it for a "quick get to compartment" type of pouch. It's really light, has a quality zipper and ties on my pack with those little fabric ties.
I took the old poles with the cord removed, glued and screwed together the sections and use them as connector rods for a pulsk type sled. It worked pretty good for zero cash outlay.