Packing In On A Pack Animal
FOR INDIVIDUALS PACKING IN ON PACK ANIMALS - SETTING UP CANVAS TENTS USING LODGEPOLES:
Recommendation: Never roll up canvas tents and use them as a top pack. Rolled tents can easily roll to one side and cause a 50-75 lb overweight on one side. This imbalanced load will cause an immediate wreck which can be very dangerous to you and your pack animal, especially, in steep terrain. I recommend you fold canvas tents into a rectangle 30-36" wide and long enough to drape over the pack to saddle to just about even with each side of wooden slats on the half breed. You can put the folded tent into a special tent bag or use manties to secure the tent and protect it while you are packing to your campsite.
Individuals packing in on pack animals sometimes use a lodgepole frame to save weight and space instead of packing in tent frames. General recommendations and guidance:
- Use a tent with a reinforced tent ridge with an extra layer of canvas. It is very easy to poke a hole or tear the tent ridge if you do not properly remove and smooth the branches even with the lodge pole.
- When selecting poles for pitching a tent, try to use poles that do not taper much. A minimum diameter of four inches (on the smaller end) is preferable. Young lodgepole pine trees make ideal poles for this purpose.
- Use the best pole (smooth and strong) for the ridge pole as it takes the most stress and is the most difficult to change should something go wrong.
- When attaching one pole to another, lash them together about 1 foot from the end with rope or drive pole spikes through them.
- The best way to tightly secure the two poles forming the "A" of the lodge pole frame is to lay two poles on the ground on top of one another. Tie a rope tightly around both small ends of the lodge poles about one foot from the top. Then spread out the two poles to form an "A". You can secure the "A" poles much tighter this way than making an "A" from the two poles then tying the two poles together.
- If you are likely to us the same campsite in the future I recommend you cache the poles when breaking camp. It is best to tie your lodgepole frames up against a tree to get them off the ground, If you leave the poles on the ground they will start to rot and weaken much quicker. The poles can give you many years of service if you care for them. Tying the poles to a tree will also be a signal to another camper not to use your poles for firewood.