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Is there a trick for packing the poles for the Half Dome 2 Plus?

Hi All,

I just used my new tent for a three day trip. I love it!

Every time I fold up my tent poles, they basically end up in an unruly mess. Are there any videos that show a better way to secure the poles? Is there an order to it or is it a free for all? Thanks.

8 Replies

Hi @djw !

Oh, I'm glad you loved loved your tent! I also have the same tent and it's one of my favorites! I'm pretty committed on packing my tent away perfectly! I think I may be too excited about responding to this message! Ha!

I'm going to explain this as best as I can. Here is a YouTube video, I found that lines up the steps I explain below: How to Pack away your tent

I lay my footprint flat, then next layer is the main body of tent. I believe it gets folded in thirds, or however many folds needed to match the width of your folded up tent poles (this is also the length of your tent bag). Once you folded the layers, you then add your rainfly on top. (there really isn't perfect way to fold the fly). Right now you should be looking at a very long flat, folded burrito. With layers of footprint, tent and rainfly on top of all those layers. Then you can either put your all your tent poles in the tent pole bag. Then you use the tent poles to role up all the layers like a very large burrito (as tightly as you can). Boom, it should then fit right into your Tent bag, perfectly. 

Please remember to always let your whole tent dry completely before packing away. If you can't do it at the campsite, lay out all the pieces when you get home. 

Happy packing!  

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
ALPS Mountaineering's team shows you how to properly get your tent back into the stuff sack

When I'm breaking my tent down in the mornings, I will hold the tent poles in my left hand as I disassemble the sections with my right hand, and I will stack each section on its neighbor as I go. To clarify, I will grab one corner's pole section with my left hand, the section right next to it with my right hand, and I'll separate those two. I will then place both "broken" sections in my left hand, slide my right hand to the next section, take those two apart, and continue adding to the poles in my left hand. When I get to the middle section of pole (in a hubbed system), I will then just start making my way outward, using the same method... taking each section apart, adding it to my left hand, etc. I do have a large bundle of tent poles in my left hand when I'm done, but they're all stacked neatly on each other, and then I slide them into the empty pole bag that comes with each tent. (Yours did have a pole bag included, right?) I do keep my tent stakes in the pole bag as well, but putting the poles in the pole bag doesn't work well if the stake bag is already in the bottom; I will just add those last. 

I hope this somewhat makes sense. I don't have a video for it, but putting your tent away shouldn't feel like a game of Pick Up Sticks! 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Thanks for this everyone. I think my hangup is when I reach the hub. Each corner's poles are neat but when I reach the hub, poles go every which way. The poles do fit into the pole bag fine (I do have one) once I get them broke down, so it's not terrible, but I do feel that some poles have more tension on the shock cords than others and I really don't want to damage the shock cords. I pack the tent components separately,  so no burritos for me 🙂 but the instructions were great.

It makes sense that you'd think there's more tension on one end than the other. A guy I saw on Youtube said he starts packing his poles down from the center hub because of that exact reason. (His explanation made sense in that if you start from the left, well now there's an uneven pull on the shock cord the whole length of the poles, but if you start in the middle, everything is evenly stretched.) Shock cord has plenty of give, so unless you're in there sawing it with a pocket knife or you regularly pull the sections like two feet apart, you should be okay. 🙂 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

The HD2+ has a hubbed pole system that is held together with and internal bungee cord.  So you just pull it all apart and fold the sections end to end to make a bundle.  Then put it in the pole bag or put a band of some sort around to to keep it together.  With most hubbed poles systems you leave the each hub inserted on one of its connecting poles.  It usually doesn't matter which one but you may find one might be more convenient than the others for a particular pole set possibly because it is shorter.

Personally I just stuff my tent rather than folding it.  Creases that form in the same place over time weaken the tent fabric and you tend to get wear lines and failure if you use the tent a lot.  Stuffing it randomizes the creases so you are not folding the same line of cloth every least that is the theory. 

I stuff the body in the bag first and then the fly.  I try to stuff the body it so the outside floor  folds on itself to keep dirt to dirt.  Same with the footprint but in its own bag.  I stuff the fly on top.   This way if the fly is wet you can keep it out and try to dry it as you travel rather than packing it wet with the body.  I generally keep the pole bag separate in my pack.

Definitely dry out your tent after a trip before you put it away...PU coated tents are particularly prone to growing mildew ...I always rinse mine with fresh water and then hang dry it thoroughly before stuffing it back in its bag to store. 




My tent packing method is similar to yours, I start with stuffing the fly first into the bottom of my pack, then the body, then the footprint. Why that order? Well, that's how I take it down LOL. I keep the poles in a side pocket. I keep my sleeping bag and clothes in dry bags, so I'm not concerned if there's a little moisture on the tent fly/body/footprint.

As for storage, for my tent body and fly, I just put all the corner grommets over the top of wire coat hanger and hang it in my closet. For my sleeping bags, I use the plastic hangers with the notches in them for the bottom end, sliding them through the loops (which I am assuming is why the loops are there), and using a hanger with clamps (trouser hangers?) for the top end, and hang them right next to my tent.

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@SILHiker tomorrow I'm hanging my tent like this, sounds like a great idea.  I have my bags in their storage bags and the storage bags hung from hangers.

Thanks @OldGuyot. I ended up keeping the center pole at the hub connected on both ends to the hub and it seemed to pack more smoothly with less tension.