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  1. #1
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    Default Temp Range for Fiberglass Poles

    I had a new-ish car camping tent more-or-less fall into my lap, and it has fiberglass poles. I'd like to make some use of it, and save wear and tear on my backpacking tent, esp. when I'm at frontcountry sites with gravel pads, could use the extra space (it's a 2P basic X-frame design). However, I've heard that cold weather can increase the risk of splintering and snapping fiberglass poles. What's a good safe temperature range for using fiberglass tent poles? thanks -

  2. #2
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    There's not going to be a single number answer. It will greatly depend upon a combination of temperatures, loads (think wind load or snow accumulation), and pole thickness. After all, a pole at 32 might break if a 50mph wind start blowing against the tent... but that same pole might be just find below 0 if the winds don't get above 5mph.

    In principle, the fiberglass poles should be getting made thick enough to compensate for the difference in the strength between fiberglass, aluminum, and steel. Of course a manufacturer trying to make a cheap knock-off of a name brand tent likely makes the tent cheaper by using thinner/weaker poles.


    But I think here's the bottom line: The tent was made for car camping... so go use it for car camping.

    Worst case scenario, cold temperatures and a storm combine to break your fiberglass poles and you are forced to retreat to your car. It's not like you're stuck 10 miles into the back country with no shelter.

  3. #3

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    I like that answer - it sums up my thoughts better than I'd been able to formulate them. Don't hesitate to use the tent when the risk is low. There are plenty of perfectly decent tents out there with fiberglass poles. Aluminum is just a -better- answer when performance needs exceed price concerns.

  4. #4
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    Yes great answers, the only thing I could add is if you have a name of tent you could look it up (Google). Or get ahold of the company (email).

  5. #5
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    Oops double post

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