Pacific Crest Trail (2019) Pre-Hike 3: Gear Sadventures

Friday, March 08, 2019

I’ve been doing some last-minute grappling with my tent. During PCT 2018, I patched most of the holes, but the zipper is worse than I had thought, with the two sides separating even after I applied a zipper lubricant (arguably the lubricant made it worse). Zpacks has this to say:

If your zippers are not sealing correctly the usual culprit is the metal on the sides of the sliders has worn down. The metal naturally wears down over time, especially in dusty trail conditions. Luckily they are easy to replace on trail:

-Cut both end(s) of the zipper tape so the old sliders can slide off.

-Push on the new sliders with your fingertip. The sliders have grooves in the sides which must match the orientation of the zipper tape. The bumpy side of the zipper tape needs to fit in the grooves on the sliders. If the zipper has two sliders (like a tent door), make sure they zip together evenly at the center.

-Tape the ends of the zipper tape so the sliders can’t slide off. Our DCF repair tape works well.

Replacing the sliders on my Fly Creek worked for maybe a week, but I figured that replacing the sliders on my Altaplex couldn’t worsen its current state. I went to the sewing store to buy new ones, but it had no double pull sliders (the type with a pull on both sides so you can access one from within the tent), so getting out will be an adventure. I thought at first that I might be able to access the bottom of the zipper tape by removing the stitching, but it looked sewn to the cuben fiber, so I cut the tape. Ouch. I got the first slider on with a minimum of trouble, but with the second I kept trying to insert the slider with the pull facing the interior of the tent until eventually I realized that inserting it that way was impossible. Yes, that’s specified by the instructions above, but if those were paper instructions, I would have tossed them away immediately. That’s what instructions are meant for, right? Recycling.

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The new sliders

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