Brushing the Tent's Teeth

As I recently moaned on about, we had to replace our tent prior to the Death Valley trip that kicked off the new year.
Desolation Canyon - Death Valley National Park
Boy.  We took our new tent to some pretty sandy, dusty places straight out of the gate, too, let me tell ya!  Since we attribute sand as a factor in the demise of our previous tent (multiple zipper failures) we opted to take a more proactive approach this time.
Roadside backcountry camping - Death Valley National Park
Years back our buddy, Josh, had told us that after Burning Man festival-goers had would clean their zippers with a toothbrush to get all the sand out and prevent damage.  When we got home from Death Valley Matt did some research which confirmed what Josh had mentioned all those years ago.  Going at the zipper teeth with a toothbrush is a good way to dislodge grains of sand that might choke up the zipper mechanism causing it to malfunction.
With Memo and Jess at the Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes - Death Valley National Park
I took a fresh, clean, new toothbrush and, after opening the zippers all the way, brushed along the teeth of the zipper with the toothbrush bristles.  I did see several grains of sand ping off into space when I was watching closely and thought, hey, there might actually be something to this idea.  (I was dubious.)
Stovepipe Wells Campground
Since we'd laid the sleeping bag directly on the sand dunes I also opened the sleeping bag zipper and brushed those teeth out, too.  We are really, really keen on our sleeping bag (is a double so we can cuddle away from home, too) and want to do our best to keep it working well.
Roadside backcountry camping - Death Valley National Park
Maybe both bits of gear would have been fine without this precautionary brushing.  Maybe it didn't really make a big difference.  But, perhaps it did and it  certainly didn't hurt anything and was super why not?!
Mesquite Flats Sand Dunes - Death Valley National Park
I am also happy to report that after daily use for a week in the beautiful desert country Matt and I are both pleased with the redesign of the tent.  We especially like how wide the doors open and that the roof is more mesh than the previous model--hooray for better stargazing in the tent!
Stovepipe Wells Campground
May this new one serve us as many years or more than its predecessor did.  Hip, hip, hooray for our new home away from home!


  1. ...what a good idea about the zipper teeth...I wouldn't have thought of that...
    ~Have a lovely day!

    1. I'm glad Josh went to Burning Man those couple years--he has some good insight into camping in sandy conditions. It was very helpful and I am not sure I'd have thought of this tip myself!


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