There is much to know about the aid-relief sector, tents and other products we offer. We listed some of the frequently asked questions below.

If you don’t find you question in the list below or would like to know more about Alpinter, please contact us.




Self-standing or free-standing tents are tents that support themselves. The tent does not need pegs and guy ropes to be set up. The biggest advantage of self-standing tent design is that it reduces the tent footprint, meaning the tent needs less space and can easily be set up in urban areas. The RED and BLUE tent are self-standing family tents.

Core treated’ means that the chemicals or additives (FR, UV stabilisers, color pigments) have been added in the extrusion process of the film or yarn. ‘Surface treated’ means that the chemicals or additives (FR, anti-fungi, UV, waterproofing, color pigments) have been added on the surface during the finishing process of the fabric. There are multiple benefits of core treated fabrics:

  • the treatment is more durable
  • the chemicals are not directly exposed to weathering
  • the treatment can’t be washed off during cleaning or chlorine disinfection
  • the end-user is not in direct contact with the chemicals

PE is a synthetic fabric, which is often lighter, more durable and less expensive  compared to natural or blended fabrics like PC. PE is not sensitive to fungi degradation and can be disinfected without alteration of the treatment of the fabric. The PE Alpinter uses is black-out, core treated and slow flame spread.

The main benefit of PC is that it is a breathable waterproof fabric.

Condensation is caused by the accumulation of humidity and moisture inside a tent: a direct result of a temperature difference between the outside and inside.
What causes humidity and moisture?

  1. Weather conditions: High humidity, low outside / high inside temperatures and rainy conditions create the most condensation.
  2. Occupants: People produce between 50 centilitres and 1 litre of moisture per night through breathing and skin evaporation.
  3. A wet environment: Wet or moist ground and humid weather are inevitable. Ventilation and dry heat are key to reducing condensation. As heating systems are not always available, sometimes we are limited to ventilation. Cool, dry air must flow into your tent, allowing moist air to escape.

Alpinter tents guarantee good breathability and/or ventilation:

  • All our tents use a breathable fabric for inner tents.
  • Ventilation cones and large windows/doors with mosquito netting are included in all of the tents, ensuring better air circulation between the folds, while offering protection from insects.

For long-term storage, tents should be kept in dry, clean, ventilated warehouses, out of direct sunlight (in bags) and elevated from the ground. All of the Alpinter tents can be delivered on metal stackable pallets that not only facilitate loading and storage but also guarantee good ventilation between each pile when stored, as well as reduce warehouse surface. The Alpinter tents are guaranteed 5-year shelf live if correctly stored.

Mud flaps on a tent are often made of synthetic fabrics that are not sensitive to fungi. The horizontal part of the mud flap is on the ground and allows users to cover the mud flap with sand, soil, stones, mud, etc… Using the mud flaps increases wind resistance, tent stability and avoids fraying of the flap by friction or flapping. It’s possible to dig a trench around the perimeter of the tent and place the horizontal part in the trench, preventing water flow under the outer tent.

If the tent is made of cotton or blend fabricsnever use detergent, bleach or any other liquid with active ingredients when cleaning the tent. Tents made from natural or blended fibres are highly sensitive to cleaning materials, which will remove the protective surface treatments for water repellence, fungi growth, FR, and UV resistance. We recommend dry brushing your tent fabric with a soft brush using clean, lukewarm water. If you want to disinfect the tent area including the tent surfaces, use a chlorine solution.

If the tent is made of synthetic fabrics (PE), it can be cleaned and disinfected with water and cleaning solution without alteration of the treatment of the fabric.

Some of our tent models are self-standing. As wind can be very unpredictable, we still recommend good anchoring at all times when possible. All of our guying point systems are tested to resist at least 3000 daN of load even after long time UV exposure. They also have a shock absorbing system with anti-slip guy runners that ensures continuous tension on the guying ropes. Pegs need to be placed in the same angle as the roof and inclined. Guying ropes need to be tensioned with the use of the guy runner. We recommend covering the mud flap with soil, bricks, stones, sand, mud, etc. It will offer more wind resistance and stability to the tent.

It is very difficult to achieve cooler temperatures inside a tent compared to the ambient outer shade temperatures. To achieve similar temperatures inside and out, remember to shut out as much infrared light as possible. Do so by creating shade for your tent and by ventilating. All our tents have large ventilation openings (cones, windows, doors, etc.) equipped with mosquito netting and flaps that can be used to create shade. Having good opacity or reflective fabric will help too. Shading nets on top of the outer roof have proven their efficiency and can reduce temperatures up to 10° C.

The use of PE has many advantages:

  • Easy to clean and disinfect
  • Durable
  • Not sensitive to fungi
  • Black out, allowing better temperature control
  • Slow flame spread
  • Light-weight
  • Cost efficient
  • Opaque fabric, allowing good privacy

When a fabric is black-out, it means that the fabric is opaque.
As the fabric is not transparent, it ensures better privacy for the tent users and will prevent the infrared light to enter the tent which allows to control the temperature in the tent.

  1. To make the distinction between tents for humanitarian usage and for the military.
  2. Because its UV/IR reflective properties.
  3. Because other colors like blue, black or red tend to attract flies in certain regions which are often at the origin of spreading diseases.

Shade nets or shade covers are added for reasons of temperature control. Lab and field testing show that in hot climates shade nets can reduce the temperature inside the tent by almost 10°C compared to the ambient shade temperature.


RCT is a measure of thermal resistance of insulation, which is commonly used in the textile industry. The higher the RCT value, the higher the insulation level.  Until recent years TOG was used as value for expressing the insulation properties.

A polyfill blanket is a 2-layer blanket with a polyester filling sandwiched in between. Compared to a normal blanket (without the extra layer of polyester) with the same insulation level, the polyfill blanket is lighter and more cost-efficient. Alpinter was the first supplier who introduced the polyfill blanket on the market in 2016.

The insulation capacity of a blanket depends on the RCT and the air permeability of the material. The RCT value depends on the weight, the fibre quality, the type of weaving or knitting and fibre raising of the blanket. A blanket with RCT 0,25 (medium thermal) is the minimum for outdoor use or indoor use without heater. Medium thermal blankets are recommended for refugee camp situations in hot or mild cold climates / temperatures. Higher RCT values would be required for colder climates.

Low thermal blankets have an RCT value of 0,15. Low thermal blankets are appropriate for indoor use, on a bed, in a house with heating facilities.

Medium thermal blankets have an RCT value of 0,25. This is the minimum required for outdoor use or indoor use without heater. Medium thermal blankets are recommended for refugee camp situations in hot or mild cold climates / temperatures.

High thermal blankets have an RCT value of 0,4. This is the minimum for use in cold climates.

The blankets are grey because there is no dyeing process involved in the production. This makes the product more environmental friendly and more cost efficient.

Plastic sheeting

Plastic sheeting for humanitarian use is made by laminating a black woven mesh of HDPE (High Density Poly-Ethylene) between two layers of white LDPE (Low Density Poly-Ethylene).

When plastic sheeting (tarp) is used as a shelter with direct exposure to the UV, the black yarns (woven base material) will absorb the infrared light and reduce the greenhouse effect, automatically reducing the heat inside the shelter. The white coating on both sides helps reflect UV and infrared light.

UV exposure has a negative impact on the lifespan of plastic in general, resulting in the loss of mechanical strength, colour fading, reduced elongation capacities, etc. UV blockers or UV stabilizers slow down the degradation process.
To lengthen the lifetime of the product, UV stabilizers are added to the yarns and coating/lamination, making the PE more UV resistant. PE tarpaulins without UV stabilization can lose up to 95% of their mechanical strengths after 1500 hours of accelerated testing under UVB light. Our plastic sheeting only allows 5% of loss strength after 1500 hours of accelerated UVB exposure. A polyethylene tarpaulin without UV stabilizers has capacities to protect the person underneath from harmful UV rays but the tarp itself is not UV resistant and will inevitably deteriorate.

Plastic sheeting is naturally Slow Flame Spread. But it is possible to treat the plastic sheeting, making it Fire Retardant. The term ‘Fire Retardant’ or Flame Retardant’ are both used when indicating that that when a fire starts the speed of the flame progression is reduced and when the flame source is removed the flame will die out after 10 seconds. Our plastic sheeting UNHCR/UNICEF standard are Flame Retardant following the CPAI-84 Section 6 standard.


Jerrycans used in humanitarian situations are often subjected to rough conditions and risk being damaged. The jerrycans we offer must resist up to 10 drop tests from 2,5 metres high, filled with water to their maximum capacity.

Tools and kits

Hot-dipped galvanised nails are recommended in humid regions where a maximum amount of protection is desired. To hot-dip galvanise steel fasteners, the steel is first cleaned, pickled, fluxed, and then dipped in a molten bath of zinc. The fasteners are allowed to cool prior to inspection and shipping. Hot-dipped fasteners are manufactured to ASTM 153 standards.
Electro-galvanised nails are used in mild-weather conditions and in areas with low humidity. Electro-galvanisation plates the nail in a zinc coating by using an electrical charge. The nails are submerged into an electrolytic solution and an electrical current coat them with a thin layer of zinc. However, after prolonged exposure to the elements, the thin layer of zinc oxidises, leaving the fastener subject to normal rusting and staining.


The frame pallets we use for our tents and shelter tool kits have many advantages: logistics, rapid filling and emptying of containers, less staff to load and offload, reduced risk of damaging bundles, less storage surface required. Also, no rack systems are needed as pallets are stackable: this guarantees tents are stored lifted from the floor which ensures ventilation.

CRI stands for Core Relief Item. The CRI pallet is a type of pallet that has been developed by Alpinter, in order to optimize transport.  A standard euro sized pallet is 120 x 80 cm, which is not adapted to container specifications. As a consequence, much space is wasted. That’s why we developed the CRI pallet, which is sized 115 x 75 cm. This slight change optimizes the loading efficiency for containers up to 30% and still fits most of the existing warehouse rack systems and reduces the risk of damage of palletized cargo. 

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