I have an MSR Elixir 2 tent with footprint that is great for my spring/summer/fall rock trips and is made of quite durable fabric. It has worked quite well at very cold temps and has very effectively kept rain out. I am hoping to use this tent for weekend ice climbing trips during the winter months. The only issue is that the fly is silver/white! I have reflective guy lines but am wondering:

Is there a bright coloured tape, preferably orange, that I can apply to a portion of the fly so it is more visible in snow during daylight and also has some reflective properties so it is visible at night?

Reasons for wanting to do this is to save ~$750 on a four season tent until I actually need one! There may be hunting permitted in the area the tent is pitched, emergency situations where we would need to be identified from the air...

Also please consider that the tape or markers need to accommodate the stretch in the fly. Does any such product exist?


I recommend reflective lines for at night, and standard flagging tape for during the day. Both are lightweight and the triptease line really jumps out at night when hit with a light.

  • what are your thoughts on reflective automotive tape
    – AM_Hawk
    Aug 5 '14 at 14:54
  • I've never tried it. I would caution to cut the corners rounded so that it doesn't harm or poke through your tent fly. Aug 5 '14 at 15:00

As Russell mentions, flagging tape can work well in this situation. I carry a roll in my first aid/survival kit, as it's also useful for marking your path if you're lost, among other uses.

A more permanent and reflective alternative would be to get some type of reflective fabric and attach it to your fly. You could potentially sew it on, if you're not too concerned about water ingress, or you could just sort of drape it over the fly.

3M makes a reflective non-stretchy fabric which you can buy on Amazon:

3M fabric

You could also get some reflective elastic, such as this reflective stretchy running belt, and just remove the buckle and use the stretchy material:

reflective belt

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