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Tent Poles for Backpack Frame Stays
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Arlo Aude
(arlo_aude) - F
Tent Poles for Backpack Frame Stays on 10/16/2005 12:22:57 MDT Print View

Has anyone thought about, or tried this?

It just occured to me. I backpack with a Terra Nova LaserLight, it's a two-skin 2 pound tent from the UK. It has a single 8-segment aluminum pole. When folded up, and flattened, so that all 8 segments act as a bed, I insert it in to the back of my Granite Gear Vapor Trail, and behind that, I put my 3/4 length Prolite-3 Thermarest. The back is absolutely rock-solid. I think I could carry 50+ pounds in this thing, if the seams could take it. This also alows me to eliminate the stuff sacks for both the pad and the poles, frees up space inside the bag, and makes packing, unpacking easier, since both are in the external pocket. If any pack manufacturer picks up this idea, I want it to be known as the Aude packing system. HA!

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Tent Poles for Backpack Frame Stays--royalties or license fees, please on 10/16/2005 12:53:16 MDT Print View

I have been doing this for years with various frameless packs and do it with my ULA P-1 when carrying a tent. Either wrapped or sandwiched with my various sleeping pads.

I'm willing to consider this patented application (the Davidson Wunderkind Frame) shareware if you make a donation to either Katrina or Pakistan Quake relief.

Edited by kdesign on 10/16/2005 12:54:04 MDT.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Tent Poles for Backpack Frame Stays on 10/16/2005 12:57:12 MDT Print View

for a year or so now, i place the folded shock corded pole of an eVENT Unishelter (or any other shelter's poles) between folds of a sleeping pad. when i used a Breeze pack, placed pole between overlap of the cylindrical pad v-frame inside the Breeze pack. using a GG G5 pack, i place the folded shock corded pole between the folds of the GG NightLight Torso pad in the external pad pocket. either way this makes a very nice frame. this is certainly not original with me. my understanding is that UL'ers have been doing this for some many years now.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Pay no attention to the last message on 10/16/2005 13:02:02 MDT Print View

Shhhh! Paul, that's our dirty little secret.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Pay no attention to the last message on 10/16/2005 13:18:13 MDT Print View


as you know, there's no secrets b/t UL'ers. in my experience they like to freely share and exchange ideas to help others. i do, however, like your suggested name for the frame - clever. though, i was thinking more along the lines of the "pj Uber-Framen". it's also commendable that Arlo came up with his approach all on his own. way to go, Arlo. good thinking Arlo.

Edited by pj on 10/17/2005 00:25:48 MDT.

Glenn Roberts
(garkjr) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
Variation on the theme on 10/16/2005 13:26:26 MDT Print View

I've successfully used a chair kit for a Thermarest to do the same thing with my Granite Gear Virga pack. I leave the stays in their sleeves, and the Thermarest in the chair kit, fold it in half (width-wise, where the back meets the seat), then roll the stays in toward the middle to get the desired width. Then I insert it along the back panel of the pack, "lock" it in place by stuffing my sleeping bag (inside a bivy sack) into the bottom of the pack, and finish loading it. If necessary for comfort or rgidity, I can inflate Thermarest lightly. I've tried it with the stays toward the inside of the pack, and along the back; it doesn't seem to make a lot of difference in comfort.

The Virga is rated as carrying a 20-pound load comfortably with just a pad for a frame; this seems true, based on my experience. The addition of the stays moves the comfort level up toward 25 pounds.

The Prolite 3 Thermarest seems to work best - anything thicker has too much bulk to fold well, and is rather unwieldy to pack around.

Now, the obvious question: how can you call a Thermarest, let alone one with a chair kit, "ultralite"? Well, if you're out there on the bleeding edge with sub-5 pound loads, you obviously can't. However, for those of us merely on the bruising edge, it's a relative thing. For example, I carried a 2-pound, 2-ounce Vapor Trail pack. Changing that to a Virga with a chair kit (11 ounces) plus the Prolite 3 (2 ounces more than the Z-Lite it replaced) saved me nearly a quarter pound in weight, and gave me the luxury of a soft bed plus a chair kit, and an extra 5 pounds of capacity. (Of course, almost one of those pounds was used up by the pad and chair - like I said, it's all about trade-offs.)

For whatever it's worth, while I've used this system with good results, I mostly stay with the Z-rest as my frame and keep my loads at or under 20 pounds. Personal preference, mostly.

Edited by garkjr on 10/16/2005 13:28:22 MDT.