Golite Hex3 / Shangri La 3 Pitching: How low can you go?
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SIMON TEW
(simontew) - F

Locale: Snowdonia/Lake District/Peaks
Golite Hex3 / Shangri La 3 Pitching: How low can you go? on 11/18/2008 17:13:11 MST Print View

Hi,
I just endured a looooonnnng night in high winds in my Golite SL3. I ended up with a permanent bend in the factory pole, and have sent off for a replacement. Happy to say that the fabric held up just fine, though the night was noisy in the extreme.
With the benefit of hindsight, my pitching of the SL3 was probably not as good as it could have been: I had a good taut pitch with the 6 main stakeout points, and had lengths of cord with mini clam-cleats for the 5 mid-points around the perimeter, again pitched taut, but I guess the whole thing was pitched too high. I should have lowered the pole and adjusted the pegs.
But even given the slightly higher pitch than necessary, I don't get how people can say a trekking pole with an extension can survive 55+ mph winds when the factory pole was damaged at around that wind speed. My pitch could have been improved, but it wasn't horrendously bad.
So here's the question: how low to the ground are other Hex3 / SL3 users getting in windy conditions: it seems to me that, despite the long webbing adjustment straps, you actually have to leave yourself very little final adjustment (in the sense of adjustment meaning applying tension at the main staking positions) if you want the edge of the tent to be close to the ground. Meaning that a low pitch is difficult to get good tension on. Am I missing something?
And do you discard the adjustable extension on the factory pole for the SL3 when it's windy? (I think the pole design was different for the Hex3).

Cheers, Simon

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
SL3 on 11/18/2008 21:18:11 MST Print View

I shortened my straps as far as they would go the other night, and got it pretty low on the windward side. It was blowing about 40. I just pulled tension, and put the stake in under tension.

SIMON TEW
(simontew) - F

Locale: Snowdonia/Lake District/Peaks
So did you have the trailing edge raised higher? on 11/19/2008 03:41:26 MST Print View

Hi Joe,

Thanks for the reply. So did you have the trailing edge raised higher, or was it pretty much nailed down all around?
Seems to me you need VERY short mid-point guys in this situation, which can present it's own problems if you're in an area with plenty of sub-surface stones.
And how about the pole? Do you use the adjustable section in those conditions?

Cheers, Simon

John Carter
(jcarter1)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Hex 3 - how low can you go on 12/08/2008 12:40:31 MST Print View

My Hex 3 came with some cord to attach to the apex loop, which should be staked to the ground in the direction of the wind. Not sure if that would help with the pole bending, though, as this is probably more to do with pressure form the sides of the tarp pulling laterally on the pole.

I too have a hard time getting the Hex 3 low to the ground while keeping it taught. I have found, however, that I can get a taught pitch if I first place all 6 primary stakes first, using my trekking pole set at 60" to make 6 triangles in the shape of a pie. It's possible that if you set your pole to something smaller, say 57", and do the same thing, you may get it closer to the ground while still maintaining a taught pitch. You've got to be pretty precise with your stake locations. I've never been able to get it really taught just by eyeballing it, which is why i use my 2 poles to 'triangulate' the exact stake positions.

But even then, I'm not sure that would have prevented pole bending. Again, I think it has to do more with lateral pressure, rather than wind getting inside. As far as it being breezy inside, you may be better off bringing a bivy or overbag in those conditions.

One final thought: did you try angling the pole in the direction of the wind? That would take some of the lateral stress off the pole.

Edited by jcarter1 on 12/08/2008 12:43:28 MST.

SIMON TEW
(simontew) - F

Locale: Snowdonia/Lake District/Peaks
Good idea on 12/15/2008 04:43:12 MST Print View

Nice idea with angling the pole - I suppose that might have helped. It wasn't really that I felt the high pitch was allowing wind to billow the tent from inside, just that the high pitch presented more opportunity for the wind to grab hold and give the SL3 a pasting from the side.

I've learned from the experience anyway, so that can only be a good thing. :O)

Dan Healy
(electricpanda)

Locale: Queensland
Pitching a Hex right to the ground on 12/15/2008 05:16:10 MST Print View

Many times above the treeline I have pitched my hex right to the ground by putting the pegs thru the loop closest to the fabric then spinning it once to get it tight. Do the same thing to the mid point tie outs and the bottom edge is almost bunched against the ground. I always carry a Ti nail to create holes in hard ground so mostly the pegs will go where I need them. Norway above the Artic Circle is a pretty breezy and exposed but I have never had a much of a problem. Thicker pegs and doubling up the pegs with the extra's doesn't hurt either.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: So did you have the trailing edge raised higher? on 12/15/2008 06:49:07 MST Print View

If the SL3 pole is the same as the hex3 pole, the adjuster is supposed to stay in I think. Just angle the pole to suit the tightness of the pitch to the ground. The extension supplied for use with a trekking pole I always found a bit wobbly.

Did your pole kink or just bend a bit?

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Golite Hex3 / Shangri La 3 Pitching: How low can you go? on 12/15/2008 10:34:30 MST Print View

I use John Carter's method of making triagles with my trekking poles to place the stakes for my Hex 3. Without this trick, I find it extremely difficult to get a tight pitch. I first set a temporary stake at the center of the tent site. The "floor" area is basicaly 6 equilateral triangles, all meeting at that temporary stake. I set my pole length at 150cm. I place the 6 primary stakes for the corners, set up the tent, then place the 5 intermediate stakes.

I use two trekking poles tied together for the center pole. I use the adjustablility of the trekking poles to squeeze out the last bit of slack in the setup. Let me be quick to say that I have never experienced 55 mph winds! Yikes!

SIMON TEW
(simontew) - F

Locale: Snowdonia/Lake District/Peaks
Re: Pitching a Hex right to the ground on 12/15/2008 16:07:42 MST Print View

That's a useful tip with the twisted loops Dan, thanks.

Roger, one section of the original pole looks like a banana. I think it's had it. It didn't actually fold over, but I'd put that down mainly to me waking in a total panic and grabbing the middle of the pole with both hands as the wind came howling past and I saw the pole bending ever further. It was a rough night. It's not easy sleeping with your arms in the air ;O)

I got a replacement from www.outdoorwarehouse.co.uk - it's not exactly the same as the original pole, which is a shame as I was hoping to just replace the damaged section and keep the others for spares - the diameter of the new one is a little larger but the weight is about the same.

SIMON TEW
(simontew) - F

Locale: Snowdonia/Lake District/Peaks
Re: Re: Golite Hex3 / Shangri La 3 Pitching: How low can you go? on 12/15/2008 16:16:06 MST Print View

Michael, I haven't found it too hard getting a taut pitch, but it does require a fair amount of re-positioning of the pegs. I wouldn't recommend the high-wind experience: funnily enough when we pitched, the wind was blowing in one direction, and about half an hour later in the exact opposite direction, only about 10 times harder, which made the storm flap over the door zip buzz like 10,000 angry bees.
My friend who I was trying to convince to lighten his load lectured me long and hard about the benefits of his Terra Nova Quasar, which I'd forced him to leave at home.
Doh !!!

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Pitching a Hex right to the ground on 12/16/2008 15:08:29 MST Print View

Hi Simon, you should be able to get an individual section to repait your pole from Easton.

http://www.eastonpoles.com/mountain/tent_products/large_diameter_7075.htm

SIMON TEW
(simontew) - F

Locale: Snowdonia/Lake District/Peaks
Thanks on 12/16/2008 15:16:48 MST Print View

Thanks for the link Roger: might use that in the future.