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How do you pitch your Gatewood Cape?
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Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
How do you pitch your Gatewood Cape? on 04/06/2009 17:33:43 MDT Print View

Just got one and trying to figure out how to pitch up high so the front forms a porch....can't quite get it right.

Am I right in thinking that you have to pitch the two front sides closer together than you would if you were staking it all the ground? Also, might need to figure out how to work the guyline better....

Feedback appreciated.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: How do you pitch your Gatewood Cape? on 04/06/2009 17:46:23 MDT Print View

Nathan,

It takes some practice. Pitch it with the zipper closed.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Practice on 04/06/2009 18:46:20 MDT Print View

Hard for me to do with no backyard..chances are the next time I set it up it will be in the dark after a hike. So tips to jump ahead of the learning curve would be nice.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Pitch on 04/06/2009 18:59:35 MDT Print View

How about a park?

It's not that hard to pitch. I just lay the stakes out close to where they are to go and stake out. I then go back and re-adjust. It's not hard to get a nice taught pitch.

Mark Bishop
(mark_b) - MLife

Locale: Northwest (WA)
Pitch on 04/06/2009 20:09:32 MDT Print View

Nathan,
I attach the rear 3 stakes (2 corners & center) plus one stake on a front corner. Then I insert the pole and stake out the center front guy line. The cape is now self standing. I then stake the remaining front corner. After all this is accomplished it requires a little tweaking at each stake out point to get a tight pitch.

After you've done this a few times it will be a piece of cake to set it up in the dark.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Pitch on 04/06/2009 22:01:57 MDT Print View

As Mark mentioned, you need to practice a few times. Same with a tarp. If you don't practice you are going to be very frustrated trying to set it up in the dark!!

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Pitch on 04/07/2009 00:05:37 MDT Print View

Nathan, the first time I used my Gatewood I completly forgot what the instructions said about setting it up, even though I had given it a dry run or two a spell before taking it into the field. And it was dark. So just following an intuitive methodology, I staked two end corners, inserted my alpenstock into the harness and, while holding it upright with my left hand, stretched over and pegged an opposite end loop. This provided enough tension to keep everything upright while I pegged the other loops, readjusting them as necessary, and strung out the entrance guyline. Actually, the first time I decided to forgo the provided guyline for a longer one of my own, as I thought this would help raise the "beak", but after subsequent use I found the original to be sufficient, especially if a stick is added. I still use this method instead of the way described in the instruction sheet. Happy trails!

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
How do you pitch your Gatewood Cape? on 04/07/2009 00:19:14 MDT Print View

Nathan
I had the Sublite set up in my bedroom last week, just to see how it could be done.
To guy it out I used the base of my bed at one end , jammed a peg inside the wardrobe on one corner and had a pile of books on top of a peg at the other corner.
Even if you have to stand the bed or a table up on a side it would be better (IMHO) than try to work it out for the first time at the end of a trail day.
Franco

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: How do you pitch your Gatewood Cape? on 04/07/2009 00:53:38 MDT Print View

I peg the 2 rear corners. If you want a high pitch don't pull them all the way tight. Then insert the pole and stake the front center guyline. On mine this line was way to short for a high pitch and needed to be replaced. Finally stake out the rear center and front corners and readjust the rear corners as necessary.

By setting the pole early in the process you don't need to guess as much about where to put the stakes to leave enough slack. The triangle of rear corners and front center is enough to keep the pole in place while you do the rest.

Also, the ti shepherd hook stakes work well except for the front center. There's just two much tension on that line. A y-stake works much better.

Edited by nschmald on 04/07/2009 01:00:12 MDT.

John Brochu
(JohnnyBgood4) - F

Locale: New Hampshire
re: gatewood set-up on 04/07/2009 07:16:59 MDT Print View

Here is what I do:

I stake the two front corners first but don't pull the fabric tight across the front. Then I set my pole about 3" higher than recommended by SMD and stake that out. After that I stake the back center, then the back corners. Finally, using my second pole and the tie out loop on the canopy over my head side, I pull that tight up and away from my head. This gives me more room on the head side.

The final pitch ends up with ALL sides approximately 6" above the ground.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Re: re: gatewood set-up on 04/07/2009 19:34:55 MDT Print View

John,

Do you have a picture of your cape set up - particularly with the second pole giving you more headroom? I've only used my Gatewood Cape once and have a trip scheduled the weekend after Easter. Using the second pole and the tie-out loop over your head sounds like it makes a lot of sense.

This is one of the things I love about these forums...I thought I had pitching the Gatewood nailed down and voila - someone gives me a better idea!

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: Re: re: gatewood set-up on 04/07/2009 20:16:14 MDT Print View

Kevin,

He may send pics, but maybe this will help; as I do the same thing with the head end.

I shorten my hiking pole, stick it in the ground, and run a line from the loop midway up the head end of the Gatewood, wrap it around the pole grip once, then stake it to the ground.

Hope that helps,
Todd

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Re: Re: Re: re: gatewood set-up on 04/07/2009 20:25:18 MDT Print View

Todd,
That helps a lot - so your second pole is just a little taller than the tie-out loop on the Gatewood Cape, right? I was picturing my pole at full length (which obviously doesn't make sense).

I can't wait to try it! An extra guyline and stake will buy me a bunch of extra headroom. Nice.

John Brochu
(JohnnyBgood4) - F

Locale: New Hampshire
re: picture on 04/07/2009 20:42:08 MDT Print View

Kevin,

I'm having trouble posting a picture. It's not this site, it's an issue with my PC's virtual memory or something really wierd like that. I'll post a picture tomorrow though when I get to work.

Edit: The way Todd described above is exactly what I do as well.

Edited by JohnnyBgood4 on 04/07/2009 20:47:42 MDT.

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: Re: Re: Re: re: gatewood set-up on 04/08/2009 06:45:08 MDT Print View

Kevin,

Yes, you've got it.

At my height (6'2"), sometimes I find a stick and do the same at the foot end, too. for even more room. But it's not truly necessary for me.

Todd

John Brochu
(JohnnyBgood4) - F

Locale: New Hampshire
re: cape on 04/08/2009 06:57:11 MDT Print View

Here is the picture:

cape

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Re: re: cape on 04/08/2009 07:20:03 MDT Print View

Thank you - I can't wait to try it.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Condensation on 04/09/2009 13:34:56 MDT Print View

Just bought a SMD Gatewood Cape. Do you guys find condensation to be an issue? I imagine that with the gap between the ground and the bottom edge of the cape, ventilation would be good, but, on the other hand, while trying it out as a poncho the other day, I noticed that it gets really steamy inside. Unlike a regular poncho, there are no openings along each side that provide ventilation.

So:
When in shelter mode, do you guys find condensation to be an issue?

When in poncho mode, have you found a good way to avoid sauna like conditions?

Mike Nielsen
(geophagous) - F

Locale: Pacific North West
How I pitch for headroom on 04/09/2009 13:35:13 MDT Print View

The last time I went out I ended up trying something new that worked pretty well.

After pitching how I normally do, pretty close to instructions I wanted more head room and so I collapsed my pole to it's shortest and ended up putting it close to my head INSIDE the tent, using the handle against the fabric at an angle sufficient to keep it in place. This left plenty of room between it the main pole for me, and it gave me more room inside.

I do like the idea of the pole outside as well.

How strong have you all found the 2 "guyouts" on the outside of the cape to be? I seam sealed them to add strength and waterproofness.

How much can you crank on it in the configuration with the pole outside the cape?

For the condensation I have had 2 different experiences.

When I pitch it really close to the ground with no gap, lots of condensation. Leaving a nice 3-6 inch gap all around seems to solve it pretty well. For any left I have a small camp towel I use to wipe it down in the morning to keep my drier.

When hiking I don't use the hood and unzip as much as possible.

Edited by geophagous on 04/09/2009 13:40:20 MDT.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Poncho Mode on 04/09/2009 21:38:37 MDT Print View

> "When hiking I don't use the hood and unzip as much as possible."
I was afraid you might say that. In other words, it's not much of a poncho. Sigh. So much for a "multi-use" item.