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Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Tents : splitting the weight on 09/19/2009 21:31:44 MDT Print View

Often I see comments about "splitting the weight" of a tent between two people. By that they generally suggest dividing inner/fly/poles/stakes between the two.
The typical comment is "it's only one extra pound and if you split the fly/inner between the two..."
I don't get it....
For a start if something happens ( IE one gets lost) in most cases you will end up with an almost unusable bit of gear.
Second at camp you need to wait for the other guy to open his pack to finish (or start) to put the shelter up.
Third, what happens when the "other" one thought you had the poles ?

What am I missing ?
Franco

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/19/2009 21:45:16 MDT Print View

What's not to get?

> For a start if something happens ( IE one gets lost) in most cases you will end up with an almost unusable bit of gear.

If I am sharing a tent with someone (usually my GF) then I generally hike with them. If one of us was to get lost somehow, then at least we each have some form of shelter (one person can rig up the fly with trekking poles, the other can rig up the inner in a similar manner).

> Second at camp you need to wait for the other guy to open his pack to finish (or start) to put the shelter up.

We usually arrive at camp at the same time. No big deal at all. Never even crossed my mind.

> Third, what happens when the "other" one thought you had the poles ?

Actually, splitting the tent up makes it more likely the poles won't be forgotten. Usually you split the gear at the trailhead, and it soon becomes apparent that you've left the poles at home (oops!). The only time I've left important items behind (eg. tent pegs) is because I have assumed it is "all in the bag".

When hiking with someone else surely you don't each take part of the tent home with you? One person owns the tent, and brings it to the trailhead. The only way the poles are going to go missing are if you forget to bring them.

Franco, to a person who regularly splits the tent load your question is a bit like asking: what happens if my down sleeping bag gets wet? ;-)

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Tents : splitting the weight on 09/19/2009 21:54:55 MDT Print View

Mostly my point had to do with the implication that by splitting the weight, somehow it gets lighter. My take on that is if the total weight for the 2 is say 30 kg, it will remain so regardless if the tent is split in two or one has the shelter and the other the cooking gear (or whatever...)

Franco

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/19/2009 22:09:44 MDT Print View

Sure the total weight stays the same. It makes no real difference whether you split the tent, or if one person takes the tent whilst the other carries more food.

When people suggest on their gear lists that the weight of certain items is shared, that's fair enough. If I am carrying a 1.5kg tent to share between two, then that's just 750g each (similar to a contrail). If I carry the whole tent, then my buddy will carry something else of mine to make up for it. Either way I'm sharing the weight.

Of course, this is neglecting the fact that when you hike with your wife or girlfriend you inevitably end up carrying a whole lot more to keep them happy! Whenever I buy a nice piece of gear (eg. neoair) I end up buying another one for my GF because I know that otherwise she'll just pinch mine. Of course she doesn't like gear enough to buy one herself!! =-)

Edited by ashleyb on 09/19/2009 22:10:47 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/20/2009 04:24:28 MDT Print View

Hi Ashley

> Whenever I buy a nice piece of gear (eg. neoair) I end up buying another one for
> my GF because I know that otherwise she'll just pinch mine.

Dear me. I must take you aside some day and explain to you how the world really works ...
:-) :-)

Cheers
PS: be pleased that she endorses your choice of gear!

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/21/2009 18:43:34 MDT Print View

Ashley is right, it doesn't make much difference how you split the weight. I guess if volume is a problem, then this might be an advantage (split the volume) but I doubt even this approach matters too much (the tent fly isn't that bulky). In general a two person tent (like a two person stove or two person water filter) can be shared amongst two (or more) people and that is an advantage. But rarely does it matter if that particular tent is one piece or two.

I'm somewhat surprised that no one has developed a two person tent that uses two sets of poles. Such a tent would require more cooperation between the two people (both would have to remember to bring poles) but make maximum use of the poles that are being brought.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/21/2009 18:50:24 MDT Print View

First, whenever I split up a tent, I generally give the body and poles to one person, and the fly and stakes to another. That way, the person with the fly can set it up tarp-like, and the person with the tent can set up the tent as is (it may not be storm proof.

Also, shelters are the last thing packed and the first thing that comes off

And if the other guy thought you had the poles, and you thought the opposite, then you're sleeping under a tent fly rigged like a tarp. Better do a good shakedown pre-trip!
---
On a related comment, I like to keep an entire single-wall tent together, and give the other person the kitchen (and maybe the tent stakes).

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/21/2009 19:19:59 MDT Print View

I see no reason to "split up a tent", but we DO split the weight. Usually I carry the stove, pot and fuel and my partner carries the tent. If we run out of fuel and have to eat dry noodles, it's my fault. If we arrive at camp without tent pegs, it's my buddy's fault. I just feel it's safer to appoint one person to make sure everything (ie tent) is ship-shape! That way there can be no confusion as to who is supposed to bring what. But if I'm hiking with someone else, I hike WITH them, so no waiting at camp for the other to arrive, and no getting lost or separated from the person with the tent. Otherwise I don't see the point of going with someone else unless it's just to share a ride to the trailhead.

Edited by retropump on 09/21/2009 19:22:08 MDT.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/21/2009 19:23:50 MDT Print View

I'm with Lynn. Robin usually carries out tent and I carry the water filtration, cook kit, sleep system, etc.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/21/2009 22:38:48 MDT Print View

I tried splitting a double-wall tunnel tent in half ONCE, just ONCE. It took so long to get the inner tent reconnected to the outer. Whoever came up with the idea of splitting tents must have been in Marketing, not in Using.

Cheers

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Re: Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/21/2009 22:41:46 MDT Print View

Roger, do your Caffin tunnel tents set up like Hillebergs, with the inner and outer connected (the best feature of their tents, hands down).

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/21/2009 22:43:59 MDT Print View

What is this "splitting of the weight"? ;-)

Though I have to laugh - this summer as usual I was carrying my shelter, Dicentra had hers. It was cold that night - she gets cold easily so we ended up sleeping together in her solo Rainbow, head to toe. We still set up my AGG tarp tent....and used it for our gear as a garage.

We did joke that had we thought it out we could have saved 19 ounces ;-) But we had never shared a tent in all our years of hiking together.

I just treat the tent, even for the kid and I as a one person weight to bear. (I do that with all the gear that could be communal - example is even on group trips we all pack solo for the most part. That means we all cook solo so we each carry our own kit. Just works better for us.)

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/22/2009 02:54:05 MDT Print View

> do your Caffin tunnel tents set up like Hillebergs, with the inner and outer connected (
Yes.
Velcro tabs so it can be separated, but I never do.

Cheers

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/22/2009 10:21:42 MDT Print View

Franco, I guess total weight of the tent doesn't diminish, but the total weight in my pack does when I split the tent. I guess it all depends on how you choose to travel. I've always split my double-wall tent with my hiking partner. One person generally carries the poles and stakes, the other person carries the body and fly. We are hiking together, arrive at camp at the same time, and the tent stuff is second only to raingear and perhaps the food bags, so it comes out in the order needed.

My friend Josh and I eat differently, and we both have healthy appetites, and we've always carried individual cook systems. We're using Calderas and Evernew UL Ti pots, so roughly 6 ounces each for cook system... whereas part of the shelter weighs around 24 ounces. It's nearly always going to be lighter to split the weight of a 2-person tent than to have two people carrying solo tents... Outside of tent and cooking gear, there's nothing else to split-and for us, having an extra stove and pot expedites meals and accommodates our eating preferences.

Roger, I'm guessing the ease (perceived or actual) of tent set-up changes based on what you're familiar with. Setting up US-style double wall tents takes me about two minutes, I'm guessing. I can see where tossing the fly over the body and dogging it down might take as long as 60 extra seconds over an integrated double wall... but then, with an integrated set-up you also can't readily shake the excess moisture off the fly, right?

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/22/2009 11:10:24 MDT Print View

Yup, I like to have a separate fly which gets thrown over the top. That way you can dry it out easily in the morning (condensation) and there is no danger of making the inner damp because they are all packed in together. It may not be as structurally sound in high winds, but I've never been in such a howling gale that it has been a problem. Meanwhile I enjoy the benefits of being able to easily separate the fly each time I go hiking.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/22/2009 13:53:07 MDT Print View

"I've never been in such a howling gale that it has been a problem"

How do you manage that bit of luck? And what about setting the tent up in a torrential downpour? I just don't get this adding the fly over the inner...with a Caffin/Hilleberg etc... style of tent, you have the option of packing the inner separately (though like Roger we almost never do), but also have the option of setting it up as one unit with the fly protecting the inner from rain. The extra wind-worthiness is definitely a nice bonus too.

Anyway, Franco's question becomes irrelevant when we are carrying the RefugeX. What's to split? OK honey, you carry the stakes and guylines and I'll carry the tent! As for carrying separate food ad cook systems, I just find that an alien idea. Even when we go hiking with friends we share a cook system. One couple cooks first, then the second couple cooks, then one or two big boils for drinks. All done in the same pot with same stove, washing liquid, scrubby, pot-lifter etc...it's really very efficient from a weight savings point of view.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Alien systems? on 09/22/2009 14:10:49 MDT Print View

I find it bizarre that someone would go to the trouble of eating in shifts and work up 3 or 4 different boils, instead of just getting all the cooking done in one swoop and eating together at the same time. We eat different meals, but we like to eat at the same time. Using the system, I can boil enough water for dinner and a hot drink at the same time... eat and drink at the same time... we also don't carry separate bowls or anything to eat from, so I might carry 5 ounces more than someone who chooses to share a cook system. That's fine for me for the added convenience. But I think that's kind of the underlying point in this thread... we all approach things from different perspectives, eh?

I was thinking that it was kind of funny that Franco brought up the split tent weight... it would be a bizarre concept coming from the TarpTent angle.

In terms of setting up double-wall tents that aren't integrated whilst in a pouring rain, well, if you've practiced at all the inner might be exposed to the torrents for 30 seconds. Frankly, I've never had it be a problem that a few swipes with a chunk of pack towel couldn't fix. That said, I do like the idea of the fly-first outer pitch, too...

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Tents : splitting the weight on 09/22/2009 14:29:56 MDT Print View

Splitting weight:

If sharing with someone else, we split total weight, not items. If I carry the 40 oz tent, my partner gets 20 oz of gear I'd otherwise carry. That said, bulk often dictates what gets exchanged (a bear canister can't be split and takes up a HUGE amount of pack space).



Wet Tents:

If I'm setting up my shelter in a driving rain storm then one of two things has happened. Either:

1) I severely miscalculated and waited too long to make camp after it became clear that I couldn't dodge the storm. This is the most common scenario for me.


2) This is most likely a multi-day storm and for whatever reason, I've elected to hike on through it, knowing that means setting up camp in the rain. I've done this only once in 30 years. Normally, I'd just hole up somewhere (tent or town) and let it pass.


Even in the mountains, where storms can come on suddenly and with force, if one is watching for the signs of approaching weather, there is no reason to get caught unawares. (If we're hiking in the mountains, we are paying attention to the sky, especially in the afternoon ..... right?) Brain on; iPod off.

Edited by wandering_bob on 09/22/2009 14:34:49 MDT.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/22/2009 14:51:13 MDT Print View

"I find it bizarre that someone would go to the trouble of eating in shifts and work up 3 or 4 different boils, instead of just getting all the cooking done in one swoop and eating together at the same time."

Hmmm, how could that be bizarre on a site dedicated to going lighter? I find it more bizarre that folks will skimp on bag warmth, fuel weight, food carried or any other of strange things done on this site to go lighter. But yeah, we all approach things from a different perspective. Most folks I hike with like to eat really early...5pm-ish, and we like to eat later and we like different foods, so sharing a cook system makes perfectly good sense. If you're always in a hurry to cook a meal and get it down then carrying your own cook system is obviously more convenient.

"Even in the mountains, where storms can come on suddenly and with force, if one is watching for the signs of approaching weather, there is no reason to get caught unawares."

As for wet tents, I guess that we're just unlucky where we live. More often than not you can't just stop everything and pitch your tent. Trips are often planned to end up at a spot that's flat enough to accommodate a tent, and that spot may still be many hours away. The magnificent scenery here comes with a high price, weather-wise. If we stayed home every time there was rain forecast, we would never get out of the house. And that's not counting the times the*forecast* is good, but just plain wrong. Setting up a tent in gale force torrential rain is just a fact of life sometimes. Not pleasant even with a single pitch double tent, but having to pitch the inner first in these conditions just equals more wet misery than necessary (and lack of tent strength is a major concern when a southerly gale comes off the Antarctic).

Anyway, I get the impression that a lot of members here are really mostly 'soloists'. Sharing gear weight is so much more efficient that it should be mandatory for any serious UL hiker to pair up with someone else ;) JK. Heck, we even share a toothbrush!

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/22/2009 15:00:40 MDT Print View

Lynn, we have a saying here about the weather forecasters... "I'm shoveling a foot of sunshine."

You carry a toothbrush?!?! (also just kidding)