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Tents : splitting the weight
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Elena Lee
(lenchik101) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest (USA)
splitting with success on 09/22/2009 15:04:40 MDT Print View

Franco, splitting the tent works fabulously in certain cases, such as between a man and a woman in a romantic relationship (if they like each other). you are saying:

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

yes agree, but only in theory, the probability of that happening in a "trailed" country is so low especially if you both have the same expectation of traveling in tandem.

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

well, in most cases just maybe a minute or two, at max. this is not a big deal, and also depends how you pack.

also, now, my husband carries the whole thing and I continue carrying cook gear and some extra food weight. so all in all this is great considering setting and packing tent together is so much more efficient, we got it down to just over a minute for tarptent DR.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Tents : splitting the weight on 09/22/2009 15:56:34 MDT Print View

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.
Well I do have ( and have used) other tents, but of course now I use the Tarptents, why wouldn't I ?

It happens that I had seen that comment on different forums within a few days and to me it sounds just like cutting a pizza in 4 slices because you would not be able to eat six
I do find bizarre that so many never have to set up the tent in the rain, that does explain some things, like those inner pitch first things and not be bothered about waiting for the partner to arrive.
Franco

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/22/2009 16:25:47 MDT Print View

Franco, I meant that I actually thought it was funny. No arguments whatsoever about using them. Just that you do have an affinity for them, and the assumption is that you probably would use one... and the thought of trying to split the weight of something that, um, can't be split is, well, funny!

I don't think it's a matter of people never setting up in the rain. It's just that people are used to doing things different ways, and are accustomed to the pitfalls and benefits of the system they've used. Here in the US it seems to be quite popular to set up the inner without the tent in fair weather, gaining well-ventilated bug protection. Not saying it's my way, but common. If I'm expecting truly horrid weather I have a "true" double-skin, nylon-walled inner, and the less than a minute it takes to get a fly over the tent doesn't make a big difference in whether the interior gets drenched.

Rain has nothing to do with waiting for a partner to arrive... unless, of course, you're hiking as individuals. If you do, that's fine, and solo gear might make sense. Or, I guess we could say that if the slow person had the whole tent, the faster person could be just sitting there in the rain anyway. Personally, if I do choose to hike with someone, then I pace myself to actually hike with them. If I want to hike by myself and at my own pace, I'll do a solo hike.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/22/2009 16:30:38 MDT Print View

Clearly we are talking about wildly different scenarios, and that is causing considerable confusion. For examples:

> I severely miscalculated and waited too long to make camp after it became clear that
> I couldn't dodge the storm.
and
> If we're hiking in the mountains, we are paying attention to the sky, especially in the afternoon
Australian and New Zealand walkers are used to dealing with bad weather which lasts for the day (or more). The idea of a brief storm which can be dodged is ... amusing to us. The idea that storms usually arrive in the late afternoon - forget it. But I understand that these ideas are relevant for some parts of America. Different places, different conditions.

> multi-day storm ... Normally, I'd just hole up somewhere (tent or town) and let it pass.
Huh? For a start, we (Au/NZ) don't have towns in our mountains where you can 'hole up'. Secondly, the idea of holing up is not one we normally even consider. We just keep going. Bail-out points may not exist, and we have to get to the other end on time. Different places, different conditions.

> 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.
That *might* work if there is zero wind. But what if the storm includes a 40 mph gusting wind? I think you might find it takes a lot longer than 30 seconds in many cases to get a loose fly over a pop-up interior. In addition, you might need several people to just hold the pop-up interior upright in the wind - it won't have any guy ropes on it. And then, when you have the fly thrown over the poles, you will need several people to hold the lot up while you get the guy ropes staked out. Even so, when the fly is not strapped to the poles the lot can collapse.
There have been some really graphic videos on YouTube about this recently - very illustrative.

I am not saying anyone is wrong here about handling their own conditions. I am sure that what works for you is fine - for you.
But I am saying that extrapolating from conditions you are familiar with in your locale to conditions far away or even in a different country is risky - sometimes even foolish.

KossieOrangeTent
The top photo was the late afternoon. Lovely weather.
The bottom photo was the next morning. The storm arrived in the night and lasted through the next day, with winds to 50+ mph.
Not quite the same as a fine night in the pine trees ...

Cheers

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/22/2009 16:53:55 MDT Print View

"Here in the US it seems to be quite popular to set up the inner without the tent in fair weather, gaining well-ventilated bug protection."

Well, this can also be done with tents such as the Nallo and MacPac style tunnel tents, not sure about the Caffin design though I'm sure it could be easily modified to accomodate this. Like Roger, I'm not saying that inner-first pitched tents are 'wrong', just that they are not the best option for the severe and unexpected weather we get here. Even 30 seconds, which I think is very optimistic in gale winds and pouring rain, is enough to drench a tent inner. So why would I risk it? Likewise tents with vestibules that allow rain entry into the tent when you open them seem an inherently bad idea in such conditions. This was one of my biggest complaints with the Stephenson's Warmlite tent. Again, many folks love their Warmlite, but obviously have never had to get in and out of it several times in the middle of the night when a wall of rain was coming down! The puddle under the sleeping bags was not appreciated...Tarptents are a different kettle of fish when it comes to pitching in heavy rain. They are more like pitching a tent 'fly only' so the inner doesn't get wet, as there is no inner.

Franco's question actually reminds me of my "tramping club" days where someone would organise who you shared a tent with and what food would be eaten. Often you didn't know the other person and had no motivation to walk the same pace as them. In this situation (a major reason why I no longer belong to hiking clubs), splitting everything down to the gram was not uncommon, and this included tents. Not a good idea IMHO for the reasons Franco cited.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/22/2009 17:08:42 MDT Print View

Hi Lynn

The inside of my winter tent has a structure very similar to that of an Olympus. Velcro ties between the inner and the outer at the poles.

Cheers

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/22/2009 17:27:38 MDT Print View

"The inside of my winter tent has a structure very similar to that of an Olympus. Velcro ties between the inner and the outer at the poles."

So you could thread the poles through the velcro ties and guy out the inner without using the fly??

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Tents : splitting the weight on 09/22/2009 17:37:39 MDT Print View

Brad
Yes I did get your point, mine did not come out as intended...
It was meant to be " if you own the best ever shelter made for every possible situation and designed to please one and all , why would you not use it?"
( it was a bit humor at my expense..)
Franco

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Pitching in bad weather on 09/22/2009 19:50:07 MDT Print View

+1 to Roger's comments and let's not forget our friends in the UK. I often remember on Dartmoor two people laying down on the fly whilst someone pegged it out - just to stop it being carried off into the next county. 36 hours of non stop rain were also not uncommon.

Edited by jephoto on 09/22/2009 19:51:17 MDT.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
tents in bad weather on 09/22/2009 21:34:56 MDT Print View

I generally agree with the points above.

I find having a separate outer fly more convenient, because I don't often set up in the rain. Sometimes I have to and it's generally not a big deal. The rest of the time (which is most of it) I enjoy the separate fly because I can dry it out in the morning to get rid of condensation etc.

If I was often having to put a tent up and down in wet and windy conditions no doubt I would prefer an attached inner. But having used both in mostly fine conditions I much prefer the separate fly. In hot conditions its nice to whip it off in the morning, or leave it off entirely.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/22/2009 22:26:16 MDT Print View

Hi Lynn

> So you could thread the poles through the velcro ties and guy out the inner without using the fly??

Nope. My Velcro attachments are simpler. The fly has one strip of hook part and the inner has one strip of loop part. And can you imagine the hassle of trying to set up guy rope attachment points? Fergedit.

Cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Pitching in bad weather on 09/22/2009 22:28:24 MDT Print View

> 36 hours of non stop rain were also not uncommon.
In the UK, 36 hours of non-rain is uncommon ...
Ducks for cover (but I have lived and walked there).

Cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 09/23/2009 00:42:00 MDT.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/24/2009 10:35:28 MDT Print View

Franco, I get it ;). Some people have gear closets to dial in their stuff; I'd imagine you could have one just for tents!

Roger, your statement that "extrapolating from conditions you are familiar with in your locale to conditions far away or even in a different country is risky - sometimes even foolish" was pretty well groundless. No one said or implied anywhere in the preceding posts that you should take a summer tent on a mountaineering trip. Indeed, comments were aimed precisely at appropriate tents for appropriate conditions. And we were talking about why one would split the weight of the tent, not weather-appropriate tents for given conditions. I know that all Aussies are broken-glass-eating backcountry travelers who only travel in conditions that border on near-death experiences, but come on...

Lynn, from your description, tramping clubs do sound horrid! I had no idea such a thing would exist. Like militarized recreation or something.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/24/2009 14:45:48 MDT Print View

"Lynn, from your description, tramping clubs do sound horrid! I had no idea such a thing would exist. Like militarized recreation or something"

LOL. Militarized recreation sounds close, but a lot of folks belong to these clubs so they must find some fun in them. To be fair, it helped get me out into wilderness that I knew little about and might not have done at the time on my own. But there were a lot of egos involved, many who thought the point of each trip was to get to the campsite first, so it became a race, while others like me were botanising and taking photos, or even, heaven forbid, enjoying a leisurely lunch stop. In this kind of situation, if the person you were "sharing" a tent, stove, etc...with was a racer and you were not, splitting gear and food was definitely problematic, and I would no longer consider trips such as these. If I'm sharing gear with someone, we are walking the same pace and making the same stops, end of discussion! Otherwise I might as well go solo.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Tents : splitting the weight on 09/24/2009 22:13:22 MDT Print View

Hi Brad

> all Aussies are broken-glass-eating backcountry travelers who only travel in conditions
> that border on near-death experiences,
You forgot about the Drop Bears...

> take a summer tent on a mountaineering trip. Indeed, comments were aimed
> precisely at appropriate tents for appropriate conditions.
Ah, but that is more or less the point I was trying to make. We can have a violent hail storm in mid-summer in the low-lands. We can have a 12 hour storm happen when the forecast from a day earlier said 'fine'. And NZ can be even worse ...
This variability seems to be very different to the (very nice, I'm envious!) stable weather you get in some parts of America. Hence my comment that 'extrapolating from conditions you are familiar with in your locale to conditions far away or even in a different country is risky.'

Cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 09/24/2009 22:15:19 MDT.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re : Tents : splitting the weight on 09/24/2009 23:41:01 MDT Print View

Settled weather? Yeah, i've heard of that mythical beast! :)


Personally, here in Scotland i always go for 'all in one', or outer pitching first. I want to guaranntee a dry bed, and not depend on speed or luck.
Some folk are happy to use inner pitching tents here though. I love optomistic folk.:)

I disagree with Lynn on the Warmlite though. I haven't had a problem with rain getting in. I carry a small tarp that i can use as an awning if needed. The benefits of the Warmlite in stormy weather outweigh this slight inconvenience for me. A Warmlite with a porch would be perfect though!;)