It Was A Dark and Stormy Night...
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Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
It Was A Dark and Stormy Night... on 10/06/2006 08:47:07 MDT Print View

Well, that was an interesting experiment...

An hour and a half ago I donned my full raingear, picked up my shelter, opened the front door of my apartment, and stepped out into the raging night-time typhoon. Yep, a real typhoon. Tree branches flying about and rain coming down in buckets.. And not only that, with only two hours of sleep last night, I was sleep deprived.

I wanted to see if I could set up the tarps in the dark while sleep deprived in a real storm, and, if it took too long or I wasn't getting the configuration right, what I needed to learn in order to get shelter over me. But in the relative safety next to my home.

As I would do up in the mountains, I first found a spot relatively free of the full brunt of the wind and started from there.

I guess having set up my tarps so often before made it easy to think ahead while placing pegs and trekking pole, but wrestling with the tarp material while it flapped about wildly and the chill of the rain and wind, really challenged my ability to do things like get the peg tips into the tie outs or hold the material steady while trying to get the other side of the shelter up. Finally I managed to get the tarp taut and create a shelter in the wind.

Some passing neighbors most have thought I had lost my marbles, but for me it was good practice. I want to be able to get it so that I can do it much more quickly and also choose, off the top of my head, more configurations. Better to make all these mistakes here than on top of the hill, I guess.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: It Was A Dark and Stormy Night... on 10/06/2006 08:58:15 MDT Print View

I can just picture the Japanese people passing by, shaking their heads, wondering why their government keeps letting in all these crazy foreigners! :)

But we gear heads understand totally. Congrats on your success in setting up your tarp in the middle of a raging typhoon!

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
same typhoon, UL rain-wear on 10/06/2006 09:09:06 MDT Print View

Miguel, I'm in the same typhoon tonight. It was the best test so far of my LW rain wear, a Montbell WindBlast parka and pants (335gm for the set). The parka wet through in about 30 minutes, but it is designed as a wind jacket, not rain wear. This is what I normaly carry if Im not expecting rain, so now I know its limits. As you also found out tonight; it is best to test new gear within safe distance of shelter. Good job with your setup tonight!

Channing Sze
(eeyore) - F
a low pitch on 10/06/2006 10:52:40 MDT Print View

yes, i've been there. the most challenging part for me is getting a taut pitch while the wind is pushing upon the material. takes me a lot longer with lots of adjusting. pitching the tarp very low helps.

Chris Jackson
(chris_jackson) - F
Typhoons and groundsheets on 10/06/2006 22:39:57 MDT Print View

Miguel, what kind of groundsheet/floor
do you use with your tarps for really wet conditions, when there is a sheet of water running over the ground?

Edited by chris_jackson on 10/06/2006 22:41:13 MDT.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Typhoons and groundsheets on 10/06/2006 23:03:10 MDT Print View

Hi Chris,

When I use my SpinnShelter I use the idea from the Goassamer Gear user tips section.. an idea from a customer in the UK, where it rains all the time. The floor is really simple to make. The instructions are on the site.

Another thing you can do, though it's a bit cumbersome, is to take the two corner tie-outs on each end of a ground sheet, pull them together to form a "U" of the end of the ground sheet, and loosely suspend these ends with cord from the hiking poles. This way you have a makeshift "floating floor" that more or less protects from the running ground water. A bit awkward to get in and out of the shelter with, but better than nothing.

I also use my SpinnShelter as a canopy for my hammock, which as you know isn't affected by ground water. However, there are times when hanging isn't an option. What I'm designing right now is a lightweight hammock only three feet wide, but with a top cover made half from Epic and a lower half made from 1.7 silnylon and held open with hiking pole spreader bars, so that when on the ground the hammock works well as a bivy/ bathtub floor (yes, in the beginning I wrestled with how to stabilize a hammock with single lines at the ends and with spreader bars, but I figured out a way that works very well). I'm even contemplating a single tube inflatable bladder insulated with PolarGuard to be incorporated into the bottom of the hammock so that it will form a lightweight sleeping mat that gets me a little more off the ground and insulate the hammock while suspended. What I hope eventually to do is have a simple shelter system with shaped tarp, hammock/bivy, and integrated air mattress so that I can sleep just about anywhere, among the trees or above treeline, even above rocks and on very steep slopes, as hammockers already enjoy.

There must be a better way to take the good things about tarp camping and hammocking and bring them together better. As it is they still seem to be two different camps.

Edited by butuki on 10/06/2006 23:10:22 MDT.

Chris Jackson
(chris_jackson) - F
Re: Re: Typhoons and groundsheets on 10/07/2006 16:58:17 MDT Print View

Miguel,

Thanks for the link to the bathtub floor; that solves the problem of water coming over the edges.

You mentioned that you're using 1.7 oz silnylon for the floor of your hammock. Is that what you use for a tarp floor? Jim Wood found that 1.3 oz silnylon has a low hydrostatic head and leaks when used as tent flooring (link), so it would be interesting to hear how 1.7 oz silnylon performs. Recently I've been using mylar groundsheets to save weight, but I haven't had the opportunity to test one in a typhoon!