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Making a tent
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ian wright
(ianwright) - F

Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
Making a tent on 11/04/2006 05:05:34 MST Print View

Today I made a tent I've been designing out of black builders plastic to appease my curiosity and give myself a project.
It worked out OK and was a good learning curve.

So now I'm all excited about designing a tent the way I want it but would get a sailmaker or similar to make it.

I've read up a bit about materials but am unsure of the right type.

Silicone v polyurethane ?
Which weight ?
can one material be used for all of the tent ?

Any suggestions to get me started ?

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Making a tent on 11/04/2006 06:05:35 MST Print View

As always, the answer is "it depends".

Silicone v polyurethane ?

I believe the lightest fabrics will be silicon impregnated (unless you want to use cuben, to which this question does not apply)

Bacteria will feed on PU coating if it is packed away wet for extended times, not so with silicon.

Silicon impregnated fabric absorbs little water. PU coating is typically (always?) on just one side of the fabric leaving the fabric free to absorb water which you'll be carrying if you have to pack up wet.

Silnylon is slippery, good for not clinging to debris, but hard to not slide around on (Jim Woods has a solution to that)

In a hard rain, silnylon mists thru (or maybe underside condensation is dislodged, I'm not sure). Ray Jardine claims to have silnylon treated to stop that but I'm giving that a big fat WDKT (We Don't Know That) until I see independent test results. It only took me a couple rainy nights to stop worrying about the mist, YMMV.

Which weight ?

Ian, Ian, Ian ... I know you've been around this forum enough to know the answer you'll get here.

can one material be used for all of the tent ?

That one really does depend on the design and its intended use. Tell us more.

Edited by jcolten on 11/04/2006 06:18:01 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Making a tent on 11/04/2006 16:38:53 MST Print View

> Silicone v polyurethane ?
Silnylon is lighter, and even lighter again in wet weather.

> Which weight ?
Silnylon is fine even for pretty bad winter weather.

> can one material be used for all of the tent ?
Yes.

Have a look at: http://www.bushwalking.org.au/FAQ/FAQ_DIY.htm
and:
http://www.bushwalking.org.au/FAQ/DIY_RNCTents.htm
for my experiences.

ian wright
(ianwright) - F

Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
tent making for beginners on 11/07/2006 04:32:28 MST Print View

Thanks guys.

WEIGHT: The LIGHTEST of course !!!! The only website I have looked at so far is Seattle Fabrics (?) and they recommend 1.3oz so I am tempted by that. The tent won't get heavy use so does not need to be extra robusto.

MATERIAL TYPE: Silicone nylon sounds the go. (Does anyone know a supplier in Australia?).

TENT USAGE: I'm more of a 'world traveller' who does some hiking/camping as part of a trip. Short bursts of only a few days at a time and usually good weather, no winter stuff. So keeping out some rain is the only challenge.

DESIGN: My idea is for a minimalist tent design to keep the weight down and not needing any comforts or features. My current design needs no zippers which I think is good, just a few press studs. It may not be possible to sit up in it which may be a pain or who cares cause I want it to sleep in only.

In another thread the conversation got sidetracked to a Montbell tent called a 'Zelt' which is fairly new and not much info about yet. I love the simplicity of it but in reality it may be too small and the floor not leakproof so getting something made may be the best option.

I will post some layouts of my tent design later so I can get some critique and maybe provide a few laughs !!!

See Ya

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: tent making for beginners on 11/07/2006 07:57:20 MST Print View

Ian,

I don't know about Austrailian sources but you might want to check with:
www.thru-hiker.com
www.questoutfitters.com
www.owfinc.com
www.owareusa.com
I'm partial to thru-hiker but have used each of the above when they had something I wanted to try but didn't find at thru-hiker

Mark Watson
(mwbike) - F

Locale: Northwest
Re: Re: tent making for beginners on 11/08/2006 14:53:38 MST Print View

Anyone know where I can pick up a few of the Tarptent guyline tensioners? I love my 1-yr-old Rainshadow 2, but I'd like to add the ability to retension from under cover. (It's been known to rain here in the NorthWEsT)

Thanks,
Mark

Edited by mwbike on 11/08/2006 14:54:34 MST.

Mark Watson
(mwbike) - F

Locale: Northwest
Re: tent making for beginners on 11/08/2006 15:53:18 MST Print View

I just emailed Tarptent, info@tarptent.com
And within minutes, Henry emailed me back saying that he'll send me a few free! A+, top-notch customer service.

ian wright
(ianwright) - F

Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
tarptent contrail on 11/09/2006 04:13:05 MST Print View

As much as I love designing stuff, in reality it would be an effort to get a tent made and it may not work (though I still may do it one day). I just had a look at a Tarptent Contrail with floor and it seems to be a great option for me. See me posting a thread asking about it soon ! Thanks !