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Seam sealing necessary?
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David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Seam sealing necessary? on 07/30/2011 16:25:58 MDT Print View

Finished my first MYOG shelter. Had it out for three nights last week, with showers and pretty stiff winds on one night, in an exposed location:

tarps1

Noticed no leaking at all, even though I hadn't seam-sealed the shelter. Today, I set it up in my backyard and sprayed well with a hose for several minutes--again, no leaks. FWIW, ridgeline seam is flat-felled, and tieouts and peak are reinforced with another layer of sil, straight-stitched.

So is seam-sealing necessary? Will I develop leaks over time, or in constant drizzle/downpour? Planning to head for Mt Rainier area next week--would prefer not to seam seal and thus save weight, but would also prefer a dry place to sleep.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Seam sealing necessary? on 07/30/2011 16:58:59 MDT Print View

Nice looking tarp! Must be cat curve on ridge? I can't tell what you use for a pole.

My solo tarp is almost identical to that, except only one tie-out on each side

Is there a zipper for an entry? I have a zipper on the beak for entry, also, when it's not raining a lot I'll leave it unzipped to reduce condensation

I've never sealed my seams and never noticed any leaks

It doesn't add significant weight to seal seams, but it does take a little time and money

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Re: Seam sealing necessary? on 07/30/2011 19:07:52 MDT Print View

Hi Jerry. The reason it looks a lot like your solo tarp is I based it on the discussion here: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=49480&skip_to_post=432112#432112
I paid particular attention to your suggestions. Thanks--it really helped. Posted a pic there too. The poles are trekking poles in a-frame, joined grip-to-grip by thin strap with ladder-lock (cut off from my Exos). Very solid.

Ridges are all cat cut, and so are the edges of the beak. Fabric weave is aligned to the top ridge. No zipper yet (I was pushed for time) but will probably add one. I played with a slightly different pitch each night--favorite so far is as shown, with a gap around the bottom, and the tail guyline propped up a little with a stick or some rocks. Might have to add a tie-out centered on the sides, and try pitching with one per side instead of two.

No condensation problems, but I was in very dry country.

Thanks for the info on seam sealing--sounds like I can skip it for now.

Ben Smith
(goosefeet) - MLife

Locale: Georgia
Re: Re: Re: Seam sealing necessary? on 07/30/2011 20:54:37 MDT Print View

David,

You are probably good for now, but as you use the tarp more and more, and as the wind flaps it around, the needle holes will slowly get bigger, necessitating seam sealing within 15 - 20 uses, I would guess. This is what I have found on my shelters. YMMV.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Seam sealing necessary? on 07/30/2011 23:54:33 MDT Print View

"The reason it looks a lot like your solo tarp is I based it on the discussion here..."

Ohhh

I remember now

"You are probably good for now, but as you use the tarp more and more, and as the wind flaps it around, the needle holes will slowly get bigger, necessitating seam sealing within 15 - 20 uses, I would guess. This is what I have found on my shelters. YMMV."

I probably don't use a tent many more than 15 - 20 uses before I make something new : )

Actually, I've used my pyramid tent maybe 50 nights without sealing, but those seams are so steep they are less likely to leak. I've done many windy nights and many heavy rain nights but have never noticed any leaking except a few times very light misting which could have just been condensation being knocked off by rain.

This tarp has seams that are more horizontal. You could always seal the seams if you find it a problem.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Seam sealing necessary? on 07/31/2011 14:38:57 MDT Print View

I used a myog 2 person tent for 30+ years without seam sealing.

The shape of the tent was similar to the shape of the fly shown in my avatar.

The 2 person tent to which I refer was used with an all fabric inner tent. A few drops of water falling on the inner tent was no problem. If you are not using an all fabric inner tent then you might have a different experince than I did.