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Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
My take on 01/23/2013 17:16:23 MST Print View

I had considered using lighter line, but the linelocs won't work very well with thinner line. The line would slip unless backed up with something to provide grip.

I may leave the linelocs on and experiment with lighter line.
I never used the linelocs before getting my Patrol and am not sure what to think yet.

They do provide quicker readjustment from within the shelter rather than using the typical taut-line hitch(or other) at the stake method.

As you see from my post, I went with longer lines, partially like your experience with not having pristine ground, but also to allow for a higher summer pitch.

Oh and by the way, although I've only slept in mine one night, I have setup and tested in many scenarios that I have seen with my other similar shelters and came to the same conclusion about line lengths.

You could always start off with longer line lengths and trim as you see fit.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 01/23/2013 17:19:54 MST.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Bug net? on 01/23/2013 18:53:35 MST Print View

I'm showing a little more interest in MLD shelters, especially the good words about the Patrol. What are you going to use for bug netting or bug bivy? I was checking out weights etc. last night and by the time you add all the bits and pieces of a BearPaw Minimalist 1, a pole or two and stakes, might as well get a ZPacks shelter at under a pound with a tent pole and stakes. A little more $$$ for a Hexamid though.
Duane

Christopher Yi
(TRAUMAhead) - F

Locale: Cen Cal
Re: Bug net? on 01/23/2013 19:58:20 MST Print View

Modular setup and smaller foot print. I was using a HMG Echo 1 tarp/beak with a Borah bivy. No rain, leave the tarp at home. Expecting bad weather, bring the beak and tarp.

I couldnt deal with the lack of head room though so I switched to a Hexamid tarp. I also sold my quilt and switched to a bag, so I dont see the bivy as much of a necessity anymore. Probably going to get netting added to the tarp.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Bug net? on 01/23/2013 20:17:28 MST Print View

Thank you, don't want to cause much thread drift, so I'll ask other questions later or figure stuff out myself. Quite interested in the overall footprint too. Gotta keep that in mind, can't always find a big spot to pitch a shelter.
Duane

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Locale: www.peaksandvalleys.weebly.com
Your ideal set-up may vary on 01/23/2013 20:41:16 MST Print View

Having tried a number of shelters, I just feel like I'm finally honing in on what I want. I usually do fast/light/long trips or just car-camp or the equivalent (few miles into shelter, etc.).

I've either used extensively or at least set up and set up my gear under the following set-ups: Hexamid Solo, MLD Cuben SoloMid, MLD DuoMid, BPL Stealth Nano Solo, MLD Grace Solo, TarpTent Contrail, TarpTent Moment, TarpTent Rainbow, Big Agnes Copper Spur 1 + 2, MSR Hubba Hubba + Mutha Hubba, MSR Nook, and the Fly Creek Series.

I have a Hexamid Twin which is unused as of yet - but may serve as my 2p / 1p roomier set-up , and now my Patrol shelter which will be for my exclusive use. I usually do 25-35 miles per day for my short trips, and on longer harder ones like the Long Trail I usually try for close to 20 mpd to leave room for relaxing and napping on mountain tops.

The flexibility of being able to put a net tent (hot buggy weather) or nothing (no bugs) or a bivy (cold weather) allows for almost complete 4 season use and a component system that also allows me to bail into shelters for unusually bad weather (can still use bivy and net tent in shelter - as I did on my AT thru and LT end-to-end). CERTAINLY NOT FOR EVERYONE - as with all things backpacking, you have to pick your most important things - and then make some concessions elsewhere. I enjoy being close to the earth, and having a "open" feeling while being surrounded by nature, but it is not for all.

Certainly it takes a bit of learning curve to set up right, and it is not as fast as say a Fly Creek - but I think it may work for me all the same....only some test trips will tell.

Any more input as to the possible guyline I should use (stock or something else?) and any other thoughts as to lengths? Thanks

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Why the Patrol Shelter? on 01/24/2013 06:41:36 MST Print View

I have used many shelters. Why I went with the Patrol is it's combination of advantages that I find other shelters are lacking.

One problem that I have with a lot of UL shelters that have the bug nets attached as an integral part of the shelter is the lack of ventilation in the very hot part of the summer.
Having a net running across the door and/or around the perimeter of the bottom just isn't enough sometimes.

The Patrol and bug net combination allows you to pitch the fly high with air flow coming from all sides, heat flowing up, cool air flowing in from the bottom.

But at the same time, I can pitch it tight to the ground with only enough opening at the head for air. This makes for a warmer shelter in winter and less chance of blowing rain coming in during an extreme storm.

I have often wished that I could adjust the fly up higher for ventilation and/or lower to the ground to keep the blowing rain out with many tarptent style shelters I've used, but because of the fixed pitch design, it is not possible.

There are exceptions, some tarptents have a more flexible double wall design, but are heavier.

As far as livable space goes, I have come to find it the perfect size for me at 5'11" with room to spare. You are not going to stand up and change clothes in it, but I find it comfortable.

My last long hike(8 days) was with an Oware Alphamid. Although it was nice at time to have that much room, I didn't think it was worth the extra weight.

I used a GG Spinnshleter(similar to the Patrol) on a previous 10 day hike and was quite happy with it. The only reason I replaced it with the Patrol was weight and the white color of the Spinnshleter made it stand out. I have to stealth camp a lot where I hike. The green cuben is easier to hide.

One complaint about these kind of shelters is getting in and out. Experience will help with that.
I'll try to explain what I have always done:
After I pitch the fly, I unhook the line or pull out the stake from one of the head corners and throw the loose corner over the top. This allows side entry. I put a sit pad at this opening to keep from having to kneel on the ground. Ice-Axe uses a poncho for this.

I can then hang the bugnet, setup my sleeping pad and bag/quilt.

When I go to bed and am in the bugnet, I reach out and re-attach or re-stake the corner and zip up the bugnet.

When I need to get out, I unhook the corner again.

It is a little tricky in pouring rain, but with practice and care, your bedding will stay dry.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Why the Patrol Shelter? on 01/24/2013 06:56:20 MST Print View

What is your total weight with lines and stakes with the/a bug net/bivy? That seemed a drawback to me the other night adding up the weight of the Patrol and the BearPaw Minimalist 1. I would then have to add in tent poles as I don't use hiking poles. I know there are very small bug nets that hang down and cover the head and torso. I have a TT floorless Squall I've had for about 8-9 years now that comes in at 1.5 lbs. If I have to spend some money, I think I can get a good shelter under 1 lb. Even due to price, the ZPacks solo Hexamid is looking pretty good, so my goal if I get another shelter this year, is to shave half a pound off my shelter weight, trying to get to a UL status, moving on from lightweight. I'm out west, doing all my trips here in the Sierra and some trips to the coast or further north here in CA.
Duane

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Weight on 01/24/2013 07:21:55 MST Print View

@Duane, I will have to admit that my current system weighs almost 1.5 lbs, including lines, stakes, and bags but I haven't tweaked it enough to say where I'd end up before my next long hike.

I could cut weight by going with thinner line, the line required to use the linelocs is thicker than I'd choose to use. I may get rid of the linelocks and go with 1mm line.

I could also drop an ounce or two by using less and lighter stakes. I actually stake out my bug bivy with titanium shepherd hooks, but that is more of a convenience than anything. I move around too much and staking the bug net keeps me under the tarp and keeps the bugnet taut.

I could cut a few grams by putting everything in one bag.

Re Haxamid and others:
Although the Hexamid is a great all around shelter, I find the Patrol more flexible.
If I rmember correctly when the bugnet is attached to the Hexamid, you really only have one pitch and that pitch is not optimum for hot weather.

If I were going with the Hexamid, I'd get it it without the bugnet/floor and use a separate bugnet/bivy for flexibility and then I'd be at around the same weight.

Also, the Bearpaw Minimalist is a heavier option and was chosen because it has a huge net area, higher bathtub walls and beefier components than most.

I often use the SMD Meteor in cooler weather. It is a little lighter, but less ventilated, so I use the Minimalist in warm weather.

MLD, Oware and others would be lighter.

The Equinox Mantis is inexpensive and only 4 ounces, if I remember correctly, but you'd want a ground cloth with that.

Many people commented that they like the side entrance on the Hexamid, but I suspect they don't realize that the Patrol can be side entrance as well.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 01/24/2013 07:23:52 MST.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Weight on 01/24/2013 11:20:08 MST Print View

Thank you Steven. Would you consider the Patrol more weatherproof than say the Hexamid? If I'm not saving weight or better performance from a new piece of gear, I may as well save my money for more stoves.:) I liked the Minimalist screen but it adds more weight back into a shelter. Does the Patrol Shelter have a smaller foot print than the Hexamid? I'll have to review their material layout and try to figure out how much space is required for lines. I'll go back to Matt's figures. Funny, I have his MSR X-GK II he used for most of his trips I believe he used it on. Runs great still. Small world.
Duane

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Comparison on 01/24/2013 12:21:26 MST Print View

I can't give a fair comparison between a Hexamid and a Patrol as I have never used a Hexamid.

I do believe that the Hexamid doesn't have a lot of pitch options and so looking at the diagram would give you an idea of the internal space.
You can change the pitch to accommodate different situations, but I don't know how far you can go.

This limitation hasn't received many complaints other than wind blown rain coming in the front of some Hexamids' that didn't have the extended beak.

Both shelters have thru-hiked many long distance trails and both are well liked.
I believe both are easy to setup after a little practice.

I suspect the Patrol will give you more room when setup in a summer pitch and probably less room when pitched tight to the ground compared to a standard Hexamid pitch.

The Patrol is kinda like a tarp in this regard and I'd think could be pitched in more locations than the Hexamid could.
One common situation is when the only flat spot around has only a 2' gap between two big objects, rocks, trees, bushes, ...

I would probably be perfectly happy with a Hexamid if I had one. I went with the Patrol instead mostly based on the flexibility of it's design and my positive experience with previous shelters of its type.

I have also been perfectly happy with and have a Gatewood cape, which is a similar design to the Hexamid. But I find the Patrol a little more flexible.

I think I may be splitting hairs here.

I think If I had gone with the Hexamid, I would have not ordered it without the bugnet/floor option and instead used an SMD Serenity bugnet which is pyramid shaped and would probably work well in the Haxamid.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
P.S. Hexamid on 01/24/2013 12:58:32 MST Print View

Another plus for the Hexamid is that it only requires one pole. The Patrol uses two.

This is not so big a deal for me as I always used two poles, but people who don't use trekking poles, or only use one, could save weight by going with the Hexamid.

As others have stated, they feel the Hexamid has more room, but that depends on how you pitch the Patrol. I usually pitch high enough to sit upright except in harsh weather.

The shape of the Hexamid and other mids tend to have more headroom when your sitting up because of the extra room in the center.

The patrol feels roomier when you are lying down. The highest point being above your head. You are farther from the fly when lying down so strong winds are less likely to flap against your head. Again, I'm splitting hairs.

I still can't say which is best for you:-(

Edited by brooklynkayak on 01/24/2013 13:00:04 MST.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
P.S. Hexamid on 01/24/2013 14:05:27 MST Print View

Most of my bping is in the mountains, heat usually isn't a factor. Wind can be.
Duane

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Locale: www.peaksandvalleys.weebly.com
Set up Cuben Patrol on 02/14/2013 10:06:27 MST Print View

I like windy spots for some of my camping - and I plan on experimenting with the Patrol. I found the Hexamid to be very close to my face while on a NeoAir in a Long bag, and not have a ton of extra room for real bad weather. Both are great shelters, just different strengths. I decided to start off using slightly longer guylines, and then cut them down once I've experimented enough to know what I want.MLD Cuben Patrol Shelter

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
A low, winter/wind pitch on 02/14/2013 10:42:02 MST Print View

The main reason I like my lines a little longer than IceAxe's is that I do some hot desert hiking and have on occasion used my tarp as a shade for taking a nap dring the hottest part of the day.

But there have been a few times on hot muggy nights in the NorthEast when I was glad that I could pitch my shelter really high.

Anyway, below is a shot of a storm or cold weather pitch. I found that even on my blow-up pad I still had a good amount of room above my face to not feel cramped.

I did have a photo that was taken on a backpacking trip, but it is not as clear as this shot I took in a park in Brooklyn:MLD Patrol Strom pitch #1

Edited by brooklynkayak on 02/14/2013 11:31:09 MST.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Side Entry on 02/14/2013 10:51:13 MST Print View

Oh, and regarding side entry with an MLD Patrol, here is a typical pitch showing the method of side entry that I mentioned earlier in this thread:MLD Patrol Side Entry

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Side Entry on 02/14/2013 11:18:22 MST Print View

Do you have the MLD bug net in that pic too? I like that close to ground setup. I went with a ZPacks Hexamid w/o netting or beak, and am getting a Borah cuben bivy with noseeum as my summer shelter, at 12 oz. with a tent pole, out the door weight. Cheaper than MLD setup and much lighter. It will be half the weight of my floorless TT Squall. We'll see how durable in the months, years to come.
Duane

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Bugnet on 02/14/2013 11:26:33 MST Print View

These pictures are taken with a BearPaw Minimalist 1 bugnet which I had long before I bought the Patrol Shelter.

I also have and use an SMD Meteor bug bivy. I usually use the Meteor because it is lighter and offers better splash protection. I use the Minimalist for the summer months as it is all mesh so has better ventilation.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 02/14/2013 11:28:01 MST.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Close to ground on 02/14/2013 11:36:45 MST Print View

And by the way, that storm/winter shot was take on a windy cold winter afternoon and it was almost too warm inside.
There probably aren't that many situations where you would want such a tight pitch and I'd bet condensation would be an issue if it isn't windy out.

Even in winter I pitch a little higher than that to allow some air in from the sides.
I just wanted to show an example of what you could do in a really nasty storm.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Update on 06/24/2013 18:18:36 MDT Print View

I wanted to update this thread with some of my later observations:

I experimented with using the very good 1mm line sold by Oware and although it is amazingly strong, light and relatively tangle free, it is not as easy to work with as the 3mm line that comed with the Patrol Shelter and using the linelocks has many advantages.

I feel I am fairly confident with knots and thin line, but found that repitching in rain and/or in the dark was nowhere near as simple as the 3mm line/linelock combination.

For me, the extra two ounces of the 3mm/linelock combination is justified.

I also belive that the extra line length that I use is justified. I was near the end of the line a few time on hot humid nights in the NJ Pine Barrens area and upstate NY. I would have been fine with shorter lines and splicing extensions to these lines, but carrying the extra line is just as heavy. So i'll stick with my line lengths.