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Tarptent Notch
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Henry Shires
(07100) - F - M
Re: poles on 05/22/2012 19:49:28 MDT Print View

> Pole breaking, well it was very useful to learn that lesson when at home than learn it far from home. I know exactly what happened, that Brompton I had placed it around the pole and the pole bending it was pinched at the bike and snapped. If the bike hadn't been there it would not have broken so easily, but still those poles just sway soooo tooo much. Easton do make thicker poles. TT has chosen to not offer them with the Notch, I think from my limited ownership experience some simple collapsible but stronger poles still have merit.

Yes, that's absolutely why those poles snapped and, yes, the poles are flexible. Trekking poles are far, far stiffer and far preferable. The Eastons are a 4-ounce, $14 pole set. You get what you pay for. Having said all that, we've been offering the same Easton pole set/spec for the Squall 2 and Contrail for eons and no one has ever reported a pole break. No one. You bent it in an unnatural way (wrapping it around a bike frame) but left to flex in a natural way it just would not have snapped.

I would love to offer a light, stiff, inexpensive pole set but I think that's an oxymoron. A stiffer carbon set, with "trekking pole stiffness", would be much, much more expensive. There's no doubt an intermediate carbon stiffness solution which is just somewhere between more expensive and much more expensive and that's probably where I'll head down the road given that there are already much, much expensive trekking poles already on the market.

Re: your line tighteners tearing off, I think you just didn't sew them very well. Not enough stitching or the wrong thread.


Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
Tarptent Notch - misc points on 05/22/2012 19:54:14 MDT Print View

MYOG Groundsheet (thanks Mark).

Using the two vestibules to open up and turn into more of inner-only.
View outside
View inside

Henry on TT's website shows lowering the Notch, this is the first time I tried raising, I know I did it wrong and slowly but at least shows it can be done....

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
Re: Re: poles on 05/22/2012 20:36:33 MDT Print View

Thanks Henry for contributing. Yep my own fault, and why I'd never make a warranty claim for that, but I'd rather have my stupidity resolved at home than in the middle of a 5-day bike tour (my average) so I've learned something but probably no-one else did?

Stitching coming undone, yes absolutely correct it was not strong enough, but having seen the shape the fly takes (before the stitching came undone), I firmly have the view that the guy should NOT attach there. It might make sense further up at the apex. My point is a strong peg on strong Dyneema will tear the Notch apart if the guys are at that same point I stitched. Take the stitching coming undone as a warning that particularly spot isn't the best spot. My bad stitching just meant no SilNYLon tear. Best attached at the apex possibly? Loop stitched around the ring at the apex? I don't have the solution but I know now that point, where the plastic reinforcer meets the join going down to the porch zip, its the wrong angle for the guy attachment.

Great tent. I figured it all out eventually. Sat in it now with 15mph winds reminding me I need to trim the noisy MYOG Tyvek groundsheet protector a little more...

I'm close now to packing up and next this Notch will get used for a 10 day trip.

So wrap up. Pros:
- two vestibules (amazing, for the weight)
- lightweight (truly is)
- the inner floorspace I think is enough, its long+narrow but enough for me. I'm sat in it now and the width is ample, sat cross-legged, plenty of knee room.
- masses of headroom. Deep joy.. I'm "normal" height and I find this a good height for real living with the problems of getting clothes changed and packing up needing the height. That was one issue which drew me to the Notch.
- versatile (I can turn this into handling a variety of situations), the height adjustment is stellar.
- can be made storm-worthy with little added weight
- excellent condensation management (why I looked at TT in the first place having only owned Tera Nova, Coleman, before)

- out of the box its flappy, easily fixable though with guys for little weight
- use with trekking poles, or light winds. That means if someone isn't walking with trekking poles, its probably wiser to consider another tent.
- ermmmm that's all!!!! (great tent).

Henry, thanks for designing the Notch, I hope my input will improve it..

Edited by nigelhealy on 05/22/2012 21:06:46 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Tarptent Notch on 05/29/2012 17:37:45 MDT Print View

Yesterday I had nothing to do so I thought a bit about this thread and put to my self this question " what would I do if I hat the Notch in winds high enough to make me doubt it would survive ?"
First thing that came to mind was to set it up without poles at all .
Just flat on the ground using the pitch Lock corner at the head end and the other end down and into the wind.
That way you end up with a large bivvy. Shove the pack at the back of your head and be prepared for a noisy night but out of the weather.

An easy way to get a lower profile and retain the shape and most of the space inside is this way:

Notch storm mode 1
Notch storm mode 2

Set up the widward end flat to the ground.
Do the other end as normal (Pitch Lock corner)
Stake the door panels down to ground level.
Get inside an place the poles,
(can be done from the outside via the vents...)
Note the guyline placement.

Edited by Franco on 05/30/2012 00:35:12 MDT.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Tarptent Notch on 05/29/2012 18:18:07 MDT Print View

Franco, I love the way your mind works! That bivy alternative setup is great, and very useful to know!

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Tarptent Notch on 05/29/2012 20:19:48 MDT Print View

Franco, I've never had to do it, but I always figured that if the wind got to be too much for my tent, I'd turn it into a bivy!

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Tarptent Notch on 05/29/2012 20:27:45 MDT Print View

Yes you can do that with most tents...
Usually the poles brake before the fabric rips apart so (in emergency....) eliminating the poles or reducing wind exposure (dramatically lowering the tent) can work out.
On the other hand if I were hiking where an expedition grade tent is usually required, I would get an expedition tent.

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
Re: Tarptent Notch on 05/29/2012 20:33:45 MDT Print View

Franco. Great thinking. Building on your ideas.... and merging with one I've got in my mind but missing a few parts....

If I were inside the tent and really worried about it lifting off, how does it sound if I had pitched it using the guys off the trekking pole which had sliplocks at the end of the trekking pole, so you can tighten it from inside. I could drop the trekking pole to a much much shorter position (remove it even) and tighten. Or tie the two guys together tighten from inside. I'd have loose fabric between the vestibule peg and the end pegs, but at least its lowered the whole tent to face-height. The end struts would keep the fabric off your face but otherwise its resting on your body?

Looks a bad idea in my mind as the loose vestibule fabric would just catch in the wind and lift would need rolling up tight.....somehow...

Its just one of the things you don't do when inside a tent which feels like its going to lift is take the big fat (in my case) camper weight away from the inside of the tent, to go outside and change its pitching, so I'd be looking for rapid height-lowering tricks. The Notch, has the ability to lower itself a little but only by about 5cm-10cm at most, with the vestibule going flappy, lowering further from inside would need a fabric-reducing trick.

Your Ideas Franco seem to be for *pitching* it in strong wind. Useful, I'll look some more and think some more on that.

The worst windiest conditions arrive and leave quickly and its more likely to happen when in the tent than at pitching time so tricks to do from inside a tent have statistically more value than pitching tricks done whilst windy. Please note the word statistically, that doesn't mean yes/no.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Tarptent Notch on 07/15/2012 16:59:19 MDT Print View

Well I got the chance to try the Nonch on snow.
Two weeks ago I had id set up on snow during the day (I had forgotten my trekking poles in the car and was too lazy to go back to get them being distracted by building a nice fire inside a hut...)
this w/e i finally slept inside it.
The first shot shows how I set up the extra two guylines and how I use the poles (tip down)
Notch snow set up

I learned then to keep the ends flat otherwise the inner will touch the fly (you can see that on the left side).
This is how it looked without the extra guylines this w/e ; it was set up in the early afternoon and it is about 9Pm now :
Notch 4 pegs on snow

and this the next morning after 15cm or so of snow :
The next morning
it is around 7:30 AM , the tent was put in tension at around 9:30 PM after a few nips of very nice single malt whisky (thanks Brett...)
In the situation I would prefer a bit more room but it can certainly take some snow .
The reason for using it there was to see if it could handle the out os season snow long distance hikers may encounter.
Because I was buried in snow I don't think the fabric inner would have made any difference.
I did punch snow off several times during the night (I wake up 3-4 times most night unless it is raining hard , then I tend to sleep all the way)
My mate was using his Scarp 2 and took up most of the floor there all by himself... (spreading his gear around)

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Tarptent Notch on 07/15/2012 17:38:33 MDT Print View

Hi Franco,

Any photos of the inside in the morning?

Also, I'm guessing I know the approximate answers but what was the nature of the snow (temperature, wind, moisture content)?

I've always been a bit mystified about how snow sticks to silnylon (given how slippery sil is).

Not sleeping through the night DOES have some advantages in that situation.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Tarptent Notch on 07/15/2012 17:47:59 MDT Print View

Good to see the Notch in some winter conditions. A versatile shelter, this.

I do think the solid inner would have more of a difference if it had been all-solid, and not just partly. It would have helped with stopping any condensation build up on the outer canopy, and would have made it warmer inside due to less air flow. I'm still not sure why only a partial inner was offered.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Tarptent Notch on 07/15/2012 19:34:54 MDT Print View

The first picture was taken 2 weeks ago and I did not sleep in it ( it was only up during the day..).
The other pics are in a different place taken this w/e and I did sleep inside it.
Mine has a mesh inner and it really was designed to be a 3 season shelter , however with a bit of ingenuity it can be used in some areas in winter.
For that I would probably opt for no inner at all as this would give me a lot more space to move about and cook under it.
The "solid" inner was designed for windy areas including where and is a problem, not snow...

In the morning (I got up just after 7AM) the sides where iced up solid . There were a few drips on the top of the inner but the inside of the fly was also frozen.
No problem with wind because I had snow all around the fly but still had the vents open and I had the bottom of the door (the lee side is at the front in the pics) undone.
We had bush rats and pigmy possums about so I kept the mesh closed (a couple in a tent about 50 yards away had a mouse (native) inside one of their back packs. Most likely it was there getting inside it at the hut...
Max temp around 2c, min temp around -2 (maybe -4c at around 4-5AM but I was asleep then)
So the snow was heavish turning into ice (that is why most of the load was taken up at the ends just with the very maligned 8" Easton...)
looking at those pics I guess it was a bit more than 15cm of snow because the ends are 30cm high
Notch 4 pegs on snow

Another shot of the Notch on snow (from yesterday morning)
This time we had great weather. Below freezing at night with some wind so I woke up with a frozen fly but totally dry inside.
Turned out that my Exped DM 7 was the only one out of mats used that night there (5 guys in total) that did the job.
A couple of guys had Thermarests (ProLite 4 types) and blue mats and were still cold...
They were warm on top (huge winter sleeping bags, but cold from the snow under. I was inside my Summerlite with puffy top and bottom as well as a 200 Merino top and bottom, Merino gloves and hat)
Derrik's Hut 2


Edited by Franco on 07/22/2012 17:08:41 MDT.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Double pegging on 08/09/2012 17:54:12 MDT Print View

I just read this thread and had one thought about the high wind worries: what about double-pegging?

*) Most tent failures are the poles -- not going to happen with this tent. Putting stress along the long axis of trekking poles is not going to break them. Most tent guying is to support bent poles -- not relevant in this case.

*) I'm assuming that fabric failure is not the main worry -- no one has worried about that so far, that's not a usual tent failure mode, and guy lines supporting the tops of the poles would not help that anyway.

*) That leaves the pegs pulling out as the expected failure mode. It looks to me as if there are a couple of answers to that:

-- One person (Franco?) pointed out that you could do a lot by just using 8" pegs (driven at the correct angle) instead of the supplied 6" ones, especially at the ends.

-- I saw mentioned in passing that you could double peg -- run a short line from the top of the peg to a new peg that is a bit further out. All that line and the new peg have to do is to keep the main peg from rotating. (I do not expect failure from pulling the main peg sideways through the ground.)

Wouldn't that solve most of the strength questions, and do so with not much weight or fuss? All it would take is 4 short lengths of cord (negligible weight) and 4 added pegs (about 2 oz).

Edited by blean on 08/09/2012 17:57:48 MDT.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Tarptent Notch on 08/09/2012 18:26:24 MDT Print View

Most tent failures are the poles -- not going to happen with this tent.

A pole breaking seems to me one of the more likely causes of failure. Especially when using lightweight CF poles. Some interesting thoughts here, which reflect my own experiences.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Tarptent Notch on 08/09/2012 18:43:42 MDT Print View

I take your point, even though I doubt that the vertical forces in the Notch are enough to make this the most likely failure.

In any case, the point of the posting was double pegging as opposed to a bunch of extra guy lines. Those extra guy lines are not going to alleviate the (possible) problem you are pointing out.

One other observation -- there are limits to how far it is wise to try to go in the direction of extreme strength. If you fix all failure points:
   *) The poles do not fail (whether inherently or doubled or otherwise strengthened)
   *) The pegs do not fail (double peg, or extra guy lines)
   *) The lines are strong enough that they do not fail
then all that is left is the fabric and the zippers. Unless you are VERY sure that the fabric and zippers can take anything Mother Nature can throw at them it might be better if they were not the weakest link.

Edited by blean on 08/09/2012 18:47:58 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Tarptent Notch on 08/09/2012 19:03:08 MDT Print View

As the BPL tests confirmed sometime ago, an 8/9" stake has a lot greater holding power than a 6/7" version.
To me the advantage is that they are also easier to use jammed in rocks/logs and used under a pile of stones as a dead man anchor.
A mate, from another tent company , even made (for himself) a triangular connector that took two stakes only about two inches apart, the third apex hole taking the guyline..
I tried that (a few years ago) and it works well enough with thinner stakes too.
There are (I think..) commercial versions and from memory something like that has popped up in the DIY section.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Tarptent Notch on 08/09/2012 19:14:04 MDT Print View

I take your point, even though I doubt that the vertical forces in the Notch are enough to make this the most likely failure.

My experiences has been in a mid type shelter (this is also the type of shelter that I have read about having a pole snap). Vertical forces may well be less in a shelter with two rather than one pole.

One other observation -- there are limits to how far it is wise to try to go in the direction of extreme strength. If you fix all failure points.

This is a good point. Poles on dome tents are designed to bend before they snap. Unfortunately this isn't a property of CF poles.

A triangular connector that took two stakes only about two inches apart.

Roberts Saunders used to make one of these for use with their wonderful tents.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Tarptent Notch on 08/09/2012 19:37:53 MDT Print View

Actually, you don't need anything. I have been double staking a long time. I simply place these at an angle to each other. This creats a "claw" in a much larger area of ground. Far stronger than just the area of one stake.

While my tarp only needs 5 stakes, I carry 7. I sometimes loose one, I need to double stake two, or, I can use them for staking the sides. For about a 1/2oz on a 16oz tarp (including the 7 stakes) if I do NOT need them, that's OK too.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Tarptent Notch on 08/09/2012 19:38:57 MDT Print View


In the holding power tests, what was the failure mode? I am conjecturing that it was the top of the stake rotating towards the load.

That's what my suggestion was aimed at -- because of the leverage involved it wouldn't take much force at all to keep the top of the main peg from rotating forward.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Tarptent Notch on 08/09/2012 19:47:44 MDT Print View

You need to become a member here to read those reports.
Without membership there is no BPL, without BPL I would have another three hours a day with nothing to do.