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Internal Frame for Pyramid
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Adam Thibault
(apthibault) - M
Internal Frame for Pyramid on 09/02/2012 09:32:20 MDT Print View

It may be a little early but I've got winter camping on the mind...

Here are some of my thoughts on sewing a "winter mid", some feedback would be much appreciated...

I want to get away from the center pole, I don't think it provides much support for the ridgelines in heavy snow loads plus it would be nice not to have one. I could do a two pole "scissor" set up, however that would require cutting poles on site.

I was thinking the best option may be a four pole set up with 3/4" Easton aluminum poles going up each ridge and meeting in the middle. This would get rid of any poles in the living space and provide lots of support for the ridges. Has anyone ever seen this? Would the poles have to be tied off to one another in the center or could they slip in to a "sleeve" at both ends of the ridge seam? Snowtrekker tents use a similar 3/4" aluminum frame for their modified wedge tents. I want something like that except for a pyramid.

Also, I hope I don't get shunned for this but I'm thinking about going with canvas instead of silnylon. I'm planning on using a stove so it would hold in the heat better plus unless a silnylon single wall tent is pitched way off the ground some pretty serious condensation can develop. I wish I could get a hold of some 4 oz egyptian cotton from Tentsmiths. The tent will be heavy but I probably won't be going in very far and it will probably be pulled by a pulk anyway.

Sorry for the ramblings, thanks in advance for any feedback!

David Lowry
(huskyrunnr) - F
Scott tent on 09/03/2012 20:13:30 MDT Print View

Hey, cool, something I might can contribute to. I've been known to have my sled team drag along 500 lbs of gear in mid-Winter, so I don't normally have anything to contribute here.

Here is a mockup of a Scott tent out of painter's canvas, emt conduit poles. The poles were joined at the peak with a metal ring. I sawed the ring apart, drilled holes in the end of the poles and threaded the poles onto the ring, then clamped the ring back together. The idea was to drag the tent around on a Nansen sled with the poles and tent all folded together, then set up with about a five minute setup time in very cold weather.

I never got back to the project, but I've used the tent a few times and like the setup.

Here's a shot that maybe you can see where the poles converge on the ring.Scott Tent mockup

Edited by huskyrunnr on 09/03/2012 20:18:18 MDT.

David Lowry
(huskyrunnr) - F
Egyptian Cotton on 09/03/2012 20:28:32 MDT Print View

Forgot to add, you might be able to get some ventile cotton from Wiggy's

Adam Thibault
(apthibault) - M
Scott Tent on 09/04/2012 12:51:47 MDT Print View

David - that is almost exactly what I want to do, thanks so much. Question - what kind of ring did you use? I was going to maybe use some Eureka section poles (available at Campmor) but conduit would work well too and much cheaper. I was looking at Ventile too. I heard Wiggy's wanted $40/yrd which is out of my price range but I should call and make sure.

Do you have any insight over what's better an internal frame or external? I could see the benefits of the external being you could cut your own frame on the trail if you have the time, however and internal might be faster to put up...

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Internal Frame for Pyramid on 09/04/2012 14:38:49 MDT Print View

I've done 2 pole A-frame

If there are sleeves, and the wind wants to blow the tent around, there's less flapping when the pole is in a sleeve.

You could use Easton Poles - like from or Several interlocking sections.

I use 0.625 inch Easton pole for my 9 foot square 5 foot high. This seems overkill in my experience, when winter windy, but I don't do much snow.

I think with 4 poles, you might want smaller diameter poles because you're sharing the load between 4 of them. But the ridge length is getting longer so maybe not.

But if you really make it out of canvas it will be heavier so you'de need bigger poles.

You should really think about making it from silnylon. And maybe 0.43 or 0.49 Easton poles for light weight, but that's probably pushing it. 0.65 inch maybe better. 0.75 inch is unnecesarily heavy. But I have a bias to light weight.

Douglas Ray

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Snow Trekker tents on 09/04/2012 14:59:55 MDT Print View

I think what you are working on is very much like these tents.

David A
(DavidAdair) - M

Locale: West Dakota
Re: Internal Frame for Pyramid on 09/04/2012 20:40:36 MDT Print View

Tents like you are proposing used to be more common. The hard part is finding a suitable light canvas. The fine cotton tent fabrics used in the old days are long gone. Tentsmiths hasn't had any Egyptian cotton for years. Snowtrekker used to sell its 8 oz canvas by the yard but their website now says out of stock. Be careful what you buy as there is a lot of misinformation about the canvas commonly sold. A light double fill cotton duck canvas at about 8 oz/yd is hard to find. I would call Snowtrekker and ask them.

I have some eureka timberline poles and they are about 1/2 inch. Four of those would be plenty stiff. Also I think using pole sleeves in the seams would work fine. I also fold and sew webbing into a tube to hold the ends of a couple poles together.

Really a double wall nylon mid would be lighter and warmer. Somehow cotton is more comfortable though.

David Lowry
(huskyrunnr) - F
Ring on 09/05/2012 09:18:56 MDT Print View

Adam, the ring and conduit were both from Home Depot. The 2" diam. ring was over in the rope/cable section of the store.

I have no insight on internal or external frame. I was trying to replicate a Scott tent as closely as possible.

Best of luck.

Adam Thibault
(apthibault) - M
Nylon vs Canvas on 09/05/2012 18:18:35 MDT Print View

Yeah, I go back and forth between double walled nylon and canvas.

Nylon pro is lighter weight. However the double wall design adds an extra layer of hassle. Plus, I haven't been able to find an DWR nylon that is flame resistant for the dew liner. Since I'm planning on using this with a wood stove a uncoated non-flame resistant nylon might get a little sketchy...

Canvas is heavy for sure. I called Snowtrekker and they no longer sell their 7.5 oz. Tentsmiths said they'll do a run of 4 oz maybe next year, we'll see. So I'm stuck with 10 oz for now probably. However, the one wall canvas design is nice and simple. Canvas in my opinion is way nicer to live under and has much more style IMHO.

I think some people need to get together and petition on Tentsmiths to do another 4 oz run.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Nylon vs Canvas on 09/05/2012 19:05:15 MDT Print View


they make stoves for pyramid tents

they would know how to make the tent flame-proof

robert perks
(rperks) - F
4oz Canvas interest on 09/05/2012 21:12:31 MDT Print View

How much demand do we have here for canvas like the Tentsmith offering? I have been thinking about something like this for a few different projects. If there are enough and we organize a bit, maybe we can push the project along a little faster? As always price will be a component of demand, but assuming it is reasonable, I would want at least 6-10 yards.


Nick Brown

Locale: Highland Park
Canvas supplier on 09/05/2012 21:44:35 MDT Print View

Hey guys,

I source all of my canvas for painting from Rosebrand. They have every fabric imaginable as they supply mainly the theater and film industry. Anyone can buy and they ship. Customer service is very good.

They have 6oz Canvas and up in varying width rolls. They also make flame retardant canvas (FR) or non (NFR).

I always find it cheaper to buy less yardage in wider rolls.

Hope this helps.

Adam Thibault
(apthibault) - M
Re: Canvas supplier on 09/06/2012 18:58:05 MDT Print View

Nick - thanks for the link. I was wondering have you used the canvas in a tent? If so, is it pretty waterproof? I don't know a lot about canvas but I had the conception that good canvas that is woven tight does not need waterproofing but mediocre canvas does. Is the stuff from Rose Brand pretty good quality? If so the 6 oz flame retardant might be the ticket...