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Original Tarptent from plans, Yes or No?
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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Original Tarptent from plans, Yes or No? on 04/10/2007 18:20:56 MDT Print View

I was considering purchasing a Squall 2 but have thought about starting my own project instead...Anyone have experience making/using the original 1 man from the free plans? Think it's worth the ~$60 and time to make it? I figure if Shires did the PCT with it, it should do fine for a JMT thru hike this summer...

Input appreciated


Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Original Tarptent from plans, Yes or No? on 04/10/2007 20:01:31 MDT Print View

Both are good shelters. I've made and use a TT1 and have used a Squall 1, as well as a Cloudburst.

The Squall was my first step away from a full tent when I was convinced I needed wider coverage than a Virga. I later sold the Squall and got a Cloudburst for the increased interior volume. I think the Squall 2 is closer to the Cloudburst in volume.

After I was comfortable with less than a full tent I made a TT1 and that's my goto tent for most use. I made it with a beak on both ends

If you enjoy making things and using gear you made OR if $$ is a big factor then definitely make one. Otherwise, I'd advise buying a Squall 2 or Contrail

Being the same on each side, the manufacturered TT's are a bit less sensitive to wind shifts (for rain or cold)

Edited by jcolten on 04/10/2007 20:03:17 MDT.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Original Tarptent from plans, Yes or No? on 04/10/2007 20:38:05 MDT Print View

Squall -vs- home made shire tarptent? If you enjoy making things, go for it. If you aren't good at making things, or your have more time than money, buy the commercial shelter. Looking for the most performant solution or extra room?... buy commercial... unless you have experience and CAD programs, you won't make something as nice as the squall2.

I have two friends who make the original tarptent and were happy with the results until we did several trips together where I brought my original squall. Both guys though the squall was much easier to get a good pitch and did better in wind. One of the guys held out for quite awhile, but I think he broke down and bought a GG/tarptent squall classic last year. The other guy still is happily using his home make tarptent, but I have it on good authority that a squall2 was on his birthday wishlist, and it might appear :-)


Kevin Lutz
(EazyE) - F
Re: Original Tarptent from plans, Yes or No? on 04/18/2007 15:20:10 MDT Print View

I made a TT1 and have somewhat limited sewing skills. There are some tricky measurements and fine tuning, so if you aren't comfortable working with large runs of silnylon, I would go ahead and buy the sqall instead of ending up with a $60 mess. The squall is also quite a bit bigger in terms of livable space, so that should also be a consideration. The TT1 is an excellent tent, but you have to be pretty close to share it. The TT1 has excellent plans, though I found making the perfect beak tricky. Mine keeps out the weather, but it takes awhile to get a pitch that keeps it taut. Paired with a tyvek ground sheet, this is the tent I use most during the summer.

I should also mention that if you use the source for tent poles in Vancouver WA, make sure you buy the right grommets for the tips. I have heard of several people who did not consider this and had to either sand the tips of the poles down, or had to resew the whole grommet nylon tab.

Edited by EazyE on 04/18/2007 15:21:45 MDT.

Mike Maurer
(maurer) - F - M

Locale: Oregon
Re: Re: Original Tarptent from plans, Yes or No? on 05/18/2007 10:18:36 MDT Print View


One of the first large projects I attempted was a TT2 from Henry's free pattern. I used it for about 3 seasons with my then partner, and it worked really well. I can't recall if Henry specs a floor or not, but I sewed one in on mine. Pic is below, albeit a fairly poor pitch. Who would know that after sewing this shelter I'd start tinkering with my own designs, and ultimatley end up designing and manufacturing the Spinnshelter and SpinnTwinn!
I say go for it.

Mike MaurerTT2 near Moraine Dome, YNP.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
Shire's pattern on 05/19/2007 09:48:20 MDT Print View

My finished models look like seconds, but they work. Another pattern for a tarp-tent is found at Six moon Designs. Finished product weighs 1 lb.

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
MYO Tarptent w/ Cuben? on 05/19/2007 11:56:17 MDT Print View

I was fascinated with GG's Cuben 1 man 11 oz tent, and looking for something similar in weight with a floor for next summer. In looking at this thread, I was intrigued with the possibility of building the TarpTent with Cuben, bonding instead of sewing the seams.

Any thoughts on that?


James Gates
(jamesg) - F
TarpTent Project on 05/19/2007 17:52:12 MDT Print View

In 2003 we made a H. Shires' TarpTent for 2 with beak and slightly wider netting flaps. Weight is 21.4 oz w Kelty Triptease guylines attached and no sewn in floor. Construction was not too difficult once you get used to working with the slippery material. Have used it on numerous trips including a Philmont BSA trip. Would highly recommend it as a project and as a shelter if you have the need or desire for a tarp w/netting walls. Philmont required shelters with walls (at least in 2004). This met the Philmont criteria and in fact worked perfect on that trip.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: TarpTent Project on 05/19/2007 18:28:21 MDT Print View

Thanks for more feedback on this everyone...
Frank, thanks for the tip on the SMD pattern, I actually like what I see there better that the tarptent and might go with that.

I was thinking about buying a Squall or Contrail, but the revival of this thread has got me thinking otherwise again.
I like the principle of using my own gear...