Forum Index » GEAR » Why gray? A completely superfluous question about silnylon shelters.


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spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
Why gray? A completely superfluous question about silnylon shelters. on 02/18/2013 23:10:09 MST Print View

Although there are some variations available--MLD's brown and yellow and the Gatewood Cape's green and tan options come to mind--it seems the vast majority of cottage shelter makers stick with gray silnylon. Why? It's so...gray.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
re on 02/18/2013 23:27:16 MST Print View

Its a good comprimise between stealth and still light enough to let enough light in to make it pleasant when waiting out rain while the sun is shining.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.wordpress.com
Color on 02/18/2013 23:30:18 MST Print View

I got in a bit of an argument over this once, actually.

Grey shelters are terrible and I will never purchase one. I would become depressed by the end of a thru-hike. A yellow or green place to "live" will literally make my day.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Why gray - indeed! on 02/18/2013 23:32:09 MST Print View

1. Gray is a neutral color.
2. Gray is a color that blends with most natural setttings.
3. Gray is depressing as hell and makes you want to get out of your tent and explore.
4. Gray is cheaper than anything but white.
5. Gray is the color decided upon by cottage industry tent makers so they get a break on price for (secretly) ordering as a group.
6. Gray is great for stealth camping so park rangers won't find you.
7. Gray is popular in the former Confederate states. (The South shall rise again!)
8. Gray is the color that best matches your ti mug.
9. Gray is the color that makes us want to ask, "Geeze Loiuse! why do so many of you make gray tents?"
10. And finally, gray is a color that makes us want to buy a avocado green (or purple, or da-glo orange) parka just for a fr!kk!n break!

Really, do you want to lay in an orange or yellow or red tent if you have a migraine, a hangover or, God forbid, giardiasis?

Edited by Danepacker on 02/18/2013 23:34:32 MST.

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Color on 02/18/2013 23:38:54 MST Print View

I have a gray one on the way via gear swap, so I'll find out soon enough if it drives me batty. Green and yellow are two of my favorite colors; I like the look of Hilleberg's green/yellow tents but I'm not in the market for anything that bomber or expensive. My tarp for my hammock is green. Brown isn't even bad when it's the deeper coyote brown. I'd prefer brown over gray if I were purchasing new.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
re on 02/18/2013 23:40:43 MST Print View

Grey isnt dark IMO, brown will be the darkest, and green darker too... Grey is a good color IMO.

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Why gray - indeed! on 02/18/2013 23:45:06 MST Print View

6. Gray is great for stealth camping so park rangers won't find you.

Is it really? I guess it might be out west where you have a lot of exposed rock above treeline. Out east, green or brown would be more stealthy than gray in most places.

Really, do you want to lay in an orange or yellow or red tent if you have a migraine, a hangover or, God forbid, giardiasis?

I don't see why not? They're warm spectrum colors, cheery. Light filtered through gray is cold and dreary. Not very uplifting if you're sick!

Edited by spelt on 02/18/2013 23:51:04 MST.

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: re on 02/18/2013 23:50:02 MST Print View

I don't think it's dark; I just think it's pretty bland and dreary and oddly popular despite that.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: Why gray? A completely superfluous question about silnylon shelters. on 02/19/2013 00:37:14 MST Print View

My favorite tarp color is a very light coyote brown. It has the old timey canvas feel to it.

Example: http://www.bushcraftoutfitters.com/images/coyote%2010x10.jpg

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Why gray? A completely superfluous question about silnylon shelters. on 02/19/2013 00:47:06 MST Print View

I would like all the ones that like green to post an example of the type green they like.
Same for yellow.

Or just pick one from these two colour charts :
Green
Yellow

Edited by Franco on 02/19/2013 00:55:50 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Why gray? A completely superfluous question about silnylon shelters. on 02/19/2013 01:09:34 MST Print View

I think most silnylon tent or tarp makers are boutique size operations -- so they tend to stick to one color for simplicity. And this usually means sticking with a neutral color -- such as grey.

I am happy enough with grey -- better IMHO than red or purple . All subjective, of course.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Color on 02/19/2013 01:15:21 MST Print View

"Grey shelters are terrible and I will never purchase one. I would become depressed by the end "

I wonder if you have your mind made up before giving it a try? If that's the case, know that silnylon is a very thin material -- so it really doesn't take much light at all to brighten up the interior -- even moonbeam will do (which can make sleep difficult sometimes when the moon is full).

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
shades on 02/19/2013 01:27:31 MST Print View

The bottom right quadrant of green and the bottom three rows of yellow appeal the most to me.

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Why gray? A completely superfluous question about silnylon shelters. on 02/19/2013 01:31:02 MST Print View

The purple I can agree with, Ben. My hammock is a garish purple--a production Henessey, albeit a discontinued adventure racing model...I think those were never made in the usual coyote brown other Henesseys use.

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Why gray? A completely superfluous question about silnylon shelters. on 02/19/2013 01:33:00 MST Print View

Justin, that's a nice earth tone. Lets more light through than the darker browns, for sure.

J Mole
(MoleJ) - F

Locale: UK
grey on 02/19/2013 04:34:27 MST Print View

Its not dreary. Lighter inside. than a green tent. Fine in the rocky areas.

For stealth in forests or moors Id prefer the 'forage' green like Hilleberg and Terra Nova use( And SMD on the gatewood).


Yellow sucks if insects are an issue. Horticultural sticky traps are yellow as it's the best for attracting flies....

doug thomas
(sparky52804) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Iowa
Re: Why gray? A completely superfluous question about silnylon shelters. on 02/19/2013 04:46:30 MST Print View

Franco, The yellow section looks just like the pee chart we have at work to tell if your hydrated. I guess those colors are out for me.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Why gray? A completely superfluous question about silnylon shelters. on 02/19/2013 05:56:42 MST Print View

I've got green and blue silnylon tarps and a white spinnaker tarp. The green is about an S80, V60 on Franco's chart and the blue is pretty vibrant. In terms of the quality of light under the tarp, I like the white spinnaker the best and green silnylon the least. The light is a sickly green color under the tarp that I don't find pleasant, especially if I have to spend an extended amount of time under it. It makes me think of the green you see in the sky before a really bad thunderstorm, not a very comforting thing to associate with your shelter. I've also got one of those garish orange Marmot tents for car camping and I like it better than the green tarp too. Talk about a cheery color!

Adam

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: Color on 02/19/2013 07:26:05 MST Print View

I don't care for gray. Lets too much light through. I really like the olive brown that MLD now has a shortage of.
I also don't care for the yellow trim on Tarptents either. I don't like the yellow bits on the ULA packs either.

The Hilleberg green is better than the red for me but it too could be a darker shade.

I also don't camp with a hangover like Eric. Nor do I spend all day in a tent, ever.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Why gray(grey)? on 02/19/2013 07:27:40 MST Print View

A few people have told me that gray is not very stealth.
I live in the North East US. The rocks hear are basically different shades of grey.

I also have other colors of shelters.

I can pitch a gray shelter any time of year and it will blend in with the gray rocks.
My green shelter stands out in the winter, my white shelter stands out in the summer.

Yellow and red stands out in all seasons except certain parts of the fall or during a sunset.

A black shelter is pretty stealth when the sun is low on the horizon, it looks like a shadow, but gets very hot when the sun shines on it.

Blue is always visible. It looks like a hobo tarp which always attracts attention.

Stealth is the game where I live. Too many places where either camping is illegal or you just don't know if it's legal, or maybe you don't want to attract the attention of the locals.

Camping is legal in the Catskills as long as a ranger can't see your camp. This is becoming more true in other places as well.