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marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Freestanding winter/summit tent on 09/25/2013 13:54:44 MDT Print View

I recently made a tent customized for my own needs, particularly for longer duration hikes in exposed and high wind areas.

The basis of that design was to combine trekking poles with flexible alloy tent poles to work both with and against each other. It seems to work well, so I have taken this principle a stage further and designed another one for more extreme use.

e29

e9

e16

e15

This tent is slightly heavier than the other one, at just over 1 kg, the 2nd pole making the difference. It is slightly smaller inside too, but is going to be used mainly for weekend trips over the winter months.

It is designed again for strong winds, but also with snow loadings in mind. There has been snow on the hills here already this week so hopefully I will get a chance to really test it out soon.

If anyone wants further information feel free to ask.

Erik G
(fox212) - F

Locale: THE Bay Area :)
Most excellent! on 09/25/2013 15:08:18 MDT Print View

I'm seriously impressed by the design and craftsmanship of this tent and your other, single tent pole design.

Keep up the good work!

And E
(LunchANDYnner) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Nice on 09/25/2013 15:42:05 MDT Print View

Can't believe how light that tent is considering how burly it looks. Nice work!

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Just Gorgeous! on 09/25/2013 16:10:00 MDT Print View

Great idea and beautiful work. An inspiration!

Anthony Britner
(ant89) - F - M

Locale: North Wales, UK
Also nice on 09/28/2013 04:36:17 MDT Print View

Looks very good. The colour scheme is very Terra Nova.

Any plans to make these for sale? Or at least drawing up some detailed templates?

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Re: Also nice on 09/28/2013 14:49:55 MDT Print View

Anthony

I have had some similar requests, but I want to do more testing on these tents first, especially in winds over 50 mph.

I am still finding improvements that can be made. The 2-pole tent doesn't breathe as well as the single pole tent, for example, and I think it could benefit from a high level vent at the rear of the tent.

I will make up another 2 of these tents in October, which I will give away as samples, as I would like to get other peoples' opinions. If the feedback is positive, I will make these tents available, either through commissioning a short production run, or possibly as a MYOG option.

Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Excellent on 09/28/2013 16:07:41 MDT Print View

Marc, as others have said, your designs and fabrication are beautiful. Nice work.

peter vacco
(fluff@inreach.com) - M

Locale: no. california
sweet work ! on 09/28/2013 18:58:34 MDT Print View

the man asked for opinions .. ohhh kaayyyy ..
i might consider adding a ground-level tape on the door side, so as to take the strain when the door is open and you have everything pulled quite tight.
in that way, the zipper would not be so stressed pulling your act together.

it is indeed, a very nice looking tent.

v.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Freestanding winter/summit tent on 09/29/2013 02:15:04 MDT Print View

Bearing in mind that the basic concept of a 'freestanding winter tent' is patently absurd... But this one has guys ropes too.

Cheers

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Re: sweet work ! on 09/29/2013 03:29:36 MDT Print View

Peter

That is a good idea, thanks.

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Re: Re: Freestanding winter/summit tent on 09/29/2013 03:36:16 MDT Print View

Roger

I agree, I always make use of the guy ropes if I can.

Sometimes I cant though, like the situation in the first photo on the summit. I think I managed to get just 2 stakes a few inches in at the corners of the tent, and with a few rocks 'borrowed' from the summit cairn put on the floor, it was enough to stop it blowing away.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Re: Freestanding winter/summit tent on 09/29/2013 10:20:05 MDT Print View

I just want to echo what others already said, nice work, and for a newbie sewer especially--quite impressive. I actually have a hard time believing this was your first sewing project.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Re: Freestanding winter/summit tent on 09/29/2013 10:35:29 MDT Print View

"Bearing in mind that the basic concept of a 'freestanding winter tent' is patently absurd... But this one has guys ropes too."

Sigh, Roger, what if everyone used self supported instead of freestanding?

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Re: Re: Re: Re: Freestanding winter/summit tent on 09/29/2013 10:56:56 MDT Print View

Justin

Thanks.

To be honest though, I had to do the single pole flysheet twice. On the first attempt, I cut the fabric to follow the arc of the pole, not allowing for the extra stretch that you get when you cut on the fabric bias. I could never get the side panels really taut all over.

Most of the stuff I have learnt about sewing I have got from this forum. Also, some of the things to consider in a design I got from previous articles. My mother taught me how to use a 1956 Singer sewing machine that had an electric motor retro-fitted. It only does 1 stitch, but if you use a crossed box pattern for tie-outs, that seems to be all that is needed.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Freestanding winter/summit tent on 09/29/2013 14:48:39 MDT Print View

Hi Ken

> Sigh, Roger, what if everyone used self supported instead of freestanding?
The exact words do not matter. You will notice that Marc wrote 'I agree, I always make use of the guy ropes if I can.' When the wind is strong enough, poles by themselves are just not strong enough.

The term 'free-standing' is a bit of marketing spin. The problem with using such terms is that novices may believe in them, and then find themselves in an unfortunate situation where their gear fails completely, imperilling their lives.



Cheers

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
Re: Re: Re: Re: Freestanding winter/summit tent on 09/29/2013 16:55:32 MDT Print View

"Freestanding winter/summit tent" was probably not the best way to describe this tent, I am not trying to suggest that it can be used in the winter or on summits without the guy ropes.

My understanding is that if you have a strong pole structure that is self supporting and the panels are tight, then the guy ropes are really only doing one job, acting against wind loads. Some tents require a high degree of tension in the guy ropes to be pitched right, even before taking wind loads into account, so there may be more strain in their guy ropes/stakes, all other things being equal.

That is the only real advantage I see to the self supporting type, you might be able to get away with less stakes in the ground, or alternatively, the stakes are less likely to get pulled under the same wind loads. Obviously this is a bit of a generalisation, as there are many other factors that determine the loads on the guy ropes/stakes in a design.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Peril on 09/29/2013 18:47:09 MDT Print View

Hi Roger,
The posts on the Gear spot often make me think of lives in peril. There was also an article here - sorry I forget the title - about several days in late autumn with minimal gear. At least the author was honest about some of the guys wet and shivering all night - fortunately they were young enough to survive it.

Many of the posts appear to have a marketing component that raises concerns similar to yours. But marketers are free to post here, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I think we just have to rely on you as editor, and others who are more experienced, to point out some of the more obvious fallacies. To bad it has to happen like Groundhog Day (that's a Hollywood movie about the same day happening over and over again).

And accounts of unexpected extreme conditions, as in your "When Things Go Wrong" article are helpful also. Let some imagine dealing with that in their dream 12 ounce shelter. But I guess you actually have to be there in the soup to get the whole picture.

Terminology aside, I like having some kind of a framework over me when the weather gets really nasty. Now that I've finally found stronger carbon shafts, it seems a framework can be fairly light as well. And if you're going to have a framework, it might as well support the canopy.

Keep tramping.

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Freestanding winter/summit tent on 09/29/2013 21:35:14 MDT Print View

When the tent has enough inherent (freestanding) structure, then there is a greater potential of lateral forces (wind) to be resisted by compressive forces of the structure, and not just by the tension of the guy lines...

Or at least I think that's what you are trying to achieve, right?

:)

Chris Stafford
(chrisman2013) - F
Plan/Patterns? on 09/29/2013 23:19:08 MDT Print View

I've been hammocking for the past several years, and thus haven't been using a tent. I recently moved into the mountains though, and have been hiking above tree-line quite often, so I've decided to switch back to a tent. This looks just like the tent I've been envisioning in my head. Is their any chance you could post the plans or patterns for the community? Thanks,

--Chris S.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Freestanding winter/summit tent on 09/30/2013 00:55:12 MDT Print View

> When the tent has enough inherent (freestanding) structure, then there is a greater
> potential of lateral forces (wind) to be resisted by compressive forces of the
> structure, and not just by the tension of the guy lines...

Forgive me if I disagree for rather basic technical reasons, but the problem lies initially in just one word. That word is however vital. It's 'compressive'.

The only things in a tent which has any compressive strength are the poles (CF or Al). They have way more than enough compressive strength, so that is not an issue.

The poles also have flexure (bending) strength. In general this is not enough to keep the tent up in any decent wind. Why? Because the large sail-like areas of the fly pull on the poles and bend them, to the point where the poles can bend and collapse.

So what keeps the poles in their right shape? Well, with some tents, not very much. Those are the tents which I tend to dismiss as being useless in a wind: I am sure you all know what general classes I mean. Any tent with a throw-over fly falls into this class. Any tent with l-o-n-g unsupported poles does so too.

However, there are tents where the poles are held in shape by two forces. When the pole is short and bent it tends to be a bit stiffer against further deflection than the long ones arching over a pop-up. This is pole strength, albeit not enough in itself. When the pole is sleeved into the fly and the fly is properly guyed, the tensile strength of the fabric of the fly restrains the pole from bending in 'unfortunate' directions. You have to prevent the fly from distorting too much of course, and that is the main purpose of the guy ropes. When the fly is tight and guyed, the poles find it very hard to deflect. So the poles stay up, and so the fly stays up, and so the occupant has a good night.

I apologise if this sounds pedantic. But reread it at 2 am in a howling gale and see what you think.

Cheers