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Old 02-18-06, 09:26 AM   #1
Bekologist
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big tent project

Working on a Big Tent Project.

Want a tent big enough to park a bike in as well as sleep in and stand up in. My inspiration are some of the early arctic exploration pyramid tents, and an old Sierra Designs model from the 70's

already own a Black diamond Betamid, a 2.2 pound nylon tarp shelter. Looks like a mini circus tent. Added a couple of BD megamid poles, about 6 foot 6 tall folding aluminum poles. My plan is to add nylon tent walls to the Betamid, extending its 44 inches by about 3 feet. This will make it tall enough to stand in. Bike parking wil be no problem.

This won't be an inscetless tent, but for sleeping conditions like that, i'll have a bug net or other accomodation. This tent will be put more into use during off season blitzkreigs and ski&bike touring trips this spring.

With cool but dry weather and a day off work, I headed down to the park to set up the Betamid and get it measured for the nylon tent walls. I then went and bought nylon at the outdoor fabric store, I'll be cutting and sewing it up over the next couple of weeks.

Here's some photos of the Betamid deployed without the side walls at the heigth it will be pitched, and a couple photos of the inside with a view as to the spaciousness. The vent hole at the top of the tarp is a custom addition I added a few years ago.

I'll post some more photos to this after I get the side walls sewn up.
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File Type: jpg bigtentproject1.jpg (79.4 KB, 39 views)
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File Type: jpg bigtentproject2.jpg (84.8 KB, 39 views)
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Old 02-18-06, 09:52 AM   #2
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Looks nice, how long would it take to set it up?
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Old 02-18-06, 10:14 AM   #3
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If you want something done right you'll just have to do it yourself. I'm finding it hard to find the perfect tent for me, and I think you have found a solution. If you design your own then by all rights it would have to be the one. Assuming your skills are spot on of course.
I'm curious to see how it turns out. You're not sewing a bottom on it are you? If not then I suppose you're not taping the seams, because thats needless. What about an entry? zippers or just crawl under the thing. I suppose the latter makes things easier in the short run, mainly sewing.
I think the one thing that gets me turned off about the idea is that it's not freestanding. Though I haven't tried -whats the opposite of freestanding? - I can't really say much about them. I should really give them a try. I have a tarp but it mostly serves as an extension of my vestibule, if you get me. I have slept under a tarp once and enjoyed it.
end rant.
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Old 02-18-06, 10:21 AM   #4
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Wind on your new walls might take a bit of thought to avoid damage over time. Nice though, for sure.
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Old 02-18-06, 09:50 PM   #5
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there's already a front zippered door in the tent awning, I'll be making a simple toggle door for the vertical walls, or maybe a velcro closure. There won't be a floor (using seperate piece of groundcloth), and the walls will be both vented, stakeable and short sheetable at each of the six corners.

The top part pitched in less than two minutes. Stake out two corners, pull set the tarp up over the poles via the two far guylines, then tautstake the center two lines.

Thanks for the input, all. I'll post how it turns out.
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Old 02-19-06, 09:15 AM   #6
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Keep us posted, I was looking for something like that on the web yesterday. I found this http://www.msrcorp.com/tents/velo.asp from MSR, but it is not tall enough to stand in, and it is expensive.
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Old 02-19-06, 01:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhchdh
Keep us posted, I was looking for something like that on the web yesterday. I found this http://www.msrcorp.com/tents/velo.asp from MSR, but it is not tall enough to stand in, and it is expensive.
...and heavy (for the space provided).
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Old 02-21-06, 05:30 AM   #8
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have you considered using a megamid instead? it's probably big enough for a bike already. you can make it pretty bugproof by sewing on a foot or so of netting to the tent, and sewing on some velcro patches to the bottom of the netting and the footprint (optional floor) .
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Old 02-21-06, 06:22 AM   #9
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I hadn't really considered the Megamid because

1) I don't have a megamid in the gear closet currently, I already have the betamid.
2) the look of a twin pole canopy is a classic.
3) dual pole betamid pitches much tauter and weather resistant than the megamid.

A Megamid would be a great choice for someone that doesn't want to custom rig something due to luddism and thrift.
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Old 03-09-06, 05:26 AM   #10
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BIG TENT UPDATE:

I sewed up the wall panels and took the tent down to the park on a rainy, windy afternoon to see how it will pitch, and work out the attachments between the walls and the canopy.


Looks like it's going to work well. A little heavy for summer solo touring, but should be ideal for my intended use as a bike base camp for a ski tour.Total weight is up to almost 5 pounds.

I'm going to work on the door and the wall tensioners a little bit, but should have it ready to go for a little spring bike and ski blitzkreig later this month.

Pictures of the walls, and an interior shot with me standing about 6' tall on the inside.
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File Type: jpg bigtentproject6.jpg (34.3 KB, 14 views)
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