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Thread: Modifying tents

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    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Modifying tents

    I travel with a Eureka Spitfire 1, a very inexpensive yet solid solo tent. I've added additional stake points for fly tensioning and attached a footprint for convenience in the setup. Have also figured out how to pitch the fly without the inner, tho it was not designed for that.

    Was wondering what, if any, modifications you have made, or plan to make, to your tent to make it "better"? Did the manufacturer achieve perfection without your assistance? If so, what tent?
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

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    I got tired of modifying tents and made the whole thing.Now it has what I want.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

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    I have the same tent, and I have added a TYVEK footprint with grommetted webbing that holds the footprint out tight by the tension provided by the pole ends. I've never felt that the fly is supported away from the mesh netting as far as it could be. Saw a Youtube on one guy's solution by squaring foot of the fly with additional stake outs. Was that you by chance? I once saw a Youtube about the process of setting the fly up first, but it was gone before I bought my tent. Can you describe your technique?

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    After 8 weeks sleeping in my Akto the only improvement I wanted was a better retaining system for folding the door up.
    I did think about an additional rain porch extension to be placed over the top of the fly. I know some people have build these.

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    if i could make my akto about 6sq feet bigger i would be a happy akto camper.

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    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    I changed the suspension on my Hennessy Hammock tent to something that doesn't require me to untie it every time I want to adjust the tension. Also sent it off to have a zipper installed to allow side as well as bottom entry. added an extra loop to my ridge line to tie my pillow to.

    I may, eventually, figure out some sort of underquilt solution to allow for cooler weather camping, but so far all my camping has been in decent temps. Also might like a larger rain fly.

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    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Rich B, I pretension the poles on the Spitfire using cords cut to length and grommets at each end. That anchors the poles and allows me to work with the fly until it's erect. Once the poles are pretensioned, the rest is intuitive, simple, and fast. Stake out the fly and if desired, go inside and clip on the mesh inner. I've also got a plastic ground cloth with grommets for pretensioning. Intend to pitch just the fly/ground cloth during an upcoming short Fall tour. Makes for a 25 sq ft space vs 18 when using the inner.

    That was not me in the video you mentioned.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

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    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Oooh, one of my favourite subjects. My first tent - I got a highlander forces tent, heavy but roomy and really well designed. Ultra stable. Swapped out the fibre glass poles for alu and changed the heavy guys and pegs for lightweight, and got it from 3.5kg to 2.2 kg. Next one, a second hand TNF tadpole. It's a great tent, but blue/ After much research, figured I could dye it. Tried it and it worked a treat - 1.9kg, and green not blue. next one, a hike lite. Great tent, but not made any more. Got one cheap off ebay. Took off the heavy buckles and webbing, swapped the pegs for ultralites. Got it down from 2 kg to 1.7. None of them ultralite, I know, but on a limited budget, it's okay, and all three are ultra good designs. Now I just have problem choosing which one to take.

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    See what you guys think. http://www.seattlefabrics.com/bilgy.html I have been mulling this over. It means I may not get motivated to do it. If any of you do make this put up a thread for us DIY tourers please. You can make an ultralight vestibule without the tent. Make it with the Cuben material. Good Luck. Blues Frog
    " If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand which feeds you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countryman " Samuel Adams, 1772

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    Got Scotch? goalieMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
    I changed the suspension on my Hennessy Hammock tent to something that doesn't require me to untie it every time I want to adjust the tension. Also sent it off to have a zipper installed to allow side as well as bottom entry. added an extra loop to my ridge line to tie my pillow to.

    I may, eventually, figure out some sort of underquilt solution to allow for cooler weather camping, but so far all my camping has been in decent temps. Also might like a larger rain fly.
    That sounds exactly like what I did. I have a nice strap suspension, and the zipper mod makes it much more user-friendly. I also use a different tarp than the stock one it came with. 2 minutes, 2 trees, and I am set for a night of comfort.
    "It turns out that what you have is less important than what you do with it."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blues Frog View Post
    See what you guys think. http://www.seattlefabrics.com/bilgy.html I have been mulling this over. It means I may not get motivated to do it. If any of you do make this put up a thread for us DIY tourers please. You can make an ultralight vestibule without the tent. Make it with the Cuben material. Good Luck. Blues Frog
    I had to check the link out... Found this site here with a bunch of pictures of it up... Scroll towards the bottom... http://questoutfitters.com/patterns-...20bag-cart.htm
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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    just about the time Moss sold out to MSR, I got a single pole Teepee like tent,
    Moss had gone off shore, it was a closeout,, no floor,
    and it as a winter tent had no Mozzy net to leave the door open,
    but still keep the bugs out, tent repair services, a spin off of the old Moss workers,
    still in Maine, made the parts needed to turn it back into a 4 season single wall tent,

    albeit not a very light one..... 9 pounds..

    Stevenson Warmlight in NH offers a menu of custom options, to have their tents made to.

    Way lighter.. lots of colors to select.

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    Senior Member mtnbud's Avatar
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    I have one of these:

    I wasn't happy with the steeply sloped sides, so attached a couple of guy lines to each side and now have much greater usable space.
    “If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out”

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    I'm just wading through Ray Jardines 312 page tarp book. I'm enjoying it. It's a bit difficult to justify such a long book on such a short subject, but then I am learning stuff even with 50 years camping and a stint in the industry, so I think it is worth it.

    I tried out a tarp in '05, but it didn't work for me. I probably would have thought the Bilgy (i'm a big A-frame tent proponent for the right situations) was ideal. It seemed as though Ray was basically re-inventing the tent with his tarp and net tents. Now that I am getting into it in greater detail, I see the tarp is kinda the anti-tent. It is much more flexible, You start with the "fly" and erect the rest later, this keeps you dry. The tarp puts as much enphasis on ventilation as the tent puts on encapsulation. The tarp can be erected amidst plants, and the net part, where used, can be offset, making finding stealth sites a lot easier. It also can be pitched in a lot of different ways to deal with wind, and many other factors. The Bilgy is supposed to do that also, but is more limited.

    Ray really has thought it all through, and for every tent feature there is a tarp counter feature. Like the secure fealing you get by being inside the tent, in the tarp you can see out , many times 360, and if something bad happens you can bug-out.

    Tarp allows one to mix and match stuff, smaller net tents, or larger ones. Differente sizes or colours of tarp, So I have a digi camo heavy tarp, and a silnylon one in grey (or will when the sewing is done).

    And, of course, you can use the tarp without the net tent, though in my enviro there won't be many chances for that.

    So for me anyway, I am going to give the whole tarp thing another try. What failed originally was, some poor technique on my part. I'm pretty able to inovate, but I was missing some techniques. Never actually hurt me since I didn't ever have to use stuff like found poles, but I feel better knowing I have more info this time out. I was just using a square tarp of whatever size. I didn't have a proper net solution. And to add some comic relief, the silnylon tarp somehow snaked it's way out of a secure bag and lost itself on the road.

    Cost wise the Rayway stuff is close enough, and the instructions and materials are great, all first quality. I have been working on stuff sacks, the first kit I opened, and the material in there had some marks on it and some quality problems. but there was a ton of it. So it was a case of feeling it wasn't 100% up to snuff when there was 200% coverage, with 100% good stuff in there, and 100% to make a ton of other stuff with. So I guess I shouldn't worry. The expensive stuff, like the silnylon is beautiful.

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    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
    I changed the suspension on my Hennessy Hammock tent to something that doesn't require me to untie it every time I want to adjust the tension.
    Quote Originally Posted by goalieMN View Post
    That sounds exactly like what I did. I have a nice strap suspension[...]
    Either one of you care to elaborate on the suspension mod? Most of my set up time with the hammock is spent adjusting the suspension, so any ideas as to how to make that part easier would be great.

    --J
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    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juha View Post
    Either one of you care to elaborate on the suspension mod? Most of my set up time with the hammock is spent adjusting the suspension, so any ideas as to how to make that part easier would be great.

    --J
    Sounds like the two of us went different routes. I swapped out my stock cords for "whoopie slings." Basically you take a strong, hollow, braided rope and thread the rope through itself. You end up with a loop of an adjustable length. Connect that loop to your tree straps, repeat for the other side, and then adjust the loops to get your desired tension and placement between the trees. Sometimes a simple knot is used on the tree strap, but otherwise there are no knots involved in the set-up procedure, and it's adjustable without taking the hammock down.

    After my first camping trip with the Hennessy, after repeatedly undoing and redoing the Hennessy lashing during the set-up process, I decided that there had to be an easier way. Google led me here: http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ead.php?t=9349 where people spend as much time talking hammocks as we do bicycles. Lots of instructions and even video tutorials to help you switch to a different hammock suspension. The whoopie sling conversion looked complicated when I read about it, but was super easy once I assembled my supplies, and all the fiddly stuff was the one-time suspension swap. When you're setting up camp, it couldn't be easier.

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    Got Scotch? goalieMN's Avatar
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    I did my suspension modification more like this:

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=12

    It also allows quick setup, and I use little things I bought off of the hammockforums instead of caribiners to save even more weight.
    "It turns out that what you have is less important than what you do with it."

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    Splicing braid is fun. I don't see the need for Amsteel, that's for holding up the spar on my trimaran. BUt I love the stuff. Speaking of my trimaran those instruction on the hammock thread are more complicated than the whole rigging on my boat...

    Until recently I did all my splicing with the cap off a marking pen from which I removed the pocket clip. More recently I made proper fids. But anyone looking for a one-off could try it, or dip the end in epoxy. That's another one.

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    bigtentproject2.jpgI've done tunnel vents for peak ventilation.

    I even tried supersizing a tarptentbigtentproject5.jpg to park a bike in it with me, but it didn't work as well as i'd like. I'll just go for a larger pyramid if thats whats needed.

    I'd love to add a snow tunnel entrance to one of my winter tents, but neither of them really need it or could take it. used to love those things.
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    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goalieMN View Post
    I did my suspension modification more like this:

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=12

    It also allows quick setup, and I use little things I bought off of the hammockforums instead of caribiners to save even more weight.
    Dutch Clips? You gotta love'em.
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    Got Scotch? goalieMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
    Dutch Clips? You gotta love'em.
    Yeah. I didn't think anyone would know what I was talking about though if I actually called them "Dutch Clips...."

    Dutch clips, buckle-suspension, larger asymetrical tarp, and the zipper mod = hammock heaven for me.
    "It turns out that what you have is less important than what you do with it."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
    I changed the suspension on my Hennessy Hammock tent to something that doesn't require me to untie it every time I want to adjust the tension. Also sent it off to have a zipper installed to allow side as well as bottom entry. added an extra loop to my ridge line to tie my pillow to.

    I may, eventually, figure out some sort of underquilt solution to allow for cooler weather camping, but so far all my camping has been in decent temps. Also might like a larger rain fly.
    I have a Warbonnet. Sorry, I couldn't resist. I am happy I got it though. I got the webbing option so I attach it to the trees with webbing and caribiners which makes setup a lot easier. I also got the Big Mamajamba tarp which gives me very good coverage.

    What have you been using for insulation? So far I have just been using a pad and it has worked so far. A quilt would be nice.

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    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    What kind of pad? I was thinking about trying one of those self-inflating ones, but I don't think it would be comfortable. I don't want to take two different under insulation systems but am looking for something I can use when I go to ground. Maybe something like the Neo-Air. I need to do some tests.
    Learn what's a platform pedal.

  24. #24
    Got Scotch? goalieMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
    What kind of pad? I was thinking about trying one of those self-inflating ones, but I don't think it would be comfortable. I don't want to take two different under insulation systems but am looking for something I can use when I go to ground. Maybe something like the Neo-Air. I need to do some tests.
    I've used an old self-inflating Therm-a-rest from the early 1990's in my hammock and it works great.
    "It turns out that what you have is less important than what you do with it."

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    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Thanks for the hammock instructions, I'll definitely look into those.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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