By Jörgen JohanssonThe construction was simple, I have used it before in a silnylon shelter that I made in 2004. It became my shelter for a 500 kilometer three week hike from Hemavan to Nikkaluokta, through some of the most spectacular parts of the Swedish mountain range.
The shelter is basically a ridge tent employing two poles, one at each end and one longer than the other. It is a variant of my very first tent bought in 1970, a Fjällräven G66.
|My original G66 on the West Coast Trail, Vancouver Island.|
So it has been growing on me to see how light a tent like this I could make. And given the positive experiences many others have had with Cuben fiber this seemed the place to go. Calculations showed a tent like what I had in mind could be pretty light...
Said and done; I read up a bit and found that some sources advocated both taping, gluing and sewing for joining pieces of Cuben. Sometimes all three at the same time. The nearest source of Cuben was http://www.extremtextil.de/ and they also had a tape for the material. It also turned out they had Cuben that was "light olive-brown" which really sounded nice compared to the usual Gladpak. Unfortunately they were just 0,4 meters short of what I needed when I ordered, so I resigned to being "the man from Glad". Seing no reason for anthing else I ordered the lightest Cuben they had at 21 grams/sqm, which was pretty close to half the weight of the silnylon I had used in 2004.
|First night out on the mountain|
Cutting the Cuben with my regular silnylon cutting method (soldering iron and a steel ruler on the stainless kitchen bench) turned out to work very well. I was also impressed by the resiliency and apparent strenght of the Cuben. It gives the impression of being even more durable than silnylon which gave me renewed confidence in the shelter I was building.
I had planned to both sew and tape the seams, but sewing through the gluey mess of the tape proved difficult. The needle got all covered in sticky film and the stitching was failing. Since the seams felt very solid only taped I just sewed the seams in some places where the strain would be greatest, i.e the tops where the poles went through and around the perimeter of the reinforcement patches. The bottom seam around the lower perimeter of the tent was just that; a seam. I just folded it and sewed. That was all very easy. More tedious was cutting small pieces of tape to cover the triangles of ripstop nylon I used at stress points to reinforce. In retrospect maybe sturdier Cuben would have been better for this and glue would have been faster.
|Showing the taped and sewn triangular reinforcement patch for the guyline. One of the green polyester bands I used for loops came off the last night. Has never happended to me before, inspite of sewing a lot of loops like that. Shoddy work.|
|The zipper was just taped in place and a reinforcment patch was added. A seam across the zipper there acted as a stopper.|
|Reinforcements and a grommet plus attachment of top line. There should have been an extra patch cordura on the inside, which I forgot. Could have become something I would have regretted...|
|Inside view of the pole at the low end.|
I had not succeded in measuring all the parts well, which made it a bit difficult to get good tension all over the fabric when pitching. This was mostly due to some brain-failure on my part which made the tent end up a bit smaller than planned. Especially the high end triangular space that passes as fore-tent. I also had some problems with the ridge line, which took a bit of fiddling to keep it from sagging, which usually is not a problem with the tarptents I have made. I'll have to see what I can do about that. The innertent needs a few centimeters extra cloth at the lower end, it was a bit tight around my butt when laying on the side.
Conclusion: A very feasible and light tarptent solution that in competent hands would have been very wind-resistant as well. I just hope someone reading this will make one lacking the aforementioned weaknesses and then go find some nice and really hard winds. Send me a Youtube-link of what ensues.
You are all wondering about the weights. Well the tarptent/fly weighs 165 grams and the bug-tent weighs 160 grams. To this I added 110 grams of tent pegs. I use a mixture of 10-12 gram 'regular pegs and 6-7 gram titanium. Twelve pegs in all plus two 1-2 gram Terra Novas for the upper corners of the bug-tent.
A simple sketch of the tent, with measurements can be found here.
Comments in Swedish on the Utsidan Do-it-yourself forum here.
Comments in English below.