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  1. #1
    Senior Member Nest's Avatar
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    Ok, this thread will hurt to type, and for some it will hurt to read. This is because I will be sleeping on the ground for a few months here in the future.

    I am planning on hiking the CDT in 2011. That means I will be using a ground setup for that hike. So I am looking at what tarptent to get. I know whiteblaze has more experienced people to give this advice, but I honestly just don't really like many of the people on that site. They are angry about everything and turn everything into an argument. So I bring this question to the level heads here.

    First, it's hard to search for all of the different makers of tarp tents. Googling it usually just brings up Henry Shires. So what different makers are out there? I know of Shires, Six Moon, Mt Laurel, Anti Gravity Gear, and Black Diamond. Did I miss any?

    Now to my thread title. I am considering getting a custom tarptent made. There are a few tents that I like, but they lack a feature or two that I would preffer. What would yall reccomend on tarp material? Sil, spinn, or cuben. Does anyone know the weight differences of the three after treatment?

    Also, I am thinking of having a tyvek bathtub floor instead of the usual sil or coated nylon that most of them offer. Would this be waterproof enough that I won't need a groundsheet?

    Weight will be my biggest concern for this hike. I am hoping to get my big three down to around 5 or 6 pounds. Thanks for any suggestions and help.

  2. #2
    pgibson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nest View Post
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    There has been a disturbance, a shift in the force, things are out of balance in the universe.

    Seriously, I have a BD lighthouse and really like it, not had to many miles on it but it is a sweet tent, supper fast to pitch, lots of room for one with gear and tried and proven by hundreds of mountaineers the world over. They have awesome customer service and warranty departments.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Hooch's Avatar
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    Not that I'd know anything about it, but you may want to check out the Lightheart Tent or a Tarptent. Good luck in your tent quest, Benedict Arnold.
    "If you play a Nicleback song backwards, you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward, you'll hear Nickleback." - Dave Grohl

  4. #4
    Senior Member Quoddy's Avatar
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    I've have owned 3 different TarpTents (Contrail/Sublight Sil/Rainbow) and the silnylon floor has been waterproof on every one. Never carried a ground cloth. My favorite of the three is the Contrail because I could consistently set it up in a minute or less. Sublight would be the choice for high wind or snow conditions. I wouldn't recommend a floor of either cuben or Spinntex for the type of hike you are heading into which, although they are very strong, are puncture prone. I have two cuben shelters right now and can definitely recommend either... an MLD Grace Solo tarp and an MLD DuoMid. Of course neither of these has a floor (I sometimes use a bivy with them). A maker that you didn't mention is Six Moons Designs (SMD). Although I haven't owned any of Ron Moak's gear, he does have a loyal following.
    Last edited by Quoddy; 10-24-2009 at 09:42.
    I my Warbonnet

  5. #5
    Senior Member Captn's Avatar
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    I really liked my wild oasis from Six Moons before I learned to fly.

    13 ounces and I carried a spintex groundsheet anyway.


    The Gatewood cape is also an option.

    Gossamer Gear's ... the one. 16 ounces of full floored goodness.
    Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage
    William Shakespeare


    "Insert witty and intelligent statement here"

  6. #6
    Senior Member bear bag hanger's Avatar
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    My vote would be the tarptent. The only tent mentioned above that I've tried is the Six Moon design tent. I wouldn't recommend it, hard to set up and I think the tarptents are lighter.

    But, another idea - Mosquito Hammock expedition (or similar). You can set one up like a tent very easily and have a hammock for when you don't have to go to ground. Use the shock cord from the top of the netting and attached them to the ends of your tarp. You should have a poncho, groundsheet or something to put under the hammock when using it as a tent.

    I'd recommend a cheaper silnylon floor instead of the more expensive SinnTex or Cuben (easier and cheaper to replace). For a tarp I'd recommend SinnTex - both stronger and lighter than Silnylon. Cuben is lighter, I think, than both but I think it's weaker and expensive compared to the other two choices. I have one friend who has used a tyvek groundsheet under his tent for years and is happy with it.

    Tarptent has a tent made entirely from tyvek. It's lighter, but not sure how water proof it is. I'm guessing it will handle a rainy day, but not the really hard and long rainy days you can get on a long distance hike. I could be wrong about this, no one I know has been willing to risk it.
    Last edited by bear bag hanger; 10-24-2009 at 09:37. Reason: too many spelling errors

  7. #7
    Senior Member BrianWillan's Avatar
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    If you are of the DIY persuasion, you can get the Ray Jardine Tarp and BugNet Shelter kit for slightly more than $100.

    http://www.rayjardine.com/ray-way/Tarp-Kit/index.htm

    If you happen to have money to burn you can check out the shelter options from Kifaru. They offer a couple tarp options and several tipi options.

    http://www.kifaru.net/TIPI2009.html

    If you already have a decent tarp from a hammock, use that and consider a bivy bag for bug protection.

    Cheers

    Brian

  8. #8
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    I always really liked my HS Contrail tarptent. Kept me dry. Snuggish. Easy set-up one you master it. Kinda like a hammock .... takes a couple of times and it is fast.....
    tt.jpg tt 1.jpg tt 2.jpg

    Shug
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Nest's Avatar
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    Ok, thanks a lot everyone. So far I am leaning towards a contrail because of the weight and since I don't use hiking poles. Forgot to montion that part. I know a lot of the companies offer carbon fiber poles in place of trekking poles, so that isn't too much of a problem.

    Tyvek shelters aren't fully waterproof in heavy rains. My dream tarptent would be made of spinn, with a tyvek bathtub floor, bug netting, and a single pole setup where I can use a collapsible carbon fiber pole. I don't really know if I am up to that kind of DIY project. Might call Henry Shires and ask if he could made me a custon contrail. I could probably get it 3 or 4 ounces lighter atleast if he could.

    Thanks for all of the links. I've got a while so I will find everything I can and compare and begin thinning out my choices.
    "Oh, like an Afghan Warlord"

  10. #10
    Senior Member MedicineMan's Avatar
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    On my last trip I was impressed with cuben, saw it undergo what it really shouldn't have with flying colors...this a cuben tarp for a hammock; i too have the DuoMid in cuben and it has the netting on all sides that goes to the ground and the vent at the top so awesome ventilation....ground cloth other than cuben is all you'd need to add....the duo-mid is huge and you already know the weight is equally incredible...MLD will customize to your heart's content

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