Redid the A-tacs tent fly closure

I redid the A-Tacs pyramid tent’s fly/door closure, so that there is an overlap to keep inclement weather out. I used US Military herringbone patterned 1″ binding tape with button holes cut and sealed with a lighter, it may look slightly crude, due to not having a buttonhole attachment and proper zig zag stitch Fashion Disc for my old Singer 328K machine…but it works pretty good… Easiest to open and close from the inside, although it closes OK from the outside

Now..on to the photos!DSCF1977

3-quarter view in direct sunlight; there’s a slight slack on the sides, but it could be made taut by using the back pull out to another pole or to a tree, or to a ridge line.

 

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Another 3 quarter view, mostly in shade.

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Side view, please excuse the reflective glare; It shows how the crossed poles are leaning forward instead of being vertical.

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Head on to the closed door; The way I set the whole thing up, I staked the back corners and the center door tie down first, then raised the tent with the poles, then staked the last corners down… it might have been better to do the door corners and doors first before the rear corners…. I may add a couple center panel pull outs to the sides if I feel it is necessary.

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With one door out of the way, and other door staked down. There is room enough for 2 skinny people in there, or one person with equipment.

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Close up of the herringbone tape with buttonhole slits melted into the tape and sewn to the door panel.

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Close up of the Army BDU plastic buttons. I used the machine, with a riser plate, and a special button foot, hand cranked using the L and R needle positions on the machine.

 

A-Tacs FG pyramid tarp tent

Sewed up this pyramid shelter out of 5 yards of  Polyurethane/silicon coated waterproof 1.9oz Ripstop Nylon in A-Tacs FG camouflage colors. Final measurements are 7 ft 10 inches long, 4 ft, 7 inches wide, height at peak, 50 inches. I will have to redo the door closure system to get the overlap needed for further weatherproofing.

There are a total of 11 tie out loops, I may add a few more if it would enable one to do more variety in setups like a blind or an observation post, or something similar to that.

Right now the support it uses are 2 standard aluminum adjustable tarp/awning poles lashed together… it will be changed out for something more low visibility later on.

On to the photos!

 

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Progress photo; door triangles cut and laid next to edge of front of main body, it is folded here, it should show how it looks when laid flat and folded in half.

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front view of the shelter; You can see how the doors have no overlap, and a serious gap that would allow weather to go in….so it is being redone right now.

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Side view, please pardon the USGI poncho peeking out, the poncho is  quite a bit wider than the shelter; The slight inclination of the door panels is evident here. One could add a rectangular tarp or poncho awning here for more space and for cooking/dining/general activities.

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The back view of the shelter, You can see the additional tie outs in the center of each of the 3 edges, and the center of the primary seam line on the back panel. The roof tie out is in case the user wants to have additional space inside the shelter, and the other tie outs are for more secure staking of the shelter in high wind areas, or for alternate shelter layouts to make up for space restrictions.

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Inside shot of the shelter with the doors folded back. The extra length is apparent here compared to the USGI poncho, and the relative narrowness is also evident here. I chose this width and length for a single person with room enough for gear/equipment/furred partner (dogs!), although two persons can snuggle up in there if needed.

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Close up of the door closure system, 1st try. It is simply 6 US Army BDU buttons, and elastic loops that fits on them. The loops will be replaced by something else that would provide me with the overlap needed to keep weather out. This is one of the lightest, most silent methods of closures that I can think of for the purposes of this shelter.

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Shown rolled and wrapped with the single peak line. The Coyote Brown  roll is the Bushcraft USA 10×10 Coyote tarp made of the same type of fabric (1.9oz PU coated Ripstop nylon). The pyramid shelter rolls into a smaller package, and is a bit lighter, even with the door closures being included.

Tarp Shelter layouts and set ups!

Decided to go and do several different tarp shelter designs and layouts with the 5×7 tarp, Bat wing tarp, 9×7 tarp, and the latest 10×14 tarp I recently got!

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Flying Diamond pitch, Harbor Freight 5×7 tarp;

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Windward side view, first, tie upper corner to tree or post, then stake diagonal opposing corner down, then stake remaining two corners to make a wind break

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Another view of the Flying Diamond pitch with the 5×7 tarp, it does not provide much protection from rain, but is good for sun shade and possibly as a fire reflector using a pole to support the high corner.

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Batwing tarp in a symmetric diamond pitch with doors staked out on one side.

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Quarter view on windward side, the doors on the ground corner have been folded under, thus turning this tarp into a rhombus of 9 ft ridge line and 7 ft width.

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Head on windward view, the rhombus shape is all too readily apparent here, I think this is a good one man shelter, maybe two if the two people like cuddling together.

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Detail of doors on the pole side. Since the doors are not exactly vertical from the peak, they will go out past the pole or tree, and I might add tarp tie outs on the junction between the doors and the sides, so as to provide a place to stake out further, or suspend between two poles or trees.

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Another 5×7 tarp set up, Low Tetra pyramid…or “Dead Man’s bivy bag” set up due to its tiny size.

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The height of this is around 30 inches, while the width is 60 inches at the far end, and a floor length of 7 feet. This is NOT an ideal shelter for tall people, but for the average user or shorter, it would be a survivable shelter with protection from most elements.

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Windward view, one could make it feel bigger by adding a tie out/panel pull out where the sticker is on this tarp.

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Half-Pyramid open faced shelter utilizing the tan 9×7 tarp and suspended from a Douglas Fir branch.

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Windward view of the tarp shelter

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Tree side view, that is a 5×7 tarp as the ground cover, and there is plenty of room in there for up to 3 people. Best with two and gear, and with a metal pole or similar, one could have a fire in front of the pyramid shelter and be comfortable.

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Interior view with ground cloth and my MOLLE pack in there.

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10×14 tarp set up in a 6×8 narrow pyramid with approx 7 ft height.

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View of door side with door flaps closed up.

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Interior view showing the basic fold of corners and the space given.

Basically one puts tarp clips 3 feet from the corner of the door flaps, for the front, and then put tarp clips an approximate distance (in this case, 4 feet) from the corners on the back to make a 6 ft width between the back two clips, and thus providing just around 8 ft of length between the front and the back after squaring up the stake points.

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With 9×12 tarp erected using 5 more pole sections as an awning.

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Not quite lined up I know, but this gives good space under which to dine or cook or hang around in weather.

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A different pyramid set up, this oddly enough gives me a bigger floor space than the narrow one above, the doors are now 4 feet wide, and the back edge is now 8 feet wide..there is a 6×8 tarp in there, and according to my calculations and confirmed with this set up, I have a floor of 8 ft wide and 6 feet 6 inches length, thus providing me with more useful room in the shelter. Same 7 ft approximate height.

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Closed up, basically weather proof. I could cut a hole in there for a stovepipe but I do not have a stove with pipe yet.

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Side view of Leaning/half Pyramid set up.

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Windward-quarter view, showing the better pyramid shaping compared to the narrow one.

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All packed up save for the pole. I might splurge for a backpacking tarp pole if it means a smaller package than that shown above. Both the 10×14 tarp and the 6×8 ground tarp are rolled up in the bag, along with the stakes and the single long line.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

6-man USGI shelter half set up

I’ve been quite busy this holiday season…though… I picked up two complete USGI Pup Tents, and have made this 6-man shelter out of 6 shelter halves, 12x pole sections, and four 9ft poles assembled from the Greatland Cabin tent… the external A-frame set up was a pain in the butt to do, but this was all by myself, not with another person which might’ve made it easier to set up…

using this page as a guide;

http://www.hardscrabblefarm.com/vn/tent-pitching.html

 

I followed most of the directions and made the shelter; it is around 12 feet by 12 feet octagon, with roughly 5 feet wide long edges and 4 feet corner edges, and around 8 feet tall, this shelter gives a group of people a lot of space, and depending on what they bring, has room enough for a heater or a wood stove if the pipe can go out somewhere…

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corner shot, the triangle opening is the entry opening, one could do without a 4th wall in the base and use an open face set up next to a fire with the top triangle end folded back

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sideways angle view, you see the Inverted V rope, that is part of a W shaped guy line because I did not check to make sure the top halves have snap buttons on the bottom edges..whoops

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closed up corner view. On building the base, I found I do not need to have a 4th wall to keep the other 3 suspended, so that provides another way to have entrance or one could combine multiple pieces to make for a huge communal shelter.

The whole shelter is very heavy, and would NOT be good for backpacking at all, unless spread out by people. It might be possible to carry all of it on a gear sled in winter, or a wheeled cart in spring and fall…

Well Tomorrow or so I will do other set ups and take pics!

 

 

Redone Whelen shelter set up!

I decided to try for an overnight trip out to Cascadia area in the Willamette National Forest….using my Modified Whelen setup using USGI Shelter Half parts….well. Weather took a turn for the cold and I was unable to maintain core temperatures so I had to give up the overnight part…Oh well! This set up uses 3 whole halves and two cut triangle ends from a fourth half..USGI poles and two steel poles, and 10 stakes. Took a long time to get the fire going…and I used two wool-blend blankets plus a 3/8 inch CCF foam pad underneath my modified USGI Intermediate Cold weather mummy bag….wearing wool socks, wool sweater, nylon pants and a cotton undershirt…as well as the USGI ECW parka inside the sleeping bag, I was still unable to stop the coldness from the ground.

The shelter has one half as a floor on top of an USGI poncho, while two halves are used on the top parts plus the triangle parts as panels in between the two halves.

Here are the photos of the camp set up!

DSCN2154Whelen style/Baker style set up. At first I thought I set it up way too close to the fire, but later in the evening it proved to not be the case.

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Another view of shelter set up

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Sleep area, showing the poles and the floor cloth used, along with the bags for storage of everything. I used my MYOG backpack to carry the complete shelter, and the black MSS bag to carry the wool blankets and the sleeping bag. The blue CCF pad went under the top flap.

DSCN2157Later, due to the smoke coming into the shelter, I took the awning off.

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Another view of the set up without awning

DSCN2159By this time, it was getting REAL cold, and I wasn’t sure if there was going to be some rain or snow, so I set up the awning again, but this time folded the ends over so that the wind will keep blowing the smoke out of the shelter, wind direction was mostly parallel to the shelter face.

For the next cold weather camp trip, I am going to attempt to make either an Ammo Can stove or a Popcorn Tin stove, and order polypropylene long johns for a base layer.

 

Whelen style tent from USGI shelter halves

In memorial of the people whose lives were extinguished in NYC at World Trade Center..

After watching this video; I was inspired by the set up shown near the end of a lean to that is based on the Whelen Tent lean to, but using USGI Shelter Halves… so from this video;

[url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2AnsFLEHMZ4[/url]

I modified one of my shelter halves, and because I loathe unfinished edges, I hemmed the cut edges on the end triangles, the rectangle awning is already hemmed, so I don’t need to worry about that. The twist from the video set up, is that I don’t have the USGI pole sections, but I have a bunch of metal tent poles from other shelters, and with the correct bottom pole sections, I was able to get the same lengths as the tent’s panels, so I am able to use 4 poles in A-frame format and not worry about knocking poles out from centers…The awning poles are hollow and went right on top of the stakes holding down the triangles, so they aren’t moving anywhere..for actual set ups, I will add the webbing pole pockets from my hammock spreader bar project, and tie them to the corner loops on the shelter halves so that the poles will stay put.

20140910_154758View of the set up;

20140910_154809Quarter view of the tent; showing the unobstructed space between the poles and the main living section. It is wide enough for a full size air mattress should one wish to put in there…it is excellent for setting up right next to a camp fire, as it is canvas and was treated with fire resisting materials, which is probably worn off…

20140910_154827The back view of the tent; it looks like a standard army tent, with an awning added to it.

20140910_154841Interior shot, showing the poles’ layout and the holes in the awning from wear and tear…I will probably patch them up.

Looking at the set up, I think I could get a complete tent system, and put an unmodified half where the awning is, and have the end triangles hang down vertically to where the poles meet at the bottom, and put the other unmodified half on the floor, and use the rectangle awning section as a door, to make for as complete a shelter as possible for two people.

 

 

 

Two Shelter set ups!

Acquired a pair of USGI Shelter Halves, no poles nor stakes, but that was OK with me, as I have poles and stakes to spare…..decided to set up the USGI shelter halves in a format similar to the Whelen Lean-To shelters, and decided to set up the 9×12 poly tarp in a pyramid format with two long poles….DSCN2090

the USGI Whelen lean to set up. If I acquire another shelter half fabric piece, I could cut the triangles off and use those to fill in the gaps on the above set up…and have the rectangle become a small floor piece..

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Another view of the shelter, from the side. it uses 10 stakes and 6 guy lines…a lot of lines indeed.

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Back view of shelter. it is room enough for two to lay in, so it would be a good campfire shelter..might be covered more with the addition of the two triangles if I find a 3rd shelter half.

And here is the 9×12 pyramid shelter set up; it is very spacious inside, and can comfortably sleep 3 persons…or two people and a weeks worth of gear.

DSCN2088Two long poles in a bipod/scissors form, 4 stakes total and entrance could be covered by an USGI poncho tied to the two stakes and the peak. The format is simply that it is suspended at the center of the 12 ft side, so there is 6 feet between the center and the door corner stakes, and it is a little less than 9 feet from door stake to the corner stakes…as that is the 9 ft side..with that much space, one could put two cots, or an air mattress.. and still have plenty of room.

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view from the side, one could in theory put a tie out using a pebble in the middle of the long triangle panel, and pull it out to provide more room if needed.

 

 

 

Redid my hammock shelter into a minimalist tarp!

SO like the previous post said, my attempt failed at an integrated hammock shelter/bug shelter/ under cover…….

so I took it all apart, and did a few sketches and made a plan; Bat-Wing Tarp designIts based off of Hammock Forums’ member Gargoyle’s Ogee Tarp; and built using just the 55″x144″ material I have on hand;

it is now a very light, compact tarp, I will need to redo my hammock suspension so that I can put the tarp closer to the body of the hammock..

Bat-Wing Tarp Design 1the tarp over my hammock, it looks like a bat wing doesn’t it!?Bat-Wing Tarp Design 2angled view of the tarp

Bat-Wing Tarp Design 3head on view of the tarp, yes it is narrow, and that is the door/beak corner system

Bat-Wing Tarp Design 4 Close Upclose up of the triangle parts, I have an extra tie out there in case I want to do a tent pole spreader mod so that it opens up more on the inside.

Bat-Wing Tarp and Hammock  belt kitthe whole system; I now need to figure out the stakes/guy line situation as to how to pack them without getting the hammock dirty..,might use an USGI M16 cleaning kit pouch? the pouch on the far right holds my tarp, yes that is right, it packs down ridiculously small! the SAW ammo pouch holds the hammock, and the other small pouch holds the suspension parts, these two small pouches were my prototypes for the SKS ammo clip pouches.

 

Hammock Shelter; SIlnylon and Ripstop and No See Um mesh….whoops!

Well here we go!

Sewn up another hammock shelter; this time out of 4 yards of Silicon impregnated nylon and 4 yards of Durable Water Repellent Nylon ; and two triangles of No See Um mesh; DSCN1841First hang; no weight in the hammock, it looks OK…a little IFFY on the triangle windows..

DSCN1842Triangle windows of no see um mesh. You can see the stress being put on the top of the triangle from the hammock suspension..and this is unloaded hammock.

 

so after putting SOME weight in the hammock, it ripped where one of the triangle windows were……SO…. looks like I will be taking the windows off, and then trying again and see if it will still work…..if not, then take it all apart and sew on another 4 yards of Silicon Nylon and make a 12 ft long rectangle tarp with no bottom parts or anything.