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Forest_Bather
HikingMama



Joined: 24 Feb 2017
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Location: Where the Mountains meet the Ocean
Forest_Bather
HikingMama
PostMon Mar 06, 2017 1:22 pm 
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Hi there....my first post here on this forum!  I am happy to find a place to connect to folks from the Pacific NW and I've been reading old posts.

I'm looking for any used Tarptents for outfitting my family of 6 with lightweight gear.

After a nearly failed, rainy backcountry experience last summer in the North Cascades (Noisy Diobsud Wilderness)...along with a WAY TOO heavy pack, I've spent the winter months researching quality, affordable, lightweight gear.  I'm even considering DIYing some of our gear because my husband and I both sew.

I've settled on the Tarptent brand, but also like the Six Moons Designs products.

So...with that in mind, I'm looking for reasonably priced used 1-4 person Tarptents (or SMD).  It's so expensive to outfit a family...not only with shelters, but with pads, bags and backpacks.  I'm really hoping I can save money by buying at least some items used.

Many thanks and I hope to hear from some of you.

Warmly,

Amy......in the foothills of the North Cascades
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RandyHiker
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Joined: 27 Jul 2008
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Location: Greenlake
RandyHiker
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PostMon Mar 06, 2017 7:49 pm 
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If you have decent skills with a sewing machine...
https://ripstopbytheroll.com/collections/silnylon/products/1-1-oz-silnylon
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Forest_Bather
HikingMama



Joined: 24 Feb 2017
Posts: 10 | TRs
Location: Where the Mountains meet the Ocean
Forest_Bather
HikingMama
PostMon Mar 06, 2017 9:28 pm 
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RandyHiker wrote:
If you have decent skills with a sewing machine...
https://ripstopbytheroll.com/collections/silnylon/products/1-1-oz-silnylon

Thanks RandyHiker!  Yes...this is definitely a consideration since I truly can not imagine how we can afford lightweight tents for all of us.    I've been cruising that site, looking for inspiration.  They cater to hammock users, so most of their projects for that crowd, so I need tarp camping links.   

Fortunately, my 2 teenagers and 10 year old want to sleep under a tarp.  We brought cheap-o Walmart tarps with us last summer for a birthday backpacking trip, just for a trial run for the boys, but they pitched it incorrectly and one of their friends got wet and wanted to go back home the next morning.   dizzy.gif

So...we can sew tarps.  It's the bug nets that I'm more concerned with and at least some of us want nets (the would be me)...while some won't mind the biting critters.

Anyone can feel free to throw DIY links my way.

Amy

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Amy
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evergreen199
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evergreen199
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PostMon Mar 06, 2017 10:10 pm 
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Forest_Bather wrote:
I'm even considering DIYing some of our gear because my husband and I both sew.

Welcome to the site!  I customized Henry Shire's original tarptent design when I made my first tent.  Here are the plans: https://www.tarptent.com/tarpdesign.html  It was my first real sewing project and came out great (plus it was cheap).  Good luck!
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Hiker Mama
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Hiker Mama
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PostTue Mar 07, 2017 8:39 am 
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Welcome to the site! I don't have any tents or anything to offer, but I feel your pain about outfitting a family. I only have 2 kids, and the cost can be prohibitive. I've been lucky to find a few things used, but then those silly kids keep growing!!! Now my teen is in men's sizes, and that's twice as expensive.

Best of luck to you, I look forward to reading about your adventures.

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My hiking w/ kids site: www.thehikermama.com
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RandyHiker
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Joined: 27 Jul 2008
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Location: Greenlake
RandyHiker
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PostTue Mar 07, 2017 9:46 am 
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evergreen199 wrote:
Welcome to the site!  I customized Henry Shire's original tarptent design when I made my first tent.  Here are the plans: https://www.tarptent.com/tarpdesign.html  It was my first real sewing project and came out great (plus it was cheap).  Good luck!

That is a really helpful page!!  Thanks for sharing!!.   I like the advice on using GE Silicone II Clear Sealer and mineral spirits instead of SilNet for seam sealing SilNylon -- way cheaper and easier.
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contour5
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contour5
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PostTue Mar 07, 2017 8:49 pm 
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You might get lucky here... I'd recommend also looking at the Gear Swap page on the BPL forums. Lots of nice deals, but you have to buy a member$hip to trade...
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meck
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meck
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PostTue Mar 07, 2017 11:04 pm 
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Here's my 2$.  I made my own silnylon tarp tent a couple of years ago that could accommodate two OK, or one with lots of space for gear inside (similar to one of the older HS Tarptents).  I've spent ~16-17 nights in it, a few in the rain backpacking in the ONP/ONF.  A few recommendations if you go this route:

1. Mosquito netting is a must to keep out them nasty skeeters, and you will be so thankful you included it! (I've eaten dinner in the tent at least twice, not a good practice in that any spilled food will attract critters, but it was better than getting rained on and eaten by mosquitoes). No-see-um mesh is available at Seattle Fabrics.  Simple headnets are also super easy to make (take rectangle, fold in half, sew two edges) and literally made the difference for me between a terrible experience and and OK one.

2. Including a low, no-see-um mesh lower portion of the tent, like in the link evergreen199 posted is nice for ventilation, but when a cold wind blows it gets super chilly since the breeze will pass straight over you and your sleeping bag, so you may want to make a provision for being able to lower the edges to the ground.

3. Include loop/tiepoints along the peaks/corners of the tent, both inside and outside, so that you can still string it up in case you set the tent up between trees, or in case one of your trekking poles breaks or is needed for day hikes (options are good!).  The loops are also handy for hanging the tent up to dry out in the sun.  The interior loops allow you to string up interior drying lines (when its not safe to leave clothing outdoors drying for fear of it becoming a goat meal)

4. silnylon is slippery so if you use the heavier stuff (1.3oz) for the floor be aware that nothing will stay in place if you pitch it on even a slight slope.  I sacrifice some weight savings by bringing a cut-to-size piece of plastic to put under my tent for both moisture barrier and to prevent to much damage to the silnylon.

5. Include catenary curves in any long edges/ridges of the tent (not just a straight sewn line).  I failed to do this on the two long edges of my tent and regret it every time I pitch the tent in slightly breezy or wet conditions.  There is almost no way to keep my tent taut, even with multiple ground stakes.

6. Once near finished with the tent, set it up in you backyards and run a sprinkler on it to see how the rain will runoff of it.  Check where the drip lines are to see if any water runs down the mesh edges and enters the floor of the tent.  I found out the hard way (1:00 am, pouring rain at Lone Tree Pass, on the Bailey Range Traverse ONP) that my tent pools water on the low flatter end, partially because silnylon stretches/sags a lot when wet, and partially because I neglected to include item 5 above in the design.

7. Don't forget to make a nice silnylon bag too for your lovely new tent, and stakes and guylines!  MSR groundhog stakes (the lightweight red ones with the triangular star/spoke cross section) are worth the investment, I usually pack one or two extras so I can string out a drying line from the top of the tent too.

After all that being said, I love the tent so much because it takes up very little pack space and is super light!!  If I were to make another tarp tent I would consider using a pyramid design, or combination single pole with lightweight crossarm brace suspended from it (to widen the "head" area when sitting up)



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*pain is just your body telling you "you're doing it wrong"*
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hikerdan3369
Slave to The Gear



Joined: 07 Nov 2011
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hikerdan3369
Slave to The Gear
PostSun Mar 12, 2017 6:15 pm 
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I have a TarpTent Moment I am looking to sell.  Single wall, apx 5 seasons old, no issues.  Seam sealed, No tears, zipper 100%, includes add'l ridge pole for added stability/snow. Can send pix, not sure how to post pix here. $100.  Has served me well, but going to a larger 2 person UL tent.  I'm in Gold Bar, work in Monroe, can meet north/east side as well.

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If it were easy everybody would do it.
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AlpineRose
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AlpineRose
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PostSun Mar 12, 2017 8:41 pm 
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Tarptents are great tents.  ime, good construction, not excessively pricey.  OTOH, have you considered a Megamid structure, perhaps DIY?  The newest incarnation from Black Diamond is the Mega-Light.  Megamid enthusiasts love their light weight, weather worthiness, and capacity to sleep 4.  Mosquito netting and floors are available as options.  That would only leave one more tent needed for your other 2 campers.
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Forest_Bather
HikingMama



Joined: 24 Feb 2017
Posts: 10 | TRs
Location: Where the Mountains meet the Ocean
Forest_Bather
HikingMama
PostThu Mar 16, 2017 11:29 pm 
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RandyHiker wrote:
If you have decent skills with a sewing machine...
https://ripstopbytheroll.com/collections/silnylon/products/1-1-oz-silnylon

I ordered their scrap/beginner fabric set and will make my own lightweight sacks to see how I like sewing with the slippery fabrics.  It got here this week and I hope I can try it soon.

I would really love to challenge myself to make a mid or tipi or some sort of tarp.

Thanks for responding!

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Amy
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Forest_Bather
HikingMama



Joined: 24 Feb 2017
Posts: 10 | TRs
Location: Where the Mountains meet the Ocean
Forest_Bather
HikingMama
PostThu Mar 16, 2017 11:33 pm 
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evergreen199 wrote:
Welcome to the site!  I customized Henry Shire's original tarptent design when I made my first tent.  Here are the plans: https://www.tarptent.com/tarpdesign.html  It was my first real sewing project and came out great (plus it was cheap).  Good luck!

Yes.  I've looked at those plans on his site and it's good to hear someone has made it...and for a first sewing project no less.  Kudos!  What kind/thickness of fabric did you use?

Thanks for responding!

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Amy
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Forest_Bather
HikingMama



Joined: 24 Feb 2017
Posts: 10 | TRs
Location: Where the Mountains meet the Ocean
Forest_Bather
HikingMama
PostThu Mar 16, 2017 11:37 pm 
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Hiker Mama wrote:
Welcome to the site! I don't have any tents or anything to offer, but I feel your pain about outfitting a family. I only have 2 kids, and the cost can be prohibitive. I've been lucky to find a few things used, but then those silly kids keep growing!!! Now my teen is in men's sizes, and that's twice as expensive.

Best of luck to you, I look forward to reading about your adventures.

Thanks for the welcome from one hiking mama to another.  And thanks for feeling my pain.  It's so challenging and yes...they grow so fast.  I am a hard core thrifter, so I'm lucky to get excellent clothing/outerwear for the 6 of us via that route.  Haven't been so lucky with tents.  My thrifted tent nearly soaked me and our 5 yr old last summer up in the North Cascades.   lol.gif

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Amy
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Forest_Bather
HikingMama



Joined: 24 Feb 2017
Posts: 10 | TRs
Location: Where the Mountains meet the Ocean
Forest_Bather
HikingMama
PostThu Mar 16, 2017 11:38 pm 
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contour5 wrote:
You might get lucky here... I'd recommend also looking at the Gear Swap page on the BPL forums. Lots of nice deals, but you have to buy a member$hip to trade...

Great advice.  I may take the plunge since I like to pick up used gear so much....

Thanks for responding!

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Amy
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Slugman
Slower than ever



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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Slugman
Slower than ever
PostSat Mar 18, 2017 1:23 pm 
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I recently bought a Six Moons Skyscape X used for $250. So I am selling my Zpacks Hexamid Twin. They are discontinued, but sold for $565, plus I bought the carbon fiber tent poles, since I like to use my trekking poles on day hikes from camp. Here is the tent, though mine is a slightly older version which doesn't have the convenient "split beak" for easier entry and exit. It does have full mosquito netting, and the removable floor. It is cuben fiber, and weighs just 20 ounces with the poles and eight stakes, assuming all the stakes are titanium. But i think I only have four such stakes, so figure 22 ounces with four aluminum stakes.   

http://www.zpacks.com/shelter/hexamidtwin.shtml

I was going to ask $250 to make my aquisition of the Skyscspe revenue neutral, but I support your mission of keeping the kids dry and their packs light, so you can buy it for $200 if you like. I would include the tent poles and four titanium stakes. The tent has plenty of room for two, as long as at least one of them is not a large person.   Excellent condition.

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Just another tequila sunrise....
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