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A query for the rope and string engineers amongst us

Moondog55

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Here's a question regarding cheap 2-pole tents and internal guy lines.
I am heading up to the snow for a weeks ( give or take a month ) camping.
I was planning to take my old Paddy-Made "Era" and a flysheet.
BUT
I just got a really cheap($22-) 2-pole dome on eBay that I am going to take instead.
My question is regarding the best way to use internal guys to strengthen this design.
Rather than experiment I want to pick the collective brains of the fraternity.
So while there are many ways to do this I want both the strongest and the one that looses the least headroom.
Tent is 195 high and 3200*2800 big enough for 4 people

Looking forward to your suggestions
 
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climbndrive

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I might be assuming,butDome re-enforce.jpgyou could use a prusik knot on the poles inside to connect the guys internally the rope won,t have to be tight as the illistration shows, the red and black lines copy for around the sides with no doors,you can then us a single line above the door to connect this will give more strength,have used on smaller tent in high winds,the other option is to build a tripod above the tent itself and bring lines down from the tripod to top of tent sometimes the tent has a loop or tabs you can then tie guys of to tripod legs to give more external support,did this with a retired canvas single pole tent to use a double matress,with a bit of bush moding to top of tent. hope it helps,i have found the 2 pole tents to twist like one of those fold up tents more than just collapsing down, so the crossing guys should help,you could always take a rectanglar plastic tub and form bricks from snow and make an igloo? or half dome for some fun.Cheers
 

Moondog55

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That would help.
I never thought about using the lines on the external frame.
Internally was what I was thinking
What about running the brickies diagonally high to low inside? I will probably use a combination of both, I'll be there for a while so I will get the chance to use as many methods and guy-lines as needed
 

Joe

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I've been in one of those cheap tents when it collapsed during a not so heavy rain storm with not so strong wind. What ever you work out bare in mind that the poles can and do fail. I would do a fair amount of testing with what ever setup you use before relying on it for a few weeks in the snow. Dont forget that these tents have a fair area for the wind/snow/rain to catch and apply force onto.

Best of luck with it.... I am sure that with a bunch of guy lines you could make it much more sturdy. I think from memory the one that collapsed on us (poles snapped and tore the fly.) had begun to twist in the wind before totally failing.
 

climbndrive

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You could alway fab a canvas t pee over whole lot, adds to insulation and steeper sides on teepee should stand up to snow easier food for thought, hungry to snow camp myself now, ever tried a snowcave.
 

Moondog55

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Only once and not overnite, just visited.
Snow camping is harder, actually a lot harder, about 3 orders of magnitude harder, needs better and more gear than the other seasons.
BUT
You get to ski right out of your door
 

Aussie123

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I'm not sure it is possible to strengthen the tent. The tent itself should be OK, but it will depend on the weather.
The poles tend to be very long and flexible and I think they will flex and “fold” under any weight, or in gusty wind.

It may be worth investing in some spare pole segments, or at least a roll of gaffa to repair a broken segment.

Perhaps some kind of internal square structure would add rigidity – make something out of some pine 50x30mm. Its cheap and would be strong ?
 

Moondog55

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Nope, has to be string, sort of bushcraft rule isn't it.
It is the inherent flexibility of the poles that makes these so strong, I wouldn't want to make it too stiff. A roll of duct tape will be included though.
 

Walker

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I concur with Joe and Aussie 123: if anything is going to fail under the weight of our damp snow and wind, it will be the tent poles - the cheapies don't use the good 7075 aluminium alloy. It will be an interesting experiment, particularly if the weather is foul.
 

Bartnmax

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Try tackling it from another stand point - what is likely to collapse the tent - then tackle that.
Wind - build a wind break, rain - some sort of fly, etc
If you can address the outside factors that might influence the tent's strength, whilst also adding a bit to it's strenght internally, then you may have success after all.

With regards to the internal integrity there's a coupole of things I'd be thinking;
1. These tents generally need a level of flexibility to cope with wind, etc.
2. There appears to be a very fine line between maintaining the flexibility required & reaching failure point (collapse) so the flexibility needs to be maintained to a degree & the margin for failure increased. Basically we're looking at stronger but still flexible - so, a coupla thought;
1. Doubling the flexi-poles & taping em together maybe???
2. Using the 2nd set of poles internally to add more framing as opposing bracing???

Bill.
 

Moondog55

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Thanx, that is what I was after, we need to think outside of the box on this one, using what I have just bought rather than designing something from the ground up.
There are specific reasons why I don't want to take my HA/Antarctic mountain tent on this trip
 

Moondog55

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Thanx, that is what I was after, we need to think outside of the box on this one, using what I have just bought rather than designing something from the ground up.
There are specific reasons why I don't want to take my HA/Antarctic mountain tent on this trip.

One of the things I'm looking at now that it is erected in the back yard is adding some extra points to tie the tent an the fly together, there is probably just enough strength in the seams to sew in a few rings for internal guy lines.
the very first job tho is to make a system for attaching the flysheet to the rings that holds the pin that holds the poles, luckily I have plenty of tape and 25mm SR buckles.
 

Moondog55

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biggest difference between a cheap tent and an expensive one??
Attention to detail!!
The basic design of a dome tent is worked out, the materials used are strong enough but to get these on the market as cheaply as possible there were many shortcuts taken.
The triangles to take the requisite guy-lines are all sewn in on direction as all the lap-felled seams are sewn in the same direction. This makes for efficient sewing but not strong storm resistance.
I may ( if I have time ) over sew these with strong thread and then silicon the stitching.
Still it is what I expected of a tent that retailed for less than $150- when new.
I think I may revisit the Coleman brand large dome.
 

Moondog55

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OK ! Over the last day or so I have covered all the mesh panels with windproof nylon fabric and added tie-in loops ( 3 of them ) on each corner seam. Sewed on an internal pocket for fiddly small stuff and loops to run a clothes line and a gear-loft
I added an extra Velcro tape at the important guy point on each pole.
I added stainless steel rings to each tent corner and added a plastic snap hook to each flysheet corner and reinforced each corner seam with a 300mm length of 20mm HD polyester tape.
this means I can snap the flysheet to the tent to stop it blowing away if I have to set-up in a wind.
I added a large semi-triangular section of nylon at the midpoint of the side walls with extra peg loops ( this will I hope minimise the amount of windblown snow getting under the fly -- I did not have enough scrap fabric to make full valances ) I also added an extra guy point to the front and back of the tent on large triangular load spreading panels which I stitched on top of the horizontal seam above the door-way.
Being a bare bones budget project I used an old nylon shower curtain and a broken umbrella for the fabric source and as I will be driving in to leave the tent strategically placed I can use the heavy 3.75mm polyester braided cord for guy lines.
All that remains to be done is to erect the tent and spray a diluted silicon over the few leaky spots and the seams.
Silver is actually a fairly stealthy colour as it reflects the colours of the surroundings, but I am going to also use some coloured silicon to help add some shadow effect and try and make the tent less obvious, I'll try and take some pictures tomorrow.
I'm going to be using a combination of the suggested strategies; lightweight diagonal lines on the external poles using some old brickies twine and this will be mainly to stop the fly hitting the inner tent ( the old canvas tent method ) internal storm guys running high to low and again using brickies twine and the poles guyed against collapse by lots of heavy duty cord and big pegs.
 

Bartnmax

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One more word (ort two actually)- the tent owners best fried - Duct tape.
Never camp in tents without it - anywhere, any time.
Sometimes, despite good planning, even our best efforts come unstuck & trying to fix a torn tent at midnight on a wet, stormy night can be an absolute bastard.
Duct tape is out lord & saviour.

Bill.
Whom also regularly pays hommage to that other bearer of eternal good fortune - 'Saint Cable Tie' (brother to 'Saint Fencing Wire')
 

Moondog55

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Duct tape will be purchased, 2 rolls just in case.
Not a big believer in fencing wire, I worship the other god, old coat-hangers.

I just found another scrap of shower curtain so I can sew on some valance.
 

Moondog55

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Here are the photos as promised.
 

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Aussie123

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Good work.

What about stiffening the poles ?
You could use a second set of tent poles but some bamboo poles should work well. You can gaffa tape them onto the existing poles (once you put it up in-situ) or sew something.
I'm sure any neighbour with bamboo would gladly donate a few stems.

Bamboo is great for those sort of jobs; its a traditional tent pole material
 
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