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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:48 pm 
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Let me start with saying this is only my second post at ZS so if this is in the wrong area, admins feel free to close/move this thread.

I have been intrigued with the Kifaru tents, but just didn't want to shell out the coin to get one. I like the idea of a lightweight modular shelter that doesn't have a floor. In looking around I stumbled upon the design for a "piramiddle" tent. Basically it is a tarp that when folded correctly creates a shelter.

The idea came from this website: http://www.hufsoft.com/bsa51/page0003.html

If you navigate through the "Build Your Own" section he even has a calculator that allows you to figure out your tent dimensions based on the size of the tarp you use. It also details grommet location for you...

I ordered some ripstop nylon and tent parts and decided to have a go..

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Aluminum tent stakes, grommet kit, and fiberglass pole kit (total cost $17)

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Finished product, 10'x12' ripstop nylon tarp, tent poles and pegs (total weight, 3.5lbs)

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The piramiddle tent setup.. height is approximately 6', length is 7.5' and width is about 5.5'. Setup was pretty easy it went up in about 3 minutes. Only gripe is the fiberglass pole I have flexes a bit and my not be strong enough for the job. I may consider replacing it with aluminum.

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Back of tent

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Interior of tent, plenty of room. Notice the "sod tabs" that get folded under when the tent is setup.

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Outside of tent, I need to add another grommet to the tent flap and come up with a quick way of securing the flaps.. I also considered sewing a sleeve in one of the flaps that the pole could slide through. This would make the tent so it only had one flap, but may improve the structure of the tent....

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The new army digital cammo is pretty cool.. this show was taken about 25ft away through some light folliage... (I know it is lame but I had to try it out)

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Another distance shot.


Total the tarp tent cost me around $57. Total weight is 3.5lbs. Dimensions are approximately 5" x 18" when rolled up (including poles). I carried it in my day pack to take these photos and it was unbeliveably light to carry. I ordered the raw materials to make the tarp and had someone sew it for me, but you could very easily do the same thing with a simple 10x12 tarp and probably achieve the same results. The cost would probably be less too.. The nylon fabric was $40 out of the total $57. The nylon I used is a waterproof ripstop that is blacked out on one side (no light passes through).

I havn't stayed in the tent yet, but plan to use it on a backpacking trip this spring. The inside was roomy and could easily hold 2 plus gear.

Setup was easy and you could easily use a branch or stick to in place of the tent pole. I may try an aluminum pole instead of the fiberglass one, but that would definately add some weight and size.

The best part of this design is you still have a standard tarp. You could make a standard lean-to, or simply cover up with it in an emergency to keep dry.

The articles I have read state that this design is fairly wind resistant. When I put it up there was a good 20mph wind, but I found a sheltered area and that helped. Angling the back of the tent towards the wind would also help make it more aerodynamic. (I learned that you should be carefull when using a Gerber axe to hammer your tent stakes.. they are very sharp and when it is windy they can very easily slice the tarp material if it happens to blow over the axe..)

I am definatly going to add this item to my BOB.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:51 pm 
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Not a bad idea. It's a little drafty though. Probably not a great 4-season tent. :)

Will it be strong enough to hold up in heavy rain fall?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:55 pm 
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I am pretty sure it will hold up to heavy rain, the material is fairly durable and is fully watterproof. I would imagine since you don't have a floor, placement of the tent would be important to keep water out of the inside of the tent. You could also easily add a floor as a seperate piece.

I agree the doors might be drafty, but I think if I can figure out a way to secure them it will be tollarable.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:28 pm 
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fast1 wrote:
I am pretty sure it will hold up to heavy rain, the material is fairly durable and is fully watterproof. I would imagine since you don't have a floor, placement of the tent would be important to keep water out of the inside of the tent. You could also easily add a floor as a seperate piece.

I agree the doors might be drafty, but I think if I can figure out a way to secure them it will be tollarable.



First of all, I would like to say that this is an excellent post and if this is the type of stuff ZS can expect from you, then we are lucky to have you on the boards. :D

It does look a bit flimsy in construction but I think it is a great idea. I know you plan on swapping out the fiberglass pole but I have some recommendations which may help. You could also use a piece of cordage attached to the top of the tent to attach it to a sapling or low branch as has been done here: http://www.owareusa.com/ If you have them, you could also use aluminum trekking poles attached together to make one pole. This is a favorite setup of ultra-light hikers.

The rear slop of the tent should probably be sharper to keep condensation from dripping down on you and to shed snow. In a heavy snow I think it might bow in pretty sharply or collapse.

Similar set-ups are made elsewhere but I haven't seen any that offer as much camouflage as yours does. It really looks great! One downside to your set-up vs some of the commercial projects is weight. 3.5 lbs is kinda heavy for a tarp tent but at $57 I don't think you'll much to compare to it in that price range.

Again, really good post. I hope to see more from you on the boards.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm 
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I agree very good post.
One thing, you may also like to try some better pegs. The ones you have tend to pull out of the ground if it is soft.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:10 pm 
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I'd be worried that this thing would fare badly in the wind, but maybe a tight tie-down plus strong pegs would save it.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:21 pm 
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Hell for a 60 dollar do it your self job I'd say it looks damn good. I'd rather have that then nothing else, not to mention it is also a tarp. Definatly good to have you here if this is the kind of stuff you bring to the table. Also, be advised you could have made the perfacte tent and someone here would have had some way to make it better. Which of course isn't a bad thing.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:31 pm 
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Good post. My only criticism would be the pole, which you've already addressed. I'm sure you could get a much tighter pitch with a better pole, or tying it off. With floorless tents, I always dig a little drainage "moat" arond the peimeter. It doesn't need to be deep.
For the opening, you could go with snaps, a zipper, velcro, or even closely spaced grommets with cord loops,like the old GP series tents.
I may have to make one of these in woodland, since I'm old school. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:13 pm 
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Great post. Thanks for posting that.
From personal experience.
If you use a 8x10 tarp the front won't be as high in the front and a little longer. The inside 'flaps' almost make their own floor like in your picture.

As to the fiberglass pole - bringing along a hiking staff or finding a piece of tree branch OR even tieing off to a tree would be better then the tent pole. The tree would also block wind. Even just tieing off the top to a branch offset from a tree trunk would add additional wind protection.

I guess there is a use for Army Digital afterall - winter time woodland camo.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:57 pm 
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jamoni wrote:
For the opening, you could go with snaps, a zipper, velcro, or even closely spaced grommets with cord loops,like the old GP series tents.
I may have to make one of these in woodland, since I'm old school. :)


I would say you could also use carabiners (sp) instead of cords. Just cheap ones, but it should hold it closed

I like the idea man. I'll have to try this out sometime

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:27 pm 
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Awesome post!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:58 pm 
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Great work! Where did you get the ripstop?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:33 pm 
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The camo blends well. I would be afraid of walking a way from it an not finding it again in a cold camp situation in the dark. Maybe not so much in the snow.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:40 pm 
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Awesome post Fast1. It could also be used as adjunct to a Bivvy for sitting up/getting changed/cooking/hanging out.

But again, awesome 2nd post. Thanks for coming onboard. :D
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:43 pm 
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Flying Lead wrote:
Great work! Where did you get the ripstop?


I ordered it from a seller on ebay who had some similar products available.. I ordered 8 yards of fabric (5ft x 24ft), then cut it in half and had it sew together to make a 10x12 tarp.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:47 pm 
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I love it. As has already been discussed, the pole. Shorten it up, get another shorter pole to sharpen the rear section as Seanwins suggested, to improve rain run off. Since you used Kifaru Tipi's as inspiration, take it further, and follow their rear pole example. The lower to the ground the better for holding up to the wind and concealment, I don't think you need a 6 ft height on the front entrance, 3 1/2 feet or 4 feet would be much much better. That aside, this is cool....most excellent.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:25 am 
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Wow. How did I miss this post? Nice country and great work on the tarp shelter. Clearly the pole will fail and the pegs are the beyond bad. But you are in the testing phase so really anything goes. :D I think with proper poles and pegs it should hold up. Personally I would make a fiber glass stove jack and do up a stove from a White gas can.


Here is one of my early attempts at a heated tarp shelter. Very basic. Just 3 tarps. A larger one for an A-frame tarp. Two smaller ones for the doors. Used a fiberglass welding shield for a stove jack. It all worked. The A-frame needed two poles (hiking poles work) or trees but this setup if done right is rock solid. I need to work on this for my sil nylon tarps. But rather than screwing around with the expensive tarps I would sew a jack on one of the door/end tarps (use a cheaper tarp for this) and angle the stove pipe out.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:19 pm 
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first time posting on the board as well, FAST1 i made the same thing you made, only i added a few extras to it.i added on some side pullouts which you can see on the right side of the pyramiddle. pullouts helped a lot when me and my brother inlaw had a storm blow through at 2am packing 50 mph winds. the tent stood tall with out a hitch. unfortunatley we baild cause of all the trees crashing down around us. and i added a stove jack as well. that makes all the difference in the world. we kicked back cooked some samon fillets in foil on the little wood burner while all hell cut loose out side.Image
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my pyramiddle stands almost 8ft tall. it looks exactly lik yours inside and the front has doors as well which can be closed off with velcro i stitched on the length of the door, i will say that it supriesd me with its ability to shed driving rains and wind with out a hitch, but when setting up you need to pay close attention to wind direction to be safe and effective especially with a live hot stove inside.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:58 pm 
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It looks like it'd be a pretty good design and would hold a small fire well.

I dunno, I'm new to this kind of stuff.


Tom


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:18 pm 
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bingo 7 wrote:
The camo blends well. I would be afraid of walking a way from it an not finding it again in a cold camp situation in the dark. Maybe not so much in the snow.


I'd been thinking that ACUPAT/UCP would be a good snow camo: light enough not to stand out against the snow, but won't stand out against trees in the background like solid white could. These pics seem to confirm my suspicions. Looks good.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:39 am 
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CAMOEDTJ wrote:
first time posting on the board as well, FAST1 i made the same thing you made, only i added a few extras to it.i added on some side pullouts which you can see on the right side of the pyramiddle. pullouts helped a lot when me and my brother inlaw had a storm blow through at 2am packing 50 mph winds. the tent stood tall with out a hitch. unfortunatley we baild cause of all the trees crashing down around us. and i added a stove jack as well. that makes all the difference in the world. we kicked back cooked some samon fillets in foil on the little wood burner while all hell cut loose out side.Image
Image
Image
my pyramiddle stands almost 8ft tall. it looks exactly lik yours inside and the front has doors as well which can be closed off with velcro i stitched on the length of the door, i will say that it supriesd me with its ability to shed driving rains and wind with out a hitch, but when setting up you need to pay close attention to wind direction to be safe and effective especially with a live hot stove inside.


first, welcome to the forums :D

second, The shelter looks really nice. You mentioned its 8ft tall or something like that, but how deep does it go? Does it have some kind of door or what?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:45 am 
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CAMOEDTJ - do you have details on how you made your stove bib? Also what are you using for a stove?

Those were a couple things I would like to add to mine.

I also like the idea of your pullouts, that would help quite a bit.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:55 am 
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great post...

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:22 pm 
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CAMOEDTJ, what does your tarp look like from the front? Do you have a picture with a sleeping bag or two in there for reference on how large it is?


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