Monday, 21 March 2011

Tyvek DuoMid Clone

Before I decided to sew my Tyvek backpack I tried my hand at some tape sealed tents.  I had planned on using Tyvek tape to join sections of the fabric together but as my local sources did not stock the tape I used double sided carpet tape to make my seams.  Here is the 2nd tent I designed off of the MLD Duomid.

Tyvek Tent
As you can probably tell by now I get a lot of enjoyment out of making my own gear.  I read a great post over on the backpacking light forum where one gentlemen said something along the lines of when we are young we spend our time making things, as we get older and get jobs, we get money to buy what we once used to make.  I saw the lines of the duomid and I wanted it...I just didnt want to fork over the cash for the tent (which is no slight on MLD, they make great gear)!

One of the other main reasons I decided to build a tyvek tent was the fact that I could make 2 or 3 of the same tent for a few bucks.  Over the winter my Golite 3 was a great tent to use along with my wood stove.  The only problem is that silnylon melts quite easily and tears when punctured.  Both of these issues are avoided as much as possible by installing spark screens on my wood stoves and by watching the ground for jagged sticks before setting up.  Depsite these measures I managed to burn a couple holes into the golite.  Although once repaired they dont have any negative physical effects I'm somewhat of a perfectionist.  I dont want a nice (expensive) tent covered in patches.  The simple solution was to build a few tents, once one gets weathered and tattered simply recycle the parts I can and put a new tent into use.

Main door flap open
These tyvek tents cost me about $5 each to build.  The one pictured above is a nearly completed unit.  I initially designed it to have a floor area of 9'x5' with a center pole height of 42" but I measured wrong when I cut the ends so I ended up making the tent slightly smaller with dimensions of 8'x4' with center height of 42".  The tent is designed to be pitched with one off center trekking pole and a minimum of 4 stakes.  I use 6 stakes to peg the tent firmly to the ground and seal the edges well.

Pitched with hiking pole
The weight breakdown of the tent in the pictured state is as follows:

Tyvek Tent - 397g
6 Tent Stakes - 73g

I could probably drop the weight of the main tent body by 50-100g by sewing all the seams as opposed to taping them and its something I may try in the future.  Since I intend on using this tent in the winter I plan to add a fireproof stove jack near the peak for my stove pipe to exit.  Initially I was concerned that tyvek might flare up or melt from excessive heat so I flame tested a section of tyvek and a section of silnylon and found no obvious difference.  I also looked at the temperature required to initiate a sustained burn of tyvek and once again it is in the range of silnylon.  Should a stray spark manage to land upon the surface of the tent it will either blow off without damage or melt a small hole at the worst.

Perfect for a 6' slim guy
With the pole canted to one side there is more then enough room for my winter sleep system.  During the winter I will pitch the tent another inch or 2 higher and use snow around the bottom of the tent to make a nice weather seal.  This will give me a little more internal space and should allow for the addition of my newest micro wood stove to fit without getting to close to the walls or my sleeping bag.

Yours truly pondering
The tent has just enough headroom to allow me to sit up comfortably, while this isnt a requirement for my summer shelters I like to be able to sit inside a warm tent in the winter and pack my gear, prepare food or just warm up.
There are still a few small modifications I would like to make to this tent before trying it out (sew some extra support into the tie offs, place a few stitches at the top of the door seam and modify the door flap with an overhang to keep driving rain or snow from blowing inside.  I may have some updates on this tent over the summer but I will primarily be using my new tarp shelter for summer use...which should be arriving quite soon.

1 comment:

  1. could you also post or email me the dimensions of your tent.
    im a disabled vet,(severe back fractures & a failed surgery)
    i used to just backpack,no lightweight.i cant come close to carrying a 70Lbs pack any more & must go super lightweight to be able to hike again.any info you could pass along would be great.1 thing im really finding difficult info on is what is the lightest/best solar recharger,as i like to both have a mp3 player& a phone when i hike.i have to in case i have back problems on the trail.