View Full Version : pyramid or tarp or tent?

lucky luke
2006-08-21, 12:29
hi guys,

i thought i might as well use your input as well as that the of salespeople.

i will be traveling with my dog, either hiking or biking. so no hammock....

i would be fine with a tarp, except the kritters will eat us....
so weŽre down to
tarp and netting,

regular tent like : msr hubbahubba, or hilleberg nallo, etc.

or "pyramid":

go lite hexathingy
exped tipitarp, etc.

since i am a mountaineer i wonder how well those pyramids last in the snow and storm, heavy storm i mean and exposed.

are they strictly 2-3 season?

is it possible to pitch them in the air with a longer center pole?

anyone with experience here?

happy trails
lucky luke

Just Jeff
2006-08-21, 13:32
I was in a GoLite Hex 3 in some pretty amazing winds...I estimate ~120mph based on measured conditions in surrounding areas. I was very impressed with its durability.

Just after sunrise, after enduring these rather constant gusts all night, the stakes finally pulled out of the ground. I'd say that was our fault and not the shelter's since we could see the stakes pulling, and we were already dressing to go reinforce them...we just weren't quick enough. We were also in an exposed location...depending on your definition of mountaineering, you may be able to find a more protected location than we had that night. Those winds did a number on most of the tents and several had broken poles. Even a true 4-season tent had some trouble but the Hex had no permanent damage.

So considering that it's a tarp and not a true mountaineering tent, with the weight and protection trade-offs, I'd still feel comfortable carrying it on the types of trips I do. But it doesn't have bugscreen for the warmer months, so you'll need a Nest.

2006-08-22, 01:06
Jeff, I bet it felt like 120, but I've been in 80 mph winds and I don't know of any tent that could withstand it. Most people can't even stand up in 60 mph winds.

hur·ri·cane A wind with a speed greater than 74 miles (119 kilometers) per hour, according to the Beaufort scale.

F2 Significant tornado 113-157 mph Considerable damage. Roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished; boxcars pushed over; large trees snapped or uprooted; light object missiles generated.

I used a small tarp and a homemade bivy bag for years and was happy (I hammock now).
- The tarp was for my pack and to give me time to button up if it started to rain at night.

Sometimes when it was HOT and buggy, but I didn't want to cover up I would attach some cheap (.49 a yard Walmart) bug screen to an overhead rope and drape it around me.

Just Jeff
2006-08-22, 01:26
I guess it's possible, but nearby Mt Diablo had measured speeds of 100 mph, and Tahoe recorded 65-143 mph. We were higher in elevation and on an exposed ridgeline. FWIW, the Hex's stakes were buried and frozen under the snow (before they popped out) and the top was tied to a tree and supported with two hiking poles inside.

And lots of tents have been tested in wind tunnels to over 100 mph.

But we didn't have anything to measure with so I can't say for sure how fast the winds were.

2006-08-22, 04:32
I'm actually basing my thoughts on wind speeds that I was told by the news later, so maybe they were actually greater where I was.

The winds the news people said were 80 mph took out hundreds of trees in my area. They were laying down in rows, and these weren't small trees. They were pine and fir and most were around 12 inches or larger in diameter. The wind took them up at the roots.

I was living in a concrete building and from inside it I watched a wheel barrow and a small utility trailer lift off the ground and sail away.
It picked up my 10 X 10 dog kennel and smashed it against the building (my dog was inside with me).
It threw a metal garbage can and took out my cousin's mesh satellite dish, which was mounted 15 feet up, on top of a building (old days - big dish - it was mesh to resist wind damage).
It pushed a big dumpster, which was almost full, out of an enclosure and 30 feet across a parking lot, taking out a diesel fuel pump (luckily turned off).
It knocked over an old black cotton wood that was at least 3 foot in diameter in my yard (some rot in the middle).
Took out the phone, power, and cable out back, with a willow tree that it split in half.
I don't know how a tent could have stood up to the wind that day.

lucky luke
2006-08-23, 15:10
hi guys,

thanks for the answers.

as to 120 mph... go 55 on the highway and hold your arm outside the window, or get up through the roof.

for something like the hex i wonder how much room was left with that kind of wind... or are the sidewalls really stable? i worry about them getting pressed inside and taking up all the space.

as for bugs. yes, we have so many ticks around here i prefere a floor, and we have of cause the biggest moskitos in germany where i live... mountaineering with a tarp is not such a bad thing unless you go serious and for longer time. just for an overnighter iŽld rather carry a warmer bag and less tent. i dare to descent if it gets too bad....

but then, just look at the nallo. leave the inner at home, how much lighter can it get? and you have a full winter tent as well.

lucky luke

Just Jeff
2006-08-23, 15:54
The walls were pressing in pretty good, but we had two poles holding it up and the top was tied to a tree, then stakes all around (12, I think?). It was ok when we were laying down, but as I was getting dressed he had to sit on the bear cannister, hold the poles, and lean against the wall to compensate for the gusts. Then I did the same for him to get dressed...he was almost dressed when the stakes pulled out. The gusts pushed us off the cannister more than once.

lucky luke
2006-08-25, 01:20
high jeff,

isnŽt mountaineering fun? the best climbs are the epic ones.

thanks for the input.

happy trails
lucky luke