View Full Version : Tyvek Snow Shelter

2007-06-19, 00:42
As the summer nears, I am starting to gear up for a sewing project.

I intend to make an occasional use Tyvek Four Person Snow Shelter, similar to a BlackDiamond Megamid; http://www.trailspace.com/gear/black-diamond/megamid/

I need a good source for 1/2" wide webbing/strapping.

Also, any pointers on seam detail would be helpful.

I intend to copy the megamid design pretty close. No zipper, just sewn in ties at the entrance...

My purpose is to use the shelter to cover us while snowshoeing, at break/lunch time when snowing, and to use to cover the snowkitchen when overnighting. No sleeping under, unless bad things happen.....

Any advice or tips would be great, thanks.

2007-06-19, 01:37
I buy webbing at a local farm supply store (last I bought was .40 a foot).
If your store has harness supplies it probably has webbing too.

You can get it at a Jo-Ann Fabric store but it's usually more expensive, only in black, and not quite as thick.

You might also check any upholstery shops around.
Before my local upholsterer retired I used to buy webbing from him. I liked what I got from him better, and it was cheaper.

2007-06-20, 08:07
OOPS!! Sorry to scare you.

I was thinking about the webbing I just bought to make my "pack" and it occured to me that when I posted here I might have juxtiposed the amount I bought with the price.
I did.
The webbing cost .25 a foot.
I bought 40 feet.
Still a little expensive, but much better than my first quote.
Sorry again.

-Had another thought on where you can get it - REI.
Online their 9/16" webbing is .25 a foot
and their 1" is .32 a foot
If you have an outlet nearby I've found their webbing and cordage is cheaper in the store.
-They are also the only place I've found heavy duty webbing in sizes larger than 1" (Jo-Anns also has wider stuff but it's not heavy duty)

2007-06-20, 09:16
You could try sailmakers as a source of materials and techniquies also.
I know you just love any excuse to visit all your friends in Seattle. :driver: :canabis: :motz:

2007-06-20, 11:27
Good tips, thanks guys. I will keep looking, I have been searching for lighter duty webbing to sew into the device as attachment points, etc....

As far as Seattle goes, ain't going to happen. The best I have ever seen Seattle was in my rear view mirror. :biggrin:

2007-06-20, 16:29
If your going for lightweight I'd make my own webbing out of scraps from the nylon you used to make the tent.

1) Just cut a strip of the material (don't worry about fraying) fold the edges into the middle and then fold it in half.

2) Tuck the ends inside themselves (optional depending on how you will attach or use it - if making loops skip it.)

3) Run a zig zag down the middle or down both edges (depends on width).

You end up with a strong ribbon, I've done this many times.

2007-06-20, 23:56
But I am lazy.

And, I was thinking of thin lace to run down each seam, and squiggel some out in the form of a loop midway down each seam, to pull the sides of the shelter out a bit...

I thought that the tyvek may not hold the seam really well without something to back it up...hence the light duty webbing... or is this overkill...?

2007-06-21, 02:25
Once again I wasn't paying attention and/or switched things around in my head (I'm making a nylon tarp, and was also thinking on making a teepee style tarp tent - though a I'm now a hammocker, I still stay in a tent occasionally and thought it would be nice to both stay lightweight and be able to put on my clothes standing up).
- Rambling - to much info -
Anyway, I substituted my nylon for your tyvek.

I don't know if you could even make usable webbing out of tyvek
I've actually never done anything with tyvek except wrapping a house with it.

It's fairly tough stuff but it can rip, and I don't know how well it's going to sew. Usually I only hear of it being used as an under tarp. I'm going to be very curious to find out how this works out.

Instead of webbing to beef up the seams how about using grosgrain ribbon?
Not as strong but I think it would work, and it's MUCH cheaper, around $20 per 100 yards. I use it to edge some projects.
You can find it almost anywhere they have sewing supplies or crafts.

If you haven't already bought the tyvek you might also think about going to the post office and getting one of their tyvek envelopes to experiment on first.

2007-06-21, 12:20
Something you might try with tyvek is to paint an area you want to reinforce with some sort of tape, or some adhesive and some material, or you might just try epoxy paint where you want a grommet, or ordinary nail polish, then make a hole. It should be something more tough than stiff, but with good adhesion to the tyvek, which might be tricky. Polyester resin or epoxy should work. Something with pigment in it will hold up to the sun better. Shellac might work, or plain old house paint.

2007-06-23, 15:19
Iceman, why not just use some silnylon or some homemade siliconized ripstop instead of Tyvek?

2007-06-23, 17:14
Amigi, you may be too late, just bought a Fing expensive house size roll of tyvek......to the tune of $145buckaroos....

My reasoning for tyvek was this;

Tyvek is used all over the place now for other camping applications, from sheets to sit on, sleep on, etc... You can buy whole sets of hazmat clothing made from the stuff. I know from past construction experience, that it is tough, hard to rip, lightweight. The stuff is realtively resistant to UV, in my experience it does not degrade as quickly as does say a poly tarp. It is not necesarily waterproof, but what is?

In intend to make the following from this roll;

Snowshelter for my pulk trips.
A custom pulk cover/wrap for my pulk, to keep things dry while sledding.
Tent footprint for multiple tents I already own.
A few pieces to rest upon while taking a break hiking.
A nifty cover for my barbeque.
Maybe an Iceman size bivy to hide in if I go down on the hunt trail...
who knows what else...
I am also preparing to build a new home, and I know I will use the leftovers up on that...

My concern now is sewing. I have read that you can sew the stuff, really slippery, but can be done. I need to work on seam details, to determine the best per each project... So that is why the silnylon was not explored more. 9feet x 150feet is a bunch for $145.

JAK, like your idea of bonding the seams, I may try a sample, this may help... Tyvek corp does sell a tape, for taping edges in construction applications, so some things can stick to it, but it does feel very slippery in the hand, I will let you all know...

2007-06-23, 17:55
That housewrap will last for a year before it looks weathered, two years before it's no longer water resistant from fraying, and three years before it shrivels up and blows away. How do I know this? You would only need to look at my workshop to find out.

2007-06-25, 02:50

Just a quick caution, as Tyvek doesn't breath be careful using it as a bivy.
A few years ago a girl (an experienced hiker) came early for for admissions to U of M and instead of finding a place to sleep the night indoors decided to camp on the lawn in front of the building.
She wrapped herself and her bag in a peice of plastic and lay down on the lawn. Unfortunately she put the plastic over her head.
During the night there was a light rain which froze the plastic to the ground. She suffocated in her sleep.

As I've used plastic as a make shift bivy many times this hit close to home.

2007-06-25, 03:50
I don't know if you ever visit hammockforums.net or not. But they have 2 really good articles about tyvek over there:

I am also doing my tarp project in tyvek. So lets pool our resources and limit our mistakes. I would appreciate any sewing tips. I don't have alot of test material but hopefully enough to figure out what i need to set the sewing machine up for.

2007-06-25, 10:20
Dropkick, excellent point for all. In our snow survival gear we carry those huge orange poly bags (I think Coghlans survival bag...). I have experimented with laying in one, and in my experience, they leave a lot of gaps around the head area, so suffocation doesn't look like it would be too big of a threat. But great point nonetheless. Heck, sometimes I feel like I get oxygen starved in a normal sleeping bag, I know I worry about my kids when they tuck in on really cold (below 20degree) nights in their bags. I often wake up, to check on them, sticking my hand in their bag, to assure they haven't closed off their "breathe hole" too much. Their grades are improving, so I don't think they have killed off too many brain cells yet...thanks.

Turk, great articles, thanks for the tip, I had not read that stuff yet! I will be sure to share anything I learn. It is sure nice having this entire roll setting here..... I intend to start on the simple "who cares" stuff, IE: Barbeque cover....to test my sewing techniques...

I will be sure to share any sewing tips I find...thanks.