Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

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Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Hoolie » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:46 pm

I rigged this up for a friend last year, and was told it worked pretty well. It's a pretty basic setup. Just enough shade to allow you to sleep in a bit in the morning. This setup works with a one or two person backpacking tent. All you need is:

(1) 8x10 Tarp or Shade Net with Grommets
(2) Telescoping Camp Poles or Similar
(4) Rebar Stakes or Similar
(1) Rope or Cord, approx 20 feet

Picture is pretty self-explanatory for setup. I used shade net so the wind could filter through somewhat, but one of those heavy-duty silver tarps would provide cooler shade. I used the taut-line hitch for tying off the guylines. Orient tarp to face the morning sun.

Image
Last edited by Hoolie on Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Packoderm » Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:01 pm

I like it.
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Bob » Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:49 pm

Could use old ski poles to prop that up.
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Packoderm » Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:48 pm

The folks camping with the Green Tortoise could easily tuck this away in their packs for a bit of extra sleep. Always one to add stuff, a second skin of aluminet would really do the job.
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Charlienyc » Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:01 pm

This is an excellent idea!!!! I totally would do this. What's the largest tent you think could cover?
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby brookstar » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:12 am

Do you think aluminum flag poles would work? We want to use this design, but expand it so it is big enough for 2 tents and add a centre pole. So far, I've found 6' 3/4" aluminum flag poles. Do you think that will be strong enough? We are using 60% illuminet for shade. Or does anybody think that wood would be better than aluminum flag poles? I get the feeling that tent poles will probably not be strong enough to withstand winds.
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Bob » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:26 am

REI sells decent tent poles, and some military surplus stores sell sectioned tent poles with spreaders. I've used old ski poles, surf fishing poles, and windsurfing masts.

I don't buy much online, never camping gear, and certainly not this close to a camping trip.
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Packoderm » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:36 am

Bob wrote:REI sells decent tent poles, and some military surplus stores sell sectioned tent poles with spreaders. I've used old ski poles, surf fishing poles, and windsurfing masts.

I don't buy much online, never camping gear, and certainly not this close to a camping trip.


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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:14 am

Get a piece of fence top rail.

One end is made to sleeve into the next piece and they are generally 10 foot long.

Cut this in half, giving you two 5ft. pieces that will slide together, and put a cut tennis ball on the end so it won't pucture your tarp.

Pound a 2ft. piece of rebar 1ft.in the ground where the center of the shade will be.

Slide your pole over the rebar and you have a center pole for your shade.

If you go taller, you could make a homemade north pole party shade with a 30x30 tarp and alot of guy lines. 8)
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby brookstar » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:21 am

Thanks for the information. The fence top rail sounds great, especially since it's so easily accessible. Cheers.
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby justinreach » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:40 pm

Great idea! And thanks for the picture & guide to make it happen.

I just purchased 2x of these "Eureka Adjustable Tarp Pole - 8 ft." from REI - $30 each

http://www.rei.com/product/358079/eurek ... -pole-8-ft

A friend loaned me his Coolaru Shade Sail which has rings in the corners, not grommets. I'm going to do 2-way tie-downs at each corner because this mofo is big, so I want to keep it from sailing away. I'll post here afterwards if I survive!!
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Hoolie » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:22 am

Packoderm wrote:The folks camping with the Green Tortoise could easily tuck this away in their packs for a bit of extra sleep.

Yes, indeed. That's why I posted this. In years past, I have seen camps made up of scores of backpacking tents, all completely exposed to the sun. I know some people have to travel light and on a budget, so I wanted to illustrate how they can get a little shade on their tent without much extra space, weight, or money.
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Hoolie » Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:40 am

Here is a variation that provides a bit more coverage, used by another campmate. This setup uses four poles instead of two. I believe he had a guyline running between the center poles to make the peak in the middle of the tarp more defined. I also recall that the dark blue color heated up a bit. Lighter or more reflective tarps are probably advisable. (This was not an issue with the black mesh tarp posted above.)

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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Schtev » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:54 pm

Oh wow, these are friggin brilliant! How do they hold up against the wind though, given that prevailing winds come from the southwest and the open side is presumably facing west?
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby misterdj » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:09 am

Being this is almost the same design, would the Coleman 2 Pole Shade hold up?

http://www.coleman.com/product/2-pole-s ... 2000001653
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Bob » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:14 am

That's on the small side, but fine if you want something minimal.
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Schtev » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:11 am

Could something like this survive "Condition Alpha"?
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Bob » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:34 am

I believe that simply refers to whiteout conditions, not necessarily rip-your-face-off winds.
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby misterdj » Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:52 am

I've been contemplating on what type of shade structure I could use that is easy to travel with and something I can use again in the future.

I read on here that some people have used the Kelty Noah. I'm thinking about buying the 12x12 model being my tent is 9x9 and 6ft tall.

I really like this configuration but was wondering how it would hold up against wind. If so, which direction should it face?
http://theshadowshop.blogspot.com/2010/ ... -tarp.html

Also, any other recommended configurations that would work for my size tent.

Thanks.
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Schtev » Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:59 am

misterdj wrote:I've been contemplating on what type of shade structure I could use that is easy to travel with and something I can use again in the future.

I read on here that some people have used the Kelty Noah. I'm thinking about buying the 12x12 model being my tent is 9x9 and 6ft tall.

I really like this configuration but was wondering how it would hold up against wind. If so, which direction should it face?
http://theshadowshop.blogspot.com/2010/ ... -tarp.html

Also, any other recommended configurations that would work for my size tent.

Thanks.


***DISCLAIMER! I HAVE NOT ACTUALLY TRIED THIS MYSELF YET!***

I've been reading obsessively on the subject. The conclusion I've reached is that grommeted shade cloth like in the first picture is best, because it allows some wind to pass through and thus isn't a total sail like a tarp. That being said, a tarp would obviously provide somewhat better shade. Its a trade off either way, like most things.
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:01 am

Bob wrote:I believe that simply refers to whiteout conditions, not necessarily rip-your-face-off winds.

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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Bob » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:19 am

misterdj wrote:I've been contemplating on what type of shade structure I could use that is easy to travel with and something I can use again in the future. I read on here that some people have used the Kelty Noah. I'm thinking about buying the 12x12 model being my tent is 9x9 and 6ft tall. I really like this configuration but was wondering how it would hold up against wind. If so, which direction should it face?
http://theshadowshop.blogspot.com/2010/ ... -tarp.html
Also, any other recommended configurations that would work for my size tent.


I'd use two, or a larger size, or something. They're very compact for travel, but they're primarily designed as minimal tarp-tents for backpacking, not to cover large family-sized tents. Can still clip on shade mesh or sheets draped to the ground if you bring enough poles, stakes and other supplies to prop them up and secure them. Orient the strongest end to the SW and your tent opening to the NE, usually. Set it up at home or in a park and play with different configurations.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Hoolie » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:45 pm

steve.t.sullivan wrote:Oh wow, these are friggin brilliant! How do they hold up against the wind though, given that prevailing winds come from the southwest and the open side is presumably facing west?

The second setup was facing the main part of our camp, which served as a decent wind block. If you have a solid tarp with an "open" end, I'd recommend facing it toward something stable, like your car.
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Hoolie » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:03 pm

misterdj wrote:I've been contemplating on what type of shade structure I could use that is easy to travel with and something I can use again in the future.

I read on here that some people have used the Kelty Noah. I'm thinking about buying the 12x12 model being my tent is 9x9 and 6ft tall.

I really like this configuration but was wondering how it would hold up against wind. If so, which direction should it face?
http://theshadowshop.blogspot.com/2010/ ... -tarp.html

Also, any other recommended configurations that would work for my size tent.

Thanks.

I like the looks of those Noah's tarps because they have so many guyout points. Seems like you could come up with a lot of different configurations with them. I imagine for a small tent with a door at the front, one could try this configuration. As mentioned above, the open end in this setup would ideally face some sort of wind block. (I just sketched this up in Photoshop. I have not pitched one like this for real.)

noah.jpg


Since this thread topic emphasizes morning shade, you will notice that these tarps are pitched very close to the ground. That's because the sun starts beaming through at a very low angle in the morning, so you will need that side of the tent covered all the way to the ground. Not sure if you can accomplish that with a 12x12 tarp over your somewhat large tent. My playa tent is about the same size, and I build a fairly large shade structure over it.
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby misterdj » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:29 am

Thanks for your input and help Hoolie. Like you said, those tarps are for smaller tents and pretty much won't cut it for my size tent. Someone else on here recommended the Kelty Sunshade. I'll contemplating that one. If not, Im shit out of luck and will basically use my minivan as some type of shade.

http://www.rei.com/product/808947/kelty-sunshade-large

Thanks again.
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Hoolie » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:18 am

dj, I have no direct experience with the Kelty Sunshade, but I have seen them on the playa. Perhaps someone who has used one can chime in. It would be better than nothing as long as it fits over your tent. You could clip some extra fabric to the opening that faces the morning sun to extend your morning sleep.* Otherwise, you could use it as a general daytime shelter. It is nice to have shade to put your chair under to escape the heat of the day. If you do get one, make sure to use all of those handy guy-out points.

*Edit: I see they also sell an "accessory wall" for additional shade:
http://www.kelty.com/p-133-sunshade-accessory-wall.aspx
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby misterdj » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:45 am

I'm going ahead with the Sunshade. Bought some tough paracord to tie that sucker down. I also have all-weather blankets from last year to use as walls for the shade. As you said, something is better than nothing. Thanks.
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby nita » Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:57 pm

Hi all,
I'm thinking about trying to make a structure a little bigger, with the design in Hoolie's picture with the four posts. I want one big enough to fit 2 x 2person tents under.
With that size though I wonder if tent poles are too flimsy? Any recommendations as to what I should use instead? And should I make it 6 poles to hold up the middle?
This is the first time I will have erected any kind of shade structure so I'm trying to keep the whole thing simple, plus I only have limited car space for transporting materials.
Thanks for your help!
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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Bob » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:56 pm

Read all the shade & tent threads NOW, experiment in your yard or a park NOW.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Re: Simple Morning Shade for Small Backpacking Tent

Postby Hoolie » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:18 am

nita, as a reference, keep in mind that the first pic shows an 8'x10' tarp over a two-person tent, and it's just barely covering it. For a tarp to cover two tents in the second configuration, you'd probably have to go more than double that size. At that stage, I take it to the next level, and build an emt (electrical conduit) frame. However, if you want to keep it as simple as possible, here's how I'd go:

Large tarps are cumbersome to work with. So, instead of one large tarp, I'd probably go with two moderately sized tarps, each sized around 8'x12' or thereabouts, with the longer end folded to make the wall and roof. Don't go with the cheap blue tarps. Get the heavier duty silver tarps or shade net, and make sure they have grommets on all sides. I would use six poles instead of four. You can overlap the two tarps at one edge, giving you a double grommeted "middle seam" that you can mount on the two center poles.

sketch.jpg


Now the key to making shelters like these strong instead of "flimsy" is guylines, so bring plenty of rope and stakes (these take up very little space in your car). If you set it up as in the sketch, but it doesn't seem strong enough, you can double up on the guylines, especially at the corners, with one line running forward and one line running sideways from a single pole. Obviously, you will also stake the bottom edge of the "wall" to the ground, and you can use as many stakes there as you feel is necessary. Also, learn a good knot if you don't know one already. The taut-line hitch I linked to in the first post is my favorite because it is a slipknot (length-adjustable) so you can really tighten it down. It just takes a little practice, which you can do in your leisure time in front of the TV or whatever.

Note, I have just sketched this up, but have never pitched this setup. It should work, but as Bob said, I would get the materials asap and start experimenting in your backyard or what have you. It would probably be easiest to have at least two people setting it up.
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