Tent mod questions

10:08 a.m. on June 27, 2012 (EDT)
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I've been loving the redesigned Eureka Spitfire so far, but I can see room for improvement, and I know I'll be pushing the season later. The fly has long front panels that need guy out points to keep it off the mesh in bad weather and heavy condensation. I've used strong plastic clothespins tied to guy lines, and I've whittled a painter's stir stick into a notched brace that adds space between the body and the fly at the nose stake outs, but I'd like a more permanent solution. How should I add guy out points midway along the seams of the fly?

Also, it's a tent of much mesh, which is fine right now, but I'm going to wish that bathtub floor was eight inches higher once the cold winds start blowing precipitation sideways. What's the best way to add a wind-blocking panel to a mesh wall?

My other tent is MEC's excellent Tarn 2, an alpine tent that spoiled me, but I don't want to solo with a 5 pound tent until winter makes me. Thanks in advance, wonderful Trailspace people.

10:18 a.m. on June 27, 2012 (EDT)
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Hmmm... Well this kinda makes me think that the best option would be to get another tent specifically for the colder seasons or make up for the 5lbs of the Tarn 2 by dropping some weight elsewhere in your kit.

First and foremost if you mod your tent your warranty is toast.

The only way I could see to add guyouts to the fly would be to stitch them in.

If you truly want to do this and do not know how to a company like Rainy Pass could probably perform the work for you:


Maybe you could "glue" hook and loop to the bottom of the tent where the floor ends up to the height that you feel is adequate and then purchase some fabric from a supplier.

This will give you the ability to add an extension if and when ya need it.

I typically do not mod my gear(other than add beefier stakes, etc.) for the whole warranty thing I mentioned above.

If you do this and something happens to the tent you are pretty much stuck like chuck and will probably have to pay out of pocket for the repairs necessary or purchase a new tent all together.

See Limits of Responsibility:


11:01 a.m. on June 27, 2012 (EDT)
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712 forum posts

I love the idea of modding gear to make ideal for YOU.

With respect to adding guylines, I have used these with success on tarps and I see no reason why they would not work on any fly. They are actually quite brilliant and do not require sewing, etc:




Yes, I had a Tarn 2 as my first tent and it is really heavy.  It actually came to just over 6lbs on my scale.

11:09 a.m. on June 27, 2012 (EDT)
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Is it a Eureka Spitfire 1 or 2? If it is a 2 then adding more material to cover the mesh would have you pushing 5# anyway. If it is a 1, you could add some Velcro to the mesh and hang some breathable  poly material from it. And use those worthless door tie ups too.  As far as the rain fly don't touch it. Anything you might sew on might cause leakage.

I have the same problem with the foot area of my Cobra tent. I use a stick and a tarp clip for a guy out point. It works but it isn't perfect. Seems like you have the same thing going on. Heck what fun would your travels be if you weren't trying to fix this? In a strange way this has become part of my backpacking experience.  Is that just kind of sad? :P 

7:54 a.m. on June 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Attaching guy out points can be done by your local shop/luggage repair shop.  Get the guy ring and some flat nylon material strap for this purpose, and take it to the cobbler.  Should cost between $5 - $10 per for one guy loop; less per guy if doing several.  Make sure your design is strong enough that the fly doesn't rip if a wind tugs at the guy line.

As for the rain issue, I would get another tent.  MSR Hubba series is a good 3 season model for rain; the fly is full length, and the tent light.  There are several other UL tents with full length flies good for your application.


10:19 a.m. on June 28, 2012 (EDT)
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I seem to recall a diagram in The Complete Walker that addressed this.  I think it involved putting a ping-pong ball on the inside of the fly, then wrapping cord around the outside to guy out.  Light, simple, and I'm not so sure about sturdy!

11:34 a.m. on June 28, 2012 (EDT)
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270 forum posts

Thanks, everybody! I wish I could have tents for all seasons, but it was budget that led me to the Eureka in the first place, and I count myself lucky to get a decent lightweight tent for under a hundred dollars new. I like those Grip Clips, FamilyGuy, and I will look for a Canadian supplier. I'm in a very remote area, and the only people sewing professionally are the ladies that hem pants, so I'd be on my own if I sewed in tabs. Thanks for the warranty reminder, Rick, I hadn't thought of that.  I'm guessing velcro tape and more of my weedblock fabric :) will make decent panels that won't add more than a few grams. And Seth, that trick is well known to Newfoundlanders, except we wrap the tarp around a marble or a round pebble, and it's neat to see it suggested by a mainlander! I worry about the wear and creasing maybe creating a leak if I tried it mid-panel instead of at a corner, though. Perhaps I should stick with the plastic-clip-and-cord thing, it works and it does no damage. Trailspace, I'm glad I found you.

12:57 p.m. on June 28, 2012 (EDT)
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270 forum posts

Actually, another thought. What if, instead of sewing, I wanted to glue on grommet tabs? Sewing would involve opening the seams, to give it some strength and avoid tearing, and then I'd have a leaky mess, no doubt, so that's not on. Is there a glue that would stick to a rainfly I've already sprayed with silicone waterproofing? Or would that also lead to leaking? I'm already past Eureka's 30 day warranty, fortunately with a good test run (30 days! That's not good, Eureka), so I guess I can mod my little heart out.

10:04 p.m. on June 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Would the grommet be on a seem? If so, I would open the seam just enough to insert the fabric loop leaving around 1.5" on the inside of the fly. Then re-sew the seam. On the underside of the fly, take the ends of the loop and spread one end down and the other end up and sew the ends to the rain fly. Then seam seal the heck out of it.

6:21 p.m. on September 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Once found some coated nylon fabric at the local fabric store which made a great tarp once it's width was doubled. Never finished the edges as originally planned nor insert the grommets that were purchased for the purpose. When using as a fly over a hammock, used a pebble or two tucked into a fold around which the guylines were tied to... short sticks or acorns, etc worked as well.

11:20 a.m. on September 5, 2012 (EDT)
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Natives in the North frequently pull narrow tobbagans on snowshoes.  I have used dogs to pull small plastic sleds on overnight x-c ski trips.  Then bringing a 5 pound tent is no problem.  To be safe and comfortable in winter takes more equipment.  Working with a dog is especially rewarding and warm to sleep with at night.

My favorite winter set-up is a Whelen lean-to with a fire in front of it.  It makes the long nights and short days much more tolerable and even enjoyable.  All the clothes get dried out.  You can watch the snow roll in.


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