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Hiking Pole Supported Tents & a tip

I now own my 2nd hiking pole supported tent, a Tarptent Notch Li. The first was a 2005 Tarptent Contrail, long ago sold. 

So...Tarptent now has optional "pole handle adaptors" for those of us who dislike having our handles and straps in the dirt and mud. And the little adaptor "cups", which tie into the tent peak grommets with their built in cords, fit almost any commercial pole handle. This means they likely could be used in other hiking pole supported tents with grommets (meant to receive the pole tips). Or, failing that, you may be able to sew them in. 

Take a look on theTT site under "accessories" and maybe you will find them useful. HINT: I always use rubber tips on my hiking poles for better grip on rocks. As a bonus they keep the pole tips from sinking into the ground when used to support a tent. 

Eric B.

I gor those woth my tarptent in 2017 but ended up switching back to the standard upside down pole configuration after a few trips. Just too fiddly to set up compared to the quick pitch especially since I hike in rain a lot.

We have had several threads about those rubber tips over the last couple of years...I go from using them back to not using as they wear out fast. They do grip rocks better.

Never tried them but I might in certain areas. While sleeping in my Tarptent Stratospire with the pole grips down, I had the cork on the handles of my Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork poles almost completely chewed off by some critters one night last year on Mt Sterling in the GSMNP. rats? squirrels? I dunno...

I still set up the shelter with pole tip up, and I just cut a small piece of tyvek to wrap around the handle plus a rubber band to secure it. Weighs nothing, costs nothing, and deters critters.

You can make your own tent poles for these kind of hiking pole supported tents.

.742 inch pole sections can be configured in custom lengths to use as aluminum tent poles.  With this solution you can dispense with hiking poles if desired or use just one pole for backpacking as I do---and if a hiking pole snaps in half you won't be without tent poles.



I permanently tied my pole handle adaptors to the tent through the grommets. With the Velcro closure I find them fast to use. Did you tie them in? They have to be tied through the grommet for a secure pitch. I think Tarptent is the only fabricator offering this option.


I'll bet your pole handles were chewed by a porcupine. They love the salt from your sweat. Your experience brings up one more reason why "handles up" is a good practice. 

Walter, Tentpole Technology sells various diameters and wall thickness poles and will pre-bend if you give them theta they request. The physics of metal poles is that greater diameter = greater strength, given proper wall thickness.

The whole point of hiking pole supported tents is to not carry tent poles. However i realize not everyone likes to use hiking poles so your chart is helpful to them so they can take an informed choice of poles.

Eric B.

Eric...I had to look back at some notes (a never-finished gear review) to see why I stopped using them a couple of years ago. I tied them in, and found them relatively easy to use, but stopped for two reasons:

  1. For dark and/or rainy camps, I found it much easier to set up the Stratospire tip up without looking...being able to feel the poles into the socket was much quicker for me so no fiddling and letting water in. Personal preference.
  2. On a windy night (20+ mph) I switched from tip down to tip up and there was a marked difference in tent stability. Having the thinner section of the pole at the base led to a bit more shaking as the gusts picked up. The tent was staked and guyed well and in no danger woth either setup...I just liked it better with a bit more stability tip up in my often exposed windy campsites. time we run into each other in the hills remind me to bring mine and you can try them out if you like.

Oh, and I doubt it was a porcupine chewing Patmans handles...way too far out of their range. Good to know for trips west though!

Chipmunks or mice is my bet.


The shaking in wind that your experienced with the thinner sections down low may be some kind of "science thingy" of physics. If I ever have high winds in my Notch Li I'll try reversing my pole.

BUT... I have added fly hem stake loops, 2 on each side of my Notch, and I'll very likely have the fly edged nailed down to prevent flapping. In that caseI may not experience a shaking with the pole handles up.

You're probably right I just need a research grant so I can build a wind tunnel and do some testing...

The tie downs would do it I bet...have to think about that.  My favorite local spot has some nice views but is exposed and windy on a regular basis.


We've exchanged posts so often over the years I feel I know you.

My fav spot is near 10,000 ft. in a Ponderosa forest beside a "babbling brook" called Deer Creek. Just barely enough space for my Moment DW or Notch. Then I hike up to near 11,000 ft. to get above treeline and see spectacular views.

Eric B.

You have described your favorite spot before and I am jealous...sounds perfect.

My wife and I are off to mine again this weekend for our anniversary trip. a photo of your fly hem loops that you added? I might play with the same idea for my Stratospire 1.

I do but my photo size gets rejected for having too many MB so I'll try to re-size them.

May 28, 2022
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