View Full Version : CDT-capable Homemade Shelter recommendations?

12-15-2009, 15:18
In 2008 and 2009 I thru-hiked the PCT northbound. In 2008 I used a two-wall Sierra Designs Lightyear, in 2009 I used a Henry Shires Contrail. I was satisfied with both but was really happy with the contrail. However, mysteriously, during the hitch back to where I live in Bellingham, WA I managed to lose my Contrail. I have no idea where it went or how I could've lost it, it was just gone. Sad, too, since I had planned to use it on the CDT this year.

But that leaves me in a position to make my own shelter, as I don't quite have another $200+ to throw down on a good tarptent. I have a friend who has a good sewing machine and experience sewing silnylon and other gear items.

So now we come to the point of this thread. Can anyone recommend a good three-season tarp or tarptent design (it can be floorless but it needs bugnetting) that I could make at home? I know there are lots of designs out there and I'm looking for a recommendation based off experience. I need this tarp or tarptent to be able to handle a few inches of snow (at least) and take a battering from winds. Has anyone tested any of the tarp tents out there in these conditions? I'm going to be southbounding the CDT in 2010 and I need my shelter to survive everything from Montana thunderstorms to early-season Colorado snowfall.

If anyone has tested anything, please share your experience, hopefully with a link to plans to make it!


12-15-2009, 21:06
Henry posts his orignal design on the Tarptent website.

12-16-2009, 20:36
Use a Gatewood Cape??

12-16-2009, 21:29
Design your own...Put the features you liked from both tents into the one you design...


12-17-2009, 00:43
Heh, designing my own is definitely beyond my skills, and I don't have enough spare cash to be experimenting too heavily. I know someone who's already skilled at sewing silnylon/gear or otherwise making my own would be beyond me as well.

However! This thread is now somewhat useless to me, as I've just come to hear, in an epic display of post-hike trail magic, that my Contrail has been located! Another hiker picked it up after I came through and through pure random chance I heard about it today!

Although if anyone has any amazing shelter links, I might still be interested. I could use the proceeds from selling my contrail to buy materials if it was that great of a shelter!