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View Full Version : The Tarptent Contrail Revisited (thoughts after my thru-hike)



McBride
01-11-2010, 23:24
I'm putting this here so that It doesn't confuse things on another thread of mine. I finished a NOBO thru-hike this year and wanted to talk about the gear that I brought. The Contrail is what I brought on the trail and I would highly recommend it but the new Tarptent Moment looks pretty great as well.


The Tarptent Contrail was great for the trail. The condensation wasn't really an issue. It is definitly there but didn't cause any problems. If you do choose the Contrail you should use Franco's storm setup. It is great. An ~18 section of tent pole that you must get seperately is used at the bottom giving the entire top of the tent a 'ridgeline' which sheds rain and snow. Mine survived a snowstorm with no worries and no loss of foot room.

The setup can be found here:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=17299

and here

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=42232&highlight=COntrail


Setting up the tent is actually very simple, and an excellent tent when setup properly. If not done well it can flap around and be generally frustrating so I'll describe it in detail. No offense if it is overly obvious or simplistic. Note: I positioned the body of the rear of the tent halfway up the adjustable height for best ventilation.

I used 5 stakes (4 X Nobendium, one at each corner, and 1 X GoLite Y for the rear center pole)
Roll out tent (preferably with the wind hitting the foot of the tent, but it almost never does in the wild)
At foot of tent place left strut vertical and stake at 45 degrees
While holding left strut in place, positon right strut so that width of tent is taught
once placed, hold and stake right strut at 45 degrees ( the other one will fall over but no worries)
At head of tent the left and right corner guylines should have an inch or so of line pulled through the plastic tightener and tied off around the tightener as well (I don't adjust the front guylines).
Set hiking pole to 125cm and place pointy side DOWN with handle at peak of tent
While holding the pole nearly vertical, while standing pull towards the front and move top of pole left and right until the two rear poles are evenly taut and centered. (they should be less floppy now and mostly vertical)
While holding the hiking pole in place pull the left guyline towards the front of tent off to the side
Then while insuring the hiking pole is still vertical take the right guyline and move it to the right and forward until its taut across the front, and mostly taut from front to back.
All of the adjustment is at the rear.
Tighten the two rear guylines until the tent develops a nice tight shape.
Finally place the extra 18 inch pole vertically in the center at the foot of the tent with the guyline travelling over the top of the pole and staked straight back. I used a couple of sticks jammed into the hole at the top of the pole and placed the guyline between them and pulled back to stake.
It should look like this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27820401@N08/4268032306/sizes/o/


http://www.flickr.com/photos/27820401@N08/4267286151/sizes/o/

This is what it looked like in the snow, note that the rear hasn't collapsed and that meant that my sleeping bag didn't touch the sides and thus stayed dry.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27820401@N08/4268032246/sizes/o/

Hopefully that helps.

McBride
01-11-2010, 23:29
I guess you can't post pics...

anyways it should look like this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27820401@N08/4268032306/sizes/o/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27820401@N08/4267286151/sizes/o/

This is what it looked like in the snow, note that the rear hasn't collapsed and that meant that my sleeping bag didn't touch the sides and thus stayed dry.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27820401@N08/4268032246/sizes/o/

Ender
01-12-2010, 12:17
I guess you can't post pics...

anyways it should look like this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27820401@N08/4268032306/sizes/o/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27820401@N08/4267286151/sizes/o/

This is what it looked like in the snow, note that the rear hasn't collapsed and that meant that my sleeping bag didn't touch the sides and thus stayed dry.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27820401@N08/4268032246/sizes/o/


Hey, where were those photos taken? Looks a lot like a campsite I like in Harriman in NY.

McBride
01-12-2010, 16:20
Hey, where were those photos taken? Looks a lot like a campsite I like in Harriman in NY.

If its overlooking a highway that like 750 ft below then its probably the same one. can't remember exactly where. I think you're right though.

McBride
01-12-2010, 16:22
Mile 791.6 is the west mountain shelter and its maybe .4 past that to the left just off the AT I believe. Good eye, I cropped the hell out of the pic.