Nov 3, 2009 at 4:09 am #1241338
Just got a used Gatewood Cape, and spent about an hour trying to get it setup.
It seems like it will do well for me. At 5' 10.5", I just barely fit, but it's hard to argue with 11 oz.
However, the setup directions leave much to be desired. I tried repeatedly to get a taut pitch with mixed success.
Clearly, the learning curve on this type of shelter is fairly steep. Can anyone provide some help for a newbie Gatewoodian?
StargazerNov 3, 2009 at 5:20 am #1542122
@figsterLocale: Central Arkansas
I stake the rear of the cape first. Then I square the rear corners and stake those down. After tightening the rear three staked spots I'll place stakes loosely at the other two front corners so as I know nearly where they're going. If you got the back three right, your trekking pole can then be put to the grommet and be held up at an obtuse angle by the tension of the back three staked areas.
Stake the front two right corners, adjust your pole, then stake the door! Adjust everything from there.
JackNov 3, 2009 at 6:09 am #1542124
@thinairLocale: 6237' - Manitou Springs
It's also been suggested to set the pole a bit higher than the instructions specify to create a bit more space in fair weather, you can lower the pitch when necessary.Nov 3, 2009 at 6:43 am #1542129
Yes – but its under 12oz. Fit be damned!Nov 3, 2009 at 6:51 am #1542130
"Yes – but its under 12oz. Fit be damned!"
Everyone should think like I do! Differences be damned!Nov 3, 2009 at 7:44 am #1542138
Using gear that will not work for you just because of the weight is comical.
Get a Tarptent.Nov 3, 2009 at 7:52 am #1542143
I'm starting to think tarptents come with subliminal messages and Henry is slowly forming a tarptent army…
But anyway, I'm 5'11" and I fit in a GC easily.
I do recommend setting the pole a little higher than the instructions indicate and also using a second pole on the head end to give yourself a little more room.Nov 3, 2009 at 7:55 am #1542145
>Using gear that will not work for you just because of the weight is comical.
Get a Tarptent.
Geesh, David. This is your second negative comment of this kind. Chill. :-)
I have a Tarptent. In fact, I have several Tarptents. I love my Tarptents.
I didn't say the Gatewood didn't fit me. I said I barely fit. Part of the fun of backpacking for me is experimenting with different configurations and pushing my physical limits.
If you have any positive suggestions about pitching the Gatewood, I'd be glad to hear them.
Speaking of which, the suggestions have been really good so far. Thanks to all who have provided help for the help.
I guess I have been spoiled by my Contrail and Moment. Such easy pitches. The trade-off for weight reduction is often convenience.
StargazerNov 3, 2009 at 8:01 am #1542149
"Using gear that will not work for you just because of the weight is comical. Get a Tarptent."
Again, thinking that everyone should think like you do or they're 'comical' is ….. comical (you had to see that coming). Your definition of what "works" for someone isn't necessarily their definition. Tom said it was a tight fit. He didn't say it didn't work for him. Every option has tradeoffs, from tarp/bivy to tarptent to bomber tent. How quickly we lose sight of HYOH when we decide something is ridiculous based on how we would personally approach something.
I believe Tom was asking for ideas on how to better pitch his cape, not looking for paternalistic advice on what gear he should 'really' have. But that's just my own 'comical' opinion.Nov 3, 2009 at 8:03 am #1542150
> I do recommend . . . using a second pole on the head end to give yourself a little more room.
Clever. What knots do you use to tie it off, and where (or how) do you tie off the"head" knot? (Can't quite make it out in the photo.)
Also, I notice that some of you take the instructions' suggestion to add an extra cord at the front stakedown points to add a bit of extra ventilation. How long do you make them? (Is the length critical to get a good pitch?)
Again, thanks for the help,
StargazerNov 3, 2009 at 8:08 am #1542153
"Your definition of what "works" for someone isn't necessarily their definition."
I didn't have to create a definition of what works for him. He provided that in the first post.
It's MY opinion. You give yours; I give mine.
You view my response as paternalistic. I view yours as policing.
If he doesn't like my answer then ignore it. Why can't you?Nov 3, 2009 at 8:13 am #1542155
>>> Clever. What knots do you use to tie it off, and where (or how) do you tie off the top knot? <<<
My Gatewood Cape (which I just sold last week) had a tie out point already there so I just girth hitched it with cord, ran the cord out to my pole, wrapped it a couple of times around the pole handle, then staked it…
>>> Also, I notice that some of you take the instructions' suggestion to add an extra cord at the front stakedown points to add a bit of extra ventilation. How long do you make them? (Is the length critical to get a good pitch?)<<<
IIRC I added 6" guylines all the way around. I think this was in the instructions I received. Edit: so what I meant to convey was that I never tried pitching without the added guylines so can't fully answer your question…
BTW I loved the Cape. I only sold it because I moved to a cuben fiber tarp (3.5 ounces), DIAD jacked (8.5 ounces), and cuben rain skirt (0.8 ounces) which weighs only slightly more than the Cape and works better for the rough terrain I travel in most often.
But the Cape is an awesome lightweight solution that works for tons of people, and compare the cost of the Cape to my current set up and dollar-for-dollar and ounce-for-ounce it's an excellent piece of gear imo.Nov 3, 2009 at 8:17 am #1542157
"If he doesn't like my answer then ignore it. Why can't you?"
Gosh, so quick to give advice that you just can't seem to take yourself. Heck, I'm easy to ignore, my dogs do it all the time.Nov 3, 2009 at 8:21 am #1542158
>My Gatewood Cape (which I just sold last week) had a tie out point already there . . .
Ah, yes. Missed it the first time.
P.S. I saw somewhere that somebody using a second pole at the front, i.e., off of the vestibule, but now i can't find the reference.Nov 3, 2009 at 8:36 am #1542168
Below is a link to the PDF downloadable instructions that I used when first learning how to pitch the cape. In that document, Ron recommends cutting a 16" piece of cord then tying loops in each end. I did exactly that, and I think after tying the knots I ended up with 8" guylines but maybe they were 10" can't remember.
One thing I was going to do befire I switched to the tarp system was buy five or six 0.1 ounce mini biners to make attaching those guylines faster in order to go from poncho to shelter mode faster in the rain. Clipping a mini beaner is a lot faster than girth hitching them, especially with cold hands. (Leaving the guylines on in poncho mode is a pita imo.)Nov 3, 2009 at 8:36 am #1542169
"Gosh, so quick to give advice that you just can't seem to take yourself. Heck, I'm easy to ignore, my dogs do it all the time."
Hey Chuckles, he has ignored my advice. You haven't.Nov 3, 2009 at 9:51 am #1542193
I have 18" guylines with a loop at one end (to pass through the ribbon tieout) for each point. It gives me the option to either use the guyline (I use the nano guylines and micro-tensioners from BPL) or to stake the GC directly to the ground. With a loop for the stake I probably have a maximum guyline length of about 14" (which raises the "wall" about 8"). Here's a photo:
You can see that I also use the additional tieout with my second hiking pole above my head on the left.
I leave my guylines attached to my GC and then take them off when I'm using it in the rain. I carry a GoLite Ether windshirt and that's my first level of rain defense. If it gets bad enough to put on the Cape I take the guylines off after I'm wearing it. It takes a minute or two but I find that I like the ventilation of the guylines when sleeping and rarely need to hike in it. Personal preference.Nov 3, 2009 at 10:30 am #1542206
"Hey Chuckles, he has ignored my advice. You haven't."
Bwwwaaaaa haaaaaaa haaaaaaa …. oops, that was more than a chuckle, wasn't it. Gotta work on that.
Golly gee whiz Poppa Dave, I guess I just don't feel all that compelled to pay much attention to your advice, whether that be following or ignoring it. Don't think that will be changing any time soon.
He he he (now THAT'S a chuckle. And they said I was too old to learn…..)Nov 3, 2009 at 10:30 am #1542207
I like this solution because it's adjustable overnight as you get that silnylon sag, and it makes adjustment at setup time a bit easier — with perhaps a bit less restaking, a pretty painful prospect in Ohio's hard and rocky ground.
Sadly, BPL doesn't stock the tensioner/ guyline combo anymore. Does anybody have any ideas about another source?
StargazerNov 3, 2009 at 10:45 am #1542214
@leadfootLocale: Middle Virginia
Doesn't MLD sell the tensioner/guyline combo?Nov 3, 2009 at 10:45 am #1542215
JacksRBetter has these, if this is what you're looking for. And they're on sale!
There was also a thread elsewhere on making your own. Got the URL at home, I'll send it to you tonight.Nov 3, 2009 at 10:46 am #1542216
"And they said I was too old to learn….."
I think they were right….Nov 3, 2009 at 10:49 am #1542217
I got some here…Nov 3, 2009 at 10:53 am #1542222
Ah, Tom, if this is what you're looking for, I've got some I can send you, no charge. Came from MLD, but I bought more than I needed. Just let me know and I'll throw them in an envelope.Nov 3, 2009 at 10:56 am #1542223
Ron at Mountain Laurel Designs offers something that looks very similar to the BPL nano setup – Look under shelters at MountainLaurelDesigns.com.
I don't think it's quite as light as the nano cord, but the tensioners look to be about the same so the cord can't be much heavier – especially for the line quantity you'd need.
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