Apr 26, 2014 at 10:47 am #1316090
I need to appeal to you experienced TrailStar owners. I picked up one in Gear Swap, and I've been geeking out with it all week. I've pitched it high, low, and medium. I've canted the center pole to the side successfully, and I've even lashed 2 trekking poles to form an inverted V. This allows me to sleep right in the center of the coverage. Now my big question–how do you close off the door opening when the great rain storm comes, to keep the inside dry when the wind shifts?
Here's my low pitch, with the canted single pole arrangement:
The only thing I've come up with is to create enough slack on the front guy line to allow the pole (a stick in this case) to lie on the ground out of the way. Then I folded the seams of the "beak" over and over until the front was flat and taut, and I used a small binder clip to keep it that way. This is with the inverted V 2-pole setup, which you can't see with the door sealed up. But you can see that things are pretty taut, except for the door panel itself. It's hard to get that perfect, but it seems OK.
I figure I could do this closure thing from the inside, for quick access to open things up for the midnight pee break. Then back to the shelter, and close it back up again from inside. The photo shows that there is still a bit of exposure to the driving rain. I'm not sure what else I could do to better seal out the elements, short of having an umbrella inside with me to protect at least my head and shoulder ares (and increasing my base weight). What do you people do to more fully close the front door opening to create a completely rain-proof shelter?Apr 26, 2014 at 11:11 am #2096568
David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: The West Slope
Get out and restake at least 2, and probably 3, of the corners to lower all sides to the ground. Probably have to drop the center pole a hair first.
Do what most TS owners have done: sell it and buy a mid.Apr 26, 2014 at 11:17 am #2096570
Gary, you really don't. It only pitches one way, up or down in height. I have seen some use an umbrella to block the entrance.
"Do what most TS owners have done: sell it and buy a mid."
LOL. That's exactly what I did.Apr 26, 2014 at 11:30 am #2096574
icefest From AustraliaMember
I don't usually change that once it's up.
Not being worried about bears here in Australia I just put my pack at the doorway (when as a group of two, stand them up and you have a decent door).
The other thing that you can try (and what I suspect you might've misunderstood)is that you can pitch all 5 corners low to the ground, then leave one corner loose, crawl under, and then pull it tight. That's AIFAIR the only way to get 360° wind + rain protection.
Lastly you can pitch it like a -mid:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=25431&nid=222493Apr 26, 2014 at 11:46 am #2096578
Ben CBPL Member
I think you'll find its plenty weatherproof in virtually all conditions with a small door open. Just slide to the back if it blows.Apr 26, 2014 at 12:07 pm #2096583
Ivo VanmontfortBPL Member
dutch report on my blog you will find a You Tube video (skipp 45 seconds) to illustrate my solution for this problem.Apr 26, 2014 at 12:25 pm #2096587
OK, so I see how this is going–the boys up north make me cry, and the boys down south (and Robert is way south) make me grin again. I just want to be able to get in and out of the sucker during a heavy rain without getting my bag wet. There must be a way to do this, without having to crawl on my belly through the mud like a reptile. The Buddhist in me says that either I'll figure it out, or else I won't.
No real matter, as I have 2 other setups that weigh the same as the TS–a Contrail, which is fairly OK in moderate wind/rain and is bug proof, and then my modified GoLite SL-1 without the nest, which is great in strong winds with driving rain. Both of these have a smaller footprint too. Still, the TrailStar is just so damned sexy looking.
Thanks for your responses, guys.Apr 26, 2014 at 12:27 pm #2096589
icefest From AustraliaMember
That's genius. I'm definitely copying that. I think I'll use some grosgrain to limit abrasion though.Apr 26, 2014 at 12:33 pm #2096592
Ivo, that is a superb technique. I'll try it now myself. Thanks for sharing it. Maybe my solution will come from the east of me, after all.Apr 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm #2096602
David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: The West Slope
Ivo's solution is a good one, great idea. Another approach, which works well if you're more worried about precip than wind, is to make the door narrow and tall, then loosen a corner to make the entrance bigger when going in and out. Sheds snow better, and still sheds wind pretty well.Apr 26, 2014 at 1:59 pm #2096606
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
seems like a pyramid with zipper works betterApr 26, 2014 at 2:08 pm #2096610
@hjuan99Locale: Mountain West
Wow….that is a very interesting pitch idea….and you would only need one pole now instead of two.
But, to echo several other posters on this thread…I also sold my trailstar to buy a cuben supermid (still in production…10 weeks is a long time).
The trailstar gets a lot of love in the forums. But for me, the footprint is too large, and the setup too finicky (I keep having to move stakes around to get a nice pitch. With a mid…I think I have to move 1 stake on average every 3-4 pitches.Apr 26, 2014 at 2:17 pm #2096613
I agree that a pyramid with a zipper is more convenient for entry/exit than the TS. And you have to fiddle a bit with the TS to get things just right. But what I am attracted to is the countless pitching options that the TS offers. It's a unique bundle of silnylon, to be sure.Apr 26, 2014 at 4:30 pm #2096648
Stuart .BPL Member
Want to borrow my cuben door to try it for size? It does a good job of keeping the worst of the conditions out while still allowing decent ventilation.Apr 27, 2014 at 7:17 am #2096763
Hi, Stuart. Any chance that you could post a photo of that cuben door? I actually thought of making one myself, but I think maybe I've come up with another, sort-of-acceptable solution. I'm waiting to see if the sun will come out this morning, for better photos.Apr 27, 2014 at 7:46 am #2096768
Marko BotsarisBPL Member
@millonasLocale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Ivo, I love it. Very nice solution!Apr 27, 2014 at 7:57 am #2096773
It's looking like the rain will come any time now, so I went ahead and took some photos of what I think might work to keep the heavy rain at bay, sort of. The first shot is of the TrailStar pitched low and taut, using a canted pole. By the way, how much cant can you get away with before something fails? Is mine too much, or can I do even more? An inverted V with 2 poles lashed together is probably the best arrangement, as far as creating a large sleeping space in the center of the tarp. But that implies that I would need to find the right stick to support the front opening. By the way, my binder clip idea failed miserably–the first big wind gust popped the clip right off the slippery silnylon.
Warning–this technique is something only a mother could love.
The next photo shows the front dropped to the ground, with the linelock pinned down to minimize flapping in the wind. There's plenty of sagging of the front 3 sides, and wind would play havoc with it, but at least the rain should be kept at bay.
The linelock is held down with a 13" version of the Stix I sell. I usually carry 2 of these and 4 regular length Stix. Here I am using the four regular 10" Stix to pin down the centers of the side panels. It's easy to release the linelock from the Stix to get out, and to secure it when I'm back inside after my quick little jaunt outside.
Keep in mind that here in the Rockies, where I do my camping, rain doesn't usually last very long, and all that is needed is a short-term fix to keep the bag protected during a big downpour.
I told you that this is a fairly crappy solution, but it should work OK. Stuart, I await the photo of your cuben door.Apr 27, 2014 at 8:06 am #2096777
William ChiltonBPL Member
Gary, I don't have a Trailstar, but why don't you cant the pole toward the front, keep the door open and sleep at the back of the tarp (perpendicular to the door)?Apr 27, 2014 at 8:19 am #2096780
Ken T.BPL Member
Would this be of use to you Gary?Apr 27, 2014 at 9:22 am #2096792
William, you're no doubt right about that sleeping arrangement. The back of the TS is pretty much rain proof when pitched right to the ground. There's only the issue of having to get around the canted pole in order to get in and out of the tarp.
Thanks for that link, Ken. It was quite interesting to see what folks have done to seal off the entrance. I expect that Stuart's cuben door is one he bought from Oookworks. And with Ron's suggestion of strengthing the hang loops with SilNet and a silnylon patch, this seems like the best of all solutions. It looks like there's a decent amount of protected ventilation above the Oookworks door.
I think that the best thing for me to do is just get out and use this tarp, and see if there's really anything that needs to be done. I might well be imagining a problem that doesn't actually exist.Apr 27, 2014 at 1:42 pm #2096901
Kyle MeyerBPL Member
@kylemeyerLocale: Portland, OR
I think everybody is overthinking this. If you're at risk of the wind shifting, pitch the trailstar with some protection at the door–a tree, a bush, or a hill. I've spent maybe 100 nights in a trailstar in every season and biome and haven't needed to drop the door.Apr 27, 2014 at 1:53 pm #2096906
Nah, Kyle, I was the only one that was truly overthinking things–everyone else was just trying to help. Well, the UK folks probably are in need of solving this issue, due to their rain, wind, and often treeless terrain. Thanks for your post, as it raises my confidence that things will work out well for me and my TrailStar.
But I still haven't learned how much I can cant my trekking pole before something bad happens. Any thoughts?Apr 27, 2014 at 3:22 pm #2096934
Martin RyeBPL Member
Living in the UK and having used one a lot I don't see an issue. Pitch the front low, and sleep in the back area right angles to the door. Way back and you won't notice any rain that would blow in.
But as DaveC said, and I did – sell it and get a Mid. Less hassle, more usable head room and that door stops all the hassle. I miss the TS for it's amazing wind resistance, but nothing else.Apr 27, 2014 at 3:32 pm #2096940
Stuart .BPL Member
I just saw the updates to this thread. Yes, it's the door from a cottage manufacturer now hunkered down in the lowlands of Scotland, facing a lot of criticism for non-fulfillment of orders in anything close to a reasonable timeframe.
I'll be happy to lend it to you so you can reverse engineer a MYOG version. Very simple to be honest. It's a trapezoid with four bungee tie-outs at the corners that hook into the mid-seam mitten hooks. It follows the angle of the seam down to the stakes at the foot of the entrance. I used it this winter in a swirling snowstorm and it kept 90% or more of the precipitation out of the shelter.
I'm en route to Orlando and then DC for work this week, but if you can wait till Thursday or Friday I'm sure we can find a place to meet up in town. In the meantime I'll see if I have any photos on the hard drive I have with me.
Edit: I found a couple of so-so photos on my phone. Here's one from the inside, which makes it look a bit more exposed than it really is:May 16, 2014 at 2:20 am #2102807
Inaki Diaz de EturaBPL Member
@inaki-1Locale: Iberia highlands
Ivo (or anyone else actually),
I don't get the geometry of your pitch. Since the Trailstar is a flat pentagon, it cannot take a pyramid shape and have a straight, 5 sided, taut perimeter at the same time, hence the need for a "door". What am I missing?
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