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DCF Shelter failure during a hailstorm in Alaska – Skurka video


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Home Forums Gear Forums Gear (General) DCF Shelter failure during a hailstorm in Alaska – Skurka video

Viewing 25 posts - 101 through 125 (of 143 total)
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  • #3758587
    Kyler B
    BPL Member

    @live4backcountry09

    Locale: Kootenays

    Not much for trees in the northern mountains and some of these storms knock down tons of trees. I think I might attempt to shield myself with my pack and rain gear. As feeble as this might be. If the hail is big enough and the shelter won’t protect you then what do you do? These storms are not all that rare in some areas.

    Maybe stick your head in your bear vault and make a hail helmet ;)

    #3758591
    pesticidefree
    BPL Member

    @sleeping

    Locale: The Cascades

    I’ve been playing Jetpack Joyride 2 long enough that I earned the Invincible power up. Hail don’t bother me now!

    #3758592
    d k
    BPL Member

    @dkramalc

    Kyler, those are actually pretty good ideas should one be caught out in a catastrophic hailstorm (golf ball/baseball sized).  Though I’ve got to laugh at the mental picture of the bear canister helmet!

    #3758715
    Murali C
    BPL Member

    @mchinnak

    I still have lots of life in my 0.5 osy DCF tarp. So, what I have decided to do is just carry half a yard of 0.5 osy DCF fabric and lots of DCF tape in the event of such damage.

    But, for me this event will be pretty rare as I never setup my tarp/tent to avoid rains/hail during the day. My Columbia Outdry jacket works great – never wets out. If I do get caught in a hail storm after I have put up my tarp, I will loosen the tarp, lower the pole – get rid of the tautness. And maybe even get out and use my 1 osy DCF bathtub groundsheet as a cover for my tarp (tarp and groundsheet are not connected).

    At the next convenient point, I may go for a 0.75 osy DCF tarp or tent when the 0.5 osy tarp dies….

    I think carrying the extra half yard of 0.5 osy DCF sheet is a low weight solution which should help you weather the next few days till you get to a town etc.

    #3758738
    JCH
    BPL Member

    @pastyj-2-2

    Murali – I’ve said it before, but the MLD Grace tarp in 0.75 DCF is the most exquisitely crafted shelter I’ve ever seen. Makes me wish I was a tarp guy.

    #3758772
    Murali C
    BPL Member

    @mchinnak

    JCH – I currently have a Zpacks Altaplex tarp which provides 360 protection against the elements….the A-frame tarps which are open at both ends require too much effort I feel to keep the elements out – but people seem to make it work!

    #3758830
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    Murali,

    I’m glad you have the Altaplex,  It looks like it would withstand severe weather.  As far as the DCF is concerned, you are but one of many who have had no problem with it, although there have been photos on BPL of DCF failure unrelated to hail storms.  I would not make a shelter out of it, if only because I’ve not got the skills to work with DCF taping.  My old fashioned nature just feels better with tailoring, sewing and seam sealing woven fabrics, but don’t begrudge those who enjoy lighter weight DCF shelters.

    #3758834
    JCH
    BPL Member

    @pastyj-2-2

    Murali – I agree with you re: protection from the elements.  I tried A-frame tarping (with the DCF Grace Duo) and simply could not get past the lack of protection and the bugs, which are horrible in the SE US.  My comment was simply an acknowledgment of the MLD’s superior construction.

    #3758839
    Daryl and Daryl
    BPL Member

    @lyrad1

    Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth

    I sent this post to my nephew, who has done all 3 of the big thru hikes, His response:

    “My nylon poncho-tarp and bivy are in great shape after the CDT and CT, while my friends have to replace their spendy Z-Packs tents after a single thru-hike. If peace of mind only costs a few extra ounces, I’ll choose that everytime.”

    #3758840
    Murali C
    BPL Member

    @mchinnak

    Sam – my Altaplex + ground sheet is 13 oz. But after my recent experience trying to setup my tent in pouring rain on the JMT, I decided I needed a tent/tarp with bigger vestibules and I picked up a MLD Duomid in 30d silnylon for a good price and it has oodles of vestibule space. It is probably 24 oz – so, a 11 oz weight creep:-) But, I think I can mitigate that with other sacrifices.  And I like to camp above tree line and I don’t want to think about weather…..I will at some point get the MLD Trailstar for European backpacking trips.

    JCH – yes – I have been using MLD Prophet/Burn for the last 3 seasons and I like them a lot! And I like this Doumid as well.

    #3758843
    Murali C
    BPL Member

    @mchinnak

    20.5 oz for the Doumid + 3.5 oz for the DCF bathtub….

    #3758903
    JCH
    BPL Member

    @pastyj-2-2

    Sweet bit of kit Murali

    #3758905
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    Since we just had a fairly intense hailstorm here in Fairbanks – during a month when we hardly ever see such things – I thought I’d read this lengthy thread. For me the weight of a DCF tent and the unlikeliness of a massive hailstorm in the nighttime make it worth the risk. So much can happen out there, and all shelters can fail. A bear swiping your tent (because you’re one of those truly crazy people who think “sleeping with your food” is some sort of deterrent) will ruin any fabric. Other critters might take a nibble. A hailstorm big enough to dent cars (check out some of the midwestern U.S. storms that have resulted in thousands of damaged cars), is going to flatten every tent. Sure, watch the weather, but stuff happens. Sometimes you just have to take your chances and rely upon your skills and grit when disaster strikes. I imagine they did this on the camping trip described.

    I remember a canoe trip long ago in the BWCA. Our crappy tent – nylon of some sort but it was 1970s so who knows – just couldn’t stand up to 3 inches of rain in 9 days. Multiple leaks, small rips, everything sagging. Wind ripping wet fabric. Everything we had was soaked. It just didn’t stop raining for days and days, and we were on an island, far from anything. Couldn’t even change our campsite, because wind and lightning kept us off the lake. I’m sure my parents were worried as can be, but we sang songs, ate lots of food, and stood around smoky fires trying to dry things out between downpours. I remember singing Row Your Boat one night when the standing water under our mattresses started to float things away. You just deal with whatever you’re dealt, and if you worry too much about what might happen, you never go.

    So…I will keep taking my Notch Li, and keep in mind all that I’ve learned over the years about creating makeshift shelters when the need arises. There’s always a way. In the meantime, it’s worth the lighter pack so that I can keep going out.

    #3758965
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    Murali,
    Gracious, you seem to have taken leave of the DCF tents. Certainly, there are advantages to one person with a 2P tent; but that might make the lighter weight of DCF seem even more attractive. Anyway, I’m sure you had your reasons, but I’ll also suggest some.

    AK, it sounds like you are wedded to the DCF Notch Li, even though its floor space is a meager 15.75 sq, feet according to TT. I would think that many, including Murali, would not settle for that amount of floor space, especially in a trekking pole supported tent that is much like an A-Frame, space-wise, with walls that are sharply sloped and confining. Sure, the pitchlocks help with that, but only so much.

    But I realize the advantages of space for 1P, even if one has to get there with a 2P tent, or even a 2P XL. But they come with more weight, and DCF will only eliminate so much of that. And what good is the reduced weight if the single walls still slope sharply with the trekking pole or A-Frame design, and it is difficult to escape the condensation.

    There may be some ways to go that are both less weighty and more comfortable:
    – Use flexible poles to give the sidewalls some convex shape.
    – Limit the convex shape to insure the walls are aerodynamic, or nowhere close to vertical.
    – Include a bathtub floor to insure dryness inside during rainstorms.
    – Provide for a simple dry pitch in rain, so the tent is dry inside when you enter it.
    – Consider using the rear vestibule to add interior space, which also cuts zipper weight.
    – Consider that a double entry at the front will reduce the need for a rear entry.
    There are other ways to save weight, and a lot depends on the use of quality fabrics that perform better with less weight.

    Of course the flexible poles add weight, even if carbon, and a mid supported by a trekking pole that you already carry seems preferable, as it adds zero weight to the tent. And that may be why trekking pole supported tents are so popular. But consider that the carbon poles add less than six ounces of tubing, and allow all the benefits of aerodynamic and more comfortable and efficient use of space.  Wish more of the manufacturers would consider that, but they seem wedded to what are essentially A-frames; or are single hoops anchored by struts, so are even less stable. Truly novel designs are rare.

    #3758970
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    DCF Notch Li, even though its floor space is a meager 15.75 sq, feet

    Just stopping by to share my subjective opinion regarding the Notch. The floor space is not huge but it is wide at the center, which gives two handy storage spots and the vestibules are quite generous. I did not find anything about the Notch to be meager, at least for my shorter than average frame. YMMV

    #3758973
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    Yeah, remind me not to mention that I like my dog when Sam’s on line. “Even tho…” it has a meager bark…

    #3758976
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    What in the world does “wedded” to a tent mean? lol – Interesting language. I like my tent, but seriously?

    I don’t find the Notch too small, but many people wouldn’t like its small size, that is true. There isn’t room for a group, or room for two to sleep, but two could sit in there and play backgammon. I also don’t find that the walls are “confining.” It isn’t an A-frame shape and I have never gotten condensation on my stuff inside the inner. I can fit all my gear inside if I need to, but usually leave my shoes, toilet kit and pack in one of the vestibules, where they stay dry. I can cook in the other vestibule (although I generally don’t do this in Alaska). I’ve now been through some stiff wind and plenty of rain and it does just fine, properly pitched.  It has a bathtub floor, it pitches dry with the inner already attached, other features you listed as preferable. Hail is a gamble, one I’ll try to avoid if possible.

    I don’t have the finances to constantly buy and experiment with new tents, but if this one wears out, or I get a catastrophic hail storm, I might look around. “Play the field,” if we’re using marriage metaphors to describe tent selection. Don’t tell my husband. lol

    #3759072
    Dan Durston
    BPL Member

    @dandydan

    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    I heard a bit more info on this event from one of the guides on the trip. A few notes are:
    – they described the hail as ‘extreme’ even for hail
    – damaged shelters were from Zpacks, Tarptent, and Gossamer Gear
    – all shelters on the trip were 0.5oz, so no test of whether 0.75 would have fared better
    – all shelters had relatively shallow/flat roof panels

    #3759075
    baja bob
    BPL Member

    @bajabob

    Locale: West

    I read the comments on the facebook page by some of the people who were there. They said Solomids and Gatewood Capes survived without damage. Someone also mentioned that two Duplex tents that were oriented with the large flat side into the wind took on more damage than another one that was oriented at more an angle to the wind or something to that effect.

    #3759077
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    The Original Post stated that “Reports are that the Silnylon and Silpoly shelters were fine.”  Did not find any exception to his comment in the rest of this thread; but would be interested to know if I missed one.

    I think the elasticity of the woven fabrics made the difference.  But several posters suggested that the hail was extreme.  So am more concerned with other DCF failures that have been reported on BPL.  And agree with those who have moved back to woven tent fabrics, even though they are heavier; that is, around a half oz  heavier per square yard.  For example, the silpoly used by Yama Mountain Gear in its flat tarp, a fabric that weighed in at 1.08 oz/sq/yd.  And lately, have been looking at Asian sites for silpoly also around that weight.  Will advise if  any other finds look promising, and would welcome info from others.

    #3759081
    bradmacmt
    BPL Member

    @bradmacmt

    Locale: montana

    I’ve got a TT Rainbow Li – super happy with it. It will have a 1/3 shorter lifespan in all likelihood. I accept that. Here in the North-Central Rockies, hail happens and I’ve certainly been in a few hail storms above timberline, but none were what I’d call a “severe” or “unusual” event.

    All man-made things are riddled with compromise. The key is understanding which ones you can live with, and which ones you can’t.

    #3759171
    Buck Nelson
    BPL Member

    @colter

    Locale: Alaska

    Impressive video. Yikes! The followup comments have been really interesting as well. Such a resource of expertise and experience. That’s why I come to Backpackinglight.

    I can only recall being in one serious hailstorm while in a tent,Hail and Silnylona Lunar Solo while in Montana. Thunderheads built up and started rolling my way. It looked like it could get ugly and it did. First the wind and then a hammering rain and then hail of increasing size. I put my sleeping pad over my head for when the hail started punching through the fly, which seemed imminent. Luckily it held. I’ve slept under DCF often, and will again, but after seeing this video, I’m glad I was under silnylon in that storm.

    #3759275
    DWR D
    BPL Member

    @dwr-2

    And this from the NY Times:

    The Hunt for Big Hail
    “Hailstones of record size are falling left and right, and hailstorm damage is growing. But there is surprisingly little research to explain why.”

    Big Hail? Can’t read the article as I don’t subscribe, but seems to indicate a developing trend..

    #3759276
    Dan
    BPL Member

    @dan-s

    Locale: Colorado

    I was in a pretty violent hailstorm on Saturday in the South San Juans, and I actually thought of this thread while it was occurring, I kid you not. When it stopped, I opened the fly and took a photo with my boot for scale. They don’t really look that big (mostly smaller than marble-size), but they sure made a racket.

    #3759278
    Stephen Seeber
    BPL Member

    @crashedagain

    Is your tent DCF, sil nylon or sil poly?  Any harm to the tent?

Viewing 25 posts - 101 through 125 (of 143 total)
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