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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 18 posts - 126 through 143 (of 143 total)
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  • #3759295
    Dan
    BPL Member

    @dan-s

    Locale: Colorado

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

    I was in a nylon tent and there was no damage. At the moment I was kind of wishing I was in my Plexamid so I could report back to the forum, but it won’t fit me with two dogs, and I’ve been indecisive about buying another 2P tent. So this summer I’ve gone back to using an old Nemo Hornet 2P.

    #3759306
    John S.
    BPL Member

    @jshann

    https://www.startribune.com/the-hunt-for-big-hail/600204160/

    That title is on several news sites over last day or so, all written  by same journalist.

    #3759308
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    I wonder if a pyramid tent would be better in hail because of steeper sides

    #3759593
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    “I wonder if a pyramid tent would be better in hail because of steeper sides.”

    Several posts say yes, and it sounds logical.  However, the steeper walls of a mid (or an A-frame for that matter) also encroach more on the space inside.  That can be addressed by a larger mid; but that, along with the height, increase the fabric area and add considerable weight.  Seems a lot to carry for the rare hail storm.  And the OP states in the first post that “reports” were that those with Skurka had no hail damage if their tents were of woven fabric, like silnylon or silpoly.  So on balance, I think the advantage is with the silpoly, so long as there is at least some slope on the walls.  Some of the domes that are almost horizontal up top, in the name of maximizing inside space, may be more vulnerable not just to hail, but also to wear and tear from pounding rain in windstorms.

    My home is normally immune to storms; but every year or two, we get storms with microbursts, or pounding rain reinforced by severe winds, and there is some leakage.  So some recaulking around the windows is on the to-do list.  An old nylon tent that I carried for years, also eventually started to leak up top in an all night pounding rain storm, despite recent resealing, and had to be replaced.

    #3759594
    Philip Tschersich
    BPL Member

    @philip-ak

    Locale: Kodiak Alaska

    “When you think about it, it’s honestly kind of weird that hailstones haven’t killed all of us already. I mean, they’re chunks of ice that plunge from the sky!

    “Hailstones fall from really high up. There’s a popular myth that a penny dropped from the Empire State Building can kill you. The myth isn’t true, but for anyone who believes it, hailstones should be terrifying—after all, they often fall from the height of ten Empire State Buildings.”

    XKCD- Hailstones

    #3759622
    Dan Durston
    BPL Member

    @dandydan

    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    “I wonder if a pyramid tent would be better in hail because of steeper sides”

    Pyramid tents do avoid flat roof panels but still often don’t have that steep of sides. They tend to have a fairly large base and then only one pole near the center, so you tend to have somewhat shallow slopes on some sides.

    For example, a typical mid for 1P or 2P has a length around 110″ and a pole around 50″, so you’ve got a slope of 42 degrees. That’s a lot better than a 10-20 degree roof panel but not going to be as good for hail (or snow) as what a dual pole tent can do. When you have two poles you have steeper panels if they are spread out along the long axis of the tent (e.g. Beta Light, X-Mid). Two poles won’t help if they are positioned perpendicular to the long axis (e.g. Duplex), and they can be worse if there are end struts to flatten these panels further (e.g. Dipole).

    #3764840
    Piney
    BPL Member

    @drewjh-2

    Someone from the Skurka trip posted a detailed write up and analysis of this incident over on Reddit. Their shelter had the worst failure of the group:

     

    DCF vs. Hail: an involuntary case study from Ultralight

    #3764850
    Bruce Tolley
    BPL Member

    @btolley

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    Very interesting! Thanks for sharing. Nothing beats getting first-hand information.

    #3764860
    DWR D
    BPL Member

    @dwr-2

    He seems to conclude that the older type mylar DCF was the main problem. But I also note that his was the oldest DCF tent by a few years. I would think that the added solar/uv exposure over those extra years was at least part of the problem.

    #3764866
    Todd T
    BPL Member

    @texasbb

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    Previous-generation material, age of material, and sun exposure are all plausible explanations, but with N=1, it’s impossible to say anything with confidence.  Was his tent was made with a bad roll of DCF?  Did he stuff instead of fold for those 7 years?  Had he racked on his tent fabric along the bias at some point?  Etc.

    The good news is a bit more certain:  how well the sil{nylon|poly} tents did and how almost well the rest of the DCF tents did.

    #3765088
    Tyler P
    BPL Member

    @typhel-2

    That Reddit post, and the shelter, are mine.  I wish someone had told me about this BPL thread at the time, because then I could have participated.  Late the game, but still happy to answer any questions anyone might have.

    To recent questions and observations:

    • I always roll and use an oversized stuff sack to pack my shelter.
    • I’m a hike to dark, start first light kind of person when I’m hiking alone — so even though the shelter had ~70 nights of use, it would have a relatively low amount of UV exposure.
    • It’s possible I racked on the tent at some point, but I never noticed any DCF deformation before this trip.

    I still think it’s possible my shelter was made with a bad batch of cuben. Especially since one of the other Duplexes on that trip (that received two very small holes) had been on a full AT-thru the season before.  That tent would have had more pitches, more UV, and more packing/unpacking than mine.

    #3765143
    Aubrey W. Bogard
    BPL Member

    @bogardaw

    Locale: TX

    Tyler,

    Thanks for sharing these details. I believe that it adds significant context and puts my mind much more at ease about DCF for shelters.

    #3765169
    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member

    @mocs123

    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    <p>Thanks Tyler for sharing your details.</p><p>First off let me say, I’m glad you’re OK.  It’s an awesome epic story and video now, but I’m sure it wasn’t fun at the time and could have had a different outcome.   I’ve used a DCF Shelter (Duomid) in Brooks Range and got both rain and snow, but no hail.  I’ve had some small hail, but nothing 1″ size.</p><p>Currently I’m using a Sil-Poly shelter (X-Mid 1P v1) and though I’ve been using it several years, I’ve never really had it out in an epic storm, so it’s interesting to hear how different shelter types hold up in epic weather as it something that can be hit or miss on testing out – and pretty scary when you do get to do a “test”.  </p>

    #3765271
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    “All 5 of the DCF shelters had punctures, in the following amounts: 1, 2, 2, 8, 36. Mine had 36.”

    “All 5 DCF tents used 0.51 oz/sqyd.”

    So the median # is  2 punctures.  That is two too many for me if their is a better alternative.  One is heavier but stronger DCF.  Another is the lightest durable mini ripstop silpoly like the one Yama uses.  The weight difference between the two alternatives is around a quarter ounce per square yard.  Given the other issues with DCF reported on BPL, I will choose the latter silpoly.  If silpoly equivalent to the Yama is found, as is hoped, will post the news, and will make a new thread, even though I have to tend the dam things.

     

    #3766078
    Tyler P
    BPL Member

    @typhel-2

    After reviewing some photos of the trip, I realize there were no Silpoly shelters in our group — the shelter that I thought was a Lunar Solo is actually a Gatewood Cape.

    So the non-DCF shelters, all silnylon, were:

    • Gatewood Cape (15D)
    • 2x MLD Mids (brown, so I think they’re 30D?)
    • Tarptent Notch (30D)

    Wish I’d caught that detail sooner, sorry folks.

    #3766189
    DWR D
    BPL Member

    @dwr-2

    Another thing comes to mind that might affect the DCF fabric over time:

    Leaving it in a hot car for hours or even days at a time.

    #3766190
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    Tyler,  I don’t think the immunity to severe hail depends on whether the fabric was silpoly or silnylon.  Both are woven fabrics with some elasticity on the bias, and the silcoats are also elastic.  Neither of which can be said of DCF.

     

    #3766200
    Tyler P
    BPL Member

    @typhel-2

    Sam, I was simply submitting a correction regarding the facts of the event.

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