Tarptent Notch-Improve Wind Worthiness?
Jun 21, 2022 at 11:02 am #3753034
Took my new Notch Li out this past weekend in the Sierra. Having read about how well it did in the wind, I didn’t have that experience. In the tents defense for 2 days there were some incredible winds 30-50mph with a few gusts that were stronger. They would switch directions at times.
Even in a ‘protected’ site and reinforcing the end stakes with 30-40lbs of rocks, I had the ends collapse a few times during the strong gusts. The door stakes held as did the ridge line guy stakes.
Anyone have similar experience? Any tips for reinforcing the ends to prevent this?Jun 21, 2022 at 11:27 am #3753046StumphgesBPL Member
When you say that the ends collapsed, does that mean that the stakes anchoring the pitch-lock corners pulled?Jun 21, 2022 at 11:40 am #3753051
@Stumphges Yes. The end stakes would pull out. That is with the end vents closed.Jun 21, 2022 at 12:27 pm #3753068
The end stakes pulled out despite having 30-40lbs of rocks on them?Jun 21, 2022 at 12:43 pm #3753080Paul SBPL Member
Replace the guylines on the pitch-lock ends of the tent with longer guylines. This way the stakes will be less likely to pull out because the forces on them will be more horizontal, less vertical. I did this with my Stratospire 2 and it noticeably helped.Jun 21, 2022 at 1:23 pm #3753120Jun 21, 2022 at 3:05 pm #3753189StumphgesBPL Member
I know that people in the UK who face heavy winds regularly use long stakes at the pitch locks. Pitch locks are great but their anchors take very high loads. If that’s not possible, maybe two stakes through the delrin ring in an inverted -V formation. Horizontalizing the lines like Paul suggested would help, but that does effectively increase the “footprint” size of the tent.Jun 21, 2022 at 6:04 pm #3753296
@Stumphges Thanks. Not a fan of the stock line setup on the pitch lock. The loop in is at such steep angle around the stake. I think I will lengthen and flatten it.Jun 21, 2022 at 8:46 pm #3753317
If you are using the round stakes that come with the Notch, they are pretty much worthless for holding power in high winds. Get some fat angular stakes with some holding power. But at times no stakes work in Sierra coarse decomposed granite (aka sand) or rocky soil. I often just pile rocks into that triangle of lines what attach to the ring/loop where the stake is supposed to go… a long rectangular rock into the triangle and then others on top of that one.Jun 21, 2022 at 9:55 pm #3753328AK GranolaBPL Member
I am using MSR cyclone stakes on the ends, and long Easton ones on the vestibules. Regular MSR groundhogs on the guylines. I can’t tell you the wind speed I recently camped two nights in, but it was strong enough that it was hard to walk upright. The stakes held fine, the trekking poles held fine, but flappity flap all night long. Didn’t sleep much!Jun 22, 2022 at 8:43 am #3753354Ron BellBPL Member
I note that an old BPL article that tested stakes found that the Easton 8″ stakes were one of the very best LW stakes. I think the best. It had high holding power in the widest range of soil types. It was in the top two or three in about all the soil types and if an averaged score was used it comes on top for stakes that weigh the same or less. The Easton 6″ version a lot less power vs the 8″. ( The 8″ are closer to 9″ if fully inserted.) I think that the smooth round profile disrupts / loosens the existing compacted soil less than V and T shapped stakes is a wide range of soil types.Jun 22, 2022 at 9:10 am #3753359matthew kModerator
I believe this is the article Ron is referring to:Jun 22, 2022 at 9:41 am #3753364
I used Mini Groundhogs on all but the main ridge guy lines-those I used titanium sheppard-which oddly enough held. It seemed the flat ends of the tent had the most pressure and it makes sense the short guy lines and their angle prevent rocks from being as effective. I will look into full size Groundhog or larger stakes at these points as well as lengthening the lines.Jun 23, 2022 at 12:27 am #3753461Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Matthew K; Thanks much for that link to the 2008 Rietveld article about stake comparisons.
Note: Here in the Whites, along the Presidential traverse, and despite decent weather below, it was rainy with snow and extreme winds this past weekend. There was one death and several close calls, all due to hypothermia. Do not grasp why backpackers go out in these conditions. We did the traverse, in May no less, a number of years ago, but the conditions were mild except for the post-holing that forced us to descend on a steep and rocky, downhill trail that gave us some footing without the tiresome post-holing. One night was spent just below treeline to get more protection from winds. But nothing like the traverse this past weekend.Jun 23, 2022 at 5:37 am #3753470
I really like the blue 6″ Easton’s and the gold 8″ Easton stakes as well – they’re my favorites actually. I use the blue more than the gold however, and my 10 year old stakes are looking pretty rough, and I broke one last year (the first one I’ve ever had brake). New ones, particularly the shorter 6″ blue ones seem nearly impossible to find for whatever reason.Jun 23, 2022 at 9:23 am #3753488Todd TBPL Member
@texasbbLocale: Pacific Northwest
Eastons are my favorite, too. I use the 8-inchers for the high-stress points and the 6-inchers for “extra” guy-outs. Like Brad said, though, the 6-inch ones are usually hard to find. Maybe Henry’s cornered the market on them. :-)Jun 23, 2022 at 9:31 am #3753492
My Notch Li came with some 6″ Eastons. I have not used them. I read some reports of the heads coming off with light pounding while needing to be driven. I have beat the snot out of my Groundhogs-mini and full size and other than some light dents they have held up well to pounding.Jun 23, 2022 at 9:31 am #3753493
I think the stakes that come with Tarptents are Eastons. I throw them away. :)))Jun 23, 2022 at 9:48 am #3753494
@BradW – There have been reports of the epoxied heads coming off, however the set I have is at least ten years old and I’ve beaten the snot of out them with rocks, so much so to deform the tubing on a couple and bend the point on a couple more, where they obviously impacted a rock and I kept beating. I did have the head snap off one last year, but it was the aluminum tubing that broke and not the epoxy coming loose. In that same time I’ve also broken the head off an MSR Groundhog so for me anyways, they’ve been rock solid tough.
@DWR D – Don’t throw them away – stick them on gear swap for just the shipping if you don’t want them. There are several Easton stake fans on here.Jun 23, 2022 at 1:08 pm #3753522
“broken the head off an MSR Groundhog”
Yea, I have done that too… aluminum just does not hold up in really hard ground… That’s why I went to titanium ‘V’ stakes… they take a pounding better in hard ground and hold better in lose soil/sandJun 23, 2022 at 3:06 pm #3753527JohanBPL Member
That’s why I went to titanium ‘V’ stakes… they take a pounding better in hard ground and hold better in lose soil/sand
I’ve been quite confused by how few people seem to like the V stakes. I love them year round. I find they actually go into rocky gravely ground better than mini groundhogs. I have the Zpacks titanium ones and also find there is enough surface on them to just use my fingers and body weight to push them in while guiding around rocks. I don’t even have to pound them or step on them, just my weight on my hands and some wiggle action, even with gloves on for extra tough ground.
They also work well in sand and snow and they stack neatly together for less wasted space in the pack.Jun 23, 2022 at 5:48 pm #3753530
Interesting. I have some of the titanium V stakes and they are my least favorite by a large margin. Actually I won’t ever use them. With light tapping the top of the stake collapsed where the guy line would sit. The body deformed when I attempted to drive them into rocky ground. Just my experience.Jun 24, 2022 at 12:49 pm #3753570
Brad… maybe you have been using some less than optimal titanium stakes…
I have pounded the crap out of my Vargo stakes with no bad effects at all…Jun 24, 2022 at 12:55 pm #3753573
@DWR D it’s possible. They are the Zpacks V stakes.Jun 24, 2022 at 2:32 pm #3753584
Or it’s possible the Zpacks V stakes come from Vargo… or… they both come from China… I have no way of knowing.
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