Surprise: The rainfly is a tight-
It's been given a “bathtub” style floor and other accessories. Note that in reality the lines are nearly invisible, as in the photo above, whereas the diagram below shows the lines very prominently.
The diagram above is a perspective view from eye level and about 12 feet away. Three panels of the rainfly are clearly shown, and a fourth panel is barely visible on the right. Four more panels, the other half of the shelter, are hidden behind. The rainfly is dome shaped in side view and octagonal viewed from above. Notice how the main lines are catenary: they hang as would a chain suspended from both ends. Also, the rainfly's edges are cut catenary style to even out stresses and minimize sags. Forty-
Weight. 4.1 pounds total. That's as-
Interior floor space. Forty-
No tangling problems. The flysheet and its lines unfurl as does a parachute. There are no free ends in the lines to create tangles. Whenever I've unwrapped the package, the lines quickly present themselves in obvious layouts and arrangements.
It works. Photos here show the shelter protecting me from light rain and light wind beside Natalie Lake (39.277 °N, -
This particular dome shelter may constitute a best of both worlds: the realm of sturdy tents and the realm of lightweight flysheets suspended from trees and using guylines.
Compared to a tent (or any shelter rigged with poles), the shelter yields these flysheet-
• Compactness. (Again, thin nylon lines serve in lieu of metal poles.)
Compared to a conventional rainfly, strung from trees, its dome shape presents a low-
• Low deformation in high wind.
• Rapid runoff of rain, without pooling on roof panels.
• Lower weight (less fabric).
• Elbow room and interior space to move around and sit up in general.
• Guylines are many, and they pose a trip hazard.
• At least one tall tree is usually needed to easily erect this shelter, which tends to limit selections of shelter placement. However, there’s a work-
Center pole. This DIY line-
One may assemble the needed pole by lashing together two hiking staffs, or trekking poles. Or, combine the stick you carry with one you find at your campsite. Whichever, I've developed a dedicated lash, shown below, weighing 1 oz., out of nylon webbing, buckles, and rivets. The lash allows one to quickly attach together two 3-
Rain gutters. A downpour of ½ inch will drop 0.3 gallon of rain per sq. ft of ground outside your shelter. That's unavoidable and perhaps OK: the ground may be able to handle this, by way of natural infiltration. However, huge amounts of water shed off any rainfly. Your shelter will impose an additional load of ½ gallon of runoff along each lineal foot of rainfly. And that's an average: some spots may concentrate runoff in amounts of 1 or 2 gallons per foot. This rainfly runoff likely will create streams or ponding or some combination thereof next to or under the shelter unless one is extremely lucky or careful in selecting a campsite.
Here — with this domed rainfly shelter system — rain gutters along the rainfly edges collect this runoff and direct it to low points you select away from the shelter. These gutters consist of flexiible plastic tubing. The rainfly edges are turned into the tubing and connected using lightweight aluminum pop rivets at 6-
Above. This (superior) DIY line-
Below. A conventional (inferior) rainfly. Note infiltration from outside via wind-
Bathtub floor. A so-
What's critical here is equipping a rainfly style shelter with a bathtub floor. This is done using so-
View from above
The diagram below shows the shelter as if you could see through the rainfly. The rain gutters collect not all but about ¾ of flysheet stormwater runoff and direct it away from the shelter. Two downtubes on high sides of the shelter send runoff sideways. Ground stormwater runoff is shown flowing toward the lower left corner in this diagram. The downtubes are detachable and may easily be clipped to whichever corner where they're needed.
The emergency ground gouge is a tiny (1 in. deep) trench that one scratches in the earth using a stick. It's generally out of bounds in leave-