Deer Hunter’s Tent #2

A tent that is also a tarp and a hammock shelter. This tent has been evolving in my head for a number of years and I realise that some of you are impatient that you have not been able to buy one or other of its iterations. However your wait might soon be over. Be that as it may here is my latest and I believe best version of it.

I posted about the progress I was making with the Tyvek prototype a little while ago. Now I have made one in some 2000 mm waterproof 1.25 0z/yd2 silnylon I bought from China for US2.50 pe metre! I needed about 7 metres or $17.50 worth and a couple of dollars worth of gross-grain ribbon and 1.5mm Dyneema line. – and a handful of clam cleats. Under $25 worth anyway.

There was 382 grams of fabric in it before I sewed on the reinforcing patches and tie-outs. With the tie-outs and guys it weighs 438 grams. I have some .98 oz/yd2 material coming from China. In this it should weight nearly 100 grams less (299 without the tie-outs).

You can close these two ‘wings’ at the front  together to make a large vestibule if the weather comes from the wrong direction.

In cuben it should weigh 152. The tie-outs and guys add about 50-60 grams, so 360 and 210 respectively. It is a lot of work and fiddling to unmake this old cuben hammock tarp Della made for me for Fiordland years ago but we did add too many heavy elements to it anyway.

I had a small square left over from that project (4′ 6″ on a side). Putting both together will more than give me a new cuben version of this tent at less than 220 grams. Add say 80 grams for pegs and a 50 gram space blanket for a ground sheet gives me a pretty light two person tent = 350 grams. It doesn’t get any better than that. And look at all the space we will have!

That is a standard 6′ by 4′ (1.8 x 1.2 metres) tarp on the ground in all the photos. Spot loves it as you can see.

We have two Hummingbird Hammocks which with their very easy-to-use suspension weigh 200 grams each- though I could just use a length of dyneema each end and shrink that to 170 grams each – but it is more trouble to set up with just cord, so I probably won’t bother.

The dark triangle at the back is the rear folded over to make an enclosed tent. It can be opened out to use it as a tarp for on the ground or hammock use.

A complete tent/hammock set-up for one at 550 grams or for two at 750 grams is surely pretty much unbeatable. Having the choice to camp on the gram or in a hammock adds so much of a safety margin to a trip too. If it happens to rain heavily, or thunderstorm (!) – very hard for lightning to kill you when you are suspended between two trees – or if you cannot find suitable flat ground to erect a tent, then you have other options.

My grandson Milo likes it anyway. Can’t wait until he is old enough to come camping with us. Neither can he!

We usually go off-track with little idea of what conditions we are likely to encounter anyway so this arrangement is the best solution for us. If we are track walking (eg in Fiordland then we don’t have to make it to the huts to camp. They are sometimes a long way apart at our age anyway – and it does flood regularly too so that you can’t make it to a hut! In such an eventuality you are definitely better off taking to the trees.

Set up as a tarp with the rear stretched out it is a huge area of shelter – easily enough for three. Della reckons four – but she is friendlier than me!

It’s a pity Della sprayed and killed the kikuyu grass. It’s a bit of a bare patch in the garden where I have to erect these tenets. Every other level-ish spot has been taken up by Della’s garden!

Dimensions. The tent sets up with a 3′ stick at the back and a 5′ stick at the front. For a weight of a few of grams you can carry a couple of these to soften the ends of the sticks (or for emergency poles) and one of these one ounce saws to cut them.

So it is clearly 3′ high (90cm) at the back and 5′ high (150cm) at the front. When closed the enclosed area is 10′ 6″ long (315 cm), 5′ 6″ (165 cm) at its widest and 3′ 6″ (105cm) at its narrowest. there is 5 square feet of storage up at the back there, a huge 7′ long sleeping space and a huge  8 3/4 square feet vestibule at the front

I have still to erect it as a hammock tarp but you can see how it works in the Tvek protoytpe below:

There is room for two under there slung side by side, like this:

I may make a separate bathtub floor, (and yes it may even be an ultralight inflatable edge bathtub floor) or like the one I made for the Siligloo – which will weigh around 150 grams (if you need such things). Or I will complete my bathtub floor/groundsheet hybrid again if you need them (I don’t – ususally). I will make a suspended mosquito net (from ultralight .7 oz/yd2 mesh) which again will weigh less than 150 grams, but I doubt I will ever use it. Just a head net is all you need except if mosquitoes are bad in summer – and you can’t get in your sleeping bag.

By the same token you can buy these things from Aliexpress for usually around $20 (260 grams), or you can buy a Tyvek Bivy Sack which you could use as a groundsheet (130 grams) and just use an Ultralight Head Net for mozzies (11 grams)

Here are some pictures and links  to its evolution. It started off as

Tyvek Solo Fire Shelter

Then became: Tyvek Twin Fire Shelter

Fully Open Tyvek Twin

Next The Deer Hunter’s Tent

Finally Miniature Whelen Hammock Tent

Finally I got a chance to give it a trial run in the Deer Hunter’s Tent Goes Bush and it was a real winner!

PPS: I have since made a shortened and lighter version of this tent which I call the Grey Flyer.

See Also:

Grey Flyer

Miniature Whelen Hammock Tent

10 x 10 Tarp


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