I Made a Tent…. (sort of) [Making my Own 3 Season Tent – Part 9]

In my last post, I only showed one picture of the completed 2/5 scale prototype, so here’s some more.

It was made from cheap polycotton fabric, with an assortment of various grosgrain ribbons used to create loops to stake it out, and for the big guy from the beak to the ground. It’s pitched with the upper 2 sections (retracted) of a Black Diamond Trail Pro trekking pole. I was looking for about 50cm length and this is just over.

The real shelter is targeted at a pitch height of (typically) 125-130cm, but will work fine 5cm either side. The 50cm was, therefore, chosen as being 2/5 of 125cm. It seemed to work.

Although the panels themselves are to 2/5 scale, the seams aren’t – they are full size for ease of sewing. Other than that it’s a reasonably accurate representation of the design of the shelter, and its pitching options.

It didn’t pitch as neatly as I would like due to some inaccuracies in the manufacturing process, and which clearly need to be ironed out before the real build. But this was an exercise with two objectives – first to “prove” the design, and second to practice sewing. Therefore, perfect stitching would have been too much to expect. It’s still miles better than my first attempt.

Overall pitch

Rear View
Opened up, doors tied back
Front view with doors closed in “flying” mode.
Closer view of back corner
Close up of back corner
View from above. Here you can see the misalignment at the very top, that is the main reason one side of the beak is drooping.
Rear pegging out

Door configurations

Doors closed and “flying” seen from the side. Here you get a better idea of the amount of space beneath the doors. This is akin to the Lunar Solo configuration.
Doors wrapped over closed and pegged out. I can vary the amount of overlap and how far forward they pitch.
Doors wrapped over and pegged out
One door “flying”, one tied back
One door pegged out to opposite side
One door pegged out to the opposite side, seen from the front.

This demonstrates the various options I designed into the tent – the ability to have the doors fully retracted, but still have some covered space due to the beak; the ability to have the doors “flying” but offering protection from rain; the ability to close everything up without a zip; and various ways I can have just one door open.

A reminder that the shelter is aimed at using in the warmer, pleasanter half of the year. So basically conditions which are reasonably fine, but when I may need a bit more shelter on occasion. But it’s primarily intended to be an “as open as the conditions allow” shelter.

Next Steps

Next I will be working on the full size patterns, which are likely to take some time to get right. I may “prove” the patterns by making a full size prototype, and especially so if I feel I need the sewing practice.

In between doing this, I’m going to start working with the real fabrics, making a few stuff sacks and the like, just to get used to how it feels before going for the main build. I bought a bit extra for this exact reason.

I’m also going to measure the fabric itself to make sure it is actually the width the pattern assumes! Ripstop by the Roll say there’s about 58″ usable with the selvedge removed. Some of my options for cutting out bigger joined panels were very close to this mark, so it may be I can find a way of confidently using this and eliminate a few seams from the build.

Less seams = less chance of cock up. This is my mantra now.

2 thoughts on “I Made a Tent…. (sort of) [Making my Own 3 Season Tent – Part 9]

  1. Looks a lot like the “Lanshan” type designs that are popular on AliExpress and similar. Really interesting to follow this project – looking forward to seeing how it turns out!


    1. The Lanshan was one (of several) influences on the design. There’s also the zipperless doors from the Tipik-tentes Pioulou, and the beak of the MLD Cricket, and it has also turned out to mimic a favourite feature of the Pretents Soloist. Bit of a mongrel!


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