As mentioned in my introductory post, some modifications were in order for the Megalight. Yes, you can buy one with these, but it can be more illustrative to roll your own.
First up, mid panel reinforced guylines. In the grand scheme, as compared to (for instance) backpack straps, shelter tie-outs don’t receive much force. The concern with light fabrics is not then absolute strength, but rips due to over-perforating the fabric. For this reason I wanted an extra, laminated layer of sil on the inside to help spread the load. Dilluting clear, 100% silicone caulk in mineral spirits works great for this. Give each surface a coat, let dry for ~5 minutes, then stick on, clamp together, and let cure overnight. For the tie-out itself I use 3/4″ grosgrain. 1/2″ would work but the wider stuff allows for light stitching over more area. I bartack a loop into the middle, then sew each side right up against the bartack. The idea here is to have force from any direction pull on both sides as equally as possible. Then a double line of straight stitching down the middle, and a zigzag stitch along the sides (3mm wide and .9mm long, if you’re wondering). The stitching around the edge of the patch is to keep it from peeling over time. Seal the whole mess with more silicone solution, applied with a sponge brush.
Obviously I value strength over precision and neatness. I made the patches out of the factory stuff sack, and as I didn’t have a pair of scissors in the garage and didn’t want to go upstairs to use the rotary cutter, made do with a box knife.
Mid panel tie-outs attached to guy lines with a loop of shock cord, which damps the loading during gusts.
Linelocs are awesome, BD ought to make them standard. Fortunately the stock stitching is easy to rip, and DIY Gear Supply sells what you need (and has fast service). Same zig zag stitch as above. It’s been a topic of discussion elsewhere, so I’ll say right now that I’ve never had linelocs slip or fail. Given that it’s the same concept as a plaquette-style belay device (like a Petzl Reverso), I think they’re proven.
Linelocs have many benefits. One is that they make it easier to pitch a mid locked down at ground level. You do this by staking the main corners much further outwards than you would think necessary, setting the center pole low, and tightening the corners to tension the whole thing. Linelocs also make it easy to deal with the inevitable sagging of silnylon on wet nights; just reach out from inside and tighten things up. No need to get out of the sleeping bag or get more than a hand wet.
And as a final bonus, Camp Wind Mit’ns.
They’re windshirts for your hands. I got a pair this spring, and won another in the post-Classic raffle. 15 grams a pair (claimed) and tiny in your pocket. Not durable, but great for adding a bit of warmth when powerstretch gloves aren’t quite enough. I wear a medium or large glove, normally, and the size 1 (smaller of two offered) fits perfectly over a heavyweight liner.
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