Why am I making a MYOG bathtub floor?
The last couple of weeks I have been reading up on the Wonderland Trail which encircles Mt Rainier. I am planning to hike the trail in 2012. I know, I know (trust me, I know) that is a long time away, but I am going ahead and reading up on it and trying to get my gear in order and start figuring out trip details. I am currently reading Bette Filley’s book Discovering the Wonders of the Wonderland Trail: Encircling Mount Rainier and you can check out my post on that here.
So, I have been going back and forth with my gear. (I have posted a gear list on Google docs and it can be viewed here.) Of course I am trying to figure out a shelter that meets my needs, with weight being an important need. I would really like a fully enclosed double walled shelter, but I have come to realize that I can make do with just a little less than this and be just fine. What I mean by this is that it doesn’t have to have a floor and netting (built in), but I would like it to be enclosed to keep the elements at bay at least.
No matter what I bring, I will also carry a ground sheet. If it is a tent, I will carry a ground sheet. If I carry a tarp, I will carry a ground sheet. Now if I carried a hammock…. anyway, I am not carrying a hammock… So, I am trying to get a ground sheet that is as light as I can get it while still offering protection, whether that may be from the wet ground or even just to keep my stuff cleaner… I would also like this to be a bathtub style floor so that water will not run up on my ground sheet.
I have looked at the GoLite Shangri-La 1 & 2. I quickly decided on the 1 simply because it looked like it provided ample room and it was lighter than the 2. The 1 weighs 1 pound 3 oz (or 19 oz) but the kicker is the floor (if I chose to go with the manufactured floor), it weighs in at 9 more oz. So, this is roughly a 28 oz shelter. There is lighter. However, the Shangri-La is sold as a “4 season” tent, so there ya go. Not so bad now…but still… there’s lighter.
I also considered the Black Diamond Beta Light. Now this is the same weight as the Shangri-La 1 (1 pound 3 oz) but this is actually a 2 person tent. This is not a bad idea. I like the fact that in both of these tents set up is not that hard (at least in reading), just stake the corners down and then crawl under and raise it with my trekking pole. The floor for the Beta Light is a little heavier though (since it is a 2 person tent, it requires a bigger floor) weighing in at 1 pound 4 oz. This would make this set-up weigh in at 2 pounds 7 oz. There is lighter…
Then there is the MLD SoloMid. This baby weighs in at 13 oz in silnylon! I could get it even lighter if I wanted ~ 11.9oz in Spintex EXP, and 9.3 oz in Cuben Fiber. The Spintex material does not stretch and is the same price as the silnylon, but said not to be quite as strong, whereas the Cuben Fiber does not stretch, and is very strong, it just cost an arm and a leg…
There is not a manufactured bathtub floor for the MLD SoloMid, but rather a Pyramid InnerNet with no-see-um mesh netting and a silnylon bathtub floor at 8.5 oz. However, by looking at the pictures, this looks like it will be cutting the inner length short a little which is something I am trying to get away from. I would like to keep the ends of my sleeping bag from hitting the walls. They do however sell a UL Ground Cloth though that weighs about 2.4 oz and can be cut down to reduce even this weight.
So, I am looking at making a bathtub floor. The video above shows what I have come up with so far. It was a spur of the moment thinking. I dug some material out and luckily had enough to scrape by. I sewed this one together just to see if the idea would work, and I am actually quite happy with it. There are some changes I would like to make. Such as when I hem the edges I will leave a channel along the long sides and feed a small rope through (such as the MLD LiteLine). By doing this I am hoping to actually pull the sides up a little more creating a truer bathtub effect.
One concern I am currently having is being able to tie it out so that it pulls up rather than straight out. I will need the tie outs elevated a little so that it raises the floor up rather than just out. If I were to use it with my OES tarp and I had to pitch the tarp to the ground I do not think that this would work. So, I may have to make altercations to which ever tarp / shelter I decide to go with.
Another option I considered is to use something rigid across the top and bottom and tying two strings on the ends and pulling it up to a central point. Doing this may make it easier to tie off inside the shelter as well as remove some of the strings that will be running to each corner.
I don’t know, like I said, I am trying to figure something out. Also, right now I am looking at using the silnylon, but also using a small piece of the MLD UL ground cloth under even this to keep water from seeping through if it is raining or wet. Also, I plan on getting the ZPacks CloudKilt, which can also be used as a smaller ground sheet once I am inside the shelter.
Anyway, these are my ideas. Anyone have any suggestions, tips, pictures of their own MYOG Bathtub Floor?