Recommend me a DIY Tent plan

Posted by: Paulo

Recommend me a DIY Tent plan - 03/03/11 08:51 AM


I was thinking about making a tent for 2.5 people (or maybe a 4 person). Can anyone recommend a favourite design?

I'm in south america so I don't have the tools but, labour is cheap. Material is a bit more expensive, but if they do a good job and the price is reasonable it would be very convenient for me... and potentially others that are interested.
Posted by: Paulo

Re: Recommend me a DIY Tent plan - 03/08/11 08:09 PM

Posted by: finallyME

Re: Recommend me a DIY Tent plan - 03/09/11 11:46 AM

I like flat tarps in a-frame configuration.
Posted by: TomD

Re: Recommend me a DIY Tent plan - 03/09/11 03:51 PM

Paulo, where are you? I used to live in La Paz, but it was a long time ago. I didn't really do any camping when I was there, but did do a bit of traveling around the country. If you are up in the mountains, you may want a design that is more like a four season tent because of the cold (in other words, a tent you can close up with not a lot of mesh). If you are in Santa Cruz or Cochabamba, a three season design would work better because of the heat, but I would want a mesh interior to keep out bugs.

btw, I have a snakeskin about 6-8 feet long that my dad picked up in Santa Cruz or Cochabamba, so I'd want something I could close up.

Here are a few designs including one of Henry Shires' early tarptents-these have been up for years, so all the links don't work-they are on the Home Page of the site (which I think a lot of people don't even know is here, since they just visit the forums).
Posted by: Paulo

Re: Recommend me a DIY Tent plan - 03/09/11 07:18 PM

Thanks Tom. Estoy en San Miguel, La Paz.

I wont be doing much camping here. It is for when I come back to the North West this summer and for when I ultimately move back in a year or two.

If I go out here I'll be with a guide that provides the gear (attempted illimani (my avatar photo) in the late fall last year and plan to try something easier like huayna potosi).

Alright, I'll take another look at henry shires' design.
Posted by: rambler

Re: Recommend me a DIY Tent plan - 03/10/11 10:57 AM

A good plan for a 10 x 12 tarp is found in Ray Jardin's book, Beyond Backpacking.

Most bolts or rolls of cloth are 5' wide. So, take a piece 6 yds long cut it in half to get two pieces, 5' wide 9' long. Lay them side by side along the length to create a rectangle that is now 10' wide and 9' long. Sew the long edges together and you have your 9 x 10' shelter. A 12' length requires 24' of cloth...etc.

For the center seam you need to learn how to sew a "felled seam". It is basically a doubled over seam that can withstand strong tugs necessary to keep your tarp together.
Visit to see a variety of sizes of tarps.

BTW Look into hiking an Inca trail from La Paz to Coroico
Posted by: TomD

Re: Recommend me a DIY Tent plan - 03/11/11 02:36 AM

Hey Paulo, I lived in Calacoto just across the river or what passed for a river back then, up the street from where the President at the time had a house. I went to ACS, the American Cooperative School for a year before coming back to the states for college. Didn't do any climbing back then but could see Illimani off in the distance.

If you are looking at the PNW and want to go light, you might think of a design like this one-

As an aside, if you go to her About page and read the Hiking in Finland interview and the comments, they are quite entertaining. This tent is a redesign of the defunct Wanderlust Nomad and a few people are upset about that.

Posted by: Paulo

Re: Recommend me a DIY Tent plan - 03/11/11 07:28 AM

Thanks Tom. Went out looking in the center for fabric yesterday. It is a bit off the beaten path and they do a bit of staring at the gringos. Couldn't find anything, but had a talk with a local friend. He set me up with coordinates, but I gave away the piece of paper that they were written on.

Will try again.

You were pretty close. I've been to the school for a presentation.