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#137286 - 08/06/10 02:28 AM Rain water management
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Just and I mean just got back from a bp trip. Rained at least some of four or five of the six days and froze lightly three nights. Last night was the heaviest rain with the most thunder and lightning. I almost always try to situate my shelter where water will drain around my shelter or not be an issue. I spent maybe five minutes or so yesterday contemplating one spot over another and five or so areas to choose from. Not easy for a Libra.:) The second spot I selected because it offered better setup, level and was away from any drainage areas. Or so I thought. I found out in a hurry after it started dumping, that about two feet of the front of my floorless TarpTent Squall was in the "channel". So my ground cloth got over run and my pillow made of my wind shirt and Polartec 100 top got soaked and I could feel some water soaking into my WM Caribou bag or so it felt like. I weighted it a little bit ago and it is only an oz or less heavier. In my early experience with my floorless, TT Squall, the (original) I have to either keep the edge of the netting anchored with small rocks or keep the ground cloth edges away from the netting. I see Henry has changed his TarpTents to reflect my findings like his bathtub bottom models. I now use the Gossamer Gear polycryo ground sheet to save weight. I have gone to using just a medium width sheet and place small stones under the edges to keep water at bay if it rains. This keeps water from going over the top and soaking whatever is on top of the groud cloth. I made it thru the night and packed early for the 12+ hour drive home. Just like a winter trip, I had to keep putting my hands into my pockets to warm them up. I was up, packed, ate and gone in about an hour. Also, like anything else similar to TarpTents, I had heavy condensation two nights in a row. Not fun this morning with both sides being wet. OregonMouse, if you read this, I did finally use my synthetic coat this morning since my Polartec 100 top was a dish rag. I noticed that no one in The Winds trenches like I see some do in the Sierra. Have you had any issues?

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#137302 - 08/06/10 01:30 PM Re: Rain water management [Re: hikerduane]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Trenching is an absolute no-no per the Leave No Trace folks. That being said, I did it once in Colorado when the rain (series of cloudbursts) started flooding into my vestibule towards my tent door. I scuffed the dirt/needles back into the "trench" the next morning and tromped it down, so it was invisible when I left. But sometimes necessity has to override ethics.

After an experience 20 years ago in the Wallowas, I learned the hard way to find a tent site that will not turn into a lake, even if I have to sleep on top of a hump! To me, drainage is far more important than being level. My tent does have a good bathtub floor, but I sure don't trust it to keep out running water.

Condensation can be a big problem when a rainy, windy evening turns into a cold, still late night and you haven't opened up the tent. While one of the horrid things about old age is having to exit the tent several times during the night, this situation does have an advantage in that I can open up the tent for maximum ventilation and wipe down the walls (the latter being important before my dog wakes up in the morning and starts his full-body tail wag routine!). It really helps if you can put the tent under a tree, but of course when (as in the Winds) most of the trees are dead, this is not a very good idea.

In the Wind Rivers or anywhere else at high altitude in the Rockies, it's best to be prepared for nasty weather. As you found out, you'll often get it! Be thankful it didn't snow! I always take gloves and rain mitts.

IMHO, the spectacular scenery is worth it!



Edited by OregonMouse (08/06/10 01:43 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#137309 - 08/06/10 04:17 PM Re: Rain water management [Re: OregonMouse]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
My floorless Squall is vulnerable like the last night with all the rain. I like to open up vents etc as much as possible, but one night at Island Lake, it started to rain sometime during the night and I had to reach out and pull the beak down on my shelter and on the fourth night, it rained in the morning so I slept in some more. Pretty lazy on this trip. The last morning I got up the earliset at about 5:30, three miles from the TH, leaving Pinedale at 8:55. I like it better below tree line with all the trees. In the Sierra, I see some good examples of illegal trenching, I may do like you do and scuff the ground a little to redirect that little bit of water. A good floor will keep water out, even my old Eureka! could do that with a inch of water underneath.

Saw a ton of people going in from Elkhart on their way to Island Lake. 25 to 30 people there the first night.

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#137310 - 08/06/10 04:29 PM Re: Rain water management [Re: OregonMouse]
Argon Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/27/10
Posts: 7
Loc: Utah
I got back a few weeks ago from a trip in the Winds. Two of the days up there we got dumped on. I find that having a tarp under your tent that you roll up around the edges literally simulates trenching. Well, that is to say that no water makes it inside. You have to carry a little bit heavier tarp though, as it's larger than the area of your tent. I'll try to make an illustration here.

This is a cutaway of half the tent, you can see how the rolled up tarp sheds water and lets none inside. You just have to make sure you've done a darn good job of it or else you'll be a wet one in the morning.

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#137327 - 08/06/10 09:38 PM Re: Rain water management [Re: Argon]
GDeadphans Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
That is a really nice tent Argon! Nice camera too, really good resolution wink

I would have to go with OM's statement, dig the trench but refill as best as you can when leaving. Necessity, I feel, over rides L.N.T. However, I would/have do/done the same thing and try to undo what I did.
_________________________
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

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#137330 - 08/06/10 10:48 PM Re: Rain water management [Re: GDeadphans]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Geez people - just pick a site where it's not going to pour under you...
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#137331 - 08/06/10 11:06 PM Re: Rain water management [Re: phat]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
That's the worst I have had water encroach on me. Looked good to me, but one thing about the Winds, not a big choice of campsites with the 200' setback from main trails and lakes. When I left, the party on the upper end of the lake had a great spot, on a little high spot in a few trees. Perfect spot for when it dumps, the water has to go away.

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#137346 - 08/07/10 12:32 PM Re: Rain water management [Re: hikerduane]
GDeadphans Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
This reminds me of a friend who used to check obsessively for widow makers before pitching his tent. He would spend like 20 minutes looking around and surveying the trees. I would already be pitched and starting a fire by the time he even started setting his tent up lol.
_________________________
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

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#137347 - 08/07/10 12:35 PM Re: Rain water management [Re: phat]
verber Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/04
Posts: 269
Loc: SF Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By phat

Geez people - just pick a site where it's not going to pour under you...


Since I move to the west coast almost 20 years ago, I haven't had a problem with ground water. I have always been able to find a spot that had an good combination ground material and drainage.

But there are places I have been (midwest comes to mind) where we were limited to fixed campsites that were less than ideal. I have certainly had the experience of a stream running under (or through) my shelter (in spite of some trenching). If I had to go back to one of those places I would certainly bring a shelter with bathtubs floor and a highly hydraulic head than provided by the floors of most ultralight shelters.

--mark


Edited by verber (08/07/10 12:36 PM)

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#137350 - 08/07/10 12:56 PM Re: Rain water management [Re: verber]
GDeadphans Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
I'll never forget I was at a festival with a few friends, and my buddy set up his huge 6 man Coleman tent with a screened in porch (HAHAH! Awesome for a car camping festival!)

Well, it rained hard one of those days and I left the campsite to go check out music and the sights and stuff, some mud Frisbee, and when I got back to the site after 2AM I went to go inside the tent. I slowly opened the zipper and looked at the floor and noticed there was like 2 inches of rain on the bottom! I opened the zipper a little bit more....little bit more....little bit more, till low and behold, there is my buddy passed out in the middle of the tent, mouth wide open, leaning back in his lounge chair, with a moat of rainwater surrounding him and a beer in his hand LOL! I died laughing! I could just imagine what his final thoughts were before he passed out LOL.

I think the culprit was one of our girlfriends had left one of the door zipper open...so all the rain water just poured right in like it was its business.
_________________________
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

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