I will soon be the proud owner of three and a half used tents to play with, courtesy of Tom (twistplank). I've requested 5 and will be sharing with a friend (he's paying for the other 1.5 tents). Each of us intends to refurb one tent as a "front country" tent, and that leaves us three to modify into smaller, lighter options.
I have been informed that the tents are 4-person pyramidal "Pingora" tents from Bridge Outdoors (personally I don't think they'd fit more than three people; I like some personal space, thanks). They include an inner tent that is basically a tub with mosquito netting, and an outer rain fly. I'd like to get at least one one-person tent and one two-person tent out of my portion of the three "modify" tents. I'm not sure if my friend is intending on a one-person or a two-person. Ideally, we could get two one-person tents and two two-person tents, but I'm not counting on it.
I'm pretty handy with a sewing machine, but as I'm searching for ideas, I come up a little bit overwhelmed. And of course, most often people are starting entirely from scratch rather than cutting down an existing structure.
I'd like some input on a couple of things from those older and more experienced than Mike and I. Obviously we have the option of trying a couple of options, but I'd like some feedback anyway.
1) I could either modify both the internal mesh tent and the rain fly, leaving me with a modular system that would allow either rain protection or bug protection, or both, as needed. OR, I could cut out most of the noseeum netting and sew the remainder directly to the rain fly. This cuts out a little bit of weight but means that if we want to sleep under the stars, we're at the mercy of the bugs. Not that we haven't done that before... but there's some appeal to having the option.
2) With regards to shape - I think I know what I want for my one-person - sort of halfway between an A-frame and a bivy. I can cut it down quite a bit because I'm relatively short. But for the two-man tent(s), I'm concerned that I may be limited by the materials, given that I'm not starting with a flat sheet of material: I'm starting with a tent. If anyone has experience with this sort of thing, I'd appreciate some input... or if anyone knows of an online resource showing a modification such as I'm intending, that would be great as well. I'm still looking.
I'm sure I'll come up with more questions once I have materials in hand, but thought I'd get a head start. Thanks!