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#136029 - 07/10/10 05:13 PM BD Lighthouse setup questions
MountainMan49 Offline

Registered: 07/10/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Rocky Mountains of Northern NM...

Hi, I'm a new member, thought I would try out the forums... - I just got a killer deal on a Black Diamond Lighthouse (due to them switching from Epic to Nano-shield, and discontinuing this model) I have researched the heck out of this tent, and am very familiar with the mixed reviews of the epic fabric, but for my backpacking in mostly summer weather in the southern rockies - I think it will work just fine...

My first setup of it was a 30 plus minute pain in the you know what......I was so scared that with the tension of putting the two long poles in, they would slip out of the "snaps"/ holders, and rip through the fabric. The salesman at the store was very slow as well, as he hadn't set it up before.

So - to any Lighthouse, or similar BD tents (Hilight, etc) a few questions...

1) The directions say put the awning pole in first. I tried this, and it was just in my way, so took it out and put it in last. This means it was UNDER the crossed long poles, does this make any difference if it's over, or under the "X" cross of the poles?

2) Putting the first long pole in, the salesman at the store did this from inside, somehow, but a video online looks like the guy does it from the outside, getting the first end in, then flexing the pole while it is still OUTSIDE the tent, getting it in, then pulling the tent OVER the I just spent 30 miserable hot sweaty minutes doing my first setup, I did it by being INSIDE the tent, and flexing it up pushing tent up as I went, but it took many tries, as the first end kept slipping out of the "snap", still staying in the little black holder thingy, but I was totally paranoid it was going to slip out, and through the fabric - ruining the tent!
I am trying to figure out if by after getting the first pole into the first holder, and attaching it to one or any of the velcro holders BEFORE tensioning it into the second holder might help? The directions say use the "one closed to the door"?

When I was done, yikes, it sure is a taut pitch, I worry about all the bumps the velcro holders make against the fabric, look like a wear point?

Anyway - any tips, tricks, or the methods you use to get the poles in (well, that is basically the whole setup!) would sure be appreciated. I'm sure if I set it up a dozen times I might figure all this out, but it can't hurt asking! I'm off to seam seal the sucker now! (not looking forward to this job!)

Thanks in advance for any and all replies!

#136032 - 07/10/10 07:22 PM Re: BD Lighthouse setup questions [Re: MountainMan49]
Franco Offline

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 1000
Loc: Australia
Mountain Man 49
The good news is that it can be done in about 5 minutes...
This is how I do it :
Peg down the corner first (yes I know that it is a freestanding tent...)
Insert the cross pole (awning pole) Doing it the other way is also known as "the wrong way"...
Assemble the poles (outside the tent)
Kneel inside the tent and insert the pole in the far right corner , than keeping the pressure on that and bending the pole in insert the tip in the close left corner.
Do a couple of the velcro bits up to keep the pole there.
Now insert the tip of the other pole in the far left corner and do the same as the other.

#136035 - 07/10/10 08:13 PM Re: BD Lighthouse setup questions [Re: Franco]
Franco Offline

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 1000
Loc: Australia
Well I shot the video.
It could be done better as this is the first time I have set it up in ages so i had forgotten some of the details.
Hope this helps.
And I have forgotten to reverse the title /final credits , but cannot be bothered to do it again.
Later on I set it up again (just for fun..) in 4:09. This time I fumbled a bit with the Velcro and the zip got stuck, still from packed up to zipped up was in just over 4 minutes.
Obviously in real life it will be a bit slower but this should give some ideas on how to speed the process up a bit.

Edited by Franco (07/10/10 09:38 PM)

#136036 - 07/10/10 09:41 PM Re: BD Lighthouse setup questions [Re: Franco]
MountainMan49 Offline

Registered: 07/10/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Rocky Mountains of Northern NM...
Wow, great video! Thanks you SO much! I tried to find a video online to no avail before this! It really makes it look simple. If I had a video of MY initial 30 minute fiasco, of my first time setting the Lighthouse up, it would have been like the Three Stooges attempt to go lightweight camping! ; )

I can see the main reason I had problems - the staking. Without staking, getting that first pole in is very hard (at least was to me!) due to the lightweight of everything just bunching up in all directions...with staking the floor first (or do at least one like you said) I can see how it should be much easier. I'm sure even without stakes though I could figure it out eventually...

I just got done seam sealing the tent, and yeah, it's a sucky job, but gotta be done. I did the thing in just under an hour and a half - as I set the thing up in a non air conditioned room inside, it was a very hot sweaty humid job!

I actually intended on buying one of the new Hilights with the brand new fancy shmantcy nano stuff......but.....I believe they actually shrunk this 2010 Hilight a little? It was just too tight for my needs...As I need a tent for myself and two large dogs, the Lighthouse just barely fits my needs,......I am wondering why Black Diamond did not re-vamp the Lighthouse with the Nano fabric? Maybe it just added too much weight?

Although the Lighthouse IS light (around 3.5 lbs pack weight), I am gonna miss my half that weight Contrail - BUT....don't ever try to get a couple of big hairy mutts to sleep outside under a tree.. and then expect to be comfortable in a Contrail when a thunderstorm hits, and they come a running inside to join you... - trust me on this one. ; )


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