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Tarptent Sealing: Ratio of Silicone Goop to Paint Thinner?

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Tarptent Sealing: Ratio of Silicone Goop to Paint Thinner?

Postby JimJ » Sun Jul 31, 2011 1:02 am

HiYa BPers,

Got the Tarptent Corsair, got the sealer goop (silicone glue which Henry Shires said would work), got the paint thinner -- man, I'm ready to seal the seams.

Lost the instructions. Atrophic neurons; probably age-related, though I'm only 16....as I remember. Ha! ;)

Who knows the ratio of silicone goop to thinner? I'm thinkin' 2:1 = goop:thinner, adding thinner as necessary if the brew begins thickening.

There are quite a few tarptent fans hereabouts, as I remember.

Lightening, thunder, rain, hail in the Crystal Range today. It accompanied my drive over Echo Pass up Luther Pass, Carson Pass, and down Iron Mtn Rd for a ways.

Figured I oughta seal my tent before I park up there and take a long, long walk.

Hey, thanks in advance. You folks have given me lots of help in the past. I'm less embarrassed asking you 'bout this than I would be emailing Henry again.

Jim :)



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Re: Tarptent Sealing: Ratio of Silicone Goop to Paint Thinner?

Postby rlown » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:50 am

There's a video on seam sealing on Henry's site at: http://www.tarptent.com/ttvideos.html

the video doesn't give exact ratios, but just say "blend to an olive oil consistency".
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Re: Tarptent Sealing: Ratio of Silicone Goop to Paint Thinner?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:34 am

Even after sealing, it is a good idea to have a small tube of seam seal in your repair kit. Last year I sealed my Tarptent Moment, and then watched one drip every time it rained because I missed one spot. I did not take sealer, sure wished I had! I really find it almost impossible to get the seal 100% the first time.
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Re: Tarptent Sealing: Ratio of Silicone Goop to Paint Thinner?

Postby JimJ » Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:23 pm

LOL........ Why have bpers been stepping a ways back while listening to me?

Contrail, not Corsair. Now you see why I added "I'm less embarrassed asking you 'bout this than I would be emailing Henry again."

You're very forgiving (not that Henry isn't, though repetitive inquirers, like mosquitos, can elicit a need to swat). You're also very helpful.

Thank You Much,

Jim :)
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Re: Tarptent Sealing: Ratio of Silicone Goop to Paint Thinner?

Postby mschnaidt » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:33 am

Jim,

Absolutely seam-seal your Contrail! In fact, I'd do it twice and then spray the tent body with a silicone spray.

Last Friday I got caught in an extremely violent 6 hr lightning/hail/rainstorm at 11,300 ft on New Army Pass a few miles South of Mt Whitney. My brother was in my properly seal-sealed Contrail and was dry and comfortable even though the storm dropped several inches of rain and 4 inches of hail.

I was in a new Tarptent Moment that a friend lent me at the last minute before the trip. I assumed he had seam-sealed it but that wasn't the case. The Moment was great for the first 2 hours of the storm but as the intensity of the storm increased I started getting drips. Nothing that a couple of microfiber towels couldn't handle but if the tent had been seal-sealed I would have had a much easier time of it. As it was I had to constantly wipe the towels over the ridge seam to keep the water off of my down bag. Lesson learned!

Tarptents are the best. I was amazed at how well they stood up to this storm which was by far the worst I have ever experienced in 40+ years backpacking the Sierra.

Enjoy the Contrail!

Michael
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P1010288 (Medium).JPG
Contrail - At the beginning of the storm
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Re: Tarptent Sealing: Ratio of Silicone Goop to Paint Thinner?

Postby JimJ » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:52 pm

Sincere Thanks.....

rlowm, the video on sealing was of great help. The video on setting up the Contrail seems a bit disingenuous. There's no 1, 2, 3, etc. simple one step after another when it comes to setting up a Contrail, for me at least. Franco helped me last fall (2010) when I first got the tent. We ended up with something of a supplementary setup kit which keeps the tent from flying away, but never taut. (Franco has uploaded a few such aids onto youtube.) Contrails seem best suited for those who enjoy tinkering. I simply don't. Life's surprises forced me to box the tent for a year. I recently found time to give the Contrail more attention--another chance. Setting up a Contrail appears to be an art. I certainly am no artist but will keep at it.

Wandering Daisy, excellent idea. I wrote a reminder on my "necessary to include" list. Hey, WD, I wrote a comment and request under a pic you took during your early Desolation trek--Photobucket. (Wonderful TR & photos on HST, by the way.) I'm lucky enough to have Desolation & Mokelumne almost in my backyard, have done, perhaps, a thousand miles in there since my dad introed me to the wilderness, c. 1958, love it, have never seen Aloha so snowed in, and...well, take a look at the comment. I've been around the forums much longer that my HST newbie status & post count would have one believe. Madeintahoe's a long-time bud. She'll vouch for my character, if not for my trekking skills. (That's a joke, I hope... ;O)

mschnaidt (Michael), your comment made my day. The fact that your brother stayed dry & comfortable in a Contrail during an "extremely violent 6 hr lightning/hail/rainstorm at 11,300 ft on New Army Pass" means that the Contrail can actually be pitched to withstand such conditions. Thus far, my efforts have resulted in a sadly wimpy shelter. And I'd guess the Contrail had to have been anchored with rocks, one difficult thing to effectively accomplish by many I've read, and by me? well, an audience might pay for the comedic entertainment. I've thought of packing in, instead, the ol' Mtn HW PCT 1 rather than have my rock-pitched Contrail be threatened by a forecasted sneeze. My wife and I once had a ripstop tarp rip (yup) during such a storm. We rolled up, caterpillar-like, in the ravaged shelter. Such closeness. Romance? Nope. Ambiance befitted no such diversion to hurry nights end.

Thanks All Again,
Jim :)
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Re: Tarptent Sealing: Ratio of Silicone Goop to Paint Thinner?

Postby oldranger » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:46 pm

Jim,

Somewhere in the past I described setting up the Contrail as "Art." On my last trip I narrowed down the requirements a little. First principle is not to set it up as designed! You want a peak at the rear of the tent. Set the rear supports so they provide about a 6' wall stake out the rear corners at a distance appart that the peak at the rear is about 18." Then stake out the front two wings so they are about 4.5 to 5 ft apart and make sure the sides of the tent are tightbetween the front and rear stakes. Insert your trekking pole to raise the tent. I set my pole at 105 cm for the bottom section and 130 cm for the top and that makes the pole the correct length unless I am pitching the tent on a rock slab, then it is a bit too long. Then use your other pole or a stick to create the peak at the foot of the tent. Oh yes make sure the adjustable ties for the tentstakes are as long as possible when staking out the tent. When set up cinch up the ties then do it again before you go to bed. You migh also want to stake out the sidewalls I usually use rock for that and have used rocks rather than stakes on several occasions for the complete set up.

One further direction. If you need to have the beak staked out due to weather or cold (greatly increases odds of condensation) then you may need to adjust the width of the two front side stakes (or rocks).

So it is art but it is getting more automatic in my 4th year of use. And now that I'm getting the hang of it I'm beginning to look for something as light but easier to get in and out of, something I suspect you might be interested in as well.

Mike
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Re: Tarptent Sealing: Ratio of Silicone Goop to Paint Thinner?

Postby rlown » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:47 pm

oldranger wrote:... Oh yes make sure the adjustable ties for the tentstakes are as long as possible when staking out the tent. When set up cinch up the ties then do it again before you go to bed. You migh also want to stake out the sidewalls I usually use rock for that and have used rocks rather than stakes on several occasions for the complete set up...
Mike


the "long as possible" is important. That way if you put rocks on your stakes, you don't rub the tent, which means you get won't have to figure out the repair process.

I found the recipe mix in Henry's FAQ page at: http://www.tarptent.com/faq.html

Do Tarptents need to be seam-sealed?

Yes, it's a good idea to seal the the seams along the rear arc and the pullouts to protect the stitching. The ridgeline seam can also be sealed but has proven to be extremely water resistant without sealant. Silicone is the only material that will stick to the fabric. Urethane sealer will flake off. An inexpensive product that works well is GE Silicone II clear sealer/glue. It is available as a squeeze tube in most US hardware stores or in the Tarptent Store. Set up the tent ouside in a in a well-ventilated location. Mix about a tablespoon of silicone with a couple of tablespoons of mineral spirits(paint thinner) and then apply the solution with a small foam brush. Add more mineral spirits if the solution gets too thick. Avoid skin contact and breathing fumes.
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Re: Tarptent Sealing: Ratio of Silicone Goop to Paint Thinner?

Postby mschnaidt » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:10 am

Hey Jim,

I've developed a couple of tricks that help me get a good taut pitch on my Contrail. 1st is the center pole at the foot of the tent. I use a section of an old four piece fishing rod. It weighs almost nothing and gives me a nice ridgeline. The 2nd trick is I've added a line from the front of the tent forward (Henry has already included the hardware) and tied in a short length of shock cord. The shock cord applies constant, gentle pressure to the tent and keeps the pitch taut even when it starts to sag when the sil nylon gets wet.

I'll pitch the tent sometime in the next day or two and take some pics.

Also, I'm just down the road from you in Cameron Park. If you'd like to get together before your next trip I'd be glad to show you what I do.

Michael
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Re: Tarptent Sealing: Ratio of Silicone Goop to Paint Thinner?

Postby mschnaidt » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:13 am

Hey Jim,

Here are those pics.

This is at the foot of the tent. Makes for a nice taut pitch.
P1010309 (Medium).JPG
Contrail center pole at foot of tent


I also added a line midway on each side if it gets windy.
P1010310 (Medium).JPG
Side ties


On the front I added a line that ties into a piece of hardware (plastic) that Henry included for this purpose.
P1010311 (Medium).JPG
Front line attachment


On the end of this line a tied a thin piece of shock cord about 12 inches long. This keeps the tension on the tent when it gets wet and the sil nylon starts to sag. It also increases the size of the vestibule.
P1010312 (Medium).JPG
Shock cord is black


Sorry if the pics aren't the best.

Good luck with your Contrail!

M
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Re: Tarptent Sealing: Ratio of Silicone Goop to Paint Thinner?

Postby JimJ » Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:25 am

The photos are very helpful, Michael. Your & oldranger's verbal descriptions are making sense. I think it would be great if such descriptions and illustrations clued Henry into a rewrite of his instructions. As I said, I think the video of pitching the video on Henry's site is kinda disingenuous. It just ain't quite that simple.

That sounds like a criticism of Henry. It's not meant to be. It's just that actually pitching the Contrail doesn't seem as intuitive to me as the instructions & video make it appear. My wife watched the video and said, "Oh, piece o' cake. What's the problem?" Then she began doing it herself. ("Uhoh. What's missing?")

You good folks have provided "what's missing."

Much appreciated,
Jim :)
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Re: Tarptent Sealing: Ratio of Silicone Goop to Paint Thinner?

Postby oldranger » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:50 pm

Jim,

This is standard setup for me. Branch used to make peak at rear of the tent. As I said before I don't usually stake beak out and when I went to bed I tied it back to maximize ventillation.
Contrail.jpg
Contrail, Kaiser Wilderness, July 14,2011


Mike
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