DuoMid - First Pitching

My DuoMid arrived a few days ago, and today - a very hot and humid Midwest Saturday - I'm in the garden having just pitched it for the first time, and sealed the seams with diluted SilNet.

I was very pleased how easy pitching was, considering the lack of instructions with the tent. After a search online I decided on a method that seems to have worked pretty well.

First off, I cut the dyneema guy cord for the ground stakeouts. I kept it simple at 600mm (2ft) each for the four corners and four mid-point tieouts. I didn't cut lengths for the wall tieouts until after pitching. For those I simply divided the remainder cord into four lengths of 179cm. It seems to be more than adequate, but I might switch to lighter cord at some point.

Here is my pitching order:

1. I staked out the rear corners taut

2. Then the front corners loosly.

3. I set my REI pole ( just for testing) to it's maximum safe length which as it happened turned out to be approximately the recommended 58 inches or 145cm. I then inserted the pole with the handle at the apex and made it as vertical and central as possible. I did this with the door zipped shut.

4. Re-staked the front corners and adjusted the cord locks.

5. Staked the mid points.

6. Later on I loosely added the wall guys.

After pitching it looked a little saggy, so I checked inside and found I'd not placed the pole as central as I thought. I corrected this, and then got a pretty taut, slightly raised pitch.

Ron's comments on the DuoMid product page emphasise the importance of closing the zip buckle before using the zip in order to relieve tension on the zipper.

If I was to identify the one weak point in an otherwise brilliant design, it would be that buckle. It's just a little too lightweight to take the tension along the front base of the tent. I found it had a habit of working itself open.

It's not a big problem, as it does stay shut with some determination. I found that on of the clip teeth needs bending a little to ensure a tight grip. Not a lot I can do about it, and I don't really want to send it back for such a small problem.

As for seam sealing,

Martin has a great post

about that, so suffice to say once diluted, it was easy to apply - although I still made a bit if a mess because the silnylon gives under the pressure of the brush, leading to a rather exuberant application of silicone. Still, at least it's very waterproof now!

All in all, I'm a happy camper! And when this infernal heat dissipates, I might venture inside my new, yellow abode.