canvas tents

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hamster
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Re: canvas tents

Postby hamster » 15 Jul 2019, 10:13am

Mike Sales wrote:I remember the Black's Icelandics we used in the Scouts. Fine tents but you might need a biggish car.
I used to use a Tinker, also by Blacks. An idiosyncratic shape, a little like a coffin, and a good tent as long as you didn't touch the sides in rain. Unfortunately I lent it to someone with little training in camping.


I used to have a Tinker - passed down from my father. It was designed by a guy-rope fetishist but a lovely tent. Like you I lent it and it got ruined. I've always thought to design and make a flysheet like the Tinker's - it would make a brilliant bivi.

mercalia
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Re: canvas tents

Postby mercalia » 15 Jul 2019, 10:20am

horizon wrote:
Barks wrote:In my experience cotton tents are cooler in warmer climes and as they are more fire resistant can accommodate wood stoves and their chimneys in winter temperatures, well below freezing if you have appropriate other gear and sufficient expertise. Heavy though so only really suitable for when vehicle or pack animal is used for travel.


I think we have to stick with cycle-carried tents here (maybe the OP could clarify). As soon as you go by car, cotton/canvas is completely feasible if you want it (which I certainly would). For backpacking, synthetics are de rigeur - the weight is over-riding IMV (and that of all backpackers i would have thought). Which leaves cycling. And cotton tents are borderline. Hence really the discussion.



well in the early days ( when I didnt know better and was fool hardy ) I did carry the canvas tent on the back of my Dawes 1-Down......SO what did people here do P.S.( some of who must be older enough to be Pre-Synthetics, P.S ). I could imagine using it again if I used a trailer

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horizon
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Re: canvas tents

Postby horizon » 15 Jul 2019, 10:29am

Most of my lightweight camping was done in the early days by hitch-hiking. But you still had to carry a rucksack and tent, sometimes over longish distances. But it is possible and would have been equivalent to a cycle. I'll try and dig out some weights this week (and at least one old tent). The tent I used most was an Andre Jamet two-man tent with sewn-in groundsheet and flysheet, all cotton except the ground sheet, and steel poles.
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

PH
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Re: canvas tents

Postby PH » 15 Jul 2019, 1:57pm

horizon wrote:
PH wrote:
horizon wrote:Ideally I would like a cotton inner Robens - now that's luxury!

Make an inner, you have the pattern, if it's the sort that hangs off the poles, you can afford a little inaccuracy, if it's sleeved then those need to be pretty precise.

I once asked a tent repairer (a big firm up North) whether they could make me a new flysheet for my Force Ten. I had the old one and offered to send it to them as the model - I just wanted a copy in the whatever/current material. They turned it down flat on the basis that it was just too difficult to make, especially given the exactness required. I never did quite understand what the problem was. And then you see all sorts of articles in old magazines about making your own tents from old bedsheets.
The inner on my Robens is suspended in the usual tunnel way from the fly. I presume then you would need to make and join a new groundsheet as well but everything else like the door is just how you want it.
So basically I'm not sure what it really involves.

Do you have access to a sewing machine? <rant mode> Every household should have one, when I was a kid I didn't know of any that didn't, I think it's a part of the throwaway culture that it's not the case now.
If you do, or can borrow, beg one (If you're looking to buy I can give some pointers) make a mock up from some cheap charity shop material, I go in and ask if they have anything unsalable, you'd be surprised what you can get for a fiver. You can then see for yourself rather than taking my word for it, or the opinion of the professional specialists. I can understand why they'd tell you that, it's time consuming making the pattern, then if the material behaves a bit different it might not be an exact replacement. But as I said if it's just hanging of the structure that isn't so important and of course if you've made it, you can always go back and alter it. I could do it for you, but if I only charged you minimum wage prices you'd still baulk at the price, with business overheads you'd need to double that.

LollyKat
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Re: canvas tents

Postby LollyKat » 17 Jul 2019, 10:48pm

We used to camp with a Blacks Good Companion Standard like this. I loved that tent, which I bought in 1967 for about £12, I think, including the optional external A-pole. When cycling we saved weight by using a single pole inside which made getting in and out slightly more awkward, but not a big problem. It was quick and easy to erect and stood up to all kinds of bad weather. However, once on a moving-on tour we had to pack it away wet - when we put it up at the next site in the rain came straight through. We sat inside for a bit with our capes on before my husband managed to scrounge a large sheet of plastic and rig up a flysheet.

After that it gave great service as a children's play tent, and it will soon come out again for our grandchildren :) .

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horizon
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Re: canvas tents

Postby horizon » 23 Jul 2019, 7:34pm

PH wrote:Do you have access to a sewing machine?


I do and I did (we have two in fact). I did try and make some waterproof pannier covers at some point. It was partially successful (I certainly used one of them). The main problem I found IIRC is that needle kept breaking or jamming. I don't think this was due to the heavier material but I never quite sorted it out.

I'm inspired by your post to give it another try. As you say, there's quite a lot of leeway on the inner - it just has to hang on in there! The idea of having a choice of inners depending on season is great (I'm surprised Robens and others don't give it a go).
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

dinger207
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Re: canvas tents

Postby dinger207 » 23 Jul 2019, 7:51pm

A good sailmaker should be able to make anything in canvas, especially if they do barge sails

robc02
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Re: canvas tents

Postby robc02 » 26 Jul 2019, 10:02am

The idea of having a choice of inners depending on season is great (I'm surprised Robens and others don't give it a go).


Tarptent do, at least for some of their models. They offer a choice of mesh or "solid" inners - neither in canvas, of course.

willem jongman
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Re: canvas tents

Postby willem jongman » 14 Aug 2019, 11:33am

This is the cotton tent that I used for years: http://home.kpn.nl/hmeijs/NTT/CDPlutoPlus.htm There are only two options left in the Netherlands. One, from Esvo, is somewhat affordable: https://www.esvocampingshop.com/nl/esvo ... en-tenten/ The other supplier is Tatteljee, who have acquired the rights to many classic high quality designs, but at a more elevated price: https://www.tatteljee.nl/nl/tenten/erdman-schmidt

Personally I have abandonned cotton because nylon is so much lighter and more convenient to pack when still wet. The big drawback other than a more limited life span is that nylon gets uncomfortably stuffy in warm weather. For years we only used Hilleberg tents, and these cold weather designs were particularly prone to getting too hot. Therefore, we have now added two MSR Zoic warm weather tents with full mesh inners (a Zoic 3 for when I tour with my wife and a Zoic 1 for solo trips). These really are a lot more comfortable in hot weather, but because they are inner first mesh tents they are a challennge when it rains. Horses for course does apply here. Their other advantage is that they are a lot cheaper than Hilleberg, so exposing them to a lot of UV light in southern weather is not nearly as expensive. We hope that this will extend the life expectancy of our Hilleberg with at least a few more years, depending on how many Mediterranean tours we make, of course.

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andrew_s
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Re: canvas tents

Postby andrew_s » 14 Aug 2019, 3:39pm

robc02 wrote:
The idea of having a choice of inners depending on season is great (I'm surprised Robens and others don't give it a go).


Tarptent do, at least for some of their models. They offer a choice of mesh or "solid" inners - neither in canvas, of course.
Hilleberg do too, for most models, though in their case it's as an extra, rather than as an option

jimlews
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Re: canvas tents

Postby jimlews » 26 Aug 2019, 6:10pm

I'm intrigued by VENTILE which is, I think a very close woven cotton material. Developed in WW2 for survival suits for airmen who ditched in the sea.

I believe it is available as a tent material and as a (presumably) lighter material for shirts and trousers.

Has anyone had any experience of this material?

Mike Sales
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Re: canvas tents

Postby Mike Sales » 26 Aug 2019, 6:16pm

jimlews wrote:I'm intrigued by VENTILE which is, I think a very close woven cotton material. Developed in WW2 for survival suits for airmen who ditched in the sea.

I believe it is available as a tent material and as a (presumably) lighter material for shirts and trousers.

Has anyone had any experience of this material?



When I was a young climber a clubmate had a Blacks made from ventile. I think it was called Arctic Guinea. It had a tunnel sleeve entrance and ventilators with A poles at each end.
I never used it but it was definitely overkill for even Glencoe in winter.
Pretty cool though.
Ventile anoraks were also available.

simonhill
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Re: canvas tents

Postby simonhill » 26 Aug 2019, 7:00pm

I have a few friends who still use canvas (cotton) tents, but these are all heavy frame tents. However, on a recent camping trip to Rutland and Wiltshire, I saw 3 or 4 very new looking largish bell/tee-pee tents made of cotton.

Joining the reminiscing, I too have a Blacks Good Companion (like Lollykat).

I bought mine in 1971 to hitchhike round Europe. In those days it was considered a lightweight tent. From Lollykat's link it says it weighs 10kgs, but I am sure that is wrong - probably more like 5kg. Mine had A poles as this made access much easier and I later bought a flysheet for it for spring/autumn camping. Apart from nearly breaking my back hitchhiking, it also did sterling service at many festivals and weekends away. It was nicknamed Tarantula. When I took up cycle camping, I bought a Saunders Spacepacker that was a quarter the weight and a third the packed size.

I still have the Good Companion, but it hasn't been used for 30 years. One day soon I will drag it out to see if it is still serviceable.

Finally, sorry to nitpick, but I think Black's Icelandics were down sleeping bags (cotton shell), not tents.I still have mine, bought 1971.

Mike Sales
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Re: canvas tents

Postby Mike Sales » 26 Aug 2019, 7:09pm

simonhill wrote:Finally, sorry to nitpick, but I think Black's Icelandics were down sleeping bags (cotton shell), not tents.I still have mine, bought 1971.



I am sure that, as well as sleeping bags, Blacks had a tent model called the Icelandic.
There was a superior Icelandic bag which was barrel shaped.
In my troop we eventually added flysheets to out Icelandics.
The walls could be brailed up as there was no fitted groundsheet.
I have a memory of an advertising picture showing ranks of the tents at some event in Iceland.
I once owned an Icelandic pit, as we called them.

simonhill
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Re: canvas tents

Postby simonhill » 26 Aug 2019, 7:17pm

Yes, apologies and they do still make Icelandic Tents https://www.blacksofgreenock.co.uk/tent ... WQhOCNKjIU

Strange really, the Icelandic sleeping bag was an upmarket down bag (compared to many kapok ones on the market at the time), whereas these tents are the basic Scout models.