View Full Version : Boy scout shelter

idaho lad
06-07-2007, 01:59 PM
Today I ordered a Para-Tarp and also recieved a Sierra Design Orgami 4 tarp today. My nephew hasn't a shelter for his scouting trips and he can decide between the Kifaru or the Sierra Design. He gets one, and uncle gets one.

I'm going to go now and set up the Orgami tarp as it has just arrived 5min ago and post some pics.

The kid gets to choose and keep his shelter, what a lucky kid.

Do you fellas think the Para or Orgami is good enough for scouting?


06-07-2007, 03:04 PM
One thing to consider is if the troop allows flames or fire in the tent. My son's troop won't allow fires in tents.

idaho lad
06-07-2007, 03:37 PM
Good point and I'll find out, but for now both shelters are flameless.

I could easily equip each of them with a stove and my nephew could CADILLAC his winter freezerie trips. I'd have to versi-jack the Sierra Design or get an annex for the Para. But for now he has the plain jane basic shelters to choose from.

Here is the 4lb. Sierra tarp in a package next to a small black lab.



Para tarp is coming as I ordered it today and it is much more compact and lighter.

This tarp is big enough for a 6' person to stand. It is susposed to have room to sleep 4 and that would be possible. But 3 people could fit in here and have room for gear. Versi-jack the top and install a stove and your good to go for winter treks.

Not too bad of a unit for $124.oo We'll see how it does in rain and snow. My only gripe about tipis is setting them up. I will admit that setting them up is a flat out pain. Other than that the tipi is alright.

I kind of want him to take the tipi because he and several buddies can set it up together easier than one person. I really want the Para. But I gave him the decision.

06-07-2007, 06:08 PM
Not sure how you can even compare the two shelters. One is large and heavy, the other is small and light. One is sorta more for car camping, with multiple people, the other is sorta more for solo ultra light backpacking.

06-07-2007, 08:10 PM
Here is an eight man at a Scout camp.


We have the no flames in tents rule too but this is a tipi not a tent. I also have a Paratarp. Ksnake is right. It is more of a backpacking shelter. I can stay in it one or two nights but even sitting up straight is tough if you are not in the very front of the tarp. For its intended use it is perfect but you nephew may find it a bit small. In our troop the boys have to use the buddy system—two boys to each tent. It would be tight for that.

idaho lad
06-07-2007, 08:26 PM
Actually the SD isn't that heavy. It's about 17% smaller than a 4-man and a full pound lighter. Actually I can set this up a a tipi, or big tarp or a-frame. I can also drop a pound of weight off this thing to make it light as the Para tipi. It all depends on how I want to set up.

I thought I'd let my nephew choose if he wanted to have his buddies in his shelter with him, or if he wanted light solo unit. I can get his tipi down to 3.5 or less pounds and that is quite light enough to pack with as the Para tipi is the same weight and smaller in design. I'll see which way he choses.

06-08-2007, 05:45 AM
? Para tipi or para tarp?

06-08-2007, 08:22 AM
I've had an SD origami 4 for a little over a year now. I fit it with a stove jack and have used it that way almost exclusively, including a fall trip in alaska and an early winter trip in the cascades. Those were both cold, but not much wind load and no snow load, so I don't know how it does in those circumstances. I ended up putting the stove jack against the back wall opposite the door. It is very nice to have it there for space usage, but doesn't distribute heat nearly as well as in the center.

The only tipi I have to compare it to is my Megamid. The Megamid is considerably beefier (heavier ripstop construction, heavier zipper, much stouter center pole). The Megamid has stood up to quite a bit of wind and snow load over the years. I'm not convinced the SD will be as trustworthy in the same circumstances. In the Megamid, my stove jack is in the center and the small stove heats it up very well.

The SD is quite a bit bigger of course. I've found that the 'Mid is a two people plus stove and a little bit of gear shelter and the SD is a three people plus stove and a moderate amount of gear shelter. It is nice to be able to stand up in the SD as well.

I've never set up a kifaru tipi, but I imagine the SD is about comparable in setup pain. You have to hold your tongue just right to get the footprint set up properly. The 'Mid is the hands down winner in that space. Stake all four corners as taut as you can and put the pole up. You're done.

As you can tell, I'm a big fan of the Megamids. Great space to weight ratio, great price, very livable shelter for one or two, expedition proven, and works quite nicely with a kifaru stove.



06-08-2007, 09:21 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: idaho lad</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Actually the SD isn't that heavy. It's about 17% smaller than a 4-man and a full pound lighter. Actually I can set this up a a tipi, or big tarp or a-frame. I can also drop a pound of weight off this thing to make it light as the Para tipi. It all depends on how I want to set up.

That is different. In your first post you mentioned the para tarp which is totally different from a 4 man.

idaho lad
06-08-2007, 12:00 PM
I'm not trying to compare the SD to the Para tarp. I letting him choose which one he needs for going on scouting trips. The para would be super for those lighter extended trips they take to the selway and more remote areas.

I wanted him to choose because I am just the uncle and I am footing the bill for his EQ because of a broken marriage thing.

Actually I'd like to have the Para tarp for myself, but I will let him make a choice. Heck, he can have both if he needs them. I was thinking that the Para would make a nice hide for staking out on a ridge with my longrange rifles.

I was just wondering though which one would get the most use for his scouting outing.

Is a small shelter which is very light enough for a kid or is he going to need the extra room for another buddy? That's why I'm giving him options.

06-08-2007, 01:40 PM
Half of the fun of a scout outing is hanging out bull****ting. Having the SD means that he and his buddies have a great place to do that when the weather is bad, whether or not he is the only one sleeping in there. At least in the troops I was in, two guys sharing a tent was kind of the rule. Plus, the weight of the SD isn't really that much even if he is only carrying it to use himself.

Based on location and activities, I would guess that his leaders are pretty squared away and have this base covered, but if I was a scout leader, I would definately have a big "pitch it quickly and everybody pile in" shelter such as the SD. If they don't happen to have that base covered, an SD would get a lot of use in that troop.

idaho lad
06-09-2007, 07:32 PM

06-09-2007, 07:53 PM

Thank you for an excellent post on the Megamid. How did you add the stove jack to it?

idaho lad
06-10-2007, 06:31 PM
So far so good. The SD stood up thru a very nice series of rainstorms we have been getting, and is still up since the beginning of thread.

Wind broke off little tree branches around the yard, and the tipi endured some pretty decent winds, but nothing over 30mph.

I'm waiting for some nastier weather, to come in.

06-11-2007, 01:01 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">...Megamid. How did you add the stove jack to it?</div></div>

I called up Kifaru and bought some stove jack material from them. (I happened to get Patrick on the phone -- "Do we sell that? Let me check... Yes we do. Cool").

I have an industrial machine, so sewing it in with good thread wasn't a problem. As sewing tasks go, this one is very easy. Use rubber cement or upholstery glue to put the patch where you want it on the tent, stoutly sew the perimeter of the patch, and then cut out the tent fabric you just covered with the jack. You could use seam sealer to cover the thread. I haven't bothered with mine, and it doesn't seem to have made a difference.

I don't see a reason you couldn't do it in front of the TV some night by hand.

idaho lad
06-11-2007, 01:49 PM
Thanks Evanhill,

I have access to an industrial machine and seamstress that has worked in high temp fabrics for industry. I think it would be a cinch for her to button this up in minutes. I have a supplier of high temp industrial fabrik that is in business just up the creek from me. They should have any material a person should dream up.

They specialize in foundry high temp applications.

Looks like a go, but I wonder if they will allow this set up in the scout troop?

06-11-2007, 02:27 PM
Are you (both) OK with the strength of the poles supplied by BD/SD? If you're not, where would a guy get a properly strong pole of the right length?

06-11-2007, 02:45 PM
Idaho -- I think the fabric is kevlar, but I'm not certain. One of the Kifaru folks could verify. Not very heavy, and quite pliable.

Earl -- The BD pole is bomb proof. The SD pole doesn't inspire as much confidence. However, if I had never seen the BD pole, I might think the SD pole is just fine, and it may very well be.

Who knows what a scout troop will allow? Depends on troop I'm sure. I remember a time when internal frame packs weren't allowed in a scout troop I was in because they "aren't strong enough". This was when they first came out.

06-13-2007, 03:47 AM
evanhill, I have the Mega Lite (silnylon version) and love it. Under 3 lbs. all up IIRC, for those interested it's worth checking out.

06-13-2007, 08:53 AM
I've had my eye open for a good deal on a mega light for quite a while now. It'll happen some day.

idaho lad
06-13-2007, 12:32 PM
Today I went to get my nephew and show him how to erect and put his Sierra Design tipi in its sack, and told him I have a Kifaru para tarp for him as well.

Well guess what. All he says is I don't want to do it today, uncle. We can do it later this summer. And he sits at Grampa and Grandma's house playing video games and watchin movies.

I cannot understand this. I fixed his new motorcycles for him yesterday, bought him new shelters he needed for boyscouts, and much of his scouting EQ and sleeping bag, boots, and a lot of the fixins he needed and he says, "I don't want to".

Well guess what. I am the Uncle, and not the parent. I don't have to support any activity he wants to get in to and I'm done buying him the EQ he needs for his sports and boy scout activities. The new para tarp is MINE, as is the Sierra Designs 4 man tipi shelter. When he is needing a shelter for his trips in scouts, he can forget using the EQ I bought for him.

Also, he told me he'd keep his room clean if I got him a new sleeping bag he wanted for scouts. Guess what. He didn't keep his end of the bargain.

He really pissed me off today with his winey little attitude and unthankfulness.

No more of this uncle picking him up and taking him to his activiities and buying his EQ.

Undeserving brats.

06-13-2007, 12:59 PM
How old is he?

Kids are often more difficult to figure than women, and usually need to be handled with more finesse. It would be hard to be tuned in to what is really going on with him if you're not with him quite a bit.

It could be garden variety ungratefulness (as you suggest), or it could be depression, or it could be a sense of unreality and confusion if there is nobody setting and maintaining consistent boundaries.

Good luck.

06-13-2007, 02:02 PM
Idaho Lad - PM sent

06-16-2007, 10:50 AM
evanhill, are you an REI member? If not, you should think of joining. Even if there are no stores where you live, you can buy stuff mail order.

Members get a 10% dividend every year, which is really just a rebate on what you spent the previous year. When you get the dividend, they let you take an additional 20% off any single item. That's how I got a deal on my mega-lite and another item or two over the years.


Don't be too hard on the youngster. This is not a problem unique to your nephew. This is a problem for a lot of kids his age, they are all into stuff that wasn't even invented when we were kids. That does make it hard for us to fathom, but it makes him just like any other kid.

I have three teenage sons, so trust me on this. It's a different world today than when we were kids. The trick is to look beyond all the stuff that doesn't make sense to us, and still find ways to get the kids outside, away from TVs and video games.

One trick I've learned is to invite my sons on a weekend camping trip and tell them they can bring one or two of their friends, that seems to work better. Once you get 'em out there and knocking down silhouettes with the .22 or eating trout that they caught themselves, it's a whole different ballgame.

The important thing is to keep asking. I know it's not easy but as a wise man once said, nothing worth doing is easy.

idaho lad
06-16-2007, 11:42 AM
I'll be trying.

06-16-2007, 09:51 PM
idaho lad:

First off, thank you for trying. He's lucky to have an uncle like you that cares. There are millions of kids who don't, and they are already on the road to unhappiness and failure in life.

As Smokepole said, don't give up. Trust me, I know how you feel. I'm the father of a four year old. I hold his feet to the fire every minute he's wake. It's no fun, but I have to do it. I don't know your nephews family situation, etc; but like evan hill said, if consistent boundaries and expectations are not set and enforced, then things get tough.

Be there, be available and be willing to share your equipment when he does decide he wants to.

You are not his parents, like you say, so you cannot discipline him. All you can do is set conditions for him to be with you and do fun things with you. Also, you can watch, listen and learn so you don't make the same mistakes when you are the father.

Trust me, it's infuriating (my 4 year old disrespected his mother today and I had to tear his @ss up), but when he comes to me later and tells me he's sorry and that he deserved the spanking, then you know you are molding them right.

Hang in there.

beta male
06-17-2007, 03:44 AM
Hey idaho lad, if you would like, you could send me the SD or the paratarp and I will gladly write you letters telling you how grateful I am about the stuff you gave me. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Seriously, I have a 10yo daughter that is on and off about the outdoors. We had a great time turkey hunting this spring, well actually we had a great time catching crawdads in the creek when we didn't see any turkeys one morning. Keep trying and you might have to keep any outings short to keep his enthusiasm up.

06-17-2007, 09:00 AM
HEy Idlad, the root of discipline is disciple, which losly means to follow or follower...keep leading your nephew.

idaho lad
06-17-2007, 11:28 AM
Will do Baloo.

06-17-2007, 03:42 PM
Idaho, I was reading the paper today and came across this, it's what I was trying to say but this guy says it so much better and it's the best reason to keep on trying. If you, I, and the rest of us don't, we are a vanishing breed I'm afraid. Enjoy:


idaho lad
06-17-2007, 05:23 PM
Right on Smokepole,

There really has been a lot lost, especially in the last 20 years.

I talked with him today, and the kid is interested in nothing but playing and living a care free existnance. In asking him if he wanted to go and do some rambling he said, "with a motorcycle".

He won't go with me on foot. Just motorbike.

He doesn't want to go out and shoot clays or be taught how to bust steel at extended ranges.

Oh well. That's his choice, but I will leave the door open for him when if a time comes in which he wants to do something other than play.

Oh, BTW. His Sierra Design has been up for quite a while. Today and last night even we got some awesome rain. The tarp/tipi is super in sheeding water like a duck, but the segmented pole sucks for its intended use. I might replace it.

Kind of a nice unit as it is tall enough to stand up in and is only slightly smaller than a 4-man, with quite a bit less weight due mostly to the pole.

06-17-2007, 06:51 PM
How old is this kid?
The root problem is his parents.

06-17-2007, 07:54 PM
Well, keep on plugging, Idaho. I've gotta think that once you get him out there to bust clays, ring the steel, or catch a trout, he will enjoy it. Never seen a 12 year-old who didn't like to shoot stuff. That's an age where it hasn't been beaten out of them yet, no matter who they are.

Make a deal with him, tell him you'll do it his way once he does it your way (on foot). I'm betting you'll both have fun and you'll open his eyes in the process.

06-18-2007, 01:36 PM
Didn't you mention the kid had been through a divorce? Honestly, he's probably about half depressed (or worse). Playing video games is a good way to forget about reality. Load him up and tell him he's coming whether he likes it or not, for a long weekend. He'll probably mope around for a night or maybe a day, but he'll perk up.

I've got an 8 and 5 year old boy. They have a Playstation. Sometimes they play it too much. I had promised the oldest a squirrel hunting trip this spring with his new 22. We are building a house right now and time is hard to come by. Still, I dropped everything a few weeks ago and took off with him on a Friday afternoon to drive about 5 hours to a buddy's place in east Texas that should have been full of squirrels. Hunted till lunch time and then had to come back home. A lot of trouble for a dinky squirrel hunt - but I kept my end of the deal. On top of that, we couldn't find a squirrel to save our life (kind of like my elk hunts). We gave up and I let him start plinking (Lord I forgot how much fun that was with a .22). He discovered that crawdad mounds make wonderful explosive targets.

Last night, I was having to work on my laptop and I asked him if he wanted to go play his Playstation. Nope - we'd just gotten a new Cabelas catalog and he wanted to go through it and make out "his" list for Christmas. YES!!!!!!!!!!

Tim in Washington
06-20-2007, 04:43 AM
My son just made Eagle a couple of weeks ago . Sometimes I was pushing him ,sometimes he was pushing me. I promise that neither of you will regret it.Kids are definetly different these days with all of the electronic toys avail.