Backpacking, DIY, Gear, hiking, PCT

Tent Mods

I set up the tent again today to do some other modifications that I hope will make things more convenient. I ordered some tiny rare earth magnets from eBay and plan to attach them to the tent with Dyneema tape to hold the doors open. The Dyneema tape will stick to the fabric of the tent. The tent came with just one toggle on each door and they are hard to open and close from inside the tent. The only issue with the magnets is that they seem to be quite brittle, as one broke in half when it rushed to attach itself to the other magnets. I hope when they are attached to tape they won’t be able to break.

Tiny magnets — 10mm X 1mm

They seem to be very brittle.

I also have some hooks I ordered from ZPacks when I ordered the tent. They are sewn onto pieces of Dyneema tape. The Duplex doesn’t have any loops or hooks on the ceiling from which to hang a headlamp or some other light source, and it is nice to have your headlamp hanging up instead of on your head when you are trying to do stuff in the tent at night. And, having a different light source in your tent when you’re using your headlamp to heed the call of nature in the night is helpful for finding your tent again in the dark. I have this tiny light to use for that purpose.

Tiny light source – quarter for size reference.

Plastic hooks attached to Dyneema tape to stick to ceiling of tent.

I got this nifty gadget on Etsy to help push the tent stakes into the ground. It is made especially for the MSR Groundhog stakes that I have.

Tent stake pusher

Tent stake pusher on MSR Groundhog stake

It may seem a little expensive, but it is small and lightweight and sometimes it is SO difficult to push the tent stakes into hard ground with just my hand! I stuck one of my name labels on the end of it and hopefully won’t lose it.

Okay, here is today’s tent setup. The tent stake pusher worked quite a bit better than trying to get the stakes in the ground with just my hand, although since our ground is hard and our “lawn” is just many layers of dandelion leaves, it was still difficult to get the stakes in by hand. I have decided that I need to tighten the side guylines more so the tent doesn’t sag inward.

Today’s tent setup.

I successfully attached the little hooks to the ceiling of the tent. I put one on each side so I could hang the light on the side I wouldn’t be getting out on.

Hook on ceiling of tent.

After attaching the hooks, I set about attaching the tiny magnets with Dyneema tape to the tent. I rolled up the door and marked the spot where I wanted to put the magnets. I cut pieces of tape that were an appropriate size and marked the sides of the magnets so they would stick together and not repel each other.


Then I attached the magnets to the tent at the places I marked. I decided to put two on each door.

Magnets holding door back.

They held! But… <bumps door>. Nope. The magnets, while strong enough to stick to each other such that it’s hard to separate them, aren’t strong enough through two layers of tape to hold the door back if the door is bumped. Rats! Now I’m not going to bother with the rest of the doors. Hmph. Since time is zooming by and it will be time to leave before we know it, I don’t think I’ll try another type of magnet. Maybe I can figure something out for next year.

Just keep walking!



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