A while back I reviewed the Mountain Hardwear Direkt 2 tent. You can see the review here. I have been very happy with the tent. It is light, it is small, it is free standing, and it can handle some serious weather. The big problem I had with it was the difficulty of set up. Setting up the poles simply required too much effort because they fit so tightly. That is in part necessary to give the high wind tolerances of the tent, but it is a real pain when it’s time to pitch the tent, especially in bad weather.
In that review, one of the readers recommended that I slightly shorted the tent poles. That would sacrifice some of the high end wind resistance, but would allow for easier set up. I figured I would try it. These are the tools I used.
I examined the poles, and the easier place to do the modification was on the outer most sections. The piece that snaps into the tent is held in the pole by a small indentation. It can be pulled out with a set of pliers.
Make sure not to disconnect the rubber band when you are doing this. If you let it slip off, you will have to use a coat hanger to fish it out through each section.
Using a hacksaw I cut off half an inch from each pole.
Using a small file I cleaned up the edges and pushed the end piece back in. I tried removing less at first, but it didn’t make enough of a difference. With half an inch removed from each pole, the set up goes much more smoothly, while still providing enough support for the tent.
The pictures you saw of the tent from my trip report this past weekend reflect this modification. Make sure to secure the end piece to the pole by making an indentation with a nail, or just epoxy it in place. That way it doesn’t pull out on you when you try to take out the pole from the tent.
As I mentioned above, doing this modification will reduce some of the rigidity of the tent and lower its performance at high winds. For me though, the sacrifice is worth the easier set up. It doesn’t matter how extreme of conditions the tent can handle if you can’t set it up.