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Vaude Power Lizard modifications

Started by caorach, April 12, 2017, 01:14:01 PM

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I posted this on the Bushcraft forum but thought it might also be of interest to those who like fishing the more remote spots and enjoy a bit of camping. Again, as you know, I'm far from an expert at all of this and I'm sure everyone on here is well ahead of me but just in case it might inspire someone...

When I got a good deal on a Vaude Power Lizard SUL 1 - 2 person tent (who on earth thought up that name?) I went for it as it seemed ideal for my wild camping at trout lochs, mostly because I'm a 10 stone weakling who can't carry much weight. Most of my camping looks like this:

As you can see the ground isn't the most even and it is also generally very soft, often I'm pegging into sphagnum moss rather than solid earth and, in truth, solid earth is not something there is an excess of until you dig down about 4 feet. Vaude do supply pegs with the tent but they are tiny titanium things which are, probably, great on soil but I need something rather bigger: here are the Vaude pegs compared to what I actually use:

I suspect that, in part, the Power Lizard is a marketing exercise as it is, or certainly was, the lightest 2 man tent on the market and so they had to shave off a few grams here and there to meet this marketing requirement, hence the pegs. Another area where they've knocked off a gram or two is with the guys that secure each end of the tent. The tent has a single hoop pole plus two short upright poles at each end to lift the ends and give foot and head room. It works well but the guy attached to the top and bottom of the upright poles is a single length of line and this makes getting a tight pitch, especially on rough ground which features high on my list of camping spots, difficult or impossible. These are images of the single guy:

As you can see this doesn't work especially well but, I guess, helped with getting the record of the lightest double skin 2 person tent on earth, or something. You can also see that there is some yellow line joined on to the Vaude supplied line and the reason for this is that the Vaude supplied line terminates in a little plastic ring through which the peg must be pushed. This is OK if you use the tiny Vaude pegs but my larger pegs simply will not fit and so I have to add another bit of line with a bigger "hole" for my pegs. This photo shows the Vaude guys and the little plastic ring with my modification added, as you can see my bigger pegs are never going into that little bit of plastic:

The obvious solution here is simply to remove the Vaude guy for the upright poles and replace it with two individual guys with line-loks to allow for using a variety of pegging options and also to give more flexibility in getting a tighter pitch on rough ground. Yesterday I took a little time to make the modification and do some back garden testing and it worked out quite well:

Even in the back garden I think it helped tighten the pitch a bit as with the one pole design there is quite a bit of fabric to flap about but it was very windy indeed yesterday and while there was some movement the end I modified first seemed tighter than the unmodified end. You can see that I used two pegs, one for each guy line, but with the line-loks it would be quite easy to use a single peg for both lines, two pegs made sense while I was experimenting and also show quite clearly the two separate lines.

While at it I also did the two additional guy lines that are used to stabilize the main pole - they extend at right angles to the axis of the tent just to give some additional stability in bad weather. Vaude don't even supply pegs for these guys as they say they are only necessary in very bad weather but they are just lines with a fixed loop on the end so I replaced them with bright yellow and somewhat thicker lines (because I trip over them all the time) with line-loks on them just to allow for adjustment. This is the full tent with the modification applied only to one end and before the side guys were done, just to give an overview:


Quote from: caorach on April 12, 2017, 01:14:01 PM
Vaude Power Lizard SUL 1 - 2 person tent (who on earth thought up that name?)

It was first used in Dr. Who during the Jon Pertwee years.  :lol:


Quote from: Element on April 12, 2017, 03:38:35 PM
I know what you mean re the pegs - some can be light - but tiny and if not made of strong Ti then they tend to bend and are not a lot of use. I make do with some local heavy rocks on the pegs in rough country to add security to the guys..

Yes that seems like a good plan and as I usually camp beside lochs so rocks are, mostly, available. However I know of a few lochs that are simply holes in the peat. Maybe there are rocks somewhere but I've not seen them. So to reduce risk I've taken to carrying more "suitable" pegs. Although I'm trying to reduce weight they only increase the load by a tiny amount so I think they are worth it. I must keep the rock solution in mind though, it is very obvious but might not occur to me if I had a sort of iffy peg position.

I'm looking forward to a few nights out though to be honest it will probably be July before I get the tent to any Lewis lochs as until then I usually fly up and down, which doesn't leave much room for camping gear in the suitcase so the camping gear usually doesn't make it to Lewis until July.


I ditched all the titanium pegs  from my ultra light tent and replaced them with aluminium. Yes they were light, but really next to useless.


Suggest you try making some of the storm peg design. If you are on soft ground then a longer thinner peg type can be made using 12g or 16g high tensile fencing wire which is a hard wire that holds its shape well. Take a section about 11" long and make the open guy eye loop out of 1" then make a bend of 45 deg  4" down from the eye so leaving the last 6" where you can file a pointed end. Make the whole thing like a number 7 with the eye sitting at the left end of the seven. The open part of the eye is underneath. Your guy line then runs with a pull almost parallel with the ground and your peg is pushed in on the 6" section at about 45 deg. Hope that all makes sense. You will find that in softer surfaces like mollinea on peaty ground you will get a good strength of anchor. This also gives you a ground lay on the ground bar of the peg to put a stone on rather than have wind fraying at your guy line as it goes under a stone. You can make the 6" section a little longer if you wish but when you try the peg you will find it is a good style. Make four !!
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Yes Fred, those wee pegs would be OK on my lawn but that is going to be the only place. They are no good out here:

On another matter I gave titanium cookware a try and am still using it. However I didn't pay too much of a premium for it and wanted to try it because I was nosy. Having used it for quite some time now I can see no advantage over aluminium and you'd be much better to save the cash and spend it on a fishing trip. I've got the titanium so I will use it but unless I needed a specific shape or size of pot that was only made in titanium then there's no way I'd pay for it again.

The whole "marketing" and "features" thing seems to be a problem in almost every hobby and people are throwing away cash as fast as they can. I suspect that, in some respects, it is due to lack of access to the actual activity - i.e. some anglers only get to fish a few days in the year and so they spend the rest of their "fishing" time buying things. Often you can't blame them for the lack of time as leave is limited, family requires time and so on meaning they simply can't get more time on the water no matter how keen they are. None the less a lot of people are going to die with cupboards full of useless junk that was expensive in order to pay for fancy magazine adverts when it would be better to die with a few simple, quality items having done a lot of interesting stuff.

Way off topic I know but the whole titanium thing seems like balderdash to me and don't get me started on so called "hi fi" or on £2500 telescopic sights for your rifle! :-)


Quote from: Bobfly on April 12, 2017, 04:47:34 PM
Suggest you try making some of the storm peg design.

That's a good idea, sounds pretty lightweight and strong though I guess it is quite thin and that might not get a grip on all ground. Worth carrying a few though as no weight and as you say they are ideally designed for putting stones onto.


Quote from: caorach on April 12, 2017, 04:57:06 PM
Yes Fred, those wee pegs would be OK on my lawn but that is going to be the only place. They are no good out here:

Out on the hill if I dropped them in  grass or heather they were impossible to find.  Typical gear bullshit hype -  yes they were lighter, but in reality the weight difference was undetectable in the total load.


For the "storm peg sevens" you can put two of them six inches apart but angled with the two tops coming together as a "V" shape and onto one loop of gut. That is a secure set up.
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