Scarp first pitch

Yesterday was the first sunny Saturday for ages. Having made so many modifications to my Scarp, I wanted to see how they worked. I first pitched the Scarp without crossing poles. Compared with the Laser Competition and Akto, I think it is easier to pitch and to get good tension on the flysheet. There is considerable strain on the end pegging points, so using good, chunky pegs, like the ones supplied is a good idea. Other than stony ground, I don’t think pins would be secure enough.

Side view

I was very pleased with the new end guying arrangement. It is definitely worth making the guys a bit longer, even if you don’t copy the centre guy arrangement.

End view

The next thing was to insert the crossing poles. Again, this was easy. It also illustrated the wisdom of separating the end guys from the eyelet securing the pole. It makes it much easier to adjust. In the picture below you can also see the end venting system, which works really well and is much more elegant than the original system.

With crossing poles

The Akto footprint is a surprisingly good fit. It covers one porch, while leaving the other bare. I like this arrangement as it gives extra dry storage space in one porch, but the other can be used for wet or dirty items such as boots. In the picture, you can clearly see the threshold cord. If there is one mod you should consider doing, this is it. It takes away the tension from the door hem. I can’t understand why tent manufacturers don’t do this as a matter of course. Only the Akto has this feature.

Open door with tent footprint

Naturally I needed to get inside. It feels very light and roomy. The ends are not claustrophobic like the Akto and particularly the Laser Comp.

Inside with new tent pocket

While I was moving around inside, one of the loops securing the inner to the outer snapped. This was my fault in that the silnylon tent floor was slipping against the footprint. As I was pitched on a slope, this put undue strain on the uphill loops. Whoops!


After I took down the tent, it was an easy job to sew the loop back together. There is very little “give” on these attachments so I made a small loop of shock cord to make the inner/outer attachment a bit more flexible

New loops

It was obvious that I needed to prevent the tent groundsheet from slipping on the footprint. Taking an idea from Franco, I used some seam sealant to make some gripper spots on the underside of the groundsheet. Hopefully this will prevent a reoccurrence of the problem.

Gripper spots

Overall, I’m very pleased with the Scarp. I think the mods that I’ve made improve the tent. It’s very spacious for one. Compared with both the Akto and the Laser Comp, it’s easier to pitch and looks as though it will be more solid in high winds. I think there are also a number of changes that could be made to the design, which would improve it even more, but I’ll save that for another post.

15 thoughts on “Scarp first pitch”

  1. Hi Robin, the Scarp looks good and your mods make a difference as ever! Do you envisage you will take the cross-over poles with you on most trips or leave them behind? What is the weight difference with/without the crossover poles? Would you end up taking them with you just in case and not mind the extra weight and packed-size?

    1. The crossing poles weigh 347g. Other than winter, I doubt whether I will use them. I may take them on my next outing, just to test them. It is a pretty solid structure without them. Easily as good as the Akto and certainly more stable than the Laser Comp.

  2. Hi Robin,

    some excellent tinkerings going on here 🙂
    I still havent managed to get my Scarp due to lack of funds and more importantly, lack of camping time. No sense in me buying a new tent if I am not able to do some overnighters… 😦

    For now I will stick with the LC and my tarps but am keen to see some trip reports from you on the Scarp especially with the extra mods

    Happy camping!

    PS… undecided about the Lizard. Would have to see it in the flesh for an honest opinion

    1. To me the PLUL is more of a competitor for the Comp. The Scarp is really a competitor for the Akto. From what I can see the PLUL isn’t different enough from the Comp to entice me. I’m more interested in the MLD Solomid or Duomid. The Scarp looks like a great mountain/foul weather/winter tent.

  3. I discovered that the central upright poles are removable, which has got me thinking. If the other poles could be removed it would be so much more easier to pack – in the bags that I own. The only downside would be having to put them back before pitching. Um, Am I brave enough to take a knife to it though?

  4. Nice mods, Robin, I might need to copy some of them, and thanks to your superb description no problem with that, either =) Now I am looking forward to seeing it on one of those beautiful Scottish, Welsh or English hills!

    1. Probably Wales next! I have been quite generous in the guy lengths. Even so you may use more cord than you anticipate. I used most of two 50 feet packs from Henry. Better to have too much than too little.

  5. I have had a Scarp since July. Done the zip puller modes but used different colored cord so I fit the inner tent the right way round. What length of cord did you use for the guide lines ?

  6. Robin, I’ve found the best all-around tent stakes are MSR Ground Hog stakes. They are extruded aluminum with a “Y” cross-section so they hold VERY well in everything except sand and snow, where I use SMC snow stakes or buried deadmen.
    BTW, I carry a snow stake in summer to use as a potty trowel for my cat hole.

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