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JoshK

Megamid opinions

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Yo. I'm looking to get a tarp shelter type thingy for 2 people. I know the betamid and integral designs silshelter are both designed for 2. Im also considering a megamid for it's extra space and ability to hold 3 or 4 if needbe.

 

I'd like to hear opinions from megamid/megalight owners. Are they useable in cruddy weather? Can they be used in winter weather that isn't super stormy? How is setup, stability, and all that?

 

thanks,

-josh

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I have the megamid. It works very well for spring ski touring. People have the megamid snow layout down to a science. It can be like a tropical rainforest in the morning when the sun hits it and melts all the frozen moisture on the shell. The addition of the vent at the top a few years back helped a lot, but it still happens. They don't work very well in really high winds, and I find "circus tents" are less than ideal when there isn't snow on the ground.

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I've used my megamid (the older model, not made out of the super lightweight siltarp stuff) in inclement weather on dirt. Its fine as long as the winds not raging. I've heard stories about people breaking the pole that it comes with but mine is as beefy as a table leg.

 

The mid is awesome for snow camping when you don't want to bring a tent. Ski pole can function as the center pole.

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I use a well-vented megalight-style shelter, made by the same guy who used to design them for BD. I've been in fairly strong winds in it, in the winter. When properly anchored, they are nails. The biggest drawback for snow camping in them is that getting the maximum stability value requires spending quite a bit of time digging & anchoring & wall building & excavating. Much more so then just throwing up a Bibler. Somewhat like 1/4 of the effort required for a snow cave. Just something to take into account.

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I've found the megamid really usefull. Cheap, light, and works great in snow. Wind does suck sometimes. I've had mine up in some pretty strong winds, and it has never let me down, but the bad part is when grit and sand constantly blow underneath. I don't take the pole, on snow, where the bottom is dug down really deep, I clip my ski poles together (via the wrist leashes) and then use a cordalette to splint them. Then I can make a pole that goes up to over 6 ft. I try to lean the pole into the prevailing wind direction.

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In 94 i used a megamid (along with another dome type tent) on the king trench on mt. logan. with skis as anchors the thing stayed up in violent weather. one night (during a two or three day event) we got so tired of shoveling snow off it we decided to give up till morning. the wind ate away the walls we had built in front of and on top of the mid's edge. in the morning we were drifted up to our necks in our immense bags at the bottom of the snow pit. the center pole was rimed.

gradually, as we continued to mistreat the mid in this fashion, the bottom edges started to fray in the nearly continual wind.

when we went up the headwall we foolishly left the mid pitched with our cache underneath. after we came back down from our failed summit attempt the mid was nowhere to be seen. we started digging for our cache, and there it was. the wind hadnt taken it, but several feet of snow had forced the center pole through the fabric. having an 8X8 tarp on top of your cache makes it much easier to find.

we dug it up, duct taped the hole, and kept using it on our way out.

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Used a megamid on Denali last year and thanked God every day we had one. We made plenty of friends during bad weather (read not windy). It fit a lot of folks comfortably but I would probably pass on one if you didn't have snow that you could dig down to make benches and cooking platforms out of. The mid was stable even during semi-windy (20-30mph gusts) weather with large snow blocks holding down the sides as well as building them up. We just collapsed the mid each night and set it back up each morning.

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Should add that the megamid that Ryland and I used on Denali was our 'cook tent' we used other tents (and an igloo) to sleep in, but brought the mid so all five of us could hang out in one spot during meals. Having the extra lounge room was awesome.

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The megamid is kind of awkward for three due to the center pole. It's fun to set it up on snow and then dig trenches inside (leave a pillar for the center pole) and trench an entry vestibule affair. It's also good to set up in the back yard and let the kids play under it.

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The megamid is kind of awkward for three due to the center pole.

 

Ha ha, at NOLS we call that the "Chastity Pole." Keeps the smelly hairy guy from accidentally rolling over to snuggle up with the smelly hairy girl in the middle of the night.

 

smileysex5.gif

 

A couple summers back I spent 34 straight nights in a Mountain Hard-On Kiva (similar to a Mid, bigger with pentagonal floorplan) in early winter conditions in Wyoming's Wind Rivers. It was great the way it reduced the overall group gear weight, and we solved the pole problem by pitching it with the pole at a slight angle so the floor space was asymmetrically distributed. The shelter did okay in moderate snowstorms, but didn't do so great when it became snow loaded. But if you get enough people in there the place heats up like and oven and dries your gear out, it's great. I would definitely use one again if I wasn't going somewhere bug-infested. Having the space is a luxury I enjoyed.

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you might also check out the Golite Hex.

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I was given a megamid clone made by a canadian company called "outbound", and I like it a lot. When in snow, do you all just lay down some type of light tarp between the snow and your sleeping pad?

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I just got my paws on some old magazines. They are from '73 to '75.

 

Pretty cool to see the designs, esp. the tents and sleeping bags.

 

What is new right now, is also old. thumbs_up.gif

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What is new right now, is also old. thumbs_up.gif

The Megamids practically unchanged in 20+ years.

 

La plus ca change, la plus'que c'est le meme chose.

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Thanks for everybody's comments. I ended up getting a Mega-light and I look forward to trying it out! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

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we had the Mega Light in Ak this year as a cook tent. It is nice and compact when packed up.It made life nicer. I do wonder how these light weight material will hold up to UV.

I did sleep in a Mega Mid during a sand storm. It was not quite the tent for that situation.

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JoshK, How did that Megamid turn out? I am thinking of a lightweight backpacking shelter but I dont want the extra weight of a full on tent. Were hoping to use it with us and the 2 dogs, 80 and 100 pounds (no the 100 pounder can't carry a load, hes got jacked knees). Just looking for something roomy and light and it seems you can buy an optional floor now. I am just afraid of the Rott going bug nuts if a mouse comes in.

hahaha.gif

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Chirp, if you're going to get a megamid with a floor, you might as well get one of those fancy new black diamond tents.

 

I still absolutely love my betalite tarp. Haven't used a tent for summer/fall/spring and most of winter in 3 years now.

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We just fit four men, comfortably, in a megalight on a three-day ski traverse.

I've sat out two major storms, with winds 50mph+ in a megamid in the spring and summer. The biggest danger wasn't the tent fabric failing, but the cords used to anchor it down! In both cases we made it through only a little wet.

The biggest drawback is the lack of bug netting, which can be a real problem. If I anticipate that, I'll opt for a traditional tent.

Despite my raves, I decided to purchase a BD Lighthouse instead of a BD Megalight, even though they weigh the same and the Megalight has more space. I factored in the considerations that I usually climb with only one other person and I hope to be doing some bigger climbs that will require bivy's enroute. A smaller freestanding tent like the Lighthouse just gives a few more options for where to sleep.

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Good points all around but darn it I still don't want to fork out a ton for "another" tent. I might just get one just to have and try since we already own some larger and smaller traditional tents. Just feeling guilty leaving the big buddies behind or trying to cram 450 pounds of human and animal into a tiny tent, although in winter it might be a great way to keep warm.

We considered the bug issue and that might be a deciding factor as would wind/debris. Still gonna mull it over and play with the collective info from the comments. Thanks gang!

 

max.jpg

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