Tag Archives: Mountain Laurel Designs

Cuben Fiber, Dyneema, and Economics


America3 Yacht (picture found on the Internet)
America3 Yacht (picture found on the Internet)

I received an email from a friend asking me what I thought about the recent Dyneema – Cuben Fiber debate. I had no idea what he has talking about. He sent me some links to several Websites. It appears there is a lot of controversy and, in some cases, anger among backpackers who are advocates of extremely light gear. The anger is that Cuben Fiber is too expensive and not plentiful enough, and many people want more of it at a cheaper price. Of course no one really needs Cuben Fiber, but like spoiled children they want it. No one in the “anger camp” has identified the root cause of the cost and supply issue. So I am going to clear the air and explain it. First I need to provide some background. I will post some pictures to, hopefully, retain your attention.

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Trailstar Shelter by Mountain Laurel Designs


collage of tarpsIn the spring and fall the wind in our local deserts can get somewhat severe (gusts of 70+ mph). Along with the wind, gritty sand gets into everything: eyes, nose, ears, hair, gear, food, etc. As you can imagine, lighting a stove isn’t a simple thing to light or operate in this kind of weather. Over the years, my main shelters have been tarps or variations of a tarp (pre-determined shape without a floor). Above: Top row (L to R) poncho tarp, flat tarp, Gossamer Gear Spinn Twin flat tarp with a catenary cut. Bottom row (L to R) Chouinard Pyramid, Six Moons Wild Oasis, zPacks Hexamid.

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