Kim Goodwin Explains How to Make a Low-VOC, Low-Cost Tent

Kim Goodwin Tent

 

July 16, 2016

Kim Crieger Goodwin wrote about her mold avoidance experiences in an article published on July 9, 2016 on the popular health-oriented website Honey Colony.

The name of the article was How I Discovered I Was A Mold Warrior.

In the article, Kim discussed great improvements in her issues with multiple chemical sensitivities (which she had had since childhood) as a result of her mold avoidance activities.

Kim says that mold avoidance also has helped her other health symptoms, including severe fibromyalgia pain, migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, near-universal food sensitivities, chronic chest pain, and autoimmune disease of the skin.

Because Kim and her husband wanted to try camping during a mold avoidance sabbatical, they created their own tent from materials that she could tolerate. She summarizes the basics of how they did it below.

She shares more of her ideas about non-toxic living on her Facebook page,Healthy Home Design.

More details about her experiences are in this Real Patient Stories audio interview.

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KIM’S UBER-INEXPENSIVE TYVEK TENT

By Kim Crieger Goodwin

 

Here are the basic instructions of how we made a tent I could tolerate.

The appeal of Tyvek is that it is extremely low odor, yet is still waterproof. It is appropriate for mild to medium weather camping.

The tent we made was 7′ square. It comfortably fit our twin bed latex topper for my husband’s side of the tent.

 

Skill Level:

Sewing, very beginner. But cutting and forming the pattern, that takes some visualization skill, maybe intermediate.

 

Materials:

* Tyvek housewrap, the smooth kind which is being clearanced out, the short roll, bought at Home Depot. $68
* Poly Mesh – 3 yards, bought from a fabric store, untreated. $5
* Marine grade poly thread – 1 small roll, fabric store. $5
* Velcro. $15.
* Duct tape
* Four 8″ nails (the really huge ones) for stakes.
* Two pieces of irrigation pipe and a sprinkler fitting for the base, plus a cap fitting for the top. Under $12
* Nylon strapping for corners, for tent stake loops. $3

 

Basic instructions:

I used a new Singer sewing machine, their “heavyweight” version that is really for clothes, runs $130-$160 depending on the model.

The basic concept was to make a cowboy teepee, or range tent design. This is a pyramid that has the door on one side – so the base is a square, the sides are triangles.

To put it up, the corners are staked down, then the center is propped up from either the inside, or the outside. If propped from the outside, you can use either a bi-pod or a tripod of stakes. Either work because the corners are held down. If propped up from the interior you have to maneuver around the tent pole, but it just takes one pole. We did it that way, and has his-and-her sides.

 

A few tips:

1. Figure out the dimensions you want, starting with the bottom. Once you have the bottom, then you can figure out what size the side triangles need to be.

2. However you decide to make the triangles, when cutting out those pieces, put marks and numbers on the sides so you know which side of the triangle is up, and which attached to what part of the base.

3. Wash and dry the Tyvek. Unwashed, the Tyvek was insanely noisy. Once washed, it was a lot like a crinkled silk duponi, except stronger.

4. Be sure to duct tape the bottom seams, at least. Even if you don’t do the sides – though it’s a good idea, because besides adding strength, it’s a simple way to waterproof.

5. We used velcro for the door and screen, it was easier than fiddling with zippers. I’m not that good a seamstress!

6. Duct tape the top peak for extra durability, if you are using an interior pole.

7. The tent could also be designed using outdoor poles. This website features some examples.

Good luck!

 

Kim Goodwin

 

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