Stealthifying a Big Agnes Seedhouse

I had it in my head that the Seedhouse was too bright.  The bright white rainfly ran directly counter to the whole stealth camping goal, whereby I would roam the countryside and pitch my tent behind fencerows, just beyond the outfield fence at the local softball stadium, or behind the pavilion at the municipal park; all the while invisible.

So off to the internet I go, discovering that mine is not a unique problem, and that a number of campers have had success with dyeing their tents to a less obtrusive shade.  Ideally, I would like camo, but a shade of forest green/muddy brown will do.

The challenge, from what I could tell, would depend on how much, if any, fiber might be contained in the material that the dyes could grab on to.  Not that much, proved to be the answer for a Seedhouse.

The local craft store fixed me up with some RIT liquid dye.  Boil up a big pot of water, dump it in a semi-cleaned out cat litter bucket, add some hot tap water, pour in the dye, stir it up.  Add tent fly, being careful to avoid trapping air in it, stir again, and stir every twenty minutes or so for the next two hours.

Witches’ Brew

Dump it all out in the back yard, (btw – rubber gloves and old clothes are recommended), hang it up to dry, and hose off the excess.

The result: not exactly forest green.  More like a mottled grey.

Still, it’s no longer bright white.  Below is an evening picture showing a before and after.  That’s the pole bag, which shows the original hue, hanging over the fly, which shows the “battleship grey” new hue.

Not as good as I would have liked, but it is an improvement.  Being an ultralite material, there just isn’t a lot for the dye to grab hold of.  Maybe I’ll just buy one of those camo/flak tarps and dig a bunch of tiger pits next time.

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2 responses to “Stealthifying a Big Agnes Seedhouse

  1. Ever think about just squirting the dye directly onto the material? You might be able to come up with some sort of camo design if you used enough colors …..

  2. I thought about that as well as some sort of plyable paint, but I’m not sure of anything that will stick. Still plenty of ideas to experiment with.

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