Catching the rain

When I crossed the Nullarbor in the middle of January this year, I camped out at the Penang Caravan Park, and whilst there, at about 3am, it started raining, it wasn’t heavy deluge but it did last for roughly 10 minutes and it was loud enough to wake me up, although in a tent, rain doesn’t need to be heavy to be much noise.

So next day driving towards Perth, I started thinking about ways to catch the rain when I finally do start my cycle trip across the Nullarbor,  I wanted something simple, quick to install and light, and I think I have made something that fits the bill.

I started with a strip of velcro across the width of the outer fly, with another strip on a flap to fold over and cover the first piece if the rain catcher is not fitted.

velcro strip
Unfolded velcro strip on the fly










Velcro fly
The folded velcro strip with no rain catcher fitted.










Fly velcro
The folding velcro strip on the fly.










The rain catcher has a strip of velcro on both sides of the top section, so when fitted the folding flap on the fly and fold over it.

The business end of the catcher comes together with another strip of velcro and it holds a piece of 25mm PVC pipe in place.

Velcro hold the two ends together and secures the PVC pipe in place.
Velcro hold the two ends together and secures the PVC pipe in place.











The PVC has an 45° elbow and about 150mm of PVC pipe into the folding containers mouth.  This was a late addition, when watching the tent from the comfort of the house, I saw the wind lift the catcher up and remove the elbow, so hopefully this fix that problem.  This end  of the catcher is secured in place with some cord and a stake.  I may add a stick to prop up this end and try to give it a bit of height.

Stepped back view of my masterpiece.
Stepped back view of my masterpiece.
Rain catcher connected to the tent.
Rain catcher connected to the tent.
Mocked up in the backyard.
Mocked up in the backyard.
Business end of the rain catcher
Business end of the rain catcher




































The only thing left to do is apply some seam sealer, where the velcro and the webbing have been stitched on.

The material I bought off eBay, it’s called Ripstop nylon waterproof fabric from a seller called lilylily.123, it took a while to arrive but it got here. Cost $11.oo with free shipping.

The webbing is 25mm black webbing bought from Spotlight at Joondalup, I think it cost $5ish.  The velcro was another eBay purchase, 25mm Olive colour, I bought two yards of this for $4.58.  My lovely wife got me the invisible waterproof thread, most likely from Spotlightas well, but only after she found out I had bought some nylon fishing line 0.3 mm that I was going to use in the old sewing machine. (which I had to repair first, a new top gear and treated it to some new feet, oh and a clean and oil.

The container in the picture is a foldable/collapsible 20L (eBay about $8), so when camping and I wake in the morning after some rain, I will have some spare water that I can use instead of my limited supply.

Feel free to ask questions.


My touring accommodation

Oztrail Vertex Tent
Well that’s the manufacturer’s spiel on this tent.  I bought this tent from Camping World at Mitchell ACT. What I have found with setting this tent up in my back yard.
  • The floor IMHO is on the thin side.
  • The tent is rated as a 4 season tent.
  • The floor has a good lip on it, so no water should get in. I’ll put a measurement in here later. (approx 200mm high) See photo below.
  • There is two vents in the roof that you can unzip from inside and on the fly there is a velcro patch which allows air in or out.
  • The two entrances (one on each side) can be zipped up with the fabric door or it can just be zipped with just the mesh. Again the fabric can be unzipped from the inside.
  • There’s a clip hanging from the centre of the roof for putting any lights up and I’ll test it later to see how much of the light shines through at night or if the two fabric sheets of the tent block it.
  • The tent doesn’t need to be guy roped down, as it’s free standing.  But if putting the tent up in expected winds then there are plenty of guy rope attachments to the fly.  The fly also has a latch at each corner for quick fastening or pulling down.
  • On the inside of the fly there are 4 velcro strips for fastening the fly to the cross over poles.  These strips are directly beneath the guy rope attachment area on the outer side.
  • On the inside, on two of corners there is a small mesh pocket for putting whatever you need during the night.
The Maker’s Blurb:  The Oztrail Vertex Tent is one of the Outer Limits range of high performance, lightweight tents designed for the budget conscious but serious hiker. 
The Oztrail Outer Limits Vertex Tent will keep you comfortable and protected in any conditions and as they pack down small in size and weight, they are suitable for carrying in your backpack.
• The cross-brace design of this 2 person dome tent creates ample room inside with the bracing pole extending over both entrances.
• This design and the integrated high tensile “Durallium” alloy poles means the Vertex is a sturdy and strong yet lightweight tent.
• The floor is also lightweight but puncture resistant polyester “Taffeta DuraWeave”.
• The fly is made from 68 Denier Ripstop polyester with a water rating of 3000mm.
• Further minimising the weight the insect proof mesh is Ultra-fine 50×50 No-See-Um mesh.
• The Vertex comes in a waterproof dry sack ensuring that it remains dry 
even when you’re not.
Floor Dimensions: 230x160cm
Floor Material: Polyester Taffeta DuraWeave
Fly Canopy Material: 68 Denier Ripstop Polyester
Height At Peak: 105cm
Packed Size: 160x39cm
Pole Material: Durallium alloy
Sleeping Capacity: 2 person
Waterhead Rating: 3000mm
Weight: 2.6kg
Warranty: 1 Yr