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Stove Jack Install

The use of an ultralight single wall shelter with a folding wood stove is becoming more and more common. There are only a couple of companies selling shelters with jacks already in them, but there are lots of suitable shelters. So lots of folks opt to buy the shelter they like and install a jack in it themselves. The GoLite Shangri La 4/5 is a very common choice, and with good reason. It could well be the best all around 1-3 person with woodstove shelter going.

This page shows how we install our jacks. There are lots of other good ways to do it, but this has worked for us:

  1. Assemble materials
    1. Stove jack material (source from Seek Outside)
    2. 69 pound thread. Sold in fabric stores as upholstery thread and can be run on home machines.
    3. Silicon and mineral spirits
    4. Disposable paint brush and mixing container
    5. Seam tape if desired
  2. Create a pattern. I always lay a pattern out so it follows directly on top of existing seams. That way when I sew it in I'm sewing it into a reinforced area on the tent. I try not to cross a seam if possible, but there is no choice on the SL4. If you want, you can use the pattern I created for a SL4. In the pictures of the SL4 above, I got the jack where I wanted it on the seams, but I was using a jack I took from another tent so the hole cover direction and shape of the jack aren't the way they'd be if I was starting from scratch. Look at the pictures of the Megamid to see another example of a pattern that follows the seams.
  3. Cut out your pieces from the pattern, including the hole cover.
  4. Stitch the hole cover on. At this point, you can also go crazy with edge binding on perimeter of the jack if you want. I don't do this for my own jacks because it isn't strictly necessary. I have done it for friends because it is a more finished look and may have more longevity by preventing fraying. Note also the box stitch I used on the SL4. That's because after several years I melted the single line of stitching on the megamid. Keeping the stitching far enough away from the hole and box stitching it should prevent that.
  5. Take the completed jack and pin it onto the tent so it lays right on top of the seams like it should.
  6. Stitch it on.  I usually double stitch. For the bottom edge of the jack that doesn't fall on a seam, you can back it with seam tape for extra strength. I didn't with the megamid and it has never been a problem. Doesn't make it a bad idea though. Verify that it lays properly and you didn't bunch the tent somehow. To make doubly sure, pitch the tent.
  7. Now that the jack is stitched on, cut out the tent around the perimeter of the jack, leaving half an inch or so.
  8. Pitch the tent if it isn't already
  9. Thoroughly mix the silicon with some mineral spirits until it is the consistency of warm honey
  10. Brush the mixture over all of your stitching, including where the hole cover is stitched on
  11. Let the silicon dry
  12. Wait for some cold weather and fully enjoy your heated shelter!

If you have any questions or comments, refer to the discussion on the general section of our forum.

Edward Curtis Canyon De Chelly
When humans first set foot in a new continent, they came in small groups under their own power, bringing only the gear they needed. Most simply called themselves The People. Over time, those who chose the rougher freer life of the up country came to think of themselves as the Hill People.
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