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Welcome to our guide for pitching the Mountain Laurel Designs Trailstar. The Trailstar is a versatile, ultralight shelter, that can be set-up in various configurations to meet your needs. Here are the two most popular set-ups, as well as some of our favorite variations.

By watching the video above, you can easily see approximately how long to cut the guy lines. A foot or two of extra line is okay for the first set up – you can trim it later if desired.

MIDDLE PITCH INSTRUCTIONS

The most common set-up for the TrailStar is the “Middle Pitch” – a pitch which uses one of the middle edge tie-outs for the door pole. Use the “middle pitch” when adding a TrailStar Solo InnerNet.

  • Loosely lie the shelter out on the ground. Visualize an equal pentagon shape for staking angles.
  • Stake down the five primary corners, visualizing a pentagon shape for guyline angles off the shelter. The two primary corners, next to the center door pole tie-out, should be moved about 1 – 2 in | 2.5 – 5 cm closer together than the other primary corner stake points: 1 in | 2.5 cm for a lower door, 2 in | cm for a higher door.
  • Insert trekking pole in the center at about 51 – 55 in | 130 – 140 cm tall.
  • Add the door pole at about 43 – 51 in |110 – 130 cm – set the height to whatever is tight, depending on the width of the front corners.
  • Use built-in Linelocks to tighten each corner.
  • OPTIONAL: Attach your InnerNet. (See: How to Attach the MLD InnerNet.)

DONE, in 1.5 minutes or less!

HIGH PITCH INSTRUCTIONS

The fast set-up in the “High Pitch” uses the five primary corners with one pole off one of those five primary points.

  • Loosely lie the shelter out on the ground. Visualize an equal pentagon shape for staking angles. (15 sec)
  • Stake down four corners, visualizing a pentagon shape for guyline angles off the shelter; Shorter lines for a low pitch, longer lines for a high pitch. (20sec)
  • Insert trekking pole in the center at about 51 – 55 in | 130 – 140 cm high. (10 sec)
  • Stake out 5th corner off a stick or 47 – 51 | 120 – 130 cm trekking pole. (25 sec)
  • Use built-in LineLocks to tighten each corner. (20 sec)
  • OPTIONAL: Attach your InnerNet. (See: How to Attach the MLD InnerNet.)

DONE, in 1.5 minutes or less!

GETTING IN

Since the TrailStar is a five-sided shelter, it will stand up with only four of the five main corners staked down.

  • If you have your TrailStar all staked out, low to the ground, easily loosen one corner using the LineLock, then duck inside and re-tighten the LineLock by reaching out from the inside. It’s easier than it sounds!
  • If you do not need your TrailStar in the full low pitch; use a second trekking pole or stick (about hip height) and pitch one corner off of the ground as a door; this creates a nice tall door.
  • If you want “in between protection” (a smaller door), you can make a knee-height eyebrow door arch using a second trek pole about 24 in | 61 cm tall on a center side tie-out.

PITCHING VARIATIONS

Here are a few other ways of pitching the Mountain Laurel Designs Trailstar: 

  • One or two sides of the TrailStar can be staked tight to the ground while the other sides are set higher, using longer guylines, to make it a wedge shape. This allows you to block the wind from one or more directions while still getting great views from the others.
  • For really harsh wind, all ten stake points can be used for an incredibly stable, low, wind shedding, bombproof shelter. Pitched all the way low it should be able to handle 60 mph winds!
  • The TrailStar can be pitched really high using a long stick or two trek poles lashed together and longer guylines. Think: Walk-In Party Cabana!

SEAM SEALING

Your first setup is a good time to seam seal your shelter IF you have purchased a silnylon version and did not have it factory seam sealed. Use the SilNet supplied to seal the main seams, center panel tie-outs, and the apex stitching. Use only a small amount and do not go back over an area after five minutes. You can use your finger to push the sealer into the seams. If you miss a spot, wait until it is dry and then re-coat as necessary. For Full Instructions see, How to Seam Seal Your MLD Tent.