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Thread: Tent Advice

  1. #11
    Apprentice Geezer Happy Joe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tent Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by James. View Post
    Could just buy or make a wood stove to heat the tent.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...K_w8zAEsQ7D_T3


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymdr-gAfZT0

    But you will need a hole for the chimney

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfiUgGhTe1k

    or just get a buddy heater.
    Re wood stoves (with a stove jack); tried them while some use them I found that they are dirty/sooty; a pain to transport the pieces without getting soot on things that you don't want to destroy... and getting up, in the dark hours, to feed the smaller ones is a royal pain.
    when there is a real possibility of waking up to 6 inches on snow on the tent (not really all that bad if it doesn't cause the tent to collapse in the aforementioned dark hours; the snow acts as insulation to keep the tent warmer) closing off the wind scoops (mostly, got to leave some vent) has been the best single cool/cold weather mod that I have found...I don't even try to heat tents anymore; but when using the dome I always partially block the wind scoops (aka, vents)...

    Re; Buddy heaters; they use to much propane (IMO), may not work well at higher altitudes, (where they are more needed due to cold and snow) because the lower oxygen intends to trigger the low oxygen shutdown and they may overheat the tent because they do not have a thermostat.

    It is likely just me, but I have yet to find a good portable heater (over the years I have tried most, including modifications, and have a rather large collection. HINT; the propane thermostatically controlled, vented (usually modified) heaters (or combustion outside the tent with the heat ducted or piped inside) work the best, although they too have downsides). However a good sleeping bag; is simpler & more than makes up for it; less hassle and easier to transport... minimizing the tent's wind scoops to merely adequate vents (the current tent lets them be zippered partially to fully shut), helps raise the tent interior to a temperature that minimizes the cold shock while entering and exiting the sleeping bag.... no need to waste heat, effort and packing weight trying to heat a, poorly insulated, tent all night when a good bag is a great plenty (heat wise)...Just an opinion...

    Enjoy!
    Last edited by Happy Joe; 11-06-2017 at 08:33 AM.
    2006 Jeep Rubicon; 4.11 gears, 31" tires, 4:1 transfer case, lockers in both axles
    For DD & "civilized" camping; 2003 Ford explorer sport, 4wd; ARB & torsen diffs, 4.10 gears, 32" MTs.
    Tents work best for me, so far.
    Experience along with properly set up 4WD will get you to & through places (on existing, approved 4WD trails) that 4WD, alone, can't get to.

  2. #12

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    Default Re: Tent Advice

    The Buddy heater I could see using but the wood stove is way more fooling around than I want to do considering I'll only be out for 2 nights at the most during the winter. Also, I won't be more than 2 hours from home so if there is going to be a blizzard I'm packing up and bugging out.
    Last edited by ducman491; 11-06-2017 at 07:36 PM.

  3. #13
    tplife's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tent Advice

    1. You want a real, quality tent from a company like REI, EMS, A16, Sierra Designs, NorthFace, Mountain HardWear, or Marmot.
    2. You want a ThermaRest or MegaMat self-inflating sleeping pad with an R-Value of 4.9 or better.
    3. THROW AWAY your military-style cot. It is intended for use in climate-controlled enclosures, because it has an 0.7 R-Value, which means you need 7 times the amount of sleeping insulation to match one 4.9 pad on the ground. The military hasn't used cots in cold weather for years, they use a ThermaRest pad.
    “People have such a love for the truth that when they happen to love something else, they want it to be the truth; and because they do not wish to be proven wrong, they refuse to be shown their mistake. And so, they end up hating the truth for the sake of the object which they have come to love instead of the truth.”
    ―Augustine of Hippo, Fifth Century A.D.

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    Default Re: Tent Advice

    Eureka's Outlet has a few of the 4-person "Canyons" right now. Personally, for cold weather, the Silver would be my choice due to the full-length fly. The only downside is that between the fly and the colors, it looks a little circus-tent-ish.

  5. #15
    a65hoosier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tent Advice

    Some additional summary thoughts.....

    A good 3 season tent can be made to work in the winter (see mods above) and thus can be used year-round (this assumes very little/NO snow load for your cold weather trips). The key is the amount of mesh which will allow cold drafts to make their way into the tent. In summer...lots of mesh is great! But even in winter, ventilation is necessary...or you will wake up with everything in the inside of your tent covered in frost as a result of your breath condensing and freezing on interior surfaces before they can be expelled (via venting) out of the tent. The balancing act is how much or little mesh do you need in a tent to fit your average camping trip. Unless you want to purchase a separate winter tent and and summer tent...best to try to find a compromise that will work ok in all seasons (No snow---that's a whole different set of requirements).

    Rely on your sleep system (bag, pad, clothing, bed habits) to keep you warm. Not a tent. Tents will not add any heat...they may capture some of your body heat....but not enough to matter. They feel warmer inside mostly because of the wind break. Make sure to have a good sleeping bag/quilt/etc. rated down to at least 10 degrees lower (20 would be safer) than the temps you are expecting to experience. A good quality insulated mattress on the ground is best. If you are in a cot...make sure you have a warm insulating layer (like a good quality pad or similar) under you. Take advantage of good pre-sleep habits (see below) and tricks to add some heat to your bag. You can always add a heater if you need a kick of warmth to go to bed (ie. reading time) or to get up and out of the bag. I wouldn't sleep with a heater running all night. I rely on the sleeping equipment I bring to keep me warm during the night.

    I found these articles just today and think they may be helpful.


    Cold weather sleeping info/tips/tricks/ideas:
    https://www.backpacker.com/skills/co...bernating-bear

    Information on R values - what they mean to you as a camper
    https://thermarestblog.com/r-value-meaning/
    2017: 19 nights 2016: 20 nights 2015: 19 nights

    Spring->Fall: Marmots: Limestone 6P and 4P, Stormlight 3P, Tungsten 3P; SlumberJack Trail Tent 6P, Big Agnes Yahmonite 5P
    Fall->Spring: Field & Stream Cloudpeak 4P, Easton Mountain Products Torrent 3P
    Every season: Kelty Noah's Tarps- 20, 16, 12


  6. #16
    tplife's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tent Advice

    Tents will typically add 10-degrees F to any sleeping system. See: Colin Fletcher, The Complete Walker.
    “People have such a love for the truth that when they happen to love something else, they want it to be the truth; and because they do not wish to be proven wrong, they refuse to be shown their mistake. And so, they end up hating the truth for the sake of the object which they have come to love instead of the truth.”
    ―Augustine of Hippo, Fifth Century A.D.

  7. #17

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    Default Re: Tent Advice

    Ok so as an aside to this topic, tplife mentioned getting rid of the cot for an inflatable pad. I used the cot because I wanted a more comfortable option. How good are the pads?

  8. #18
    The Banned One!!!!
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    Default Re: Tent Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by ducman491 View Post
    Ok so as an aside to this topic, tplife mentioned getting rid of the cot for an inflatable pad. I used the cot because I wanted a more comfortable option. How good are the pads?
    I use a cot, exped mega mat, and a zero degree bag, and I have been fine. I think pad and bag are your biggest issues.

  9. #19

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    Default Re: Tent Advice

    My sleeping bag is an older Wenzel flannel lined bag which was probably no more than a 30 degree bag when new. I'll be looking for a new reasonably priced 0-15 degree bag then maybe add the pad to the cot later. I just don't see a pad that will make sleeping on the ground comfortable enough and still being within budget.
    Last edited by ducman491; 11-09-2017 at 07:37 PM.

  10. #20
    a65hoosier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tent Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by ducman491 View Post
    My sleeping bag is an older Wenzel flannel lined bag which was probably no more than a 30 degree bag when new. I'll be looking for a new reasonably priced 0-15 degree bag then maybe add the pad to the cot later. I just don't see a pad that will make sleeping on the ground comfortable enough and still being within budget.
    I have started using/testing a Klymit Insulated Static V Lite 4 season sleeping pads. My wife and I will be using them this weekend car camping/hiking-upper 20's predicted for overnights). R value of 4.4. Paired up with down quilts rated to 10 degrees for this trip. Both quilt and pad pack super small, very lightweight. I do not hit bottom laying on the pad...it's 2.5 inches inflated (you WILL bottom out if kneeling on it). For car camping, which we're doing, the small pack size of each of these may not seem a big factor...but it allows me to bring more firewood and other comforts (like the Luggable Loo for the spouse). We've used these for about a half dozen or so nights so far. I normally take my Therm-a-Rest Luxury MAP pads for cold weather camping...so this is a controlled "experiment".

    I bought my Klymits from a drop via Massdrop at a good discount...but here's a link on Amazon (mine are 78" x 25 wide). About $80 (the prices jump up and down on these quite a bit).

    LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Klymit-Insula.../dp/B00UW7LEOW

    Klymit manufacturers other sized insulated pads from short to large/wide also.

    There are other budget friendly solutions, especially if you have the storage/pack space on your trips. Egg crate, memory foam, wool blankets, etc. Being in a cot, it's important that you have some insulation under you. Your sleeping bag's insulation is compacted and will lose it's insulating qualities because it is crushed under you while sleeping. This leaves your pressure points hips/rear and shoulders to become cold spots as they push down into the cold tent air circulating under your cot.

    Even a hard cell foam pad on top of your cot would be helpful (check online sites for Therma-a-Rest Ridge Rest Solite pads. R value 2.8. Campsaver irregulars, $20. https://www.campmor.com/c/thermarest...SABEgKI_vD_BwE
    2017: 19 nights 2016: 20 nights 2015: 19 nights

    Spring->Fall: Marmots: Limestone 6P and 4P, Stormlight 3P, Tungsten 3P; SlumberJack Trail Tent 6P, Big Agnes Yahmonite 5P
    Fall->Spring: Field & Stream Cloudpeak 4P, Easton Mountain Products Torrent 3P
    Every season: Kelty Noah's Tarps- 20, 16, 12


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