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#144205 - 12/31/10 11:49 PM 4 season tents
Becky Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Minnesota
I'm looking to get a 4 season tent that will do well on places like mt. McKinley, price isn't a huge issue but still something to consider. I'm going a little bug-eyed after looking at so many tents, does anyone have advice to point me in the right direction? I have no knowledge about these types of tents smile. Thanks in advance.

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#144212 - 01/01/11 01:36 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Becky]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
My dad swears by his Hilleberg Akto. It's kinda-sorta lightweight, solo, rated for all seasons. The only downside I can see is its wide footprint (due to all the guylines). I think they have one or two lighter models now.

Tarptent makes one that seems to be strongly based on the Akto, and I believe it is 4 season also. They're known for making good lightweight tents; I have one of their Double Rainbows, and both my wife & I are happy with it.

One brand I have no experience with is Warmlite (Warmlight?). I think they are rated for all seasons. Might be worth checking out.

Are you looking for 1 person? Something larger? My only experience with severe weather & tents is that you need something that can handle high winds. This favors low tents with a lot of guylines. Another option is to get a bivy shelter; for years I used one from Integral Designs that I wouldn't hesitate to take mountaineering. They're not roomy, but they do very well in windy conditions. Bivies often have issues with keeping you dry and ventilated at the same time, so it's a good idea to do some research first before buying.

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#144214 - 01/01/11 04:04 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Becky]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I would start by contacting the guide services that run trips on Denali and ask them what they use. From what you have said, you are looking for an expedition mountaineering tent. If so, I would look at Bibler (owned by Black Diamond), Integral Designs, North Face (VE-25 or Mt. 25), Mountain Hardwear or something similar.

I'm only personally familiar with the TNF Mt. 25, but the others all make serious mountaineering tents. The Bibler and ID tents are single wall and look similar. If you are serious about high altitude mountaineering, I wouldn't buy anything that hasn't been used for expeditions on a regular basis. I've got a five pole double wall tent that looks similar to the Mt. 25, and is fine for winter in places like Yosemite, but I'm not sure it could withstand 125 mph winds.

You may want to ask on climbing forums like www.summitpost.org and see what people who climb big mountains regularly use. Here's a sample of what people recommend-
http://www.summitpost.org/phpBB3/best-2-person-mountaineering-tent-t56605.html
I recommend reading the other threads linked at the end of that one as well for other recommendations from real climbers (which I am not).

You might want to talk to these guys as well-
http://www.alaskamountaineering.com


Edited by TomD (01/01/11 04:30 AM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#144215 - 01/01/11 05:05 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: TomD]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Some years ago, the NPS used VE-25s on Denali, as did a lot of other outfits. Check to see if there is something that replaces that tent, but it was really fine in wind, especially.

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#144219 - 01/01/11 01:07 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: oldranger]
Family Guy Offline
member

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 37
What your asking for is something more than a 4 season shelter. In fact, you are asking for an expedition tent robust for the most extreme conditions.

I agree with the above, that Hilleberg is a great place to start (www.hilleberg.com). I have the Akto and it is a great shelter, although you may need something with more snow loading performance (ie. the Soulo). These shelters are not cheap but have been proven in the worst conditions on Earth.

Others would be the Bibler / Black Diamond line (www.bdel.com) and Integral Designs MK line (www.integraldesigns.com). RAB out of the UK also makes excellent expedition tents (from what I have heard).

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#144221 - 01/01/11 02:08 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: TomD]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2835
Loc: Portland, OR
TomD seems to me to be on the right track. If this tent is destined to be used for high altitude mountaineering, then Becky is looking for a different animal than just a "4-season" tent. Under Denali conditions, a tent is more than a tent; it is a matter of survival.

Even if Becky is not going to be summiting Denali, then it would be worth contacting local guides, as TomD suggested. They can give her the skinny on the worst case scenario her tent would have to withstand.

Of the tents mentioned, the Akto may well be able to withstand Denali weather. I can't vouch for it other than by reputation, though.

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#144225 - 01/01/11 03:41 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: aimless]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
The Akto is a one person tent, so unless you are soloing, it doesn't sound too practical for an expedition. My tent is a two person tent and I solo with it in winter (not climbing, just snow camping).


Here is a story about a Denali guided climb by one of the members of VFTT with lots of pictures-the tents appear to be various models from Mountain Hardwear. This was a guided expedition with a bunch of people, including 4 guides.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kfolcik/sets/72157624059373849/with/4658431242/

Here's a picture of my tent at Yosemite-
http://www.backpacking.net/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=111764#Post111764


Edited by TomD (01/01/11 04:12 PM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#144228 - 01/01/11 04:07 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: TomD]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
The term "4 season" is used to describe a shelter that can handle from summer to winter weather in "average" conditions.
105f is not average and neither is 3 ' of snow. For those condition you need a well ventilated summer tent for the former and an expedition tent for the latter.
Going from a four season to an expedition type it means more poles . Typically 3 or more intersecting poles.
Tunnel tents can take a considerable amount of snow and wind but need a larger flat area to be set up than geodesic or more commonly semi geodesic designs.
As discussed in another forum neither the Akto nor the TT Scarp are expedition tents and as much as I have seen pics of a Warmlite up there you would need to really know what you are doing to use that. By that I mean to have lots of experience setting it up in difficult situations.
A simple 2 pole design like with the Bibler I/Eldorado/Awanee can do , a 3 pole with a built in vestibule like the Soulo (if you fit in) or the Allak would be easier .
However as suggested a solo tent for a beginner or anyone apart from some full time climbers, is not the way to go up there.

Franco

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#144229 - 01/01/11 04:12 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Becky]
KWeb Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 183
Loc: Tacoma, WA
Check out cascadeclimbers.com. This link will get you to the "Alaska" section of that site.

http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/forums/26/1/Alaska

Best to simplify your question.... "What (1, 2 or 3 man) tent do you reccomend on Denali for the (_____) route during (____) months?"

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#144232 - 01/01/11 07:51 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Becky]
chimpac Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 148
Loc: alberta,can.
The best 4 season tent in winter would be no contest as far as comfort goes, when compared to a closed in tarp with an inside chimney/stove. Not for weight or cost either.

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#144234 - 01/01/11 08:16 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: chimpac]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
Yes right...
You go up Denali with that set up.
Post pictures of it . I am willing to pay good money to see that.
BTW, don't forget to carry enough wood , it's a long way down to re-supply.
Franco

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#144235 - 01/01/11 08:23 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Franco]
Family Guy Offline
member

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 37
Me too. That would be quite the sight on Denali.

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#144238 - 01/01/11 08:55 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Family Guy]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
This may help a bit..
The nearest tree is about 14,000' down.


Franco

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#144239 - 01/01/11 10:31 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Franco]
chimpac Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 148
Loc: alberta,can.
OK,OK I do not see any trees for a wood fire but you can use a chimney on a gas stove. A 12 ounce chimney would let you cook safely inside and you could take your mitts off.

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#144240 - 01/01/11 10:55 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: chimpac]
KWeb Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 183
Loc: Tacoma, WA
Tent door and window partialy unzipped let me safely cook in my tent.

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#144248 - 01/02/11 08:42 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Franco]
chimpac Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 148
Loc: alberta,can.
Originally Posted By Franco
Yes right...
You go up Denali with that set up.
Post pictures of it . I am willing to pay good money to see that.
BTW, don't forget to carry enough wood , it's a long way down to re-supply.
Franco


Are you trying to insult me to make any argument you have
more credible?


Edited by chimpac (01/02/11 08:54 AM)

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#144251 - 01/02/11 12:34 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: chimpac]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Chimpac
I can cook safely inside my Bibler without a 12 oz pipe nor a fireproof hole in my tent. I suppose you could pack up a 40 bag of pellets for your stove haha. smile

A lot of people are stuck on one concept of winter camping. Canvas tents and stoves on flatland and forest only works in some places. Besides the rangers wouldn't let you light a wood fire anyway.

However as people have said - Denali and "4 season tent" are very different animals.
Jim


Edited by Jimshaw (01/02/11 12:35 PM)
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#144253 - 01/02/11 01:10 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Jimshaw]
chimpac Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 148
Loc: alberta,can.
Ha! Ha! I am so stupid. When people from wealthy countries take a better way of doing things to the third world to make their life better we think it is so ignorant for them not to accept our ways.I guess we can all be ignorant sometimes.
My daughter and her husband are climbing Aconcagua in Argentina this week. I have not converted my son in law to use a chimney yet but the group they are climbing with are using a separate cook tent with a chimney.



Edited by chimpac (01/02/11 01:24 PM)

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#144260 - 01/02/11 05:49 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: chimpac]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia

Aconcagua is situated (not coincidentally..) within the AconcaguaProvincial Park .
There is a $500 fine for gathering and or burning wood within the park except for some ranger designated areas. Those change and are down in the low areas.
The peak is at 6962 m (22841') yep, its higher than Denali.
So wood burning there is not possible, not just not practical.
Franco
BTW, Denali has a lot harsher weather than Aconcagua and none of this has anything to do with the OP's question.

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#144267 - 01/02/11 11:00 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Franco]
chimpac Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 148
Loc: alberta,can.
Who said they were burning wood?
I do not know what kind of apparatus they are using but they will not be using wood.It is the guide's equipment so I am sure it would be gas of some kind.
Most native people above the tree line burn animal dung in tibet and mongolia.
A chimney can vent any kind of burned fuel.
It is not that complicated to hook a windscreen thing to a chimney and have the pot on the open flame of a gas stove sending the fumes up the chimney and then cover the hole when only heat is required.
I agree this is a long way from the subject of the thread.
It is about 4 season tents which are to heavy and a waste of money. A tarp and chimney/stove burning what ever fuel would be my choice for a comfortable trip.


Edited by chimpac (01/02/11 11:09 PM)

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#144283 - 01/03/11 02:25 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: chimpac]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By chimpac

I agree this is a long way from the subject of the thread.
It is about 4 season tents which are to heavy and a waste of money. A tarp and chimney/stove burning what ever fuel would be my choice for a comfortable trip.


Indeed chimpac - it is a long way off the subject of the thread - so you do kinda come off as a one horse broken record. A tarp shelter might be survivable in good weather somewhere like denali but a mountaineering tent is *NOT* a waste of money in such place - which is what the OP asked about. I'll take a tarp a lot of places, not somewhere like that - and advocating such a thing is plain dangerous - sorry - and that's why you're getting a a bit of a hard time from some people - who have been in such places.

I have no problem with you advocating your favorite rig, even if not my choice of rig - to the point where you are advocating someone do something dangerously risky. A tarp shelter in such a place is probably not a good idea.


_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#144287 - 01/03/11 03:15 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: phat]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
Thanks for that Phat , on behalf of Becky not myself...
As you probably know I am with Tarptent however we don't have an expedition type shelter , the kind required "on places like McKinley".
Reading between the lines I got the impression that Becky is not in fact going to Denali but wants a somewhat safe enough shelter for something like that.
If Becky had stated that she was in fact going up there I would have strongly suggested to do a few excursions in much easier areas first then attempted to go up there with a guided group (tents provided) because if someone is not aware of the type needed up there they certainly should not be anywhere nearby by themselves or outside an organised expedition.
Franco
franco@tarptent.com

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#144288 - 01/03/11 03:25 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: phat]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
I agree Phat. I am a four-season tarper here in Colorado and would have zero problems taking my MLD Duo into most winter conditions. However for true mountaineering locations such as Denali, I wouldn't even consider bringing my Duo for some of the conditions that they can experience at those altitudes.

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#144291 - 01/03/11 04:10 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Becky]
Loomis Offline
member

Registered: 01/03/11
Posts: 35
Loc: Milwaukie, Oregon USA
Does anyone have experience with the High Peak line of 4 season tents? I have been looking at the South Col model (http://www.highpeakusa.org/South_Col.html). It looks to be a good value but obviously not as sturdy as a $400-$500 tent. There is a distributor in Oregon that has it for $135 shipped.
_________________________
If it's not work I love it! Browse my adventures.

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#144295 - 01/03/11 04:55 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: phat]
chimpac Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 148
Loc: alberta,can.
Originally Posted By phat
Originally Posted By chimpac

I agree this is a long way from the subject of the thread.
It is about 4 season tents which are to heavy and a waste of money. A tarp and chimney/stove burning what ever fuel would be my choice for a comfortable trip.


Indeed chimpac - it is a long way off the subject of the thread - so you do kinda come off as a one horse broken record. A tarp shelter might be survivable in good weather somewhere like denali but a mountaineering tent is *NOT* a waste of money in such place - which is what the OP asked about. I'll take a tarp a lot of places, not somewhere like that - and advocating such a thing is plain dangerous - sorry - and that's why you're getting a a bit of a hard time from some people - who have been in such places.

I have no problem with you advocating your favorite rig, even if not my choice of rig - to the point where you are advocating someone do something dangerously risky. A tarp shelter in such a place is probably not a good idea.

A tarp that is plain dangerous, what tarp are you talking about? Dangerously risky, like no floor, or the pegs might pull out.What is it.
Those that have been such places, make some sense here, blizzard -30C. I do not have to go far to find hostile weather.


Edited by chimpac (01/03/11 05:05 PM)

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#144306 - 01/03/11 06:51 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: chimpac]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
Chimpac
No , I am not trying to insult you, you are doing just fine.

Please read this very slowly and think about it.
What you do is CAMPING in a forest, not BACKPACKING and not HIGH ALTITUDE CLIMBING.
There is a subtle difference between those activities and if you do go from one to the other without knowing, you can ,and probably will ,die.
Experienced climbers with EXPEDITION grade gear die in places like that .
A very simple reason for example is that winds of 100MPH are not that uncommon. That will lift a fully loaded person up in the air .
At that point you have no choice but following the wind, could be out and a few hundred feet below.
With winds like that, temps at -40f and below and possible snow drops of several feet per night you will never see anyone that has some active brain cells , using a tarp, ANY tarp.
And we already have covered before the point about keeping warm.
Climbers need clothing to keep them warm. They don't carry stoves with them going up a ridge .
And even at base camp, once your stove goes out you still need exactly the same clothing/bag as if you had no stove at all.
So your stove and your chimney are totally redundant above base camp and in fact anywhere above the tree line and of course where you are not allowed to bun wood .
(a lot more common than you think...)
Franco

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#144308 - 01/03/11 07:12 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Becky]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
The tent I would recommend is one I do not own - Bibler or Intergral Designs MK series of tents.

Jim Shaw has a a great alpine/climber kit Bibler ElDorado, Warmlite DAM and Western Mountaineering bag.

I am a hiker so my winter kit is different.
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#144310 - 01/03/11 07:25 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: ringtail]
GDeadphans Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
From what I have seen an important feature in a 4 season tent that is to be used in the mountains where winds can really whip is tie downs on the side. I am sure they have a technical name for it but I just don't know it.



That is just what I found with a quick google search to better explain what I was talking about.
_________________________
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

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#144311 - 01/03/11 07:36 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Loomis]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Loomis, I have never seen one, but a member on another site I belong to has bought their bags and likes them for the value. They are imported from China by a small company in Seattle.

I am always leery of cheap gear. I know not everyone can afford the expensive stuff. I can't, so I try to buy the best I can afford and look for used bargains. But, that doesn't mean that cheap gear is inherenly bad. It may be, or it may just not last very long. For most of us, we aren't going to be on Denali in 100 mph winds or so far away from the trailhead that we have to have the best of everything.

The problem I have with recommending anything to anyone is we often don't know what experience the person has or what they intend to do. I've never done any high altitude mountaineering, just a little bit at less than 12,000 ft. in mild weather and a bit of winter camping (snow camping in Yosemite). But, if you read enough, you learn what other people use. If everyone is using similar gear, there is a reason for it.

I have no idea what Becky intends to do or her skill level so that's why I suggested she talk to a guide service-they will know what works and what doesn't.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#144313 - 01/03/11 08:02 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: GDeadphans]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
Yes right...
A Grand Trunk Unita. Polyester Fly and fiberglass poles...
Just the tent you want for backyard camping.
FYI, a rough guide is in ascending order is 2 season tent, 3 season tent , 4 season tent, expedition tent.
That Grand Trunk is really between two and 3 season.
It isn't just about a vague similarity in design. It has to do with the type and number of pole used as well as the fabric used for the fly, as well as all the trimmings.
Nobody sane would want to use fiberglass poles in any open area let alone at high altitude.
Franco

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#144314 - 01/03/11 08:09 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Franco]
GDeadphans Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
HAHA Franco. My bad, I was just using that picture as a visual for the side support I was trying to explain. Definitely not a suggestion.

P.S.

Winter hammocking was mentioned in this thread, and wanted to post this Link.


Edited by GDeadphans (01/03/11 08:13 PM)
_________________________
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

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#144317 - 01/03/11 09:08 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Becky]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
My Akto, properly guyed out, handles wind very well but I was rather disappointed when faced with heavy snow loads. It seems that the roofline is not quite steep enough and I found myself kicking snow off (from the inside) all night to avoid excessive sagging.

Chimpac, the original question concerned what is appropriate for "places like Mt. McKinley". I highly doubt that you will ever find any kind tarp/chimney setup used on the upper slopes of McKinley or any similar environment. There is a reason for that......
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If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

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#144318 - 01/03/11 09:27 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Trailrunner]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
Hilleberg call the Akto an "all season/four season" tent. The Soulo is described as an "expedition" tent.
Totally different design from the Akto. (nice tent, BTW...)
Franco

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#144319 - 01/03/11 10:01 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Becky]
KWeb Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 183
Loc: Tacoma, WA
Where'd Becky go anyway?

My Bibler Ahwahnee once laughed all night long at 70mph winds.

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#144328 - 01/03/11 10:45 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: KWeb]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
That's what happens to newbies sometimes. May not have expected so much info so quickly too.

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#144330 - 01/03/11 10:52 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: hikerduane]
Becky Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Minnesota
Yes, wow, thanks for all of the replies, it's been very helpful for me and has cleared up some of my misconceptions. No, I'm not going to Denali, I just really need a tent that can handle harsh environments with high winds. Thanks again all, especially Franco, TomD for taking the time to help. I feel better knowing where to direct my attentions.

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#144337 - 01/03/11 11:05 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: chimpac]
stonemark Offline
member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 82
Loc: China
Waho, so many suggestions for the tent-selection, I don't know others , but I was confused by the different brands at all~ Maybe the best sold tent is the best? confused
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#144339 - 01/03/11 11:14 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: stonemark]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Stonemark
Do not be confused by the English term "best". Probably the most sold is not the "finest" but may from some perspectives be "the best". Generally the best are the fewer hand made variety. There may well be a cultural difference in the concept as well.
Jim
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These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#144344 - 01/04/11 12:33 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: chimpac]
phat Offline
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Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By chimpac
Originally Posted By phat


I have no problem with you advocating your favorite rig, even if not my choice of rig - to the point where you are advocating someone do something dangerously risky. A tarp shelter in such a place is probably not a good idea.

A tarp that is plain dangerous, what tarp are you talking about? Dangerously risky, like no floor, or the pegs might pull out.What is it.
Those that have been such places, make some sense here, blizzard -30C. I do not have to go far to find hostile weather.


I find the same hostile weather as you my freind, and my favorite winter shelter (my golite shangri-la, modified to accept a stove boot and my homemade stove) is the same basic idea as to what you are referring to.

Facing -30 in some trees with some shelter from the wind, and alberta type -30 snowfall, I love it, I can rig the shelter in some kind of not incredibly exposed place, put up my chimney and stove, a sledful of firewood, and I'm very comfortable.

I'd never go near denali with it, a floorless single pole tarp shelter. I would expect to either get flattened by a meter of snow or by 100 kph plus winds with nothing but rock and snow as an attempted place to anchor it

The dangerous part of your suggested tarp shelter is it simply will not take the exposed winds and lack of good hard anchor points, and possible snowload that one migh face in that sort of environment. It'll be flattened or picked up and blown away leaving it's occupants in a dangerous situation. *that* is where a mountaineering tent is not a waste of money. yes, everywhere else, and using them for general backpacking is a complete waste, but NOT THERE.

I'd take my black diamond tent there. freestanding, good crosspoles for a snow load. and side braces, I can put big old rocks in the corner to hold it, it won't get flattened in a 100 kmh wind on an exposed ridge. I don't need the chimney since I'm not going to try to warm the tent and I can cook with my gas stove in it with the top vent open just fine.


Edited by phat (01/04/11 12:34 AM)
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#144345 - 01/04/11 12:43 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Becky]
phat Offline
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Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By Becky
Yes, wow, thanks for all of the replies, it's been very helpful for me and has cleared up some of my misconceptions. No, I'm not going to Denali, I just really need a tent that can handle harsh environments with high winds. Thanks again all, especially Franco, TomD for taking the time to help. I feel better knowing where to direct my attentions.


If you need a tent able to handle high winds (but you are not actually going up denali) there are lots of good options, and even some of those can be considered fairly lightweight.

I have had very good luck in such situaitons with a tarptent Scarp2 with the cross poles (have slept in one I ordered for a friend) A black diamond one shot (I own one, no longer made) or a black diamond firstlight. All of those are decently lightweight but rigged properly will hold up well to high wind and snow. there are also lots of other choices.

If your "needing high winds and winter" is also not your typical choice of backpacking location, and you only go there sometimes, then consider very carefully the thought of getting a three season shelter, which may not be able to take a pounding of sitting on an exposed mountain ridge in a snow dump, but *will* be a lot more comfortable to sleep in (better ventialtion) and a lot lighter (easier to carry) for your three season type backpacking needs. Rent, borrow, or buy used your winter "bombshelter" for the occasional time you might end up needing it. Four season mountaineering style tents are a waste of money and weight when you are not doing that sort of activity (which most of us don't, most of the time - personally I'd rather not carry such a shelter the 90% of the time I won't be needing it - more comfortable to take something more appropriate)


Edited by phat (01/04/11 12:44 AM)
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#144348 - 01/04/11 01:06 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Franco]
Family Guy Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 37
Originally Posted By Franco
Hilleberg call the Akto an "all season/four season" tent. The Soulo is described as an "expedition" tent.
Totally different design from the Akto. (nice tent, BTW...)
Franco


But strangely, Hilleberg quotes the Akto being used successfully on extended Polar Expeditions. Amazing tent.

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#144349 - 01/04/11 01:09 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Family Guy]
phat Offline
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Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By Family Guy
Originally Posted By Franco
Hilleberg call the Akto an "all season/four season" tent. The Soulo is described as an "expedition" tent.
Totally different design from the Akto. (nice tent, BTW...)
Franco


But strangely, Hilleberg quotes the Akto being used successfully on extended Polar Expeditions. Amazing tent.


If you like the akto though, you really really gotta try the tarptent scarp 2 smile
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#144352 - 01/04/11 01:29 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: phat]
Family Guy Offline
member

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 37
Originally Posted By phat
Originally Posted By Family Guy
Originally Posted By Franco
Hilleberg call the Akto an "all season/four season" tent. The Soulo is described as an "expedition" tent.
Totally different design from the Akto. (nice tent, BTW...)
Franco


But strangely, Hilleberg quotes the Akto being used successfully on extended Polar Expeditions. Amazing tent.


If you like the akto though, you really really gotta try the tarptent scarp 2 smile


Nah - its too big. smile

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#144353 - 01/04/11 01:43 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: phat]
chimpac Offline
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Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 148
Loc: alberta,can.
[/quote]

I find the same hostile weather as you my freind, and my favorite winter shelter (my golite shangri-la, modified to accept a stove boot and my homemade stove) is the same basic idea as to what you are referring to.

Facing -30 in some trees with some shelter from the wind, and alberta type -30 snowfall, I love it, I can rig the shelter in some kind of not incredibly exposed place, put up my chimney and stove, a sledful of firewood, and I'm very comfortable.

I'd never go near denali with it, a floorless single pole tarp shelter. I would expect to either get flattened by a meter of snow or by 100 kph plus winds with nothing but rock and snow as an attempted place to anchor it

The dangerous part of your suggested tarp shelter is it simply will not take the exposed winds and lack of good hard anchor points, and possible snowload that one migh face in that sort of environment. It'll be flattened or picked up and blown away leaving it's occupants in a dangerous situation. *that* is where a mountaineering tent is not a waste of money. yes, everywhere else, and using them for general backpacking [/quote]

I looked up the shangri la tents and it looks like from what I can see they would go like a kite in the wind. They do not go completely to the ground. So if you are comparing my tarp pitch to them you do not know much about my outfit.
I have camped in exposed areas in high winds in winter cold and maybe tore a gromett but not encountered the dire predictions you have for my outfit in the wind.
Show me a tent that can stand a meter of snow.
Is a 2 season tent warmer than a 3 season and a 4 season warmer than a 3 season tent?
Which season has the highest wind? Will a 4 season take more wind than a 2 season tent?
Snow load maybe is the reason to buy a 4 season, how many more lbs. or tons will a 4 season take than a 3 season.


Edited by chimpac (01/04/11 09:45 AM)

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#144354 - 01/04/11 03:07 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: chimpac]
TomD Offline
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Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Becky, As you can see, your question has caused a bit of controversy, which is normal for here on certain topics.

For winter camping, one thing not mentioned is a shovel. For me, I would not leave home without one. I have a Voile Mini and I even take it on day hikes away from camp. Black Diamond makes some nice ones as well. With a shovel, you can make wind walls (look at the pics of Denali base camp-most of the tents are dug in behind walls). You can dig a trench shelter, make a quinzee or snow cave or even make an igloo. I used mine as you can see to dig out a platform for my tent, dig out my cooking area and although it's hard to see, I dig a footwell right in front of the door so I can sit up and cook as if I'm sitting in a chair, makes it easy to put on your boots as well.

If you are talking about harsh weather and high winds, you are most likely to be the most comfortable in a heavy multi-pole expedition tent big enough for at least two people, although a design like the tunnel tents made by Hilleberg is highly recommended. If I was buying a Hilleberg, I would look at the Nallo GT 2 for two people. Other designs like a teepee will also hold up in winds as along as they are staked down from what I have read from people who own one.

Solo tents are small, which is why I don't have one. I bicycle toured alone with a Sierra Design Flashlight, a lightweight two person tent and on occasion had another person in it with me, but most of the time it was just me. I had plenty of room for all my gear in the tent when it rained, which was often. For my winter camping, again, I used the tent you see in the photo- a two person EMS tent (no longer made). The problem with it, is that it is heavy. I was pulling my gear on a sled, so it didn't make that big a difference for me, but carrying it and all my other gear would have been impossible alone.

I would consider a tarp or tiny tent for 3 season mild weather, but I like being comfortable, being able to spread my gear out and have plenty of room inside in winter, so a bigger tent is more my style. Although, on my last trip, a snow camp overnighter, I never even set up my tent, just slept out under the stars because the weather was so nice.

One thing not mentioned is color. I like the color of my tent-maroon, off white and kind of a butterscotch color. I've seen pictures of some really nice tents, but couldn't picture myself inside one because I think the color is hideous-like those lime green ones BD makes. I've got a cycling windbreaker that color and its only purpose is to make me really visible. On the other hand, some tents are easier to spot than others, which could be handy if someone is looking for you from a helicopter.


Edited by TomD (01/04/11 03:10 AM)
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#144355 - 01/04/11 03:13 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Family Guy]
Franco Offline
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Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
You know very well that the Akto cannot hold the same amount of snow nor the same gusts of wind, without totally deforming ,as as the Soulo can , so I don't know why you bother.
I am not here to win arguments or indulge in semantics, I was trying to help.
since the difference isn't obvious to you , read the description :
http://www.hilleberg.com/home/products/solo.php
and yes I am aware that the Soulo is too short for you, and no it isn't my fault.
Franco

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#144360 - 01/04/11 11:10 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Franco]
Family Guy Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 37
Than the Soulo? Well, obviously.

But I was just reading off the 2010 Hilleberg catalogue. Maybe it was a misprint. It seems that you may want to give Petra a call to discuss.

Pretty strong tent regardless. Found this review:

"My first use of this tent was at Camp Sherman on Mt. Rainier, where high winds proceeded to destroy all the other tents at the campsite. I watched as the Mt Hardware, Sierra Designs and North Face 4 season tents were all destroyed, but the two Hilleberg Akto tents in our group survived without damage. Hillberg's fly fabric for this tent is 4 times stronger than others, and this is their lighter fabric. I now have 3 Hillebergs, and recommend them highly for 4 season use."



Edited by Family Guy (01/04/11 11:31 AM)

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#144378 - 01/04/11 03:05 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Family Guy]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
David
I don't need to call anyone to work out how a tent will perform based on design.
There are a few thousand tents out there that have some design input from me ( not that I made any money out of it....) and from two different brands,
If you cannot tell the difference in theoretical structural strength between a single hoop pole and a shelter with three intersecting poles than maybe you don't really get tents either...
(no offence)
Besides, I have a Bibler that uses the same basic design. (Bibler Pinon/Juniper)
Franco

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#144379 - 01/04/11 03:12 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Franco]
Family Guy Offline
member

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 37
Did I say that? Me thinks you have an assumption issue. The Soulo is undoubtedly stronger.

I am just concerned that Hilleberg may be providing false marketing in their literature.

Not likely.

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#144383 - 01/04/11 03:46 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Family Guy]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
Nothing to do with false marketing. You just need to be able to read inbetween the lines...


Tarps...
These are some mids I have been playing with in the last few days.
The idea is to make them from a 10'x10' or 10'x12' tarp. You need to just cut some corners out, cut one panel out and stitch it back together .
Or you can stitch together two pieces of 10'x 5" fabric (12'x5') and you avoid having to work out angles and all of that.



Franco

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#144391 - 01/04/11 04:45 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Becky]
ringtail Offline
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Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Becky,

Some topics produce a debate similar to religion or politics.

Boots or Trail runners?

Tent or hammock?

Guns or no?

Dogs or no?

Horses or no?

The basic flaw with the question at hand is: In the process of acquiring the experience to go onto Denali or winter camping you also acquire a knowledge of and opinions about what type of tent you need. I understand that you may be trying to avoid purchasing a series of tents to do the trips that you desire to do sometime in the future.

Short cutting the process often produces an undesirable outcome.
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#144412 - 01/04/11 06:58 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Franco]
chimpac Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 148
Loc: alberta,can.
Originally Posted By Franco
Nothing to do with false marketing. You just need to be able to read inbetween the lines...


Tarps...
These are some mids I have been playing with in the last few days.
The idea is to make them from a 10'x10' or 10'x12' tarp. You need to just cut some corners out, cut one panel out and stitch it back together .
Or you can stitch together two pieces of 10'x 5" fabric (12'x5') and you avoid having to work out angles and all of that.



Franco


What are these kites doing on this thread, a little of topic I would say.

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#144416 - 01/04/11 07:30 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: chimpac]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
The OP already has her answers.
NOW we are indulging in personal stuff.
As you can see I have nothing against tarps, if used in the correct environment.
But thank you for you non contribution , once again.
You do that rather well.

You are correct however about the 'kite" comment.
More like an umbrella actually.
I have been playing around with the pentagonal shape for a while and in fact Henry made a working version of one of the designs last year. (one day it may appear...)
Recently there has been a lot of interest in a DIY version of a certain popular shelter so I made my own .
Similar structure but a different way of building it, different proportions.
The main aim was to make it very simple to replicate/build , and it is...
But, if I intended to use that, I would put at least a pressure release vent that can pop open if there is enough pressure build up.
Do keep in mind that (incredibly enough) none of the people that use this shaped shelter have any intention to put a chimney inside it.
Their loss I suppose.

Franco

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#144427 - 01/04/11 09:17 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Jimshaw]
stonemark Offline
member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 82
Loc: China
Originally Posted By Jimshaw
Stonemark
Do not be confused by the English term "best". Probably the most sold is not the "finest" but may from some perspectives be "the best". Generally the best are the fewer hand made variety. There may well be a cultural difference in the concept as well.
Jim
---thanks for reply, and in fact, I have no time to try every brand in the market, and many hike friends also have same opinions that, just buy the good sale products, at least it has common quality,or the manufacture of it would got big problem for cheating so many consumers; and the second thing is, they sale a lot, so they have money to upgrade the technology on product and after-sale services which the poor sale product factory could not do~ crazy
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#144442 - 01/05/11 12:51 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: ringtail]
phat Offline
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Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By ringtail

I understand that you may be trying to avoid purchasing a series of tents to do the trips that you desire to do sometime in the future.

Short cutting the process often produces an undesirable outcome.


And this is what I mean by you may be better served by a three season tent if your actual immediate intentions are not to go to Denali - or winter mountaineering.

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#144450 - 01/05/11 11:53 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: phat]
wandering_daisy Offline
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Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I have sat out this discussion because my winter experience is from many years ago. I am not familiar with all the newest tents now available. Just some general comments.

In most of my mid-altitude (11,000 feet) winter (down to -40) experience in windy conditions (on the Grand Teton) we built snow caves for long term base camp. I think knowing how to build a safe snow cave is an essential winter skill. We had tents for the ski-in but once at altitude, we built a snow cave- lived in these up to 2 weeks.

I agree with Phat - one tent will not do it all. And winter equipment is survival equipment- failure is not an option. A safe winter tent is expensive- and worth it.

Everyone seems to be an armchair mountaineer- just listen to those who actually have been in the conditions that you anticipate.

More important than the tent is that you get some serious winter training. Find a class or a mentor and go one step at a time. If you had the winter experience and training, you would not have to ask about the winter tent. Winter camping at a location "like McKinley" is not the place for anyone but very experienced winter outdoorspeople.

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#144457 - 01/05/11 03:16 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: wandering_daisy]
chimpac Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 148
Loc: alberta,can.
What does an expensive winter tent do for you?
Keep you warmer? I don't think so.
It might support a bit more snow but if you have a heavy snow fall you have to shake it off any tent, just more often with a tent with less poles.
It is vital to have a tent or tarp strong enough and aerodynamic enough to stay put in the wind.
You can add more layers of fabric but if one layer keeps you inside you will not have to carry the extra baggage.
I camp in the coldest meanest weather with a tarp. Its not a tarp like Franco is playing with, it is nailed to the ground all the way around and if there is any snow at all it covers the edges an is quite cosy. I would not recommend sealing the edges with snow if you want to cook inside wilh a gas stove without a chimney.


Edited by chimpac (01/05/11 03:39 PM)

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#144464 - 01/05/11 04:40 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: chimpac]
aimless Offline
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Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2835
Loc: Portland, OR
I think we all "get it" by now. You use a tarp in Canadian midwinter conditions, with a stove and chimney, and this setup works well for you. If anyone here is saying that such a system doesn't work in those conditions, you are living proof that they are wrong.

We fully accept your experience as being absolutely relevant to all similar places, with similar low temperatures, similar tree cover, similar fuel availability, similar wind speeds and similar wind breaks. You seem to be a bit behindhand in noticing that these conditions do not prevail everywhere, or that other people might have valuable experience in somewhat different conditions from those you are describing.

To illustrate, here in Portland Oregon USA we sometimes have snowfalls as little as 3 or 4 inches which temporarily cause havoc to auto travel in our area. Outsiders from places like Alberta, Canada often scoff at how it could be that such a trivial snowfall could cause such immense problems. It is because they have never been here at such a time, in those conditions.

Our snow is often heavy, wet and quickly packs into ice in the roadbeds. Our city has many steep hills. Few vehicles are equipped with proper snow tires or chains, especially if the storm was not predicted, and even properly equipped vehicles can end up in a ditch, it's so slick to drive on.

My point: maybe your experience, valuable as it is, does not apply in every place and every situation, even if it looks the same to you. Maybe it is isn't. Maybe you have to have a different kind of experience to really appreciate the situation.

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#144468 - 01/05/11 04:57 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: ringtail]
Becky Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By ringtail
I understand that you may be trying to avoid purchasing a series of tents to do the trips that you desire to do sometime in the future.

Short cutting the process often produces an undesirable outcome.


I think you're absolutely right, that's what I'm starting to think now. Best to just plan for the immediate future.

Originally Posted By TomD
Becky, As you can see, your question has caused a bit of controversy, which is normal for here on certain topics.

Solo tents are small, which is why I don't have one.


Haha, you can say that again. But it's all good, I like reading people's opinions.
And yeah, I want a 2-person, definetly.

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#144470 - 01/05/11 06:14 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: chimpac]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I promised myself that I would stay out of this but here I go again. I suspect I have a character flaw of some sort.

There are obviously two views in this debate: One basically represents the experience of those who camp in the woods in cold snowy weather; the other is that of mountaineers who have to camp at high altitudes where fatigue, high winds and limited space are a factor. Many hunters and winter campers experience the cold, snowy woods; few have any idea of what it can be like on high mountains in winter or in the polar regions even in summer.

I spent 6 months in the field doing research in Antarctica. This was not during the depth of winter; it was late spring, summer, and early fall - the warm season. I saw temperatures as low as -45C and winds as high as 90 mph. Snow loading was not a problem. I have experienced similar conditions during winter climbs on some of the higher peaks in the lower 48. Here snow loading was a significant problem. In my opinion, using a tarp under these conditions, however carefully set up would be suicidal.

The tents we used in Antarctica were A-frames with sod flaps and frost liners. They had tunnel entrances and ventilators and also had a zippered flap one could fold back for cooking and emergency peeing. The fabric of these tents was a tightly woven, strong, Pima cotton poplin and the tubular aluminum tent poles which fit in sleeves at either end of the tent were about an inch in diameter. The tents weighed about 12 lb ready to set up and would hold three in a pinch. If we had delicate scientific work to do in the tents, we would warm them using a white gas stove and hoped that the exhaust would escape through the vents and fabric.

The tent I used on my winter mountaineering excursions was a nylon version of the tents we used in Antarctica; the Sierra Designs Glacier tent. This has a full zip entrance on one end and a tunnel entrance on the other. It came with a rain fly (not usually necessary in winter conditions) and a frost liner. I still use my Glacier sometimes though I don't do winter climbs anymore. It weighs about 8 1/2 lb ready to pitch. I am not familiar with newer makes and/or versions; my SD Glacier dates to 1972. But I am sure that the newer mountaineering tents incorporate those features that have been proven either necessary or highly desirable: sod flaps, strong breathable fabric and poles, tunnel entrance and frost liner.

I suspect that those who suggest use of a tarp in mountain winter or polar conditions have no knowledge of what weather conditions can be like at high altitude or at high latitudes. Advocating a tarp in spite of this lack of knowledge borders on recklessness. To me, the idea of using a tightly pitched, waterproof and virtually air-proof tarp together with a potential source of carbon monoxide is a bit foolish. I would sooner just get in my sleeping bag to stay warm than risk CO poisoning.
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#144471 - 01/05/11 06:25 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Pika]
TomD Offline
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Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Pika, Were you using a Scott tent? I've seen these on several expedition websites as well as the Australian Antarctic Division website. They seem to weigh about 70 lbs., but look well suited for those conditions.
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#144472 - 01/05/11 06:31 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: aimless]
chimpac Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 148
Loc: alberta,can.
Severe wind, low temperature, snowfall is what it is no matter where it is. You are telling me I am in the trees is that to mean that my tarp pitch will not handle wind. I am just as well off in the tarp as a fancy 4 season tent owner, both without a chimney using a gas stove with a wind screen outside, or through an open door, or inside taking a chance on poison fumes. We suffer equally and keep our mitts on.

There is no need for such rough camping.
If I have no access to wood, I will be venting a gas stove up a chimney inside.
If I packed in winter with no access to wood I would carry no heavy 4season tent but would carry gas instead, and tarp,gas stove/chimney.
I need the reasons listed for spending the money on a 4 season tent.


Edited by chimpac (01/05/11 07:54 PM)

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#144473 - 01/05/11 06:41 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Pika]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
I promised my self that I would let this die, but..
Thanks Pika for that description.
I have often come across people stating that they have seen a 'pyramid" shaped tarp set up in Antarctica.
What they have in fact seen is the Polar Scott tent
(incidentally made right here in Melbourne by a company , One Planet, owned by a guy I used to deal when he had his own "cottage industry" business over 20 years ago)
The Scott tent does indeed look like a backpacking mid but as you well described it is in reality nothing like that at all...
Franco

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#144476 - 01/05/11 07:33 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Franco]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
I've typed up stuff, then erased, then typed up stuff. Arrg. Normally I stay out of the tent topics but... Have you (this is the proverbial you) ever been in a typhoon? Tried to stand in just 80mph winds? Try to pee in 80mph winds. Well, I won't go there; but, if you want to see what is reliable on high mountains (getting hammered by winds approaching jet stream velocities), check out what the guides are using during tourist season on Everest. Same with the south pole and the "scientific" season. It's on the information (super?)highway.

sk

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#144482 - 01/05/11 08:52 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: chimpac]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2835
Loc: Portland, OR
I need the reasons listed for spending the money on a 4 season tent.

For you, no such reasons exist. You have a perfectly good 4-season setup that works for you. I thought I made this pretty clear. No one, repeat, no one, is asking you to buy a 4-season tent. No one is telling you a 4-season tent will work better for you. No one would presume to tell you anything of the sort. So, demanding to have us tell you these reasons seems like a futile exercise on both sides. Why should you (or we)bother with such nonsense?

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#144498 - 01/06/11 01:24 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: aimless]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Originally Posted By aimless
I need the reasons listed for spending the money on a 4 season tent.

For you, no such reasons exist. You have a perfectly good 4-season setup that works for you. I thought I made this pretty clear. No one, repeat, no one, is asking you to buy a 4-season tent. No one is telling you a 4-season tent will work better for you. No one would presume to tell you anything of the sort. So, demanding to have us tell you these reasons seems like a futile exercise on both sides. Why should you (or we)bother with such nonsense?


I agree. I base my gear recommendations on what I use, what other people I know use and on what I read about and see others using. I don't think I need to have every piece of gear made to make an informed decision or recommendation. I use the same analysis I use for work- I try to convey that my opinion is only one of many and that what works for me may not be what the person asking may want or need for their purposes, which are often vague.

Anyone asking for advice needs to realize that there may be different solutions for the same problem that work equally well, depending on conditions. It is this last qualifier that is the most important in my book. When I used to scuba dive all the time, I used to dive occasionally in conditions that scared some people so badly they wouldn't get off the boat, even though I knew it was perfectly safe and couldn't understand why they were afraid. The point being, don't discount the skill level of the poster and assume that what works for you is suitable for them.


Edited by TomD (01/06/11 01:25 AM)
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#144505 - 01/06/11 03:31 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: TomD]
stonemark Offline
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agree, as the words said,'the suitable is the best'~
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#144519 - 01/06/11 09:25 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: TomD]
skcreidc Offline
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Registered: 08/16/10
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Loc: San Diego CA
Well said TomD (and aimless).

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#144525 - 01/06/11 12:08 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: skcreidc]
finallyME Offline
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Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I saw a documentary last night on neltflix. It was called "National Geographic: Extreme Alaska: Denali National Park". The first half showed the lower elevation creatures, and the second half showed a group on a summit attempt of McKinley. It showed the tents they use and described some of the conditions they experience.


Edited by finallyME (01/06/11 12:09 PM)
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#144540 - 01/06/11 05:21 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: finallyME]
TomD Offline
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Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
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Originally Posted By finallyME
I saw a documentary last night on neltflix. It was called "National Geographic: Extreme Alaska: Denali National Park". The first half showed the lower elevation creatures, and the second half showed a group on a summit attempt of McKinley. It showed the tents they use and described some of the conditions they experience.


Just watched the back half of this show. Thanks for the link. The tents I recognized were MH Trangos, you can tell from the gray and orange color pattern on the fly. These are not lightweight tents; they are expedition tents for this kind of extreme weather.

www.mountainhardwear.com


Edited by TomD (01/06/11 05:27 PM)
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#144541 - 01/06/11 06:04 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: TomD]
GDeadphans Offline
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Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
My room mate is quickly shown in the Acadia National Park segment of the National Park series done by National Geographic! He was teaching children about some things about Acadia National park and he had no clue he was being filmed for a documentary. He recalled having to fill a form but didn't know exactly for what.

Well a year later I was watching the segment on the local access channel in the comfort of our living room when all of a sudden he popped up on screen teaching children! I yelled to him but by the time he got to the TV the frame was over. He couldn't believe it. If you ever see it, he is the big stocky (like 6'2" 200lb) dude with a beard wearing the Nat'l Park uniform.
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#144553 - 01/06/11 09:17 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: TomD]
lori Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Thanks, Tom, you solved a burning question by indicating MH has expedition tents. Not sure why I didn't think to look at that myself as I love their other gear. Finally I am able to identify a tent I saw at the coast - I suppose if you are wanting to re-use a tent you got for that rare trip to Everest or Denali, pitching it in a campsite at Sam P Taylor State Park to party all night in the pouring down rain is as good a use as any.

That was an awesome tent - had twenty people in that thing. Probably not all sleeping in it, there were other tents around, but it was party central. The music went on, and on... as the rain came down, and collapsed a couple of our tents, and caused leaks in a few others. But that $4,600 15 person Space Station shrugged off the deluge like it was nothing.
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#144554 - 01/06/11 09:36 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: finallyME]
Jimshaw Offline
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Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
In really bad winds, my Bibler will survive and function and my 2 man ElDorado (a 2 pole crossed design) is my "solo tent" for winter, but frankly in RREALly bad weather I prefer my TNF mountain 24 tent, with 4 body poles. smile It survives snowdrifts on top of it, ventilates well and mostly above the Bibler, that weighs half as much, it doesn't flap because its a dome. So with 2 people I often take the TNF and share the weight of the tent/cover/poles. Its my only double walled tent BTW.

So ok - if your tent has one pole, it means the wind can flatten it. If your tent has two poles (and by this I mean main body poles not including entrance poles, then it may take a snow load if they cross at the top, but it will flap in wind. If the tent has 3 poles it will most likely distribute a snow load better and be quieter in a wind. A tent with 4 body poles is pretty extreme and probably also has extra tie outs for ropes and is made of special strong fabrics. A 4 pole tent will not be real light, but then my TNF mtn 24 weighs 8 lb 12 oz, but thats exactly twice my Bibler 4lb 4 oz, without the 24 ounce vestibule.
Some people like pyramid tents, swear by pyramid tents, but it depends on the kind of snow load. Light snow that can blow away is best, but snow that slides down the sides of a pyramid accumulates on the lower parts and depending on the snow depth, can bury most of the tent and break the center pole - been there done that cry. Yet under the right conditions pyramids like other simpler designs work well, mostly out of the wind.

You really need a 2 man tent for solo mountain travel in Winter and a 3 man tent for 2 people. A winter tent should have a huge vestibule for your packs and boots and to provide some protected ventilation by keeping the tops of the zippers open in the vestibule and the tent. A winter tent should never be completely closed up. Some feel that 2 people in a small tent keep it a bit warmer and force out moisture - works for me since my tent is made ot Toddtex.
Jim
Geez well if anybody made it this far, I'm coping to the fact that my gear is designed for extreme mountaineering and is not really what people may want or need for more gentile hiking and camping, but my gear does sort of offer some insight into whats required in extreme. When you've bivied on The Eiger at minus 40 and managed to survive, it changes your outlook on "being prepared.


Edited by Jimshaw (01/06/11 09:42 PM)
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#144557 - 01/06/11 11:07 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Jimshaw]
TomD Offline
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Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Hmm, I've never bivied on the Eiger in -40C, but did survive a couple of days in Yosemite with Jim in his Mtn 24 in a mild snowstorm. smile A year or two later, I was comfy in my EMS in almost the same place in relatively heavy snowfall.

I also "survived" a night out in Mt. San Jacinto with no tent at all in beautiful weather staring up at the stars, just in my bag and BD Winter Bivy (nothing more than a couple of pieces of Epic sewn into a coccoon shape with a cross zip). MSJ isn't exactly the wilderness-it's above Palm Springs, but gets a fair amount of snow in winter.

Lori, I saw that Space Station on the MH website. Hard to believe someone bought one of those for beach parties. There is a big base camp tent in the Alaska Geographic program, but I couldn't see enough of it to see what it was. It is a big blue and white dome of some sort. I'm guessing it didn't come from Wal-Mart. laugh

ps. Netflix has some other wilderness shows including a documentary on Antarctica by Werner Herzog, the famous German filmmaker, which I just watched part of-pretty interesting.




Edited by TomD (01/07/11 12:00 AM)
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#144558 - 01/06/11 11:22 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: TomD]
Franco Offline
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Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
Most likely that was the inner (tent to you guys over there...) of either the MH Satellite or Sd Mothership.
I don't know of any expedition/base camp tent that has a blue and white fly.
Franco
Not that I know every basecamp tent but generally they have a bright/warm (red/yellow/orange) fly so that you can locate them and a cool (blue/white) inner to balance the fly so that your eyes do not have to adjust when you go outside after a prolonged stay.
Franco


Edited by Franco (01/06/11 11:45 PM)

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#144590 - 01/08/11 01:59 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Becky]
chimpac Offline
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Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 148
Loc: alberta,can.
January 7, 2011 - Aconcagua Expedition Updates - Camp 2 Established!

Camp 2 (17,700')
John called in this afternoon to report that the team had moved up to Camp 2. The team was walking by about 10AM local time and it took about 4 hours to move from camp 1 to camp 2. Everyone did well on the move and they are now settling into their new home at camp 2. The tentative plan is to carry up to high camp, camp cholera @ 19,400', tomorrow.



A more modest kitchen for the higher camps.
The higher the team gets the more pared down the operation becomes. The winds have been light enough (about 10-15 mph in camp this afternoon) that the team is likely still able to use a small cook tent at camp 2. Once they move to high camp it is likely that the guide will be making all of the food and water for the group in the vestibule of their sleeping tents.

Enjoying the scenery.


Now that the team is getting higher they can start to hone in on the best summit day. We will continue to monitor the weather and give them daily updates. Right now it is looking like Monday would be the first possible summit day based on the team's schedule.

I said in a post on this thread that on my daughters climb they were using a kitchen tent with a chimney now it is back to cooking under a kite tarp and the vestibule. How am I going to convert the world to a little chimney so they can do it all inside?
This is an example of the gear that is used by the climbers.
I think that is my daughter under the kitchen tarp I dont know which one is my son in law.

I ask you with tears in my eyes why carry that kite tarp or tent way up that mountain if they cant use it in the wind?





Edited by chimpac (01/08/11 01:17 PM)

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#144593 - 01/08/11 09:48 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: chimpac]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By chimpac

How am I going to convert the world to a little chimney so they can do it all inside?


Well, you could start by ditching the attitude that everyone needs one... totally repels me from even considering one.
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#144598 - 01/08/11 11:57 AM Re: 4 season tents [Re: chimpac]
midnightsun03 Offline
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Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
I got embroiled in this same debate back in 2004 and ended up getting my posting priviledges significantly limited for a while. One of the significant issues that came out of the discussion is that there is a MAJOR difference between a tarp, a floorless tent (often referred to as a tarp) and a floored tent. I maintained that I could safely use a tarp in winter in Alaska. Well, truth was (and I didn't respect the difference at the time) is that I was talking about using a floorless tent and not a tarp. There is a great deal of confusion over this issue because when I say "apple" some people think "computer" while others think "fruit." So, I could be going on and on about how wonderful my apple is, and most people will make assumptions about my statements based on what they perceive my definition of "apple" is.

This pictures you show are of a floorless tent. These are common on Denali, especially as kitchen shelters, as you depict in your photos. Done right they will definitely withstand the wind well. But under a heavy snow load they will collapse in a heartbeat.

You are mistaken to say that snow is snow. I dare you to compare a cubic foot of snow that falls at 30 below versus a cubic foot of snow that falls at 30 above. You'll note that the weight of the snow at 30 above will be significantly greater than that at 30 below. A tent that will do well in an arctic environment such as Denali (or Aconcagua) will not necessarily do well in someplace like, for example, the Sierras or the Cascades. Quite simply you can't have a single product that is ideal in every environment. Like a golfer chooses his clubs based on a specific desired outcome, an avid outdoorsperson will have multiple tools in their arsenal and pick and choose depending on the conditions they are likely to encounter. You don't carry a heavy parka on a summer backpacking trip, but that doesn't mean you don't own a heavy parka for your winter trips.

But back to my original point: for anyone who thinks a tarp is a tarp is a tarp and one can be substituted for another, you are flat out wrong. Be precise in your language before assuming that everyone who can't see your point is stupid.

MNS
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#144600 - 01/08/11 12:45 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: midnightsun03]
Rick_D Offline
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Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
Good points all. I started "tarp" camping in Scouts and continued post-Scouts because 1. Cheap, cheap, cheap and 2. versatile in the PNW Cascades, where there are trees aplenty for stringing them up myriad ways with ridgelines sufficiently strong to shrug off nearly any weather. Note: I never intentionally headed into the snow with just tarp makin's, but snow sometimes found us. YMMV

Tarp back then: a hunk of Visqueen off a very large roll.
Tarp today: either a flat or catenary-cut lightweight fabric sheet with plenty of tieout anchors.

Pyramid or teepee shelters aren't tarps in my book, but I can imagine how they might acquire the moniker anyway. Floorless shelters works for me, although it's a rather broader category than just teepees.

As to our new friend Becky's question, I'd ask for further input. Do you want a snug, well-protected space for sleeping or do you want roomier longer-term living quarters that, among other functions, allow you to cook inside or in a vestibule and accommodate all your gear?

There are many lightweight tents for sleeping, rather fewer for hanging out during a multiday blow. Then, there are construction decisions. Single-wall, double-wall, tunnel, wedge, dome, self-supporting...?

The "best" extreme shelter I've used was an Early Winters Omnipotent with vestibule; the best I've owned is an EW Winterlite Goretex. Both are/were tunnel-style, requiring anchors fore and aft. Both are fast to set up and handle very high winds and reasonable snow loads, although I think in general, tunnel-style tents can require more frequent digging out than some other designs. The O-tent was double-wall, with the inner tent suspended at each hoop pole.

My qualms about double-wall tents with non-attached flys revolve around the more complex, time-consuming setup and the need for lots of anchors to keep everything taut, as well as the tendency for the fly to gather snow and press against the inner tent. Some designs seem to fend these tendencies off, but I don't have the hands-on experience for a recommendation.

If such a thing were available, I'd buy an updated version of my old Goretex tent done in eVent with carbon fiber poles. I'd be happy to take such a shelter almost anywhere, or at least anywhere I'm ambitious enough to go these days. Based on what I see on the market today, I'd probably buy a WPB wedge and learn to anchor it properly. If I were going to hang out in the snow over an extended period, I'd consider a Kifaru rig.

Cheers,
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#144604 - 01/08/11 04:16 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: chimpac]
Franco Offline
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Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 997
Loc: Australia
Chimpac
Thank you for swallowing your pride and showing yourself wrong.
As your pictures prove, expedition do indeed use "expedition" tents (semi geodesic design exactly the type I recommended...) and as a "mess" tent at altitude can use a pyramid tent ( just for the record, the Black Diamond Megalite is a pyramid tent, not a tarp and not a shaped tarp either... ), however there is no chimney to be seen and are not considered safe enough to be used to sleep under by organised expeditions in those areas (individuals may choose to use one).
A third point shows that you greatly lack comprehension skills.
If you actually read what I wrote when I showed those "kite" pics, I explained that they had nothing to do with this thread (just like your input...) but it was just something I was doing in between posting,
The type of tent that the OP was after had already been spelled out many answers before and as you just confirmed it is indeed a semi geodesic/multi pole design.
Rick D ,
caving in/snow compressing against the fabric is the reason why neither pyramids nor tunnel tents are used (generally...) when heavy snow is expected (that is both wet or a lot of snow...)
Again some people forget that the often quoted Antarctica is actually the driest continent on earth, that is it does not snow very much at all down there.
If you look at the Mountain Hardware "expedition" tents you will notice the multi pole design in the smaller ones and the full geodesic in the larger ones , all designed to deflect high winds and shed snow.
(just noticed that the inner (tent) of the Satelite is now white with orange stripes...used to be blue and white)

http://www.mountainhardwear.com/expedition-tents/tents-expedition,default,sc.html
Franco

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#144609 - 01/08/11 05:04 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Franco]
GDeadphans Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
Originally Posted By Franco
Chimpac

Again some people forget that the often quoted Antarctica is actually the driest continent on earth, that is it does not snow very much at all down there.
Franco


True, the place is considered a desert by definition.
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#144610 - 01/08/11 08:33 PM Re: 4 season tents [Re: Becky]
chimpac Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 148
Loc: alberta,can.
Quote franco
Chimpac
Thank you for swallowing your pride and showing yourself wrong.
As your pictures prove, expedition do indeed use "expedition" tents (semi geodesic design exactly the type I recommended...) and as a "mess" tent at altitude can use a pyramid tent ( just for the record, the Black Diamond Megalite is a pyramid tent, not a tarp and not a shaped tarp either... ), however there is no chimney to be seen and are not considered safe enough to be used to sleep under by organised expeditions in those areas (individuals may choose to use one).quote
Quote chimpac
My daughter and her husband are climbing Aconcagua in Argentina this week. I have not converted my son in law to use a chimney yet but the group they are climbing with are using a separate cook tent with a chimney. Quote

I say, A different cook tent was used when they were at lower levels, I saw a chimney coming out of their tent.

Quote climbers
A more modest kitchen for the higher camps.
The higher the team gets the more pared down the operation becomes. The winds have been light enough (about 10-15 mph in camp this afternoon) that the team is likely still able to use a small cook tent at camp 2. Once they move to high camp it is likely that the guide will be making all of the food and water for the group in the vestibule of their sleeping tents. Quote

I say, You said sleep under a chimney, I assume that means with a hot stove. I have not, nor do I know of anyone who would sleep with a backpack size stove burning wood or gas. I suspect you know very little about my stove/chimney that you are judging. As far as chimney safety goes my stove jack is metal and I can touch it with my bare hand when a hot fire is burning in the stove. Fire or sparks do not come from my chimney and I do not use a damper or a spark arrestor.

I only mentioned a cook tent, I never said anything about the type of other tents used by climbers.



Edited by chimpac (01/09/11 05:32 AM)

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