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#143949 - 12/25/10 07:53 PM need some help.
justme Offline
member

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 27
Loc: wyoming,usa
Hey guys. Im in the market to purchase both a 3-4 season two man tent for camping year round. I want to keep the price 300 or under and preferably some what light weight for back packing. Any suggestions?

I would also like to get a light weight bivy or hammock for spring through fall camping and i cant decide if I want a bivy or hammock. I know nothing about the pros or cons of either. Im 6'1" around 210lbs if that makes a difference for the choice of a bivy or hammock. Just looking for some info on both. Thanks

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#143955 - 12/25/10 10:06 PM Re: need some help. [Re: justme]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods

Howdy Justme!
Did you try using the search engine for 'tent' in the subject?
I recall several threads within the last 6 months here that had good discussions about the various tents. If this search engine doesn't find them you can try google and include the backpacking.net in the search string. For $300, there are lots to choose from and it is more about specific features that you are wanting.

As for bivies or hammocks, I'm a hammock guy.
The best place to find info on hammocks is over at hammockforums.net. Prepare to spend a lot of time reading.

A lot of it depends on where you plan on doing most of your hiking. If you're above treeline, you'll obviously need a bivy.

_________________________
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you're right.

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#143960 - 12/26/10 01:41 AM Re: need some help. [Re: justme]
Samoset Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 429
Loc: Newnan ,GA
Mountain hardwear lightpath 2
^ Enough said ^^
_________________________
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#143966 - 12/26/10 02:50 AM Re: need some help. [Re: justme]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
It's just a bit over $300, but for a 3 - 4 season tent you could consider the tarptent Scarp 2.

The problem with getting pro's and con's about bivy vs. hammock is that different people will come to different conclusions. Ultimately the only way to know what you like is to try stuff out. Bivy is simpler, but has some unique downsides (and upsides of course). Hammock camping is a longer and steeper learning curve.

Ideal would be if you could borrow or rent gear to try it out, or at least the bivy option. Are you thinking straight bivy, or bivy with some sort of tarp? Perhaps a poncho tarp? If the latter then you're also starting to involve your clothing choices ... this stuff isn't easy if you're really trying to optimize weight.
_________________________
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#143967 - 12/26/10 02:55 AM Re: need some help. [Re: justme]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
I always find it difficult to suggest a full 4-season season setup that is also adequate for 3-season use.

My expertise lies with tarps and not tents; so if you are not interested then I apologize now for the post. My 3-season shelter as been the SpinnTwinn-- a great two person shelter and a palace for one in the 3-season Colorado Rockies. It weighs in at 9.8oz including line.

My winter tarp is an MLD Duo-mid, comes in at around 13oz.

Both cost less than your $300 price range and weigh under a pound.

I am not a hammock camper, but I do own a bivy-- a TiGoat which is 6.8oz.

So my three season shelter (Tarp, bivy, stakes) = 19.6oz. Total cost is about $300.


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#143971 - 12/26/10 09:58 AM Re: need some help. [Re: ChrisFol]
GDeadphans Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
I have never used a bivvy before. But I remember reading on this forum a while back that there can be issues with water vapor collecting.

I too am buying a hammock. My buddy has an ENO with a screen and tarp tent and its pretty nice. But again my experience is limited with hammocks, unless its lounging in the backyard smile. My plan is to search the hammock forums cause there is so much information on it.
_________________________
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

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#143980 - 12/26/10 02:15 PM Re: need some help. [Re: justme]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3188
Loc: Portland, OR
Just as a reminder to those who are responding to justme, that "3-4 season" means different things to different forumites. In this case, he apparently lives in Wyoming, where the season called "summer" includes snow, hail, and frigid lashing winds on any day of the year.

I don't think a hammock could under any stretch be used in a Wyoming winter. You'd need a "5-season" hammock for that! grin

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#143989 - 12/26/10 09:34 PM Re: need some help. [Re: Tango61]
justme Offline
member

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 27
Loc: wyoming,usa
Originally Posted By Tango61

Howdy Justme!
Did you try using the search engine for 'tent' in the subject?
I recall several threads within the last 6 months here that had good discussions about the various tents. If this search engine doesn't find them you can try google and include the backpacking.net in the search string. For $300, there are lots to choose from and it is more about specific features that you are wanting.

As for bivies or hammocks, I'm a hammock guy.
The best place to find info on hammocks is over at hammockforums.net. Prepare to spend a lot of time reading.

A lot of it depends on where you plan on doing most of your hiking. If you're above treeline, you'll obviously need a bivy.


I agree searching the forums you can find alot of info. Just seems like most of it doesnt pertain to the same question. I will search if i cant find a good answer from my post. thanks for the suggestion

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#143990 - 12/26/10 09:38 PM Re: need some help. [Re: Samoset]
justme Offline
member

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 27
Loc: wyoming,usa
Originally Posted By Samoset
Mountain hardwear lightpath 2
^ Enough said ^^


thanks for the link. is this tent a side or front entry?

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#143992 - 12/26/10 09:52 PM Re: need some help. [Re: BrianLe]
justme Offline
member

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 27
Loc: wyoming,usa
Originally Posted By BrianLe
It's just a bit over $300, but for a 3 - 4 season tent you could consider the tarptent Scarp 2.

The problem with getting pro's and con's about bivy vs. hammock is that different people will come to different conclusions. Ultimately the only way to know what you like is to try stuff out. Bivy is simpler, but has some unique downsides (and upsides of course). Hammock camping is a longer and steeper learning curve.

Ideal would be if you could borrow or rent gear to try it out, or at least the bivy option. Are you thinking straight bivy, or bivy with some sort of tarp? Perhaps a poncho tarp? If the latter then you're also starting to involve your clothing choices ... this stuff isn't easy if you're really trying to optimize weight.


I really like that scarp. how is it for two large people say around 6'1" and gear inside? I dont really like leaving my gear outside and to me it doesnt really look like their is a vestible. How well will theese tents hold up to the wear and tare?

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#143993 - 12/26/10 10:03 PM Re: need some help. [Re: ChrisFol]
justme Offline
member

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 27
Loc: wyoming,usa
Originally Posted By ChrisFol
I always find it difficult to suggest a full 4-season season setup that is also adequate for 3-season use.

My expertise lies with tarps and not tents; so if you are not interested then I apologize now for the post. My 3-season shelter as been the SpinnTwinn-- a great two person shelter and a palace for one in the 3-season Colorado Rockies. It weighs in at 9.8oz including line.

My winter tarp is an MLD Duo-mid, comes in at around 13oz.

Both cost less than your $300 price range and weigh under a pound.

I am not a hammock camper, but I do own a bivy-- a TiGoat which is 6.8oz.

So my three season shelter (Tarp, bivy, stakes) = 19.6oz. Total cost is about $300.



I really like the idea of just a lightweight tarp but im not a fan or crawlies or snakes. I kind of want somewhat of a shelter to kee[ stuff out. I really like the bivy idea for myself plus a tarp. the tent is going to be used for two people and we could split the gear between us.

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#143997 - 12/26/10 10:22 PM Re: need some help. [Re: justme]
justme Offline
member

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 27
Loc: wyoming,usa
is their any bivys that have a support pole to keep the fabric off of your face? I dont really like that by looking at them

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#144002 - 12/27/10 12:45 AM Re: need some help. [Re: justme]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
Originally Posted By justme
is their any bivys that have a support pole to keep the fabric off of your face? I dont really like that by looking at them


There really are a lot of options.

I use a Tigoat bivy with the net hood and the netting as a tie off loop. So you simply set up your tarp and tie a piece of line from the netting hoop to the tarp pole and there you go-- a fully bug-proof, waterproof, lightweight shelter.

In fact most bivies are like this since a bug proof net that lies on your skin isn't much use.

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#144005 - 12/27/10 01:10 AM Re: need some help. [Re: justme]
lori Offline
member

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



I really like the idea of just a lightweight tarp but im not a fan or crawlies or snakes. I kind of want somewhat of a shelter to kee[ stuff out. I really like the bivy idea for myself plus a tarp. the tent is going to be used for two people and we could split the gear between us.


Look at the Six Moon Designs Meteor Bivy - you can download the pattern and make it, or order one. Also check out bugnet shelters to pair up with a tarp - there are one and two person models around. Seen those at REI for not very much money.

It's interesting how I used to be so very concerned about creepy crawlies and have found that it isn't so much of a problem as I used to think. I have yet to wake to find things crawling on me for all the nights I've spent under a tarp without a net. Not parking myself next to rotting logs or in foliage really cuts down on the bugs. There are some locations where you can't get out of grass - that's where I take a full tent or hammock setup. On duff or rock in late summer I don't worry about it.

For the worst part of mosquito season I use a fully netted/zippered hammock - for someone who dislikes things crawling on them, a hammock with net is ideal - treat the straps with permethrin and nothing will crawl down the suspension, treat the bottom and nothing will land on the hammock fabric.

Never had a snake anywhere near me while sleeping. Never heard of anyone having that problem, either. I had a mouse under my tarptent once - on Angel Island, where it's not even what you could call backcountry camping and the animals actively seek people in search of scraps.

Tarptents for two people can be pretty light and roomy, and excellent bug protection. I believe you can download a pattern for the original two person tarptent as well.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#144006 - 12/27/10 01:14 AM Re: need some help. [Re: aimless]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By aimless
Just as a reminder to those who are responding to justme, that "3-4 season" means different things to different forumites. In this case, he apparently lives in Wyoming, where the season called "summer" includes snow, hail, and frigid lashing winds on any day of the year.

I don't think a hammock could under any stretch be used in a Wyoming winter. You'd need a "5-season" hammock for that! grin


You haven't seen some of the winter hammock setups, or you would know there are plenty of deep freeze hammockers pulling pulks out with hammock huts, wood stoves, and multiple down top and underquilts to conquer the Great White North. There's a Canadian (nick)named Turk on youtube that excels at Extreme Hammocking. Just takes an appropriate amount of determination and gear....

My 3 season camping also includes some amount of subfreezing temps and weather... I realize that California has a certain reputation for mild weather, but "milder than other locations" does not mean we're all palm trees and sunshine. At 10,000 feet all bets are off. (I've hammocked at 10k, in snow and wind.)
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#144013 - 12/27/10 05:30 AM Re: need some help. [Re: lori]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
I took down my tent once on Santa Rosa Island and found three dead deer mice, crushed as I flailed about in my sleep. This was during a mousy population peak - they were everywhere.

I've never had a problem with snakes, even in Arizona desert camping, with or without a tent.

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#144016 - 12/27/10 10:36 AM Re: need some help. [Re: aimless]
GDeadphans Offline
member

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
Originally Posted By aimless
Just as a reminder to those who are responding to justme, that "3-4 season" means different things to different forumites. In this case, he apparently lives in Wyoming, where the season called "summer" includes snow, hail, and frigid lashing winds on any day of the year.

I don't think a hammock could under any stretch be used in a Wyoming winter. You'd need a "5-season" hammock for that! grin


He/she had mentioned wanting a bivvy or a hammock for spring fall and summer - so that reply was for that part of her message. You most certainly can hammock in the winter. Its an amazing set up. Just watched a bunch of videos on it actually by Shug over at hammockforums.net whose from Minnesota. Had a set up for -2F. crazy

Justme I have a Marmot Twilight 2P and I love that thing. Some people on here would consider it a bit on the heavy side at 5 lbs 4oz. But I love the small pack size and its certainly lighter than the first tent I ever owned lol. I got lucky and found one for a $180 on Zappos.com believe it or not, but they normally run around $240. There is plenty of room inside. The tent's roof pitch is sufficient enough so you can sit up comfortably when needed. Inside there is the perfect amount of room for two averaged sized humans. I wouldnt want to sleep in that tent with anyone else but my significant other or an extremely close friend, but it is still comfortable.

Two side doors each with its own vestibule so you and your spouse or friend can put their gear on their side and have there own entry/exit point. Also a neat little window thing inside so you can look out. There is also a ventilation "system" on the rain fly. It pops up and allows moisture to escape, a really great feature.

lori What kind of hammock do you own? I am just getting in to hammocking and researching the different brands and different set ups. I am thinking about a Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro. Any thoughts?
_________________________
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

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#144018 - 12/27/10 11:09 AM Re: need some help. [Re: GDeadphans]
lori Offline
member

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


lori What kind of hammock do you own? I am just getting in to hammocking and researching the different brands and different set ups. I am thinking about a Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro. Any thoughts?


That would be an inexpensive way to go... at about the same cost a Warbonnet Traveller would allow for a flatter lay (same hammock as the Blackbird without a bugnet) but you would need to purchase the bugnet separately. Or the Switchback, which lets you change directions (can put head on other end of the hammock and still have a nice diagonal lay) or roll up the bugnet. Skeeter Beeter does not have a ridgeline so you have to tie up the netting. If you're not a tall person the Skeeter Beater may work for you, but taller folks who want the nice flat lay on the diagonal look to the larger Hennessy models, the Warbonnet hammocks, or even a ENO double hammock.

I have a Blackbird. Very spoiled with it. I'm taking it snowshoeing at the end of January, expect I will be much warmer that way. I'll probably sleep like a rock in my cocoon of down. I have a 0 degree underquilt with a mylar liner.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#144019 - 12/27/10 11:28 AM Re: need some help. [Re: justme]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

The scarp 2 is really nice. side entry from each side, and a vestibule on each side.

I've spent some time in one as I bought one for one of my swiss buddies who occasionally meets me for hiking trips. I've slept in his scarp 2 on two different continents! (tasmania, and vancouver island)

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


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#144020 - 12/27/10 11:33 AM Re: need some help. [Re: aimless]
phat Offline
Moderator

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

I don't think a hammock could under any stretch be used in a Wyoming winter. You'd need a "5-season" hammock for that! grin


I have hammocked comfortably down to a low of -18 Centigrade.

Having said that, doing so isn't exactly lightweight. I normally go to ground in those temperatures.


But back to the OP - my advice to you is simple. Get *REALISTIC* about how many times you will be out in the winter. Want my advice? rent first. Want my second bit of advice, if you're like most people, spend your 300 on a good lightweight 3 season tent, unless you are mountaineering. it will be lighter, and more comfortable than a true 4 season bombshelter. Now, when you are occasionally going out in 4 seasons, RENT a 4 season tent from rei or a local gear shop.

Me? I have more than one tent. but that way I'm not suffering by carrying a heavy, stuffy 4 season bombshelter that can take a snow load the 95% of the time I don't need it!
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#144034 - 12/27/10 06:58 PM Re: need some help. [Re: phat]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
REI around here (great frozen north of Minnesota) doesn't even rent bomber mountaineering tents. If you rent a "4 season" tent from them what you'll get is a sturdy three season REI brand tent. Works for most winter camping, just don't try to use it above tree line in a mountain storm.
_________________________
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#144047 - 12/27/10 09:42 PM Re: need some help. [Re: ChrisFol]
justme Offline
member

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 27
Loc: wyoming,usa
thanks for the info

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#144048 - 12/27/10 09:51 PM Re: need some help. [Re: lori]
justme Offline
member

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 27
Loc: wyoming,usa
Originally Posted By lori
Originally Posted By justme



I really like the idea of just a lightweight tarp but im not a fan or crawlies or snakes. I kind of want somewhat of a shelter to kee[ stuff out. I really like the bivy idea for myself plus a tarp. the tent is going to be used for two people and we could split the gear between us.


Look at the Six Moon Designs Meteor Bivy - you can download the pattern and make it, or order one. Also check out bugnet shelters to pair up with a tarp - there are one and two person models around. Seen those at REI for not very much money.

It's interesting how I used to be so very concerned about creepy crawlies and have found that it isn't so much of a problem as I used to think. I have yet to wake to find things crawling on me for all the nights I've spent under a tarp without a net. Not parking myself next to rotting logs or in foliage really cuts down on the bugs. There are some locations where you can't get out of grass - that's where I take a full tent or hammock setup. On duff or rock in late summer I don't worry about it.

For the worst part of mosquito season I use a fully netted/zippered hammock - for someone who dislikes things crawling on them, a hammock with net is ideal - treat the straps with permethrin and nothing will crawl down the suspension, treat the bottom and nothing will land on the hammock fabric.

Never had a snake anywhere near me while sleeping. Never heard of anyone having that problem, either. I had a mouse under my tarptent once - on Angel Island, where it's not even what you could call backcountry camping and the animals actively seek people in search of scraps.

Tarptents for two people can be pretty light and roomy, and excellent bug protection. I believe you can download a pattern for the original two person tarptent as well.


I really like that six moons bivy. I think that and a light weight tarp would be great for solo camping. It seems here we have a lot of flies during the summer and they drive me nuts landing on me. Snakes is just my own fear since i hate them so much and you really never do run across them here in the mountains but i would Rather not deal with them anyways lol.

I really want to try a hammock but i just havent sprung for one and havent really looked at them that close.

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#144049 - 12/27/10 09:54 PM Re: need some help. [Re: GDeadphans]
justme Offline
member

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 27
Loc: wyoming,usa
Originally Posted By GDeadphans
Originally Posted By aimless
Just as a reminder to those who are responding to justme, that "3-4 season" means different things to different forumites. In this case, he apparently lives in Wyoming, where the season called "summer" includes snow, hail, and frigid lashing winds on any day of the year.

I don't think a hammock could under any stretch be used in a Wyoming winter. You'd need a "5-season" hammock for that! grin


He/she had mentioned wanting a bivvy or a hammock for spring fall and summer - so that reply was for that part of her message. You most certainly can hammock in the winter. Its an amazing set up. Just watched a bunch of videos on it actually by Shug over at hammockforums.net whose from Minnesota. Had a set up for -2F. crazy

Justme I have a Marmot Twilight 2P and I love that thing. Some people on here would consider it a bit on the heavy side at 5 lbs 4oz. But I love the small pack size and its certainly lighter than the first tent I ever owned lol. I got lucky and found one for a $180 on Zappos.com believe it or not, but they normally run around $240. There is plenty of room inside. The tent's roof pitch is sufficient enough so you can sit up comfortably when needed. Inside there is the perfect amount of room for two averaged sized humans. I wouldnt want to sleep in that tent with anyone else but my significant other or an extremely close friend, but it is still comfortable.

Two side doors each with its own vestibule so you and your spouse or friend can put their gear on their side and have there own entry/exit point. Also a neat little window thing inside so you can look out. There is also a ventilation "system" on the rain fly. It pops up and allows moisture to escape, a really great feature.

lori What kind of hammock do you own? I am just getting in to hammocking and researching the different brands and different set ups. I am thinking about a Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro. Any thoughts?


Thanks for the suggestion on a tent and by the way im a dude lol

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#144050 - 12/27/10 10:07 PM Re: need some help. [Re: phat]
justme Offline
member

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 27
Loc: wyoming,usa
Originally Posted By phat
Originally Posted By aimless

I don't think a hammock could under any stretch be used in a Wyoming winter. You'd need a "5-season" hammock for that! grin


I have hammocked comfortably down to a low of -18 Centigrade.

Having said that, doing so isn't exactly lightweight. I normally go to ground in those temperatures.


But back to the OP - my advice to you is simple. Get *REALISTIC* about how many times you will be out in the winter. Want my advice? rent first. Want my second bit of advice, if you're like most people, spend your 300 on a good lightweight 3 season tent, unless you are mountaineering. it will be lighter, and more comfortable than a true 4 season bombshelter. Now, when you are occasionally going out in 4 seasons, RENT a 4 season tent from rei or a local gear shop.

Me? I have more than one tent. but that way I'm not suffering by carrying a heavy, stuffy 4 season bombshelter that can take a snow load the 95% of the time I don't need it!


to me the scarp doesnt seem that heavy at 4lbs and it claims to be a 4 season shelter. I think if i had a tent that would work for a four season shelter i would be motivated to go camping during the winter since i have the right gear.

I agree on renting gear but their is no where to rent here. maybe your on to something i havent thought of.

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