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floorless shelter techique
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s k
(skots) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: floorless shelter techique on 11/21/2009 14:06:11 MST Print View

Hi, Roman,

>these style tents are standard cook shelters.

But it appears, (from photos and trip accounts), that heavy NF and MH domes are the commonly used shelters for sleeping in places like Denali. Do you have an opinion on why pyramids aren't used as commonly for sleeping. Would you or have you used a pyramid in places like Denali? Do you think that sod clothe/snow flaps are useful/necessary or frustrating? Do you see a value in wall ties, and where do you think that they are best placed. In pictures of historical polar expeditions, it appears that the wall and hip seam ties are roughly a third of the way "up" the ground to peak distance. Newer designs, half way up seems common.

Do you use a bivy/bag cover when using a pyramid during mid winter conditions? Is convection or moisture a bigger problem in mid winter mid life?

Sorry about the list but when opportunity knocks... Thanks for your insight.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
shallow snow on 11/21/2009 17:43:24 MST Print View

Last weekend I did a <24 hr snowshoe trip, brought my Trailstar but not stakes because I assumed burying sticks in the snow would be easy. However, the best site I found was sheltered and only had about 10" of very light, dry snow. The sticks didn't hold up well when tensioned.

To solve this, I buried the stick in as much snow as I could, aggressively tamped with a shovel. Then I pi**ed on the snow and let it freeze up for 20 minutes before tensioning the stakes.

Worked like a charm.

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Floorless on Denali on 11/22/2009 14:53:31 MST Print View

Roman Dial wrote:
“I think the floorless pyramid style of tents are the BEST choice for winter camping.”
Roman, I’m assuming there is an implied exception for places like the 17,200-foot High Camp on Denali. Geodesic dome tents can more easily be hidden behind high snow-block anti-wind walls, assuming the pyramids are placed on top of snow walls, as is done when used as tops for kitchens / eating areas. (In 1912, Robert Falcon Scott died in a wind-resistant pyramidal tent, so a very heavy pyramid can withstand just about anything. However, I'm guessing that a geodesic dome provides more interior space pound for pound.)

Edited by RobertM2S on 11/22/2009 23:44:37 MST.

Derek Goffin
(Derekoak)

Locale: North of England
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: floorless shelter techique on 11/23/2009 03:03:56 MST Print View

Hi Skots,
I have not experience of Denali but I am making a cuben mid so I have thought about tie outs. The centre of a triangular pyramid side is 1/3 of the way up, the centre of a rectangular ridge tent side will be halfway up. To get an outward pull on a low tie out, only a short guy is needed. To get an outward pull halfway up needs a longer guy. It is therefore more difficult in confined spaces.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Single Wall in Winter? Re: floorless shelter techique on 11/23/2009 08:25:58 MST Print View

My first thought on replying was to suggest a conventional winter tent for your first winter trip.. I don't have any good reason though.

Instead I'll ask a question for those more experienced than I using single wall shelters:
With a single wall sylnylon pyramid do you get a lot of frost snowing down when the wind shakes the tent?

I've spend hundreds of winter nights in double wall tents in the Sierra. With my double wall pyramid there's very little frost inside even though we normally cooked inside.

s k
(skots) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: floorless shelter techique on 11/23/2009 09:02:14 MST Print View

Thank you, Robert and Derek,

I've seen pyramids designed for Antarctic use that have four hip poles as well as a center pole... stronger, heavier, and less portable. Apparently necessary for early century Antarctic exploration, though.

I hadn't considered the shorter tie, flatter as well. The higher guy points also seem to give the fabric below the guy point, the potential to catch more wind and "belly in" rather than spill the wind upward and edgeward.

Jim, what kind of liner to you have in your pyramid?

As an aside, Derek, this may be more convenient than returning to the scene of the train wreck. I was wrrr, wrrrr, wrrroo, wrong! The sentiment was apparently born out of normalcy! Where do you want the money sent?

Derek Goffin
(Derekoak)

Locale: North of England
tie outs on 11/23/2009 09:35:23 MST Print View

Hi Skots,
As you say the higher the tie out the more likely it will be counter productive in strong winds. On the other issue I would have had more sympathy if you had been correct.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: floorless shelter techique on 11/23/2009 10:37:23 MST Print View

Skots asked "Jim, what kind of liner to you have in your pyramid?"

My existing pyramid is 1.9 ounce ripstop- uncoated for the inner tent, coated for the fly and floor. It has short 12" sidewalls which helps with interior space and snow shedding, but also means that tent and fly need 8 long guylines each. The design is much more complicated than the simple pyramid style of Oware and others, which is what I'll use for my next tent.

Roman Dial
(romandial) - F - M

Locale: packrafting NZ
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: floorless shelter techique on 11/23/2009 19:53:03 MST Print View

SK,

Sorry not to reply sooner.

"heavy NF and MH domes are the commonly used shelters for sleeping in places like Denali" Yes domes are favored in high winds and mountains because they have less steep walls. Also that's what's been on the market, although half cylinders (in the old days these were the Early Winter designs and Stephenson Warmlght tents) are also coming back.

"Do you have an opinion on why pyramids aren't used as commonly for sleeping."
Yes, I have plenty of opinions! Pyramids are old style and more fussy to set up. Domes are super easy, pitch, place and anchor. Also easy to clean -- just shake them out.

"Would you or have you used a pyramid in places like Denali?" Yes, if weight was the primary factor and I was planning on spending less than 30% of the days tent bound. However, a pair of friends/climbing partners took a BD Megamid to 12,000 feet on AK's 16,000 foot Mt Sanford in February. A bad storm came and eventually blew away their 'mid, leaving them "naked" so to speak. Lost both sleeping bags and all fire. Epic self-rescue ensued. But a good illustration of why floorless pyramids are not poular on big mountains with high winds.

"Do you think that sod clothe/snow flaps are useful/necessary or frustrating? " I have been in post production mods with them and have them on my old Dana Design Nuktuks. Not really a fan. They get dirty and don't seem to be worth the additional weight to me.

" Do you see a value in wall ties, and where do you think that they are best placed." Yes, but I am not knowledgeable to where they should be placed. If any of my floorless pyramids have them (I have BD Megamids, the Arcric 1000 cuben fiber mid, Nuktuks, and Golite Hex3, maybe some other custom jobs, too) and if those have them Ihave never used them.

"Do you use a bivy/bag cover when using a pyramid during mid winter conditions? " My favorite set up in winter is a synthetic hooded puffy jacket worn inside a summer down bag inside a synthetic non-zip overbag (I have ones with insulation all around and ones for 2-4 people that we all pile into; use depends on temp and people and what we're doing).

" Is convection or moisture a bigger problem in mid winter mid life? " Hmmm. in mid-life (i.e 35-55 years old) I think moisture is the problem :) Kidding aside -- by Convection do you mean convective heat loss? As in wind? In snow that's easy to solve by shoveling snow around edges. I find moisture is less a problem since the snow absorbs humidity.

Edited by romandial on 11/23/2009 19:57:04 MST.

Roman Dial
(romandial) - F - M

Locale: packrafting NZ
Re: Floorless on Denali on 11/23/2009 19:54:36 MST Print View

Yes, Robert, you assumed my meaning correctly.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
re sod cloths on 11/23/2009 22:00:21 MST Print View

I'll vote for sod cloths on a winter tent.

In When Things Go Wrong I describe what it was like to have spindrift blowing into the outer tent, piling up against the inner tent. I tried building snow walls (at 8 pm and 1 am) but the wind just eroded them away.
5642SSpindriftInside

Cheers

>> Bender <<
(Bender) - MLife

Locale: NEO
Black Diamond Beta Light & Beta Mid? on 11/23/2009 23:04:10 MST Print View

What do you guys think of the Black Diamond Beta Light & Beta Mid? The Beta Mid has to be one of the least expensive tents of this style. I have seen it as low as $70 and weight is not bad considering the price. The Beta Light is listed at 19oz and about 2x the price.

s k
(skots) - F
Re: floorless shelter techique, Mid Life & Floorless on 11/24/2009 07:38:33 MST Print View

"(i.e 35-55 years old) I think moisture is the problem :)"

Maybe 40-60, and moisture is still a problem. But...it can be purchased in a bottle and decanted into a BPL Mcro Drop Plus. (Plus is code for artificial moisture compatible.) When I weigh it, the read out always blurs into a minus sign. Go figure!

Thanks for the through response.