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Considering buying a winter setup, would love opinions.
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Damon Holman
(Damon78) - F

Locale: Northeast
Considering buying a winter setup, would love opinions. on 01/26/2010 09:41:00 MST Print View

I am an experienced lightweight hiker/ tarp camper but fairly new to winter camping. I have given some thought to what I would like for a shelter system. This is for the Northeast, mainly the White Mountains and the mountains of Maine. I hike primarily with my girlfriend who is an experienced winter camper but new to ultralight technique, most of her winter camping was done in a luxurious (=heavy) freestanding, 4 season tent.

I'm thinking about a large pyramid shelter (9x9) with a two person bivy sack and a Ti tri inferno woodstove. I understand that this is not the lightest option but would be spacious, warm and provide us options in various snow conditions. The large mid would give us the room to sleep together on one side of the pole, which we appreciate, and be able to use the other side for gear and stove. We would be able to share some body heat without having to share a sleeping bag system (something which has failed for us in the past). We could also eliminate a groundsheet by using the bivy instead.

I got the idea for the woodstove with a mid from a picture in a forum post which I can no longer find. Does anybody have any experience with this? Obviously I would be using it with the door open, basically in the entrance way. I understand the wood gas insert makes the ti tri burn quite clean and smoke free. In more severe conditions (presidential traverse) I could skip the woodstove. This seems like my preferred stove choice for 3 season use as well.

My questions are as follows: Which mid? Which bivy? Any thoughts why this system would be less than ideal, or tips for it? Does anybody use a system like this?

After having read some posts on this I am considering sewing a sodcloth for more severe snowstorms.

Thanks in advance.

Gabe P
(Gabe) - MLife
Re: Considering buying a winter setup, would love opinions. on 01/26/2010 10:00:47 MST Print View

I asked a similar question recently and Mark Verber suggested I consider a DuoMid, which is versatile enough to protect you from bugs -- when needed -- by incorporating an innernet. The DuoMid weighs 16oz in Silnylon or 12oz in Spectralite/Cuben. FYI -- I haven't tried it yet, so this isn't an endorsement -- just something you could research.

Regarding the Ti-Tri stove, I'm wondering why you haven't considered the Bushbuddy. I haven't heard that the wood gas insert makes the ti tri burn clean and smoke free. If it does, the Ti-Tri is an amazing stove. What does it weigh?

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Considering buying a winter setup, would love opinions. on 01/26/2010 10:36:13 MST Print View

My suggestion of a duomid was for a solo hiker. While a couple can sleep in a duomid together, I would want a lot more room for two people... especially if I was using a wood burning stove.

I have used low carbon monoxide generating stoves in the duomid. I wouldn't be comfortable doing a wood burner without some sort of chimney that vents outside the shelter. I have no experience with these shelters... but there have been a number of blogs and reports about using Titanium Goat and Kifaru shelters.


Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Considering buying a winter setup, would love opinions. on 01/26/2010 10:38:59 MST Print View

I believe the thread you're referencing was a Steve Evans bit w/his cuben duomid and a TiGoat stove. (Hey Steve, did you ever install a stove boot?) This makes me wonder about your comments about leaving the door open, etc. The TiGoat stove is more geared toward heating a tent and uses a stove pipe. The TiTri Inferno is a great woodstove, but it is not remotely intended for use in heating a tent... not sure if that was your plan, but just in case...

The Inferno burns great... much better than my MYOG "not-bushbuddy." The system is about as fuss-free as you can get, light, compact, and efficient. If I were going out for a multi-day winter trip, though, I'm not sure that a woodstove would be my primary unit. One big reason, right off the top, is that I like a large-volume pot for melting snow, and my Inferno is sized for my typical 0.9L pot. But it sounds like your questions are generally more about shelter.

First thought was that if shared sleeping bags didn't work for you, a shared bivy sack won't work, either. I do really like a large mid for 2 people, used as you described. Oware, MLD, or BD options are all good.

Gabe P
(Gabe) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Considering buying a winter setup, would love opinions. on 01/26/2010 10:45:57 MST Print View

Yes -- my question was about finding a versatile one person shelter. Sorry to misrepresent...didn't intend to

See below for the specifics:

Damon Holman
(Damon78) - F

Locale: Northeast
duomid/bushbuddy on 01/26/2010 10:47:46 MST Print View

I'm thinking that I would like to have more room than the Duomid will provide in the winter, especially in the context of having a wood stove nearly inside. My GF was used to a 4 season tent with vestibule large enough for the gear inside. We would also be unable to use a 2 person bivy, due to the pole in the center of that shelter.

As far as the Titri inferno vs bushbuddy question, I am basing my information of the inferno on the reviews here which said it was cleaner burning than the titri on its own. I was thinking that the Titri which I would would offer more campfire ambiance and warmth than the bushbuddy for winter use.

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Unvented woodstove inside a tent. on 01/26/2010 11:40:19 MST Print View

It sounds like what you're proposing is to use a wood stove, such as a bushbuddy or titri, inside a tent. IMHO, this is a really bad idea. You'll have too much carbon monoxide and stand a fair chance of setting the tent on fire. Also, you may have too much smoke. A spark could set your nylon tent on fire.

Woodstoves in tents are used in what is sometimes called 'hot tent camping'. These are real wood stoves with a stove pipe going through a fireproof piece (thimble). Canvas tents are used which are less flammable than nylon and don't melt. There's a discussion here:
One brand of stove is at:
This is not ultralight camping, it's more ultraheavy. It's best suited to the Canadian wilderness where you can really burn wood, rather than overused parts of New England. Typically, gear is pulled on a sled or pulk.

Damon Holman
(Damon78) - F

Locale: Northeast
Unvented woodstove in tent on 01/26/2010 11:54:20 MST Print View

I was certainly not proposing using the woodstove unvented in a closed tent. The picture that I saw was the ti-tri, being used in an open pyramid, in the doorway with the door open. The user said it worked well.

Has anybody seen this forum post?

I am not suggesting using it for overnight heating, but I have used a stove near the edge of my tarp in a similar setup and was thinking that the pyramid walls would have an extreme enough angle to use in the open doorway, venting outside and still providing some warmth, light and cheer in the long darkness. I could be wrong about this.

Justin McMinn
(akajut) - F

Locale: Central Oklahoma
Tent Stoves on 01/26/2010 14:43:30 MST Print View

Titanium Goat makes so really light ones

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Considering buying a winter setup, would love opinions. on 01/26/2010 16:36:34 MST Print View

I can't comment on the mid/stove/bivy setup, but the Oware Double Dixon bivy is fantastic for two people. The Pertex on top is for all purposes waterproof, and the sil on the bottom is waterproof. The only issue is keeping the bivy hood up because of the three pulls, but that is more of an issue in summer to deflect water and keep the mesh off your face.

I have yet to use it in winter, but it is long enough to put my long -20F winter bag in it without compressing the insulation. I wouldn't be surprised that I could get two winter bags in there.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
A "doable" wood stove in a tent on 01/26/2010 22:10:16 MST Print View

If you want safety AND efficiency with a woodstove in a tent you need the following:

1. Chimney W/inverted "funnel" over (touching) the CC Inferno, Bush Buddy, etc. to collect 95% of the smoke. (Assuming a fire proof chimney shield is built into the tent and you've got a long, angled chimney to keep sparks from the nylon.)>>Here's where a cotton tent is worth it.

2. A tube from the OUTSIDE of the tent to UNDER the stove for combustion air so you don't suck too much warm inside air up the chimney. (Plus cold air is denser W/ more O2 content for better combustion.) Plains Indians did this "tunnel" with rocks &/or bark covering a narrow trench to the fire in their teepes.

Damon Holman
(Damon78) - F

Locale: Northeast
oware on 01/28/2010 11:30:34 MST Print View

So I am considering an oware 2 person bivy and oware 8x8 pyramid. Do you think this would be large enough for the two of us to sleep on one side of the pole?

Also, regarding the stove question I have been reading about using a hanging adapter with a canister stove to cook in the (ventilated) tent, also making it warmer. Any opinions on that?

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: oware on 01/28/2010 11:59:26 MST Print View

You might have to cant the pole a little to the side, but should be able to fit both on one side.

In terms of heating the tent: I would just plan on bringing sleeping bags and clothing layers appropriate for your conditions. Don't skimp. If you're counting on a stove to heat your tent, your gear probably isn't quite up to the task at hand.

Then we get into the whole cooking in your tent debate; let's forget that for now. Using the stove would increase tent temperature a little. Mind you, it would be most noticeable in a double skin tent, where you'd have a layer of trapped air between body and fly; less noticeable, or at least heat kept less w/single wall sil. Upright canisters can also be a pain in cold weather... If you want to heat a tent, the Titanium Goat stoves are the way to go.

Roxanne Miller
(Roxie) - F

Locale: East Coast
Re: Re: oware on 01/28/2010 13:22:48 MST Print View

My experience with winter camping involved opening the door to the tent and cooking coffee and breakfast in the vented fly. I could sit in my bag and enjoy the heat wafting in while we cooked and it was just enough to take the edge off in the morning. Granted we were using a double walled tent at the time and just a candle lantern added heat (back when I was a heavyweight hiker).

I'm now interested in losing some of the weight and hopefully gaining some headroom by using a floor less tent that allows for digging down in in the snow and everyone seems to rave about the pyramid tents. I don't like the idea of giving up the fly method and going outside the tent to cook and I hear these pyramid tents are great for winter because you can cook in them. Right? I like to keep my cook system simple and lightweight. There is probably a different opinion for each person out there, but what are people using for their winter shelter and stove system? i guess this is a redundant question here.

If I wasn't putting it all on my back I would go for the titanium stove, a snow walker tent and a bed of fur bows, but that's a totally different world of camping and travel.

martin cooperman
(martyc) - M

Locale: Industrial Midwest
Winter cooking on 01/28/2010 14:38:39 MST Print View

I came upon this website, from a guide service in the New Hampshire White Mountains where they very strongly recommend their cooking system for the winter Presidential Traverse, a fairly cold and brutal environment.

I've not seen this other than on the web, but it might merit some consideration. It's a cannister-driven hanging stove in a single-walled tent.
Anyone have experience or thoughts about it?

Marty Cooperman

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
canister stove on 01/28/2010 14:57:40 MST Print View

Yes, I had mentioned the hanging canister stove previously used in skiing the High Route across California's Sierra Nevada.

As has been mentioned, butane or butane-propane stoves become a little marginal at cold temperatures. OTOH, they become better and better as you go to extremely high elevations, which gets back to the mention about Everest. Basically, at extremely high elevations, the atmospheric pressure becomes much less, which allows the fuel in the canister to vaporize and escape easier. Whereas, extreme cold makes the fuel to barely vaporize at all.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Winter cooking on 01/28/2010 15:07:29 MST Print View

> a cannister-driven hanging stove in a single-walled tent.
I am not sure why hanging the stove should be any better than sitting it on an insulated mat on the ground. Certainly, on the ground is a LOT more stable, which really does count for a lot imho.

BPL has many articles on canister stoves and their use in winter for subscribers. You may find them useful.


Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
hanging stoves on 01/28/2010 15:12:26 MST Print View

The advantage of the hanging stove is that you do not need any insulated mat on the tent floor. Also, it takes no floor space this way. The disadvantage is that you have the cook pot hovering in the air two feet above somebody's sleeping bag, so when something wet slops out, you have a small mess.