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Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Arctic tent on 04/07/2010 02:30:16 MDT Print View

Hi Brad

> The biggest issues I've had w/staking have always been in winter. The toughest
> for me is when there's 6 inches of snow and frozen ground.

Have a look at our articles on MYOG Titanium Stakes. I have been amazed at how they slice into frozen ground when thin Aluminium ones just crumple.

Cheers

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Scarp 1 on 04/07/2010 11:23:04 MDT Print View

For those who have not noticed, there is a somewhat similar thread, based on hiking in Iceland, that started in 2009 and was recently revived.

By Northern Canada I meant Northwest Territories and Nunavut -- the barren lands and the arctic.

Scarp 1 -- I just took another look, and I must say there are appealing things about it (such as 2 vestibules). If it really is a suitable tent, the price is certainly better. I remain a bit concerned that it may not be as strong as the Hilleberg tents, though.

Scarp 2 -- do you know anything about that? The available net inner tent is a nice touch. I note Will's review and wonder whether some of his comments might not also apply to the Scarp 1.

Weather conditions -- I've been meaning to post this quote from Cliff Jacobson's "Expedition Canoeing" book:On our Hood River trip, we were once tentbound for sixty-two hours -- pinned down by icy rain driven by an unrelenting wind that raged at 50 miles an hour. It is worth noting, in the context of this discussion, that from a pegging point of view his favored Aroostook tents are tunnel tents.

Hendrik -- your tunnel remark -- any particular tunnel in mind? Hilleberg, or do you now of a lighter/cheaper one that is still solidly 4-season?

Roger -- are there conditions where you would prefer a freestanding tent to a tunnel tent? Or do you believe a tunnel is always a better idea?

--MV

Edited by blean on 04/07/2010 11:36:06 MDT.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Stephenson tents on 04/07/2010 12:01:49 MDT Print View

Stephenson tents are very light, and they are tunnel tents. The price for many of their models is right up there in the Hilleberg atmosphere, too.

I know they are controversial -- some say way over-rated, while others think they are wonderful. I have an older 2-man model myself, and have liked it a lot.

The very lightest one would be their 2CX 2-Person Climbers' Tent, with everything optioned out. That would be 2# 3oz and $445. Makes me wonder why it does not come up more in these forums -- it is surely UL weight.

A roomier tent one might choose is the 3R with side windows and a large door. That is a 3-person tunnel tent, doors at both ends, roomy for two at 4# 8oz $684. (3# 12oz without those two options)

Anyone else with comments on those tents?

-- MV

Edited by blean on 04/07/2010 12:03:02 MDT.

Nicholas Sweeting
(nsweeting) - F
freestanding on 04/07/2010 12:07:47 MDT Print View

Just to clarify something. I only suggested a freestanding to make things easier. Last year the NWT experienced the worst bugs I have ever seen (believe me.... way worse than anything in the lower 48). For ones own sanity, a freestanding takes away the search for suitable rocks on the land. If you are camping anywhere in Nunavut, or the NWT, FOR THE MOST PART (not everywhere!), you will need to pitch with rocks. You will not be able to pitch with stakes. See photos of landscape examples.NWT landNWT land

Tunnel tents are by no means an impossible way to camp. I did it! But I would take a freesatnding if I had the choice.

And you cant go wrong with Hilleberg.

ALSO, land is very dependant on what river you are paddling. Check guidebooks and online for suitable info. If you are paddling lake systems, I can almost gaurantee everything will be rock.

ALSO, pt. 2, you would be suprised at how difficult it can be to find rocks soometimes...


Have a story from a friend in Iqaluit. People set up their wall tents just outside of town in the summer months for hanging out/hunting, and apparently ACTUAL battles ensue over the few rocks available to assist in pitching. Like... actual disputes.

Edited by nsweeting on 04/07/2010 12:29:12 MDT.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: freestanding on 04/07/2010 12:38:46 MDT Print View

Tunnel tents are by no means an impossible way to camp. I did it! But I would take a freestanding if I had the choice.


Nicholas,

What are your thoughts about Roger's assertion that your rock needs are about the same, whether you use a tunnel tent or a freestanding tent?

--MV

Nicholas Sweeting
(nsweeting) - F
answer on 04/07/2010 12:44:53 MDT Print View

Throw some equipment into a freestadning and you should be good to go. Unless you're going so minimal that you dont have any equipment...

Either way, 2 rocks on the windward side of a freestanding is easier to find than the minimum 4 for a tunnel. You could also use a canoe to secure the windward side.

As said, tunnels are doable. I would take a freestanding if I had the choice though.

Edited by nsweeting on 04/07/2010 12:46:36 MDT.

Scott Toraason
(kimot2)
RE Artic Tent/Stephenson on 04/07/2010 13:20:59 MDT Print View

I would sidestep Stephenson tents. Stephenson tents are not just tunnel tents but also require substantial tension for integrity and I can see where that would be a real problem on exposed granite and loose gravel. Having stated that my 2R and 3R work well in most conditions. Stephenson 3R
Stephenson 2R

Edited by kimot2 on 04/07/2010 13:23:09 MDT.

Hendrik Morkel
(skullmonkey) - MLife

Locale: Finland
Re: Re: Scarp 1 on 04/07/2010 13:45:21 MDT Print View

Bob, Scarp 1 is like the little sister of the Scarp 2. I believe the majority of points in Will's review (it has been a while I read it) should apply, except that the Scarp 1 is smaller in all aspects (less surface to be attacked by wind, smaller footprint, etc.).

No particular tunnel in mind, just based on Roger's comment on how he pitches his =) I know that a Stephenson 1 P tunnel has been used on a Nordkalotten (Scandinavian long distance trail) thru-hike with good performance, but then again, Hilleberg is from this region and knows their trade. Hilleberg vs Stephonson is pretty much a question of preference, the Stephenson "marketing" is a tad odd, but their tents have a good reputation. And as you probably know, Hilleberg tents are widely used in this community, also by BPL staff (Ryan Jordan has a Soulo ;).

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Scarp 1 on 04/07/2010 15:14:17 MDT Print View

Hi Bob

> Roger -- are there conditions where you would prefer a freestanding tent to
> a tunnel tent? Or do you believe a tunnel is always a better idea?
OK, this is strictly a personal opinion now. Having tried many tents under different conditions, I find I sleep a lot more securely in one of my tunnel tents.
Domes and pop-ups (I have some) seemed to have very poor ventilation in comparison, which means more condensation.

Cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: RE Artic Tent/Stephenson on 04/07/2010 15:16:35 MDT Print View

Hi Scott

> I would sidestep Stephenson tents.
> require substantial tension for integrity
Yes, that's where I have a problem with them too. Not enough poles to handle really bad weather.

Cheers

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Re: RE Artic Tent/Stephenson on 04/07/2010 15:26:44 MDT Print View

Not enough poles to handle really bad weather.

FWIW: According to their web site, you can get an optional third pole (which they say you do not need).

--MV

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: RE Artic Tent/Stephenson on 04/07/2010 15:27:35 MDT Print View

"Not enough poles to handle really bad weather."

The poles are large diameter, pre-curved, and quite strong.

The issue I have had, in serious long-term wind, is that the lack of a center pole results in a serious loss of interior volume.

Andrew Dolman
(andydolman) - M
RE Artic Tent/Stephenson on 04/07/2010 15:51:03 MDT Print View

""Not enough poles to handle really bad weather.""

"The poles are large diameter, pre-curved, and quite strong."


It's not that the poles will snap necessarily, it's that you will get too much deflection in the fabric panels; they will move too much in the wind even if the poles themselves stay rock solid. The bigger the fabric panel the more tension is required to keep deflection to within a desired range. Once panels get over a certain size it simply is not possible to maintain enough tension - so you end up with sagging or flapping panels. The tent may not fail catastrophically in high winds if the poles and fabric are strong enough, but it wont be pleasant to live in.

"The issue I have had, in serious long-term wind, is that the lack of a center pole results in a serious loss of interior volume."

Exactly, the lack of a centre pole means that the panels are too big and you get too much deflection.

Andy.

Edited by andydolman on 04/07/2010 15:52:32 MDT.

James Dubendorf
(dubendorf) - M

Locale: CO, UT, MA, ME, NH, VT
Great Thread on 04/07/2010 16:01:15 MDT Print View

Thanks, all, for a very interesting, thoughtful, and civil discussion here. The sharing of your collective experience could not have come at a better time for me!

James

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: RE Artic Tent/Stephenson on 04/07/2010 16:08:51 MDT Print View

Exactly, the lack of a centre pole means that the panels are too big and you get too much deflection.


As noted above, there is such an option. That said, I have never seen any anecdotal experience, nor any picture with one. From the options list on their web page for the 3R tent:

$65 Mid Pole

$30 Wind Stabilizers. Helpful if you get higher than 60mph winds.

From their tent information page:

M Mid pole to reduce side deflection in strong side winds, is not needed for strength. Sleeves for mid pole are in all 3R and 5R tents.

W Wind stabilizers: diagonal inside straps from each side of each pole down to far end of pole, greatly stiffening and supporting pole. For winds over 95mph. They get in the way a bit in use, especially on mid pole, and no one really needs them. +2.5 oz on 2R, 5 oz on 3R, 7 oz on 5R.

-- MV

Edited by blean on 04/07/2010 16:09:56 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: RE Artic Tent/Stephenson on 04/07/2010 17:08:51 MDT Print View

Mr.Hage and Ms Stowe seemed to avoid "packing their fears" in their adventures on Denali in 2007 and 2009.

DenaliLite

Denali 2007

Denali 2009

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Pitching on rock on 04/07/2010 20:27:53 MDT Print View

Re: “If you are camping anywhere in Nunavut, or the NWT, FOR THE MOST PART (not everywhere!), you will need to pitch with rocks. You will not be able to pitch with stakes. See photos of landscape.”
Just to be logically thorough, there is a 3rd option: rock climbers’ bolts with “hangers,” which are small metal hoops that bolt permanently to the rock. A hand-operated drill, two 3/8 inch bits, 12 assorted 3/8” power bolts with hangers costs about $180.00.

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
no condensation issues with our Allak; good dome tent = better night's sleep on 04/07/2010 20:50:12 MDT Print View

We've used our Hilleberg Allak on the CA coast (literally right near the shore) and in the mountains in winter with no condensation issues - the ventilation is fully adjustable and excellent. The double wall with breathable inner and vents work superbly well. And my wife and I love having our own doors.

A good firm dome is going to shed wind more easily than a tunnel tent, is not going to deflect as much, is not going to have problems with shifting wind directions, is going to support more snow on the roof before collapse and is going to give you a quieter night. All due respect to Roger's excellent DIY tunnel tent and Hilleberg tunnel tents, you are just going to get a better night's sleep on a windy night in a good dome tent. The dome is also freestanding and easier to pitch on rock. The main advantage to tunnel tents is the extra living space from vertical walls. Hilleberg notes the use of their tunnel tents by arctic expeditions (where there's often prolonged periods in the tent with multiple people and lots of gear), but suggests the dome tents for higher altitude windy conditions.

Edited by mountainwalker on 04/07/2010 20:50:47 MDT.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Arctic tent: Franco's Everest tent picture on 04/07/2010 21:14:22 MDT Print View

Did you notice Franco's picture of tents on Everest? It is interesting to see the number of tunnel tents, and the number of domes.

Perhaps the climbers are a bunch of sheep? Perhaps their choices were because of camping on snow, not rock? Perhaps ...

-- MV

Edited by blean on 04/07/2010 21:20:24 MDT.

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
yep, almost all dome tents with crossing poles on 04/07/2010 21:34:03 MDT Print View

Saw that; almost all of them dome tents with crossing poles from what I could see.

Then again I read of an account here or on another site of a storm, think it was on Denali or Rainier, in which a bunch of supposedly stout widely-known brand winter tents from the likes of Mountain Hardwear and others blew apart in strong winds, while some simpler lesser known brand designs held up. So it's not just about the brand and a wind-shedding strong look, but the quality of materials, construction, etc.

The Hilleberg materials and craftsmanship are tops.