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winter tents
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Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
winter tents on 11/19/2013 16:19:06 MST Print View

Spindrift in a hammock is not an issue with a winter setup with closed end tarp and a hammock sock.
An open hammock of course is obviously not meant for winter camping, but people do it. I did it once and bought a sock the next week.

As far as weight goes for my setup:
Warbonnet Traveler with whoopie suspension = 13 oz
Warbonnet Sock = 9 oz
Z-packs 8.5x11 Rect tarp = 7 oz
Western Mountaineering Sumemrlite(as top quilt) = 19 oz
Enlightenned Underquilt = 26 oz
Total = 74 oz (4 lbs 10 oz)

Of course, I am not including the winter clothing that I also wear to bed.

Keep in mind you can use a lighter top quilt in a hammock(with sock) than you normally would in a winter tent and you don't need a sleeping pad.
A reasonably warm winter sleeping pad can weigh more than a down bottomquilt.

As a ground sleeper most so called four season tents can weigh 5 lbs. Not including the 2+ lb sleeping bag/quilt and 2 lb sleeping pad.

I use a much lighter shelter in my winter ground system, but still can't compete with my hammock system for weight because of the sleeping pad and thicker sleeping bag/quilt requirements.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 11/19/2013 17:10:59 MST.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: winter tents on 11/19/2013 16:56:05 MST Print View

"As a ground sleeper most so called four season tents can weigh 5 lbs."

Or maybe even 11.5 pounds.


Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
winter tents on 11/19/2013 18:44:55 MST Print View

"Not including the 2+ lb sleeping bag/quilt"

Actually many people I know use 3 pound or heavier sleeping bags in the winter, but they strip down to almost nothing when they go to bed.

I tend to wear most of my clothes to bed, especially puffy layers and so get a lot more warmth out of my system.

The way I use my gear may not match the way others do and so my system may not work for most.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 11/19/2013 18:53:19 MST.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
winter tents on 11/19/2013 19:10:26 MST Print View

My BD Hilight weights 3.5 lbs. alone, depending on which WM bag I bring could be a tad over 2 lbs. to whatever the Antelope is. Nice set up Steven.

Edited by hikerduane on 11/19/2013 19:11:01 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: winter hammocks on 11/19/2013 19:18:59 MST Print View

Other than swaddling yourself in top and under quilts and every bit of clothing you have, many hammock setups use a top cover with a vent hole for winter use. It's a simple and light addition to a hammock kit. Check out Shug hammock camping at -26F: As you will see, 5lb base weights are nothing but a dream at those temperatures.

I've done a lot of winter camping and used a *cabin.* Works great(thanks, Dad).

Brian Reyman

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Hilleberg on 11/19/2013 22:21:40 MST Print View

As others have mentioned, choice of tent (or hammock or tarp) will largely depend on more specific condition expectations. Camping in a well protected area is much different than on an exposed area with more severe winds, larger amounts of snow, etc. While I would (and have) camped with a tarp (or just cowboy style) on a calm, protected night near a car, I've also been in situations where doing something like that would have been very, very dangerous.

Roger Caffin's article When Things Go Wrong article gives conditions where a true 4-season tent is needed. Granted, not all conditions are like that, but if I'm in an area/situation where it's even a possibility, I'll be bringing something more than a tarp or hammock.

There have been many good suggestions so far - I'll toss out my favorite for when I really need more serious protection. Hilleberg. Their quality and materials are outstanding. They have a fairly wide line for various situations (weight, snow loading, size, etc.). I personally have a Jannu as my solo "harsh conditions" winter tent and I very much like it.

Jeff McWilliams
(jjmcwill) - M

Locale: Midwest
MSR Dragon Tail on 11/20/2013 07:23:38 MST Print View

Has anyone had experience with the MSR Dragon Tail?

It's a single wall "tunnel" design mountaineering tent.

I've read reports of condensation issues, but that's true of most single wall tents, correct?

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Snow peak on 11/20/2013 12:49:59 MST Print View

That little Snow peak tent just may be the ticket, except for storing the pack (guess outside wrapped in a large garbage bag?) and everything else. I have the BA Sarvis 1+ in eVent fabric (legal where I live) and its barely big enough to live out of in the cold. A small vestibule only gives you so much. Tried to tie a tarp on it but it doesn't really work out. Still liking that SP at 2.75 lbs tho.. may be time to reconfigure the zero degree (F) kit.

Jim Jessop
(StokeyJim) - MLife
Warmlite on 11/20/2013 13:19:48 MST Print View

For 3lbs a Stephensons Warmlite, either 2R, 3R or the shortened climbers models make great winter tents.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Warmlite on 11/20/2013 14:44:47 MST Print View

> For 3lbs a Stephensons Warmlite, either 2R, 3R or the shortened climbers models make
> great winter tents.

They may have been good once, but the one I was sent for review in the recent tunnel tent series has been falling to pieces in the field. The already inadequate sewing seems to have been done with cotton, and the cotton thread seems to have perished. It started disintegrating on a snow trip, which was kinda unfortunate.


Jim Jessop
(StokeyJim) - MLife
Re re Warmlite on 11/21/2013 01:11:57 MST Print View

That's unfortunate.

I have two, only 3-4 years old, not the prettiest finish in the world cosmetically but perfectly functional, holding up fine. Great robust, light, storm-worthy and simple tents.