Winter tent

5:10 p.m. on August 1, 2010 (EDT)
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I recently purchased a new winter tent. This is the first tent I've owned with a vestibule. I was wondering how you all typically use a stove when winter backpacking. Do you use it in the vestibule area with some zippers open for ventilation rather than inside the actual tent?

I know inside the tent is a no-go because of carbon monoxide poisoning.

5:23 p.m. on August 1, 2010 (EDT)
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Ideally you should not even use a stove in the vestibule. Not so much for CO concerns but because it can melt/burn/ catch your tent on fire.

It is possible to cook in the vestibule of alot of tents, but definitely not recommended.

It would be best to set up a designated cooking area elsewhere. A common practice is to have a small tarp or similar to set up a sheltered cooking area during foul weather.

Some tents lend themselves more to cooking in the vestibule area. For example I could easily cook in my Nemi Meta 2P vestibule with half of it open.

A vestibule is typically used for storing gear vice cooking in. Because you don't want to drag all of your wet snow covered gear inside your tent.

When I had a true winter tent I would sometimes sit in my vestibule, but have the stove outside of the vestibule while I cooked, shielding me from the weather but not my stove and keeping it a safer distance from the tent.

Hope that helped some.

7:54 p.m. on August 1, 2010 (EDT)
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Whereas no flames in/around tents IS ideally the best approach to fire safety while camping, gas(iso butane/propane mix) powered stoves would be preferable to liquid fueled stoves as far as avoiding an out of control situation. Many climbers do cook safely in their tents, but I would first want to be very familiar with the performance of my stove, as it doesn't take much to reduce your shelter to a colorful blob of molten nylon.

9:09 p.m. on August 1, 2010 (EDT)
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It doesnt matter how well you know your stove. Accidents happen. And when they do you are now without your shelter. And in the winter, that can spell big trouble.

9:22 p.m. on August 1, 2010 (EDT)
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Have lit a wood fire stove in a wall tent many times for 40+ years now......Guess I need to re think that so's I am with today's thinking......... damn cold but no fire danger..... Is that it?

10:34 p.m. on August 1, 2010 (EDT)
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Hey noddlehead:

I was on a recent backpacking trip this last winter and stumbled in on a guy living out of his wall tent. He had a nice Four Dog woodstove in the thing. Check out the fotogs:



Four Dog Stove company also makes a titanium model which is very strong and very hot and very light.

10:54 p.m. on August 1, 2010 (EDT)
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My stove is not near as nice and is just a drum and my photos are on a dead PC......... Noddle needs to back up drives...........


i wonder how he vents the stove? I have a sheet metal square about 2'x2'

11:27 p.m. on August 1, 2010 (EDT)
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He vents it thru a back sidewall port, fireproof of course.

11:42 p.m. on August 1, 2010 (EDT)
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Well I have used a stove in my vestibule many times. Biggest thing? Keep it open. Never the less I go by this, if it is warm to you multiply it by 10(safe over-estimate) for the fabric and you will be fine. Biggest thing is ventilation. If it is overly warm for you there is a good chance you are over the limits on the heat recommendations for your shelter. Keep in mind this varies in different climates. If you are uncomfortable(temp wise) chances are your shelter could quite possibly be in jeopardy.

2:29 a.m. on August 2, 2010 (EDT)
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Tipi, There is a lot of info on hot tenting on www.wintertrekking.com, a Canadian website I belong to. Those tents are canvas, not nylon and most are fireproofed.

This company makes really nice ones-

http://www.snowtrekkertents.com/wintertents.html

Here is my winter kitchen set up

What is hard to see is the footwell I dug right in front of the tent door. This is big enough so I can sit in the tent and cook just beyond the vestibule or with one half of it open (mine has two halves). The tent is dug in and the whole area in front of it is dug out as well. The footwell is about a foot deeper than the floor of the tent. This way I can sit up with my boots on and cook and eat.

Sorry the last two are so small. I must have downsized them before loading them on photobucket.

7:51 a.m. on August 2, 2010 (EDT)
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I wasn't refering to wall tents, those are a totally different animal. If you read the first post you notice this is a BACKPACKING tent, and NOT a base camp, car camp, or wall tent. Thanks, for the smart ass comment though Noddlehead. But, I am well aware you can use a wood stove in a Wall tent and I live in one for about a month or two at a time in the winter.

Wall tents are designed to have a stove in them, there is metal vent piping in most. I however do not recall seeing metal vent piping in backpacking tents. Using a stove in a backpacking tent no matter the season can be risky business. If you are extremely careful and cautious it is easily doable. But, one accident, flare up, tip over etc can spell big trouble.

What i'm saying is, unless you absolutely have to use your stove in your tent because of a blizzard or whatever DON'T.

Most people only think about an accident destroying the tent itself. But there is a high probability that your sleeping bag, pad, and alot of other gear that was inside your tent will be destroyed or damaged as well. Then you really are in trouble.

8:24 a.m. on August 2, 2010 (EDT)
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..Many climbers do cook safely in their tents, but ...

No one cooks safely in a tent! That is like saying many people drive drunk safely. Both are activities to avoid for safety reasons. Even wall tents have fires, western folklore is rich with such incidents.
Ed

9:18 a.m. on August 2, 2010 (EDT)
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I met that guy up there as well, Tipi! He is quite an interesting fellow. He said he is a professional musician and composer, working 3-6 months of the year, and then living out like this the rest of the year. His car's license plate and his accent told he was from connecticut (hartford area if I recall correctly), so I believe him :)

9:45 a.m. on August 2, 2010 (EDT)
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Regularly cooking in your tent/vestibule will also leave, however small, traces of coooking fumes on the tent. This could be perilous depending on the wildlife (read: bears) in the areas you visit. The last thing you want to do is innoculate your tent with the smell of food.

4:12 p.m. on August 2, 2010 (EDT)
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interesting information, thanks everyone.


The biggest reason I can foresee needing to use a stove in the vestibule is melting water during stormy conditions. Other than that I agree and would normally set up a cooking area outside of the tent to avoid accidents. I typically use isobutane when backpacking as opposed to liquid stoves.

4:45 p.m. on August 2, 2010 (EDT)
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Tom D

I've poured over the Winter Trekking website thru the years and it's a good one organized by some serious winter backpackers. I've also seen your winter tent links and here's another for you:

http://www.tentipi.com/index.php?id=1


Gonzan: Yeah, it's the same guy. He whipped out his little piano and I checked out his neat camera.


Has anyone mentioned the Kifaru wood heated tipis?

6:55 p.m. on August 2, 2010 (EDT)
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Geez, I kinda feel a bit guilty and have cooked in many different tents in the BC wilderness for 46+ years, without a problem.

Walter, I have a Kifaru 8-man tipi, liner, mossy netting, large stove, 12-man pipe and various odds and sods. These are VERY costly, can be a bit of a bitch to erect in typical BC steep, heavily vegetated terrain and if properly used, they ARE a REAL "godsend" in wet, cold conditions.

I had a Paratipi and a Six-man, disliked the Paratipi and sold it and exchanged the Six for the Eight man....a good "cookshack" and "BS tent" for a relay backpack, horse, dog, goat or flyin base camp.

I have a Hilleberg Saivo and XP20 tent/tarp to serve as my "bedroom" in this camp and it all works well together....it bloodywell OUGHT to for what this all cost, but, having spent many years where I lived in mountain tents for weeks on end, alone, this is "livin' in high cotton" for an old geezer tired of being cramped into a Gore-Tex "coffin" if you know what I mean.....

9:18 p.m. on August 2, 2010 (EDT)
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You can visit Bowsite.com for a whole lotta info on Kifaru Tipi tents and thier stoves.

2:57 p.m. on August 3, 2010 (EDT)
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TheRambler's admonition to "read the post" is excellent advice. I wrote, "many CLIMBERS cook safely in their tents". This is not to say ALL climbers ALWAYS cook in their tents. Logically, the need to cook in one's tent would be dictated by necessity. such as the aforementioned "blizzard or whatever". Keep in mind also that for a climber, the term "cooking" usually means boiling, as in water for dehydrated food, tea, etc, not lobster flambe followed by bananas foster for dessert. If I had to use a stove(read survival) near a tent, a gas(iso butane) stove is much safer than a liquid fuel stove, especially one that requires priming with either alcohol(meths) or the same white gas(naptha) used to fuel the stove; and I would still want to be very familiar with that stove's operation. An invaluable lesson from Boy Scouts comes to mind, "Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance". As far as cooking in a tent being akin to driving drunk, "both are activities to avoid for safety reasons", remember I was specifically referring to CLIMBERS. It occurs to me that climbing, both big wall and mountaineering, is inherently dangerous; the choice to use a stove(either on a portaledge or in a tent), is an informed decision, made by capable individual, who is trained/disciplined. Any idiot can get drunk...

I personally carry a sil nylon Moss Expedition Heptawing for an additional shelter from inclement weather.

4:27 p.m. on August 3, 2010 (EDT)
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Well said, those who do not/cannot grasp such simple aspects of mountain/wilderness reality are most of the "problem" that one sees here in BC-Alberta every year....they usually end up in a bag, on a lanyard beneath a 206LR...very dead.

What can ya do, sh*t happens, eh.

5:58 p.m. on August 3, 2010 (EDT)
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not lobster flambe followed by bananas foster for dessert.

Could you post the recipe for that? Sounds pretty good. Will it work in a one quart over an alchy stove?

8:48 p.m. on August 3, 2010 (EDT)
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You'll probably need to use an Optimus 111 kero burner

ymmv

12:43 a.m. on August 4, 2010 (EDT)
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.."many CLIMBERS cook safely in their tents". This is not to say ALL climbers ALWAYS cook in their tents. Logically, the need to cook in one's tent would be dictated by necessity. such as the aforementioned "blizzard or whatever"...

..As far as cooking in a tent being akin to driving drunk, "both are activities to avoid for safety reasons", remember I was specifically referring to CLIMBERS. It occurs to me that climbing, both big wall and mountaineering, is inherently dangerous; the choice to use a stove(either on a portaledge or in a tent), is an informed decision, made by capable individual, who is trained/disciplined. Any idiot can get drunk...

Question: What kind of idiot burns down their tent?

As a climber who has seen his share of bad weather, high altitude, and vertical exposure, I don't recall ever receiving special training that made me (or any climber) more qualified than your sundry, experienced, hiker to operate a stove in a tent. There are hundreds of burned tent incidents occurring both in camp and on the ledges. Many of these have involved climbers on world class expeditions. Surely if they can goof up we can too. Thus the statement "many climbers cook safely in their tents" is more accurately stated as: most climbers beat the odds of incurring tent fires while cooking inside their tent, but some don’t.

The only good excuse to cook inside a tent, or on a port-a-ledge is when no flat area outside these items can be located. Use of the stove in this situation should be limited to melt snow and ice for drinking water only. Otherwise safety dictates planning cold meals for stops where a stove cannot be operated away from your flammable gear.

Climbing is inherently risky, but responsible climbers manage and preclude unnecessary risks, such as avoiding shooting galleries (active avalanche chutes) walking atop cornices, and yes, cooking around your ropes and other flammable gear. Cooking in a tent is not an exercise in risk management; it almost always is an unnecessary gamble. Any climber who believes you can safely cook inside a tent is not making an informed decision, they are exercising poor judgment. Bad weather is cited as one reason to cook inside a tent. The problem is the very weather that most logically bolsters that argument is the same weather capable of warping the tent into the stove flame, or worse, pick up the entire tent and send it tumbling across the ice, along with its occupants, a burning stove and scalding water. Not only do you lose a bunch of equipment, but you also get burned and further complicate your dilemma. Suffice it to say, there are other objective risks we are not in control of, too, that make operating stoves in tents inherently risky.

In the end we almost always operate stoves in tents not because we lack other options, but because it seems convenient and is more comfortable that cooking outside in the cold. These are almost as poor of excuses for this behavior as climbing un-roped because wearing a harness is uncomfortable.
Ed

7:44 p.m. on August 4, 2010 (EDT)
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abman47 said:

.."many CLIMBERS cook safely in their tents". This is not to say ALL climbers ALWAYS cook in their tents. Logically, the need to cook in one's tent would be dictated by necessity. such as the aforementioned "blizzard or whatever"...

..As far as cooking in a tent being akin to driving drunk, "both are activities to avoid for safety reasons", remember I was specifically referring to CLIMBERS. It occurs to me that climbing, both big wall and mountaineering, is inherently dangerous; the choice to use a stove(either on a portaledge or in a tent), is an informed decision, made by capable individual, who is trained/disciplined. Any idiot can get drunk...

Question: What kind of idiot burns down their tent?

As a climber who has seen his share of bad weather, high altitude, and vertical exposure, I don't recall ever receiving special training that made me (or any climber) more qualified than your sundry, experienced, hiker to operate a stove in a tent. There are hundreds of burned tent incidents occurring both in camp and on the ledges. Many of these have involved climbers on world class expeditions. Surely if they can goof up we can too. Thus the statement "many climbers cook safely in their tents" is more accurately stated as: most climbers beat the odds of incurring tent fires while cooking inside their tent, but some don’t.

The only good excuse to cook inside a tent, or on a port-a-ledge is when no flat area outside these items can be located. Use of the stove in this situation should be limited to melt snow and ice for drinking water only. Otherwise safety dictates planning cold meals for stops where a stove cannot be operated away from your flammable gear.

Climbing is inherently risky, but responsible climbers manage and preclude unnecessary risks, such as avoiding shooting galleries (active avalanche chutes) walking atop cornices, and yes, cooking around your ropes and other flammable gear. Cooking in a tent is not an exercise in risk management; it almost always is an unnecessary gamble. Any climber who believes you can safely cook inside a tent is not making an informed decision, they are exercising poor judgment. Bad weather is cited as one reason to cook inside a tent. The problem is the very weather that most logically bolsters that argument is the same weather capable of warping the tent into the stove flame, or worse, pick up the entire tent and send it tumbling across the ice, along with its occupants, a burning stove and scalding water. Not only do you lose a bunch of equipment, but you also get burned and further complicate your dilemma. Suffice it to say, there are other objective risks we are not in control of, too, that make operating stoves in tents inherently risky.

In the end we almost always operate stoves in tents not because we lack other options, but because it seems convenient and is more comfortable that cooking outside in the cold. These are almost as poor of excuses for this behavior as climbing un-roped because wearing a harness is uncomfortable.
Ed

I like all the big words in that post.......... Ed if you were a woman you would charm me. But you're ugly and look funny and are male.

4:58 a.m. on August 5, 2010 (EDT)
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..Ed if you were a woman you would charm me. But you're ugly and look funny and are male.

And those are my charming qualities! Someday I'll shower and shave, and add well groomed to that list too.
Ed

7:22 p.m. on August 8, 2010 (EDT)
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Ed, you are just a tease to all of those voluptuous blond and Scandinavian women out there.............. They want you Ed...... They want your body.... Better make sure that winter tent is staked down,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

3:12 a.m. on August 17, 2010 (EDT)
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...I'm blushing now...but, anyways...I cook always in the vestibule; usually the pitch of the tent or tarp allows cooking without having to open anything. Top vents and a ~2" gap around the bottom has always worked for me. I only "batten down the hatches," meaning really cinch down the fly and/or guylines, when I know a big blow is coming on.

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