Will a three season tent handle high winds?

11:11 p.m. on March 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Not a season camper, will a three season tent handle high winds and heavy rain or should I go with a four season tent? It will be cold but no snow (hopefully).

11:25 p.m. on March 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Where are you going? Max wind speed expected? What is heavy rain for you?

11:29 p.m. on March 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Hey usb3, welcome to Trailspace.

Honestly, if there is a chance that you may encounter snow I would go for a 3.5 season convertible tent. At least if you encounter the unexpected you are covered to some extent if "doo-doo" hits the fan.

Here is a link for various 3.5 season convertibles so you can get a better idea of what I mean:

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/tents/convertible/

As far as a 3 season tent handling high winds well that is dependent upon what you consider high winds.

You can always add extra guylines and double up on your anchor points so the force of the winds is distributed to a wider range of opposing angles.

I have done this with pretty good success over the years. Also take into consideration that you may have the ability to pitch in more secluded areas with terrain features such as trees, rocks, etc. This will cut down on the wind dramatically.

Of course this is solely dependent upon where you go.

Just don't do any pitches above treeline and you should be fine.

Also if ya go with a 4 season rig you may find it to be a tad on the warm side in the warmer seasons.

I am thinking that a 3.5 would work well for you in regards to flexibility unless you are going to hit some deep winter assaults.

A bit more info as Louis-Alexis stated would be helpful. Where ya going, what type of high winds, etc.

Just remember there is no such thing as a tent that is perfect for all climates, and weather conditions when it comes to the changing seasons and Mother Nature throwing an unexpected "hissy fit."

As I said on another thread if you encounter wind with snow you will find that spindrift sandwiches are not tasty. ;)

1:21 p.m. on March 29, 2012 (EDT)
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Rick nailed it on the head, the answer is it depends!

If you are worried about high winds I’d at least recommend a solid free standing tent as opposed to a non-freestanding design like the Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight or the Eureka Spitfire, which if a stake or two pull out the tent can come down, and please, don’t pitch camp in exposed locations!

Even with a rock solid tent it is no fun spending the night in a flapping, wind buffeted shelter.

The slightest rise or depression in the terrain, or a few boulders or big trees can make a real difference. Get off the ridgelines. Don’t camp on the top of bald mountains unless the weather really is fine, looks to stay that way, and you have an escape plan should conditions worsen., even then, think twice.  I can count on the fingers of one hand the times I've camped in spots that exposed.  It can be a truly exhilarating experience seeing the dawn unfold from above everything else, but it can also be deadly.     

I remember one trip my wife and I took to the Bowron Lakes in Canada ten years ago. We were on the circuit the last week of July and the first week of August, and the weather was as good as it gets. Lots of rain, but plenty of fine sunny weather as well. One day a terrible storm blew up, rain and especially wind. The thing was, the wind was  going right the way we wanted it to, and my wife and I are both experience white water canoeists, so we decided to risk traveling that day.  We had a fantastic day literally surfing many miles down the lakes in a three foot swell. To us it was fun, but very few other canoes or kayaks were on the water that day. Late in the day we came to a large island with a great many people camped there.

Most of the tents were pitched right along the shores in the most scenic, yet exposed locations. Fully half the tents were flattened, many of the ones still standing had blue poly tarps and other ground cloths draped over them in an attempt to keep the wind driven rain out.

We set up camp on that island. We had a 3.5 season tent that has survived many a windy night, a big tarp and lots of rope, but we still chose to set up some distance back in the heavy forest. Naturally we were especially careful to check for any trees or tree limbs that looked like they might want to come down in the unusually heavy winds. We had a perfectly comfortable camp that night after an exhilarating day covering a great many miles.  Sadly, many other campers on that island had a truly miserable night is soaked, collapsed tents. The big difference was not necessarily the gear we were carrying, but how we picked our camp site. Most of the other campers suffered where they were rather than relocate to the lee side of the island!     

One inexpensive 3.5 season tent I have allot of experience with is the Eureka Timberline 2. After 17 years of steady use I’ve worn out my first one and gotten another.

It’s a sturdy, comfortable and roomy tent, but it is heavy! And I still look for the most sheltered spot to put it, as I did here on the open tundra –


DSC02424.jpg

The wind was terrible that evening, and long before I camped I was keeping a sharp eye out for a sheltered spot!

The folks around here know far more about the various tents on the market than I ever will, so before you plunk down yer hard earned coin on one, ask!

1:59 p.m. on March 29, 2012 (EDT)
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If you have some experience, I would recommend a pyramid shelter - from either Golite, Black Diamond, or Mountain Laurel Designs.  These shelters can handle wind, rain, and snow easily and are well under 2 lbs for 2-3 people plus gear.

2:24 p.m. on March 29, 2012 (EDT)
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Another question I have is what type of occupancy rating are you looking at?

12:56 a.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Going to Walrus Island in Alaska, winds can get up to 50-60 MPH and rain all day no snow.

12:59 a.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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 looking for a 2 person tent and not much cover at the site.

Thanks

1:17 a.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Well, with those types of winds combined with non-stop rain I would be leaning into 4 season tent territory and wouldn't give it a 2nd thought.

Then again that's just me. Other's opinions may vary.

I know for a fact that if I was going into that type of territory with the potential for those types of conditions I wouldn't be caught in a 3 season tent no way no how.

I am not familiar with that territory but based on the info you provided above this is just my honest opinion.

1:30 a.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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usb3 said: "Going to Walrus Island in Alaska, winds can get up to 50-60 MPH and rain all day no snow."

and then said: "looking for a 2 person tent and not much cover at the site."

 

 

Without a doubt, I would recommend a quality low profile 4 season tent that is impervious to rain for the conditions you have described.

2:34 a.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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I can only speak to the tent I have-a five pole convertible tent with two vestibules-one big and one small. It was made by EMS, but looks like a MH Trango, more or less. Here is a picture.

Granted this is in winter, but if I was in the kind of weather you are talking about with two people, this is what I would want-big and roomy and pretty weatherproof. I've been in heavy rain with two people in a small tent (not this one) and it's no fun-and the other person was my girlfriend, which made it less obnoxious.

 

11:00 a.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Again, a 4 season dome tent is simply not required.

 

Why not maximize space and weight with a pyramid?  For those doubting their ability, here is a great video from Tigger.  This one is a Shangri-la 5 but the 2-3 person version will be just as good:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_S2Ci_doWLA

 

An inner net tent with floor is available as well.  The shelter can pitch fly first.

11:21 a.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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I asked this question once:

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/gear-selection/topics/79445.html#79490


 

I brought this three season tent to Mt. Adams.  It was DESTROYED by the wind and kept me up with its flapping all night. No rain or snow, just sustained winds. 
IMG00802-20100704-0522.jpg

 

Got this 4-season bombshelter (Chinook Cyclone 3) the next year for the same trip and slept nicely.  Tent held up like a champ to wind, rain, sleet and snow. 
07162011322.jpg

Earplugs help on ANY windy night but better than that, get a good tent.  

A 3-season tent MIGHT survive if you get lucky but don't count on it. Don't worry as much about water getting in, that can be fixed with a plastic sheet tossed over the top of the thing, WIND is your enemy!  Cheap tents will not stand the wind.  Do everything possible to pitch out of the wind first, of course

 

 

Jeff

11:33 a.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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You are confusing.  First you say a 3 season tent cannot handle high winds and then you throw in 'cheap tents.'  Sure.  And a cheap 4 season tent won't do you any good either.

 

For what it is worth, the Chinook brand are at the bottom in terms of quality and are considered disposable.

11:54 a.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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I like the Shangri-La. But then again I would never use it in the conditions that the op may encounter.

Manufacturers designate a tent 3 & 4 season for a reason. I watched the video and yes for a few days on the trail it may very well do just fine.

2 problems I see with it though. When the wind kicked up it somewhat reminded me of a windsock. I am not sure if you have ever tried to sleep in these kinds of conditions while your tent is flapping around horribly but I have and it can be somewhat nerve racking to say the least.

Another thing I noticed...

The mesh inner will not do ya much good in blowing, driving snow being the outer tent doesn't extend to the ground. So if the op gets to his destination, the wind is hammering down and the snow starts what should he do if there is not enough snow to build up around the base of the tent to provide protection from being in a blizzard inside of his shelter?

You know that whole spindrift thing.

4 season tents are designated 4 season tents for a reason. It behooves me that I will see people in bad conditions in a shelter that wasn't designed for said conditions. These are the same people that say my sub 3lb shelter is a piece of crap because it grenaded on an above treeline pitch in February, under 16" of snow with wind gusts of 50mph+...

Do you want to survive or be comfortable and get some rest so you have the energy to get back from where you are or do you want to be a mental mess from being pummeled for hours on end?

I own a Hille so I suppose you obviously know what my choice is. I also own a UL solo tent as well for the warmer seasons.

Multiple tools for multiple jobs.

If cost is a major factor maybe take a look at Eureka's Alpenlite XT. For the cost its a decent little rig for what ya get.

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/eureka/alpenlite-xt/

12:03 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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I think the most important thing would be to look at the structure of the tent, size of the poles, whether it uses clips or pole sleeves, etc.   Some three season tents can deal with high winds.   Hilleberg now makes 3-season tents.  They will be available in May.  Not sure why you would be a 3-season version of one of their 4 season.  If you can afford $825 why not spend ~$200 more and get the 4 season?

+1 on this:

I've been in heavy rain with two people in a small tent (not this one) and it's no fun-and the other person was my girlfriend, which made it less obnoxious.

Get a three person.  Not much difference in price or weight, but that extra room will be nice. 

What tent do you currently have?  

12:09 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Another thing I think some are over looking here is the "not a seasoned camper" thing.

I would never suggest someone take a minimalist approach to being in a harsh environment when they admittingly do not have the years of experience to know what to do when Mother Nature decides to throw a tantrum.

She doesn't care what kind of tent you are in and is not going to show any compassion what so ever.

12:13 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

I like the Shangri-La. For what it is intended to be used for. 3 season use. This is where that whole parameter thing comes into place.

Manufacturers designate a tent 3 & 4 season for a reason. I watched the video and yes for a few days on the trail it may very well do just fine.

2 problems I see with it though. When the wind kicked up it somewhat reminded me of a windsock.

The mesh inner will not do ya much good in blowing, driving snow being the outer tent doesn't extend to the ground. So if the op gets to his destination, the wind is hammering down and the snow starts what should he do if there is not enough snow to build up around the base of the tent to provide protection from being in a blizzard inside of his shelter?

You know that whole spindrift thing.

4 season tents are 4 season tents for a reason. It behooves me that I will see people in bad conditions in a shelter that wasn't designed for said conditions. These are the same people that say my sub 3lb shelter is a piece of crap because it grenaded on an above treeline pitch in February, under 16" of snow with wind gusts of 50mph+...

Do you want to survive or be comfortable and get some rest so you have the energy to get back from where you are or do you want to be a mental mess from being pummeled for hours on end?

I own a Hille so I suppose you obviously know what my choice is. I also own a UL solo tent as well for the warmer seasons.

Multiple tools for multiple jobs.

If cost is a major factor maybe take a look at Eureka's Alpenlite XT. For the cost its a decent little rig for what ya get.

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/eureka/alpenlite-xt/

Actually, the Shangri-La series was designated for 4 season use. 

The fly can be pitched right to the ground and keeps out all spindrift with 2-3 top vents that can be closed.

The inner nest is used for buggy conditions but not required - it produces a modularity not found in many shelters as the fly can be set up by itself.

The OP indicates no snow conditions, only wind and rain.

Black Diamond pyramids have been used in 4 season conditions for years without issue and they are light.

Andrew Skurka used a solo mid shelter (MLD) for 4700 miles across Alaska in heavy wind, rain, and even snow.  I am no Skurka, but given the fact the shelter never failed (made of lowly silnylon) that should tell you that the inherent shape of it is robust.

With respect to Hilleberg, don't forget that their early designs (and even some of their current yurt designs) are modified pyramids.

But I come back to what the OP said - No Snow.

 

12:22 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Some sites say 3 season, some say 4 I actually edited that out while you were posting your response because I can't dictate definitely what it is. I see the word expedition used quite a bit. But then again this does not dictate what kind of expedition. The Amazon as opposed to the Andes.

From the design I am going to go 3.5 at best. Even if you look at the manufactures photos and the videos on youtube there is a substantial gap between the fly and ground when pitched.

Now if the inner maybe had 2 feet of solid fabric that extended up from the floor spindrift concerns may be somewhat null and void but it is all mesh.

That is a major concern for me.

Also when ya referenced "no snow" ya left out hopefully. Even if it doesn't snow driving rain can be a potential issue in regards to misting.

Mix that with cold temps and ya get a recipe for hypothermia.

12:26 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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I will try to get some pics up this weekend to show you that it can be pitched right to the ground.  It is predicated on the height of the pole only.

12:30 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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That makes sense. I have seen them but not all that familiar with them. I am just going on general observation and the experiences I have had over the years of being in bad spots. ;)

I personally want to get the 5 for 3 season multi-person use.

I will say making pole adlustments in seriously foul weather may not be alot of fun though. Then again maybe I am missing something.

I'm a dome, modified A-frame type of guy. Free-standing has paid divedends for me in regards to my Soulo in winter..

1:46 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Okay folks.  Once we heard 50-60 mph winds and that the person was not a seasoned camper we should have asked more questions, instead of having a big discussion about what tent is the perfect tent.

Things like:

Are you going with a somebody experienced or going by yourself?

Do you have any experience at all?

If you have little or no experience you should probably list what gear you have so we can tell you if you have adequate gear. 

Will you be able to bug out quickly or will you have to wait to be picked up?

Why are you going?  Is it just for fun?  Are you a researcher? Will you be repeating this if you have fun or is this a once-in-a-lifetime trip?

Are you going to have to hump your gear very far? 

How long are you staying?  

If you have to haul your gear ten miles and are only staying a few days you will want a light weight tent.  If you only have to hump your gear from the shore a few hundred yards inland then weight isn't a problem. All things being equal lighter weight usually mean more money.

What are the chances you are going to see 50-60 mph winds and are they going to be steady or gusting? 

If those wind speeds are seen only a couple of days a month when a storm comes through you would probably be okay with a good sturdy 3-season.  If you see gusts like that every day or two and there aren't any depressions or large rocks to setup next to then you need the "bomber" tent.

Here's a really important one.  What is the budget for your tent? 

2:01 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Well stated ocala. There are many variables that we are not aware of that need to be taken into consideration.

I personally can only provide feedback based on what info I am presented with. I was trying to take a jab at addressing the requirements with one shelter with respect to cost.

That is why I suggested the Alpenlite. I will honestly say for what it is its a good deal for the price. I think the reviews speak for themselves.

I have used this shelter quite a few times with a friend(owner) and figured that it would meet the op's needs in regards to protection as well as being fairly easy on the wallet compared to what else is out there...

I don't necessarily think your pissing contest remark was needed. There is a substantial difference between a discussion and a pissing contest as I am sure you are well aware of.

Also, I am not sure where ya get that this is about the perfect tent because if you look at my 1st response to the thread I clearly stated that there is no such thing.

I am curious about the Shangri-La as well so I felt that I would offer some imput on the matter based on general observation and at the same time maybe learn a thing or 2 about the shelter. I need a larger 3 season rig that isn't going to break my back and it has been on my radar.

So I suppose the "a closed mouth doesn't get fed logic" is applicable to my approach.

Last I knew you can't walk into a retailer and look at them being GoLite only sells direct now. So with that being the case what other option does one have?

Just my .02

2:07 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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I went looking on ebay, ran across this and just couldn't resist posting this as an option.

http://www.snugpak.com/index.php?MenuID=93-113&ItemID=221


21142037bunker_med.jpg
Technical Information

Shape / Style
Fly first pitch 3 person dome tent

• Flysheet is a lightweight 210t Polyester RipStop with a 5000mm waterproof polyurethane coating
• Inner Tent constructed of 190t Nylon with Polyester Mesh
• 50D Polyester No-See-Um-Mesh
DAC® Featherlite NSL® anodized poles with pressfit connectors
• All DAC® Poles are made from TH72M aluminum
• Interior Mesh Pockets (6 Total - 3 on each side)
• 2 Doors
• 2 Vents
• All seams are taped sealed
• Alloy Stakes (17 + 2 Spare Stakes)
• Available in Olive Outer with Black Inner only
• Trail Weight 6.75 lbs / 3.07kgs (Fly, Poles & Inner Tent)
• Pack Weight 7.74 lbs / 3.52kgs (Fly, Poles, Inner Tent, Stakes, Guy Ropes & Stuff Sack)

You can have one for $322.15 on e-bay.  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Snugpak-The-Bunker-Backpacking-Tent-Camping-Hiking-ProForce-Pro-Force-92890-New-/260915513871?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cbfc6ca0f


2:30 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Full sleeves are great in regards to tent rigidity/tautness but the trade-off is that they can be a real pain in the you know what to erect in high wind. Plus they have a tendency to hold a bit more snow if one is to encounter it being the snow really can't run off being the sleeve are solid material.

Black inner would be pretty gloomy if ya had to hunker down in it for days on end due to bad weather. Kinda reminds me of being in a cave. ;)

I've heard of these. Never actually looked at them though. For that kind of coin there are other options out there. As you stated. For the best dialed in suggestions more info is definitely required.

2:48 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Family Guy said:

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

I like the Shangri-La. For what it is intended to be used for. 3 season use. This is where that whole parameter thing comes into place.

Manufacturers designate a tent 3 & 4 season for a reason. I watched the video and yes for a few days on the trail it may very well do just fine.

2 problems I see with it though. When the wind kicked up it somewhat reminded me of a windsock.

The mesh inner will not do ya much good in blowing, driving snow being the outer tent doesn't extend to the ground. So if the op gets to his destination, the wind is hammering down and the snow starts what should he do if there is not enough snow to build up around the base of the tent to provide protection from being in a blizzard inside of his shelter?

You know that whole spindrift thing.

4 season tents are 4 season tents for a reason. It behooves me that I will see people in bad conditions in a shelter that wasn't designed for said conditions. These are the same people that say my sub 3lb shelter is a piece of crap because it grenaded on an above treeline pitch in February, under 16" of snow with wind gusts of 50mph+...

Do you want to survive or be comfortable and get some rest so you have the energy to get back from where you are or do you want to be a mental mess from being pummeled for hours on end?

I own a Hille so I suppose you obviously know what my choice is. I also own a UL solo tent as well for the warmer seasons.

Multiple tools for multiple jobs.

If cost is a major factor maybe take a look at Eureka's Alpenlite XT. For the cost its a decent little rig for what ya get.

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/eureka/alpenlite-xt/

Actually, the Shangri-La series was designated for 4 season use. 

The fly can be pitched right to the ground and keeps out all spindrift with 2-3 top vents that can be closed.

The inner nest is used for buggy conditions but not required - it produces a modularity not found in many shelters as the fly can be set up by itself.

The OP indicates no snow conditions, only wind and rain.

Black Diamond pyramids have been used in 4 season conditions for years without issue and they are light.

Andrew Skurka used a solo mid shelter (MLD) for 4700 miles across Alaska in heavy wind, rain, and even snow.  I am no Skurka, but given the fact the shelter never failed (made of lowly silnylon) that should tell you that the inherent shape of it is robust.

With respect to Hilleberg, don't forget that their early designs (and even some of their current yurt designs) are modified pyramids.

But I come back to what the OP said - No Snow.

 

There are 4 season tents and there are 4 season tents.  Just because a manufacture says that their tent is suited for four season use does not make it so.  There are many "four season" tents that are not suited for rain as well and are really only usable in the fourth season.

A true 4 season tent has to stand up to all 4 seasons in all conditions and everything that the 4 seasons can throw at it. This must include some operator error. There is not tent that withstand total operational error in the worst of conditions but the proper choice of tent can take much abuse even if erected improperly or hastily as is some times necessary.

Remember there are tents that they claim are are 4 season tents.  And then there are proven 4 season tents.

A couple of flaws that I see with the pyramid style (shaped) tents and this has nothing to do with snow since you say you will not be dealing with snow (although remember that you will be in Alaska where anything can happen including snow in summer). The sides have to take huge wind loads . I have some tee-pee/pyrimde style tents and the only one that I would consider for the conditions described is Dana Design/Garuda Nuk Tuk and even then this is not the tent I would choose for the endevor you speak of.   Have you ever seen any experienced mountaineer use a pyramid style tent high in adverse conditions say like Denali, K2, Mount Whitney, pick you insane hill? Of cource not, these people want to live to tell their tales. Of all the pictures I've seen of people going to the north pole or south pole I have never seen a pyramid style tent. Now I'm sure that there is someone that will find an exception but the fact remains that there is a reason they make 4 season assault style tents and base camp style tents.

Remember, this person is appears to be new to backpacking gear and one must therefore err on the side of caution. Remember that you will be miles from help and may indeed be cut off as weather conditions pummel you and can cause it to be such that one cannot get on or off the Island for days on end.

Now, to one of my pet peeves. "That tent costs to much" one whines and then proceeds to try and be happy with a inferior tent when with a little time and effort once can have the tent one wanted for the price of the inferior tent. It's only expensive if you buy it new. My word Americans are stuck on this NEW thing. Give me a tent name and most likely within a few minutes I can have "as new" or barely used tent for 40 cents on the $.

Here’s some off of the site Gear Trade where we have a number of lightly used 4 season tents at outstanding prices

 Eureka Alpenlite 2XT

http://www.geartrade.com/item/253505

$175

9515177874f71f71c9697dthumb.jpg

7963745544f71f70a12a10.jpg

 

Kelty Typhoon 2 4-Season Tent

http://www.geartrade.com/item/248657

Only $270 + $10 and only used a few times for car camping!!

10417247244f56ad64d2e4a.jpg

 

Here is one of the top rated 4 season tents on the market for 40% of and you can still make this person an offer.

http://www.geartrade.com/item/248834

MSR FURY

$350

 

6255618734f56d55250c67.jpg

 

All of these tents can be found at can be found at

http://www.geartrade.com/browse/4-season-tents

There appears to be 14 discounted tents on the page today that would meet the parameters of the conditions you describe. Please remember that the conditions can be much worse at and given time than the norms. Remember that you will not be in your back yard nor just a 1 mile up some trail close to your car. You will be surrounded by the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska on a inhospitable rock of an island. If you say "the winds can get up to 50-60 MPH and rain all day", then imagine a really, really bad day. It's raining so hard you can't see your hand's in front of you and the winds are 70 miles per hour, a massive cold front has just moved in and will last for days. Now do you really want to be in a floor less shelter, yea I know, you can clip in a floor. I implore you to buy or rent the proper equipment for the journey you are about to embark on esp. since you seem to have little experience with tents.

Remember, as it appears that you have little experience with backpacking gear and that you will be miles form help and may indeed be cut off as weather conditions can cause it to be such that one cannot get on or off the Island for days on end. Your life in this case may depend on your shelter.

Pick your gear wisely and have a good trip.  And please let us know what gear you decide to take with you and how your trip goes.

Oh yea, Welcome to Traispace usb3!

3:50 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks, gentlemen. The OP is just starting out, and as ocala says, experience came make quite a difference. Even a bomber tent can fail if you put it up in the wrong place or don't rig it properly, while a decent 3-season tent meant for the alpine or for colder climates will get you through the worst blizzard if you set it up right.

There seems to be an assumption here that any tent that's 3-season has a mesh inner body. That may be true for the ones intended for warmer climates like the Hubba Hubba, but there are many tents built for colder climates that have a vented solid inner body and full fly, but that are still considered 3-season and can be used year-round.

For a tent to provide any real warmth in winter or stormy conditions, it has to have a small air space to heat up, and it has to be able to limit the flow of cold air from outside. A full fly that can be pegged tightly down to the ground helps with the latter (like the Hilleburg), and a small tent with a solid inner body (but enough ventilation to prevent condensation) helps keep you warm by providing dead air space between you and the outside. 

Given those factors, the biggest differences between a 4-season and a (northern climates) 3-season is the weight of the fabric and the number of poles. While a standard dome tent is quite stable and usually fairly strong, true 4-season tents usually have extra bracing to cope with snow loads and high winds. The typical 3-season tent has two going corner-to-corner, but a 4-season tent will add an extra one across the center or the doorway, or four for a six-sided structure (and maybe extras for .

Unlike a pyramid tent (does anybody still make those?) the strength of the fabric contributes to the tent's structural integrity. It is virtually impossible to collapse any dome tent as long as the fabric is strong enough to stay together under the load.

See:

http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Tents/4SeasonTents.jsp

4:16 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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"Unlike a pyramid tent (does anybody still make those?) the strength of the fabric contributes to the tent's structural integrity."

Here you go:

http://www.golite.com:80/tents/shelters-and-tents

http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=47&products_id=105

http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=47&products_id=130

http://www.kifaru.net/tipis.html

http://www.backcountry.com/black-diamond-mega-light-4-person-shelter

http://www.owareusa.com/

If you require more, let me know.  There are more.

"It is virtually impossible to collapse any dome tent as long as the fabric is strong enough to stay together under the load."

Right.  So why it is unnecessary to bang the snow off a dome tent?  We need to be careful of making generalizations to the OP.  Poles snap.  Even Hilleberg identifies this reality and suggests double polling for additional strength in some cases.

Here is a review of the MLD Trailstar which is sort of a modified pyramid that does amazing in high winds.

http://www.andyhowell.info/Colin-Ibbotson/Trailstar-review.pdf

6:03 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Dyneema Tipi I was looking at awhile back:

http://wyominglostandfound.com/dyneema.html

Claims to be the strongest available. Starting price $999.

6:21 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Hey Rick,  Glad you found that.  I ran across it a while back doing some search for something (I don't remember what) and then added it to a tent list somewhere.  That's a tipi/pyrimid tent that would be worthy of further investigation if one wanted to use that type of tent in high wind, snow load, conditions.  I believe it  does not have a floor and I didn't see anything about a clip in foor in the information, though I'm sure a guy could have one sewn up by them.   I would be leary taking a floorless tent into a high rain situation for any length of time unless your relish the prospect of everthing getting wet/muddy.  I do want one of those though.

6:27 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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"I would be leary taking a floorless tent into a high rain situation for any length of time unless your relish the prospect of everthing getting wet/muddy. "

Just fine if you pick your site correctly.  Pick it poorly and well, that is your own mistake.

6:27 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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I think you and I were talking about those a bit back on another discussion when we were looking at Ferrino High Lab's, Force 10's, etc.

7:46 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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One thing to remember about giving advice-you aren't going to be there when something goes wrong. I don't have a huge amount of experience in all conditions, but I know what works for me. I'm not sure that some island in Alaska in 50-60 mph winds is the place for a newbie to experiment with someone else's idea of what should work and what doesn't. But, since it won't be me, have at it.

If this is where you are going, I'd call or email these guys-

http://www.walrusislandsguide.com/whatyouneedtoknow.html

 

btw, that looks like a full on winter tent in their photo. Maybe they know something.

 

 

7:59 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Any guided 'expedition' is going to use over built gear.  First for perceived durability from clutzy clients and second to minimize any perceived liability from gear failing.

Even guided tours for something like the West Coast Trail use severely overbuilt gear.

Idea of what should work?  Shall I provide more examples of using lightweight 3 season tents / shelters in Alaska?

8:58 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Family Guy said:

Any guided 'expedition' is going to use over built gear.  First for perceived durability from clutzy clients and second to minimize any perceived liability from gear failing.

Even guided tours for something like the West Coast Trail use severely overbuilt gear.

Idea of what should work?  Shall I provide more examples of using lightweight 3 season tents / shelters in Alaska?

Ya, I love picts of tents in action. With that being said, I'm still sure that I would not recommend send a beginning camper/backpacker in what appears to me to conditions that seem to have a fairly good chance of turning into 4 season weather.

Any well guided expedition is going to have the saftey of his clients in mind and will most likely recomend the safest equiptment for the journey, even if it is over built.

An excerpt from the link that Tom D provided says "This time period affords the best chance for good weather................".  What this tells me is this is the best time of the year to go, but,  with the chance of the weather turning so bad that they cancel trips as stated here as also stated in the link. "Occasionally weather and sea conditions prevent access to the island. This is unavoidable and unpredictable. Chances of that happening on any given trip are quite low but visitors should understand that it is a possibility and be prepared to go with an alternative activity for the day."

If you are seasoned backpacker a three season tent is very doable for the experienced person in harsh conditions. Here we have the inexperienced person and as you just said, "Any guided 'expedition' is going to use over built gear. First for perceived durability from clutzy clients and second to minimize any perceived liability from gear failing." I would say that a over built tent is for more than just perceived strength over a under built tent. I have personally watched under built tents die a wicked death in conditions that they should have not been set up in. Note: this has never happened to me as I firmly believe in over built tents.

I would recommend that to this inexperienced backpacker/camper that the best chance he has of not having catastrophic tent failure in the event of bad weather he is not ready for, is to use a tent that is built and designed to handle what ever winds and rain that he may encounter. Hopefully he will have wonderfully calm weather. In the event he does not have good weather I hope he chooses to be properly prepared.

 

 

 

10:07 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Use of any floor-less shelter by someone relatively new under the conditions the OP presented is foolish at best IMO and can be dangerous at worst. I do own and use minimalist gear.

I think prudence probably dictates the recommendation of a proven four season tent, in my opinion, designed for the wind loads to be encountered. There are also some good 3-4 season convertible tents as well. I would also want an internal guy system in addition to plenty of external guy points, plus a repair kit, an extra pole section or two and some shock cord.

I have spent many nights in pyramids, tarps, bivies, hammocks, etc.

There is a time and place for the different shelter types, some shelters will cover fairly broad conditions, other have more narrow uses. Experience most certainly factors into the equation and can help fill the gaps in deign / performance, but the wrong shelter type for the conditions is still the wrong type even if you can make it work a time or two.

Mike G.

10:54 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Floorless simply lets you add a floor.  Since this part of the 'shelter' will get the most abuse, it makes sense to make it sacrificial.  Use painters cloth (waterproof) and put a rock under each corner to create a bathtub floor since apparently site selection will be ignored.

The reality is that it is imperative to encourage beginners to start with proper skills from the beginning, instead of having them over spend on gear they don't really need and / or that is unnecessarily heavy.

The most important piece of gear is between your ears.

10:56 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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"Use of any floor-less shelter by someone relatively new under the conditions the OP presented is foolish at best IMO and can be dangerous at worst. I do own and use minimalist gear."

By the way, this comment is quite possibly the most irresponsible single sentence I have read as it implies that if you are new to backpacking and use a floorless shelter you will incur the uncontrollable wrath of nature and end up injured or worse.  Dangerous? I would expect more from a Moderator, quite frankly.

3:04 a.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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Family Guy said:

"Use of any floor-less shelter by someone relatively new under the conditions the OP presented is foolish at best IMO and can be dangerous at worst. I do own and use minimalist gear."

By the way, this comment is quite possibly the most irresponsible single sentence I have read as it implies that if you are new to backpacking and use a floorless shelter you will incur the uncontrollable wrath of nature and end up injured or worse.  Dangerous? I would expect more from a Moderator, quite frankly.

 The reason you are seeing comments like this one is because you are advising someone you don't know, about whom none of us know anything except that he or she is a relatively new camper and suggesting they use a lightweight setup under what are described by the poster as high winds in an unprotected area, offshore and possibly inaccessible in an emergency just because you think it can be done by someone who knows what they are doing.

I've been on this site a long time. I have seen some really stupid suggestions made here and not one of them was made by a moderator. The simple fact is that if someone follows your advice (or anyone's for that matter) and something goes wrong, you are not the one who is going to suffer, they are.

I think anyone who blindly follows anything they read on the Internet is an idiot for doing so even if that advice is coming from me or someone I know and trust. Having said that, for better or worse, the net is where people turn to for advice on all kinds of matters because there is a collective knowledge base out there which is a far step above just guessing. There is also an incredible amount of misleading, false, and just plain nonsensical stuff as well. The ultimate decision is that of the OP.

If the OP really wants to see what works, the easy, although not cheap way to do it is to get one of each tent he is considering, set them up in front of a wind machine (an aircraft prop driven by a huge electric motor or a car engine) and turn it on. He'll have his answer in about five minutes.

fyi, here is a pyramid tent designed for high wind and harsh weather-it weighs 66 lbs.

http://www.snowsled.com/scott-pyramid-tents/

This is the same tent Ed linked to below.

3:05 a.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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apeman said:

..Have you ever seen any experienced mountaineer use a pyramid style tent high in adverse conditions say like Denali, K2, Mount Whitney, pick you insane hill? Of cource not, these people want to live to tell their tales. Of all the pictures I've seen of people going to the north pole or south pole I have never seen a pyramid style tent...

Yes, I have seen Pyramid tents used both on Denali and Whitney (haven’t been to K2.)  They work just fine.  I personally have used Black Diamond magamids multiple times while ski camping, including several trips along David Beck’s Haute Route, a trans high Sierra ski route that stays above 10,500’ for most of the tour.  Oh, and as for polar expeditions, the image below is from the Robert Scott South Pole expedition of 1911/1912.  In fact many cold weather explorers appreciate the wind shedding qualities of the pyramid configuration, not to mention its stand up roominess.

southpole-expedition-12-20-1911.jpg

In case you think I dug up some antiquated photo, this link is to a contemporary pyramid tent product named in honor of Scott.  The maker states this tent is made with the rigors of polar weather specifically in mind.  Too heavy for back packing, it is among the most hard core tents I have seen.  

Pyramid tents designed for for four season use are great ultra light options for severe weather, BUT YOU MUST KNOW HOW TO PITCH A TENT TO WITHSTAND BAD WEATHER to use the pyramid design under such conditions. 

While pyramids are a fairly popular trekking option, and bomb proof when proper site selection and technique utilized, I would not recommend a relative beginner make this their tent of choice, regardless of weather.  Its simplicity masks the relative sophistication required to pitch this tent, such that it doesn’t windsock, blow away in a strong gust, or be subject to the elements blowing under the tent.  An Improperly pitched pyramid can escalate to a big deal when that sixty mile/hour wind is spitting rain horizontally under the tent wall at a time when it is too late to re-pitch the tent without getting everything soaked.

I would recommend a relative beginner resort to a 4 season free standing, dome tent in this application, for the following reasons:

  • Free standing tents are less dependant on ground conditions.
  • Dome tents shed wind more efficiently than most other designs.
  • Dome tents are less affected than other shapes by shifts in wind direction.
  • Dome designs generally have more lash points to attach guy lines.  More guy lines enhance anchoring the tent to the ground, as well as make the tent shape less prone to distortion and flapping.

If you need a dome specifically for windy settings get one that has internal lash points that permits tying guy lines between opposing walls thereby providing additional internal reinforcement to augment support provided by the tent poles and external guy lines.  Another consideration is bring strong, long tent pegs.  Short pegs typically supplied with tents are not sufficient for high winds or ground that yields easy.  Also bring cordage that can be attached to the loops on the tent that accommodate the tent pegs.  Sometimes you cannot use a peg due to ground under its location.  In such circumstances you attach a length of cord to that loop, using the cord to extend to an area of ground that will accept a tent peg, or attach the cord to a heavy rock, using it as an anchor in lieu of a tent peg.  Whatever you do be sure to anchor your tent securely; the last thing you want is returning from a day hike only to find your tent blown away to destinations unknown.

-------------------------

BTW: we all are concerned about tent selection for camping in high winds, but my concern is why would a relative Greenhorn consider camping under such inhospitable conditions,  Sixty MPH winds and heavy rain is HARD CORE, especially in the Northern Latitudes.  I certainly wouldn’t go there unless I had repeated experience coping with such conditions.

Ed

3:21 a.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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FYI, if you Google "best tent for high winds" you will find a number of discussions on outdoor sights including one here from three years ago.

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/gear-selection/topics/52067.html

This is from a hunting oriented site-

http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/showthread.php/106641-best-high-wind-tents

 

9:35 a.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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WhoMe summed it it up from my perspective. being a newbie my self, and from semi tropical climes at that i would never consider a trip like that without an experianced guide or freind and even then i would cancel the trip before riskinsg the results of using a tent, or sleep system for that matter that would not stand up to the worst conditions POSSIBLE. it aint like getting caught in a shower in key west in july. my hobby of choice for years was scuba diving, it always irked me to see people risk their lives on circa 1970's gear and on a dive trip i saw the results of such selections when a new diver who had got a DEAL on a complete set up for 75 bucks had a regulator fail on a 65 foot dive, went to his secondary and still nada and he bolted to the surface. regulators are claimed to fail open but he swore he had no air at all, he showed no sign of injury which i thought was amazing because of his fast assent and after sometime i offered him the use of my gear but he declined admitting he was just to scared by what had almost happened to go back down. i dont know if he ever dove again or not but it is sad to think after all the training and the prior investment that he may have left a great sport because of junk gear a shoddy dive shop sold him to get it out of their storage space. oh, and they assured him and his dive uddy who also bought a package that everything was checked out good as new. i am not bashing used gear, i would buy used in a minute from someone i know and trust or even online for tents etc' as long as there is a return option and i had time before departure to make a return and re-purchase.

just my opinion, that and 50 cent will still get ya a coke in some places.

 

earl

10:01 a.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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"application, for the following reasons:

  • Free standing tents are less dependant on ground conditions. 
  • Dome tents shed wind more efficiently than most other designs.
  • Dome tents are less affected than other shapes by shifts in wind direction.
  • Dome designs generally have more lash points to attach guy lines.  More guy lines enhance anchoring the tent to the ground, as well as make the tent shape less prone to distortion and flapping."


Agree on the first point.  Wholly disagree on the second.  In fact, so would Hilleberg who recommend tunnel tents in truly windy conditions (there are others who recommend this and are very experienced).  These are NOT freestanding.

I would agree on the third point except that Domes don't flex with the wind and tunnels do.  Remember the idea of bending with the wind instead of resisting the wind and then....breaking.  Moving with the wind is just okay.

The fourth point is not valid.  For example, the Hilleberg Nammatj2 (a tunnel tent) has 18 lash peg points (only takes 4 to set up) and the free standing Staika has 16.  So this point is kind of irrelevant (not to mention you can affix additional guylines to any shelter).  I should add that the Nammatj is a brilliant tent (Thanks VigilGuy).

"The reason you are seeing comments like this one is because you are advising someone you don't know, about whom none of us know anything except that he or she is a relatively new camper and suggesting they use a lightweight setup under what are described by the poster as high winds in an unprotected area, offshore and possibly inaccessible in an emergency just because you think it can be done by someone who knows what they are doing."

I find this to be the equivalent of an internet left hook which is unfortunate given ALL OF YOU are advising someone you don't know.  That is the whole idea of a asking a question on a backpacking site.  Someone is looking for help and perspective from those with experience.  If the OP doesn't want this advice then a trip to REI should solve the problem.  

I have tarped in extremely windy and rainy conditions (I trek in the Canadian Rockies) and never once had water run under my tarp.  Why?  Because I spend 5 minutes looking for a high point to camp.  What you are suggesting is that the gear will save you.  That it all depends on the gear.  While gear is important, of equal importance is the ability to use the gear properly and use what is between your ears in an effective manner. 

To the OP, please ignore my previous commentary and take a 4 season dome tent.

To the Moderators - given my advice is dangerous, please delete my previous comments on this thread.  I would hate to have someone die because of ground water.

11:42 a.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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On the whole dome shedding wind better subject. To me this is dependent upon how tall the profile(height esp) of said shelter is along with other design features.

If a company gets it all right I am going with what Ed said on the matter. I also think you fail to mention Ed also said "most."

Here is one for ya in regards to wind resistance:

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/climbing/topics/98575.html

I suppose if there was a better suited design in regards to wind resistance MH would have used it on this endeavor being a life was on the line here in a major way.

I would also liek to mention Steck utilizes domes as well. (MH Direkt 2)

Dependent upon the pitch(head/foot end into the wind,) wind direction etc, a dome cannot be beat. If this were the case more companies would be producing 4 season pyramids and less domes.

I think you keep over-looking the fact that the op has clearly stated "not a season camper."

I also think that you over-looked the fact that when trouthunter made his comment that you so gracefully lit into him on to an extent that you had a case of selective reading based on your statement refers to all individuals with a lack of experience in these elements when in fact he was making reference to the op and his trip.

Remember, just because you can pull something off, or an item works well for you(at your experience level) this may not necessarily be the case for others.

...and its the op's tail that is on the line not yours and while you are hopping around the Rockies the OP may not be.

On a side note. We as mods cannot really do much to moderate/change the content of a thread once we are engaged in the conversation so if you truly want your comments removed ya may want to contact Alicia, Dave, Gonzan, or f-klock.

Then again I am not sure that the content can be ripped out of the thread due to the fact that it may cause confusion when others read it as a whole.

Collectively, we are worried about the op's safety and well being as a whole. That is why we are suggesting that he does not take a minimalist approach.

12:15 p.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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"Dependent upon the pitch(head/foot end into the wind,) wind direction etc, a dome cannot be beat. If this were the case more companies would be producing 4 season pyramids and less domes."

 You mean like Mountain Harwear for 2012 (the first one is listed as expedition):

http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Hoopster™/OU9614,default,pd.html

http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Hoopla™-4/OU9615,default,pd.html

Or Sierra Designs (they list this one as 4 season):

https://www.sierradesigns.com/p-462-mountain-guide-tarp.aspx

So there are your new 'mainstream' offerings.  Would you believe these can be used floorless?  In fact, you can set one up, pile snow around the edges and dig a pit underneath.  Amazingly versatile.

Don't forget that manufacturers produce what they can market, hence our 'easy to set up' dome tent.

With respect to my response to Trout, consider that he suggested I provided information that can seriously injure someone, the result of ground water (of all things) completely ignoring my previous comment about site selection.  Site selection should be the FIRST THING you teach a beginner about shelter. Honestly.   

So obviously, his comments are far from the truth and I take offence to that.

 

1:01 p.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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You also have to look earlier in the thread where the op states that he will not have much cover at the site/sites.

This should be taken into consideration being he will be primarily subjected to exposed pitches as he stated earlier in regards to "not much cover."

Sometimes a "prime" site is not available so ya have to make do with what you have at your disposal. This is where your gear can make or break a trip.

So this is another aspect where a dome should shine for the op based on as you just stated "ease of pitch."

If the wind is gusting in a 60mph this can make setting up a shelter quite a fun experience. In regards to the op's experience level the easier a shelter is to pitch the better.

This can be a huge difference maker if a storm is barreling in on ya as I am sure you are aware of.

I have to disagree that site selection is the 1st thing you should teach a beginner. You could have the most prime spot known to man but unless you have the proper gear/knowledge to maximize said site to it's full potential it isn't any better than anywhere else in regards to areas where harsh conditions are the norm.

I know alot of people out there talk about the UL thing etc. I am the complete opposite when conditions require the "big guns." Do I like having a light load on my back? Sure. Who doesn't?

But when I am heading out mid-Jan, temps are in the negatives, wind is kickin, and the snow is coming down sideways I am prepared for it.

My last week long solo trip in Jan my pack was around 65-70lbs.

Gear makes or breaks a trip. As stated above if ya don't have the right tools for the application everything else doesn't mean squat. I have yet to have the need to torture SAR with a bailout due to my own ignorance/lack of respect/preparation for the the area that I am in and I plan on keeping it that way.

If playing packmule keeps me from making a fool of myself as well as jeopardizing my well being and the well being of others then I will play pack mule anyday.

Am I shooting the minamalist approach to pieces? Absolutely not. I have a 3lb shelter. But at the same time it is not suitable for every situation when there are other more reliable options at my disposal.

Is my approach the correct approach for all? Absolutely not. But at the same time my way of doing things has yet to let me down and I go with that approach because plain and simply put... It works..

In the summer months it will take 3 hrs minimum for SAR to get to me once I am located. Winter, well I think you can figure that it will take quite a bit longer. And that is only if I can get a call, etc out.

Being solo though is a whole different animal. I am not sure on whether or not the op will be on a supported trip or not.

Minutes can be the deciding factor in a life/death scenario. The op is going to be on an island. If the weather is bad enough that noone can get to him/her until it lifts then having the proper tools at ones disposal can be huge as well being that said individual will have to fend for ones self until Mother Nature decides to take a break.

Also, knowing when to "abort the trip" is another key factor one needs to be able to accept. As I always say the trail and the mountain will always be there. If I am ignorant to what is going arry in a bad situation I very well may not be.

Hope for the best, and expect the worst.

Please do not take any of the response you are receiving as being "argumentative." The folks around here are a great group of folks with alot of knowledge. From your responses you do seem to be quite intelligent and I believe that the community could benefit from your experience.

Thanks for making the points that you have. I have gained knowledge from them in regards to the Shangri-La, as well as another approach in regards to other's backcountry endeavors.

Just always keep in mind what may work very well for you and I may not be the best option for others.

1:19 p.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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My 2 cents worth. 

Conditions.   Flat open field no depressions, etc.  

If you know that the wind is going to come from one direction only then a wedge or tunnel oriented properly is a good choice.

However, if the wind is coming from different directions a tent with a consistent shape in all directions like domes and tipis shapes are going to do much better.  Tunnel shapes are not going to be as good at shedding wind from the side.

Obviously the height to width ratio is important.

 

8:33 p.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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"Unlike a pyramid tent (does anybody still make those?) the strength of the fabric contributes to the tent's structural integrity."

My comment was facetious, meant to convey the idea that pyramid tents are old-fashioned, and less well designed for heavy weather than modern dome tents.

Many of the early travelers to the high Arctic went there with the idea of building 'little houses' on the harsh terrain, or duplicating the sun/rain shelters that worked in warmer climates. Hence the wall tents and pyramid tents that became the military standard. Nice to have a higher ceiling, but from an engineering standpoint, not very functional in high winds or a raging blizzard.

The Inuit built igloos which, with their domed shape and low profile, were better able to handle the winds that swept across the unsheltered barrens. The height-to-width ratio has been mentioned elsewhere here.

Like Scott taking ponies to the Antarctic, pyramid tents work, but not as well as the designs meant for those climates. Structurally, a dome tent is stronger and more able to handle a top or side load. You can add extra poles if necessary and some come with cross-bracing, but the design is simply better for northern conditions.

I can take a small 3 or 4-season dome tent and pile snow up around it for better insulation. I won't have a problem with the weight of the snow (unless it's heavy and soggy - rare in cold climates), and I'll stay warm.

10:14 p.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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i myself am a beginer ( backpacking camper ) as is the op. i have plenty of experiance camping in warm climates, i have had to hunker down under a dead fall here in fla but would be lost in the cold/snow/cold wind. we all know that top end gear does not replace experiance but the chances of being uncomfortable VS dead or in need of rescue is a big leap, as for me i would love one day to have the knowledge and skill to be a true Daniel Boone and survive a blizzard with a sheet of canvas and sharp knife but lacking that experiance or skill my best chance is to use tried and trued equipment even if it does turn out to be over kill and i sincerely hope the op takes that route as well. most of us will survive a back ache from a heavy pack, being cold wet and lacking proper shelter in a harsh enviroment maybe not.

 

earl

10:32 p.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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smithcreek said:

i myself am a beginer ( backpacking camper ) as is the op. i have plenty of experiance camping in warm climates, i have had to hunker down under a dead fall here in fla but would be lost in the cold/snow/cold wind. we all know that top end gear does not replace experiance but the chances of being uncomfortable VS dead or in need of rescue is a big leap, as for me i would love one day to have the knowledge and skill to be a true Daniel Boone and survive a blizzard with a sheet of canvas and sharp knife but lacking that experiance or skill my best chance is to use tried and trued equipment even if it does turn out to be over kill and i sincerely hope the op takes that route as well. most of us will survive a back ache from a heavy pack, being cold wet and lacking proper shelter in a harsh enviroment maybe not.

 

earl

 You are mistaking weight carried with efficiency and performance.  This has nothing to do with weight carried but absolute effectiveness.  Your logic suggests hiking with porters but obviously this is unrealistic.

Again, please inform me why you would be cold wet and lacking proper shelter in a pyramid?  Methinks you need more knowledge and experience on the subject.

....and Trailspace can help:

I recommend you buy this book (or win it).  It has some great sections for beginners to get off on the right foot from the beginning:

http://www.trailspace.com/blog/2012/03/26/andrew-skurka-book-giveaway.html

11:10 p.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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Skurka is a different breed of animal than most hikers I know being he on many occasions covers 30+ miles daily. I have done 30+ in a click but its not a priority for me.

I am going to nail a trail that I frequent this summer(early or late) in a projected 48hrs give or take a few just to do it. Its 70 miles. On a trip of this nature I will be going really light. I'm using my Stratos 26 for it.

But when you speak in reference to Skurka he has a ton of experience in regards to this method of travel(30k miles+.) Many don't.

I have read the book and am going to read it one more time so I totally absorb its content to the fullest extent possible.

As I said earlier, just because someone else can do something doesn't necessarily mean its wise for others to attempt the same with that type of gear. Skurka has the knowledge to go as minimal as one can and utilize said gear to its maximum potential.

I would never suggest one read a book and try to adopt this approach w/o 1st experimenting with this type of gear in an environment that is somewhat hospitable with a solid plan B, C, D, etc.

Next thing, before you go and shoot Earl's response to pieces please look at his response closer.

A) He never mentioned a word about porters

B) He never referenced your beloved pyramid once

I am going to strongly suggest before you keep coming out of left field on the defensive by trying to do your best to force feed your logic/practices down others throats you take a minute and rethink your approach.

Shooting people's responses to pieces just because they don't reflect your personal feelings will not get you very far here nor will it gain you any respect in regards to the members here taking you seriously.

Just a suggestion.

Happy hiking-Rick

11:32 p.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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Skurka talks about MANY approaches to trekking in his book and then takes two paragraphs to tell you what he does.  This isn't about adopting HIS approach, it is about understanding the 'why's' and 'how's' of backcountry travel.  Are you sure you have read the book?  Skurka's book simply has a lot of 'stuff' in one place for easy reference.  People have been trekking like him for years - he didn't create the approach.

But I will do better than your suggestion - I will not post here anymore as there appears to be dogmatic fixations on doing things a certain way.  

Cheers,

11:38 p.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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Yes he does reference other approaches. It just seems that you feel a minamalist approach is the only correct way.

And yes, I have read the book, all 200+ pages of it.

My problem is that it seems as though you feel your approach is the only proper approach and you do not feel that any other feedback is worth .02.

Period point blank treat others how you want to be treated. You want to be respected?

Give and ye shall receive.

Your approach works for YOU but doesn't necessarily mean that its the right approach for all.

On that note I am going to go watch the grass grow.

1:58 a.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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CONTEXT.  CONTEXT.  CONTEXT.

If I'm readying you correctly, Family Guy, you are ignoring the context of this user's query, and in doing so, you are being careless with someone else's safety.  A minimalist or ultralight approach with what appears to be usb3's level of experience and expertise?  Not only does that lack common courtesy, but more importantly, it lacks common sense.  I don't want to come across as being unfriendly or harsh, but please step away from the theoretical for a moment and consider the actual situation they have in front of them.  It is too dangerous of a game to be playing here.

2:07 a.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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  • Free standing tents are less dependant on ground conditions. 
  • Dome tents shed wind more efficiently than most other designs.
  • Dome tents are less affected than other shapes by shifts in wind direction.

Family Guy said:

Agree on the first point.  Wholly disagree on the second.  In fact, so would Hilleberg who recommend tunnel tents in truly windy conditions (there are others who recommend this and are very experienced).  These are NOT freestanding.

I would agree on the third point except that Domes don't flex with the wind and tunnels do.  Remember the idea of bending with the wind instead of resisting the wind and then....breaking.  Moving with the wind is just okay...

 

As Rick mentioned: other than ignoring the key words "most" and "generally" in my talking points - well 'nuff said on that. 

Also note having one's tent deform in the wind is not considered an admirable trait by most.  The ideal reaction to forces is not bending, it is redistributing the forces over the entire shell thereby reducing stress on potential failure points, thus lessen need to deform altogether.  An egg achieves this concept elegantly.  Alas you can eventually crush an egg if you apply enough force.  Different material selection or a thicker shell are the obvious solutions to high forces, with designed in flexibility a last resort to cope with stress loads.  I can personally attest that laying on your back while the tent ceiling flattens to touch your nose is very disconcerting to say the least.  I don't want my tent to do that.  If it does, I am in the wrong shelter.  Of course you don't want your tent to break, but excessive deformation is a sign the tent is under rated for the subject application.  Time to get a stronger tent, dig a cave, or collapse it altogether to preclude catastrophic failure.

As for tunnel shapes being stronger than domes: I imagine Walther Bauersfeld and R. Buckminster Fuller are turning in their graves over this assertion!  Any student of engineering will refute this claim.  Proponents that state otherwise are wrong, or cite examples where the materials used in the non-dome shapes were stronger or workmanship superior, accounting for the claims stated.  Much as Hilleberg is a reputable company, do note they may have a vested interest in the claims they state - I have yet to read any company literature that suggests you buy the competitor's tent...

Ed

11:29 a.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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No one has yet addressed the real question: "Will a three-season tent handle high winds?"

Of course it will. It just depends on what you mean by "handle". In the 1970's three-seasons tents were often pitched on steep mountain slopes in high wind. The tents withstood these conditions by evolution; introducing their occupants to a new sport called "hang gliding".

Here are some three-season tents - note the pole structure - which have been modified to allow easy transport from the mountain -

You can always trust your tent. Have a nice day.

11:45 a.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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My personal opinion...

Safety outweighs convenience any day of the week.

12:20 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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Geez, the natives are sure restless on this one! The ironic thing is that I would bet serious coin that few, if any, of those commenting with such vigour and certainty on this thread have ever actually been where the OP is going......

I have not been to that specific island, but, I have been all up and down the BC Coast, into Alaska and further into the Yukon-NWT, living in various mountain tents for extended periods. I have owned and do own pyramid, dome and tunnel style tents and have extensive experience with all of these in severe weather....and, where a tent failure does not mean a ...walkout in the dark...

For the OP, I would, without hesitation, choose a GOOD 4-season or "expedition grade" dome freestanding tent and footprint, plus extra cord and fabric tent anchors. I would take the steel REI pegs, the ones that cost $1.00 ea. and not bother with plastic, carbon or aluminum pegs.

My first choice in tents for such use and what I currently own, is the Hilleberg Saivo, my next would be a Hille. Tarra and then a MSR Big Dipper or Fury, then the Mountain Hardware EV models. Take a BIGGER tent than you think you will need, a 3-man for one is "perfect" for being tentbound for days on end and avoid floorless and pyramid-type tents as they have little interior space relative to footprint area-weight and are NOT as solid in major wind events as a good dome.

Practice erecting your chosen tent at home, REALLY practice and take two little headlamps to help in dark setups. Know your gear BEFORE you go on your trip and you will be fine.

12:23 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

  • Free standing tents are less dependant on ground conditions. 
  • Dome tents shed wind more efficiently than most other designs.
  • Dome tents are less affected than other shapes by shifts in wind direction.

Family Guy said:

Agree on the first point.  Wholly disagree on the second.  In fact, so would Hilleberg who recommend tunnel tents in truly windy conditions (there are others who recommend this and are very experienced).  These are NOT freestanding.

I would agree on the third point except that Domes don't flex with the wind and tunnels do.  Remember the idea of bending with the wind instead of resisting the wind and then....breaking.  Moving with the wind is just okay...

 

As Rick mentioned: other than ignoring the key words "most" and "generally" in my talking points - well 'nuff said on that. 

Also note having one's tent deform in the wind is not considered an admirable trait by most.  The ideal reaction to forces is not bending, it is redistributing the forces over the entire shell thereby reducing stress on potential failure points, thus lessen need to deform altogether.  An egg achieves this concept elegantly.  Alas you can eventually crush an egg if you apply enough force.  Different material selection or a thicker shell are the obvious solutions to high forces, with designed in flexibility a last resort to cope with stress loads.  I can personally attest that laying on your back while the tent ceiling flattens to touch your nose is very disconcerting to say the least.  I don't want my tent to do that.  If it does, I am in the wrong shelter.  Of course you don't want your tent to break, but excessive deformation is a sign the tent is under rated for the subject application.  Time to get a stronger tent, dig a cave, or collapse it altogether to preclude catastrophic failure.

As for tunnel shapes being stronger than domes: I imagine Walther Bauersfeld and R. Buckminster Fuller are turning in their graves over this assertion!  Any student of engineering will refute this claim.  Proponents that state otherwise are wrong, or cite examples where the materials used in the non-dome shapes were stronger or workmanship superior, accounting for the claims stated.  Much as Hilleberg is a reputable company, do note they may have a vested interest in the claims they state - I have yet to read any company literature that suggests you buy the competitor's tent...

Ed

 This gentleman, Tipi Walter and BillS, are people on this site whose advice on these issues is REALLY worth reading and giving serious consideration to. I agree with the above post and suggest you take it seriously.

12:24 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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qoute from Family guy

Again, please inform me why you would be cold wet and lacking proper shelter in a pyramid?  Methinks you need more knowledge and experience on the subject.

 

my point exactly. i don't know how to use it. my 6 year old grandson can put up our dome tents and even stake it down, that doesn't mean he can go to Mt Washington and set it and stake it to still be there in the morning. you are right, i do need to learn more on many subjects, and enjoy the learning but throwing one out of the boat in high seas may not be the best method of teaching them to swim. i doubt i will learn much in florida about camping conditions in alaska or other cold locations, sure you can read it, poll forums etc' but that aint gonna duplicate the chilled bones or winds or snow. i get the feeling that folks who don't see it your way are all dumb a$$&$ or you have a serious agenda to push here. in any case this horse has been beat to death and then some.

have a great Sunday and a better Monday.

 

earl

2:33 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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"As for tunnel shapes being stronger than domes: I imagine Walther Bauersfeld and R. Buckminster Fuller are turning in their graves over this assertion!  Any student of engineering will refute this claim. "

Oh, I agree that a dome 'could' (depending on design) be stronger from static load than a tunnel tent (snow on a tunnel simply slides off).  In fact, I re-read my post and see that I didn't say that it wasn't stronger so not sure why you fit that into your reply.  

However, in the wind, I and others (like Hilleberg but I was unaware of their apparent agenda as you mention) believe that tunnels are stronger BECAUSE of the flexing. And that is my point.  The 'strength' from a dome can work against it.  From an engineering perspective, when the dome fails, it will fail in a big way with no way to offset the energy against it as it tries to resist the wind.  A tunnel will flex with the wind and encourage the wind to go around it.

Come to think of it, these extreme explorers in windy conditions use tunnels:

http://www.northwinds-arctic.com/

http://www.pittarak.com/

http://www.icetrek.com/

I also want to apologize to a few of the members here, specifically Rick and Earl if I came off a bit harsh.  To Apeman - I enjoyed the discussion. 

For the rest of you, I stand by what I said with no malice intended. Floorless shelters are not dangerous and will not get you killed. Pyramids are ideal winter shelters and the even panels spill high wind effectively. Tunnel tents do better than domes in extreme wind. 

To the OP, ignore my commentary and go with what Rick recommends because of your beginning foray into backpacking. Take a three poled dome design that has a fly that goes to the ground and preferably a fabric inner tent (or take additional insulation). Having said that, if you are a true beginner, I would not recommend the trek you have planned in the first place.  It is an area where experience in the backcountry will be a necessity.

2:38 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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No worries Family Guy.

We just try to keep it as peaceful as possible here. Trust me when I say that my feedback is not always well received.

I have learned over time that one cannot convey intended meaning via keyboard(blasted internet.)

I definitely look forward to your future posts/feedback on the boards.

No apology necessary.

Happy hiking.

Oh, on a side note; do not specifically take my individual advice on the matter as the end all be all solution to the op's needs but do consider all pertinent suggestions here on the thread collectively as a whole.

There are quite a few individuals here that know much more than I do.

Always learning...

3:04 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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I cannot say with certainty that I have seen that my various tunnel tents do better then my various dome tents in high winds and I do not and have never bothered with any but the best gear as I cannot afford to buy and then discard tents, etc. just to try to save  money on an initial purchase.

The other aspect of this is that a freestanding dome is much easier to erect and keep standing on a rocky coastal island or on hard frozen ground. I like and use tunnel tents for many purposes, but, a really GOOD dome will out-perform any other tent style over a wider range of conditions.

There are lots of choices and some excellent tents available, however, I would never use anything but the best on the northern coastal areas of North America and Hillberg is the best I have used to date.

If I get to do some of the longer solo stints in northern BC and the Territories that my wife's medical issues have made impossible for a few years....and, it looks as though I shall be able to, I have one choice in my basecamp tent over all others.

This, is the Hilleberg Sataris and I cannot conceive of a finer tent for that purpose.  It is costly, but, one can actually live in it for weeks without break without getting "bushed" and I hope to buy one from Vigilguy fairly soon. This, or a Saivo WILL do the business on that island or anywhere else and keep you safe and comfy.

3:14 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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The Saitaris looks like a tank(now if only someone here at TS would set theirs up so we can get some hands on feedback (hint, hint lol)...

Any feelings on the Tarra?

3:17 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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Tunnel style 3 season tents do pretty well in high wind conditions. Experienced a night of sleet, snow and very high wind gusts at the Boulder Field on the north side of Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. Was in my 3 season, Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight when they were just the mesh door and rear window. It was scary! Tent was pitched within a circular rock wall and fortunately with the taller, entrance and vestibule end taking the wind head on. Would have preferred  the wind direction on the opposite lower end but you get what you get. That taller end pole which is pretty much right over your head, was giving and flexing to and fro. So much so that I unzipped  the door a bit and tied a piece of parachute cord to the horizontal ridge of the pole, brought the other end down through the opening and held it taughtly to my chest through the remainder of the night. That helped to stabilize the pole and front of the tent a bit and the Clip Flashlight withstood the tempest.

If interested,  I have a TNF VE-25 that has been used car camping 3 or 4 times and is like new. That should do the job! Asking $350.00. 

3:34 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

The Saitaris looks like a tank... Any feelings on the Tarra?

 I had a chance to buy an "as new" Tarra, a few seasons back and decided to spend the coin on a Saivo, instead, for one major reason. I grew up in and have lived much of my life in some of the highest snowfall regions in North America and this is mostly wet, heavy snow. It can and often does crush tents and this can smother the occupants....not fun.

The Tarra, has a "flat" area on the roof, over the door and this, IMHO, will allow greater snow buildup that would happen on a Saivo, so, I bought the Saivo and it is a simply superb tent.

I had a NF for some years and have used and examined most other highend expedition-grade mountain tents. My favourites have been the North Face Pole Sleeve Oval, the Mountain Hardware Mountain Yurt-wish I had bought one on "pro deal" before I retired and they stopped making them, the Moss Little and Big Dippers and the Saivo. YMMV, I just prefer the maximum security and strength in my "home" in the mountains.

This is also a usage in which I DO NOT like single wall WPB tents and, again, I have had and do have some of the finest made. They are damper and colder in rain-wind than a good doublewall, IME.

3:37 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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pine sap said:

Tunnel style 3 season tents do pretty well in high wind conditions. Experienced a night of sleet, snow and very high wind gusts at the Boulder Field on the north side of Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. Was in my 3 season, Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight when they were just the mesh door and rear window. It was scary! Tent was pitched within a circular rock wall and fortunately with the taller, entrance and vestibule end taking the wind head on. Would have preferred  the wind direction on the opposite lower end but you get what you get. That taller end pole which is pretty much right over your head, was giving and flexing to and fro. So much so that I unzipped  the door a bit and tied a piece of parachute cord to the horizontal ridge of the pole, brought the other end down through the opening and held it taughtly to my chest through the remainder of the night. That helped to stabilize the pole and front of the tent a bit and the Clip Flashlight withstood the tempest.

If interested,  I have a TNF VE-25 that has been used car camping 3 or 4 times and is like new. That should do the job! Asking $350.00. 

 I bet that you decided that another tent might be a little less scary, eh! I have had a few nights when I was about ready to "wet" myself in a light tent in severe winds. That frightens me far more than any bear has ever done.

3:40 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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Good mention on the Tarra in regards to the flat spot. I am and have been looking into a larger Hille for a bit now. I love my Soulo but sometimes more space is a good thing.

I can't decide whether to go with a tunnel, or the Jannu, etc.

I don't want to go too heavy but I don't mind a few pounds.

I will not go singlewall either due to the issues that you have mentioned above(btdt.)

3:51 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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@ Family Guy: One of the things this site seems to be predicated on (which I enjoy) is spirited debate.  And even though we all may not agree in the end we are all usually left with much to think about. Hope you stick around as it sounds like you have a bit of experience in the back country along with some stories to tell. 

On another note, seems that where tunnels excel at shedding wind they do not handle alot of snow load very well where as domes excel at being able to handle snow loads along with being able to be set up without guying the tent down before hand, which under certain circumstances can be handy along with being able to handle the wind fairly well. My overall favorite tent at the moment is the Mountain Hard wear Double Wall Satellite which replaces my TNF Ring Oval Intention.  Built stout with 10 poles and heavy material, I would match this dome up againts any tunnel tent on the market.  That of cource is my opinion and I have not done this yet, but it sure would be fun.


DSC04192.jpg

 


DSC00007.jpg

 

 

I now have two tunnels which I look forward to trying out. The Marmot Widi 3 and a Hilleberg Keron GT 4 that came with an extra set of poles for double polling. Hopefully I can find some conditions to test them out in to see at least some of their  potential.

3:59 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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@usb3:  I hope your still around.  Your question(s) have stired up quite a bit of debate.  In the end you will have to sift thru it all and decide what to do.  Here is a website that many on Trailspace use to check out good deals on 3 and 4 season tents at very, very good prices.  Good luck on you trip, be safe, and above all have fun and give a Walrus a big kiss for me. ;-}}>

http://www.geartrade.com/

Go to the upper left side and the tents will be listed under Hiking and camping tab.

4:59 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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If you can handle the weight, go with a 4.

6:01 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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I sure like Brian's (Apeman's) MH dome, that is my idea of a tent to live in for longer stints in the mountains. I can think of several very remote, beautiful and "human free" places I have been over the years, where spending 4-6 weeks living alone in that tent would be just a fabulous experience.

Brian, just how high is it inside, can one stand erect to pull one's gonch on?

6:40 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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Dewey, have you looked Snowtrekkers?   http://www.snowtrekkertents.com/

 They are designed only for cold weather since they are canvas and they are heavy, but for an extended use, especially with a stove in them, which is how they are designed to be used, they get rave reviews from the folks on www.wintertrekking.com who are deep winter far north campers.

7:47 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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The gentleman who originally made those offered to send me one to test in northern BC some years ago; the "quid pro quo" would be that I would write some reports on how they performed. I refused, as I have with several other gear makers because I do not want to be bothered with such writing and would feel obligated to do so, had I accepted the tent.

The tents look very nice to me, but, are not a design that I would choose for mountain uses and I have no space in this house to dry canvas tents. For a tent with a stove, I would choose a "Seekoutside" tipi and I have a Kifaru 8-man with all the bells and whistles.

A hardcore mountain dome tent is much better for my needs and all I really want or will now buy, I have spent enough time in canvas tents and tend to detest them for several reasons, the persistent odour is one.

8:10 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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I am still stuck on that Dyneema tipi I posted earlier on this thread. $999 is just a tough swallow for me on one.

And that is the starting price.

9:45 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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Dewey said:

pine sap said:

..Experienced a night of sleet, snow and very high wind gusts.. ..It was scary...

 I bet that you decided that another tent might be a little less scary, eh! I have had a few nights when I was about ready to "wet" myself in a light tent in severe winds. That frightens me far more than any bear has ever done.

Ha! I remember in my youth when my Stansport dome (yes Stansport!) was stretching so much you could see day light through the seam holes.  Got me a proper 4 season tent my next outing.

Ed

11:24 p.m. on April 1, 2012 (EDT)
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Still here and thanks apeman.

5:24 a.m. on April 2, 2012 (EDT)
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I am not sure about the whole "tunnels are stronger because they are more flexible" thing.

On an outer-poled tunnel, like the Nallo, the tent will certainly flex in high winds, preventing any but the most stolid from sleeping, but there is no real flex in the four guy line anchor points, just everything else is flapping around that axis. If the tent continues to flatten out, the poles might start to work against the anchors, reaching a critical juncture. And outer-poled tunnels are over-dependant on tent peg anchoring strength, IMO. If the peg goes, the pole will go. If the wind is high enough and the peg stays, the fabric will go (according to a recent post here on Trailspace, anyway).

Of course, tunnels don't snow load very well and flapping fabric (with inner-outer closeness) means a condensation shower on your down bag, besides any psychological effects. It bears mentioning as well, that if a beginner thinks their tent is going to fail when it is just the "flexing strength" of the design, they may be tempted/frightened into abandoning camp in the middle of the night, thus leading to all kinds of relocation problems or risks, such as falling down a hole etc.

Add a ridge pole to a tunnel and you get a much better structure for a small weight penalty, IMO. There is a video by a German magazine on youtube where they wind test several tents and such a model (Exped Orion?) does the best, at least for that round. There are more campsite wind machine tests on there but I couldn't find them again (including some Black Diamond single skins, I think).

One thing I wanted to ask, Rick et al, is why don't the new Hillebergs come with any reflective on them? I was looking at a recent Bill S trip report and didn't see any flash reflection off the Soulo. I can understand the green ones not having any but the red ones should have some reflectives, surely? I know you can add some but it would be a shame to mess around putting them all over the tent in an amateur fashion.

As for inner-first pitching geos and semi-geos, I would rather have a fabric sleeving system than a mesh one. The mesh ones just get caught up with the pole tips. But of course, mesh is more breathable and clips even more so, etc. I have seen some nice examples of inner-poled mesh sleeve designs by Lightwave/Crux, so it is still a popular option, the Hille craze notwithstanding. In fact, we saw them in a half price sale in January, which as many of you know is a painful experience when you already have several tents. I didn't know they were so strong in the wind - see this.

I would rather have a symmetrical tent as well, so that if you have to pitch on a slope and sleep in one of the four directions, you can choose which of the other directions to face, i.e., down the valley instead of into the river bank, towards sunrise, your feet south for religious reasons and so on and so forth.

So to answer the OP: something like a 4 season TNF dome tent off fleabay. There should be a lot of lightly used ones out there (if they have also been stored correctly) that would enjoy a new lease on a probative life.

Jon

PS: Apeman, thanks for all the photos you put up.

PPS: No one mentioned the Jakpak yet? I'm surprised.

10:36 a.m. on April 2, 2012 (EDT)
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Pathloser, the Soulo does have reflective material on it in 6(I will have to look when I get home to make sure its 6 but I am almost certain) different areas(same areas as where the poles clip in above the half sleeves.

I am on the mobile now and have better pics but if ya look in the 1st photo in this TR you can somewhat see it a bit:

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/trip-reports/topics/118255.html

When hit with a headlamp they are pretty bright,

11:43 a.m. on April 2, 2012 (EDT)
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no worries Family Guy and no apology called for. i guess what i should have said is i have no bias for one peice of equipment to another YET and would camp in a refridgerator box in a hurricane with you or someone else who had proven the skill to use it but please don't send me out to do so on my own without the skill to pull it off. i also agree that the trip mentioned may not be one to do solo or with an inexperianced team for a beginner.

 

earl.

12:12 p.m. on April 2, 2012 (EDT)
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I am enjoying the controversy.   

I cannot add any helpful comments; as I am a minimalist, using one of several biv'ies, and a small tarp (when nessa).

                            ~ r2 ~

         a Skurka, before there was a Skurka

      

12:29 p.m. on April 2, 2012 (EDT)
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Pathloser, the Soulo does have reflective material on it...

Ok, I see them now. I was expecting something a bit brighter. I would have contemplated reflective guy lines but I think the Hille ones cannot be beat, the plastic runners are good as well. Thanks. One day maybe I will have one of those in red, as it is a tougher colour.

;-)

I guess Bill's tent was just too covered in snow to see em.

12:36 p.m. on April 2, 2012 (EDT)
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They're brighter than they appear in the photo. I don't have much trouble seeing them when I hit them with 50 lumens or more.

If ya want more you could always purchase a section of reflectivline, butcher it into 6" sections, and attach(tie) it to to the various line attachement points on the tent, and just let them hang.

This way it wouldn't be anything permanent. Plus it shouldn't add much weight(very minimal at best.)

I went with green because I do a bit of off-trail camping. I really don't want to be seen when I do and the green blends in well.

8:50 p.m. on April 3, 2012 (EDT)
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simple,alpenlite 250$ campmor

9:01 a.m. on April 4, 2012 (EDT)
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overmywaders said:

No one has yet addressed the real question: "Will a three-season tent handle high winds?"

Of course it will. It just depends on what you mean by "handle". In the 1970's three-seasons tents were often pitched on steep mountain slopes in high wind. The tents withstood these conditions by evolution; introducing their occupants to a new sport called "hang gliding".

Here are some three-season tents - note the pole structure - which have been modified to allow easy transport from the mountain -

You can always trust your tent. Have a nice day.

 OVM, this is right in my "back yard," so to speak!  Lookout Mountain provides one of the top destinations in the country for hang gliding. The location in the video is called Sunset Rock. I was just up there two weeks ago watching some flights. 

12:27 p.m. on April 4, 2012 (EDT)
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gonzan,

So you believe that 3 season tents naturally evolve into hang gliders.

Did you know that some people still aren't convinced that the larval stage of coat hangers is paperclips; and the final metamorphosis of a coat hanger is  into a French racing bicycle.

I guess modern science is hard to communicate.

Reed

12:47 p.m. on April 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Hahaha! 

8:21 p.m. on April 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Very funny!

That's just what we need, a tent that converts to a hang glider.

Silly me....I wasn't thinking multi purpose.

Come to think of it...I have some paper clips right here on my desk. How long do I have to wait for a bike?

Mike G.

8:29 p.m. on April 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Someone spent too much time playing with transformers...

Ed

12:52 a.m. on May 13, 2012 (EDT)
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How about the The Alps Mountaineering Hybrid CE 2 for windy, heavy rain and treeless conditions?

2:21 a.m. on May 13, 2012 (EDT)
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usb3 said:

How about the The Alps Mountaineering Hybrid CE 2 for windy, heavy rain and treeless conditions?

I could find very little few reviews regaring the CE-2 tent.  In none of the reviews that I read did they even mention any winy conditons.  I most certianly could not recomend that you take the CE-2 into those conditions being a novice camper while not knowing anything about that particular tent. 

If you go to this site there are a number of tents in the 4 season section that are in the price range of the Alps CE 2.

 http://www.geartrade.com/browse/4-season-tents

Three tents stick out in my mind that would be good tents that should stand up to the conditions that your are speaking of if set up properly.

These two man tents:

Alpenlite 2XT Tent: 2-Person 4-Season One Color, One Size - Excellent

http://www.geartrade.com/item/261854

 

Kelty Typhoon 2 4-Season Tent

http://www.geartrade.com/item/248657

 

and this three man tent:

Stretch Dome 3 Tent 3-Person 4 Season One Color, One Size - Good

http://www.geartrade.com/item/254244

 

Again all three of these tents are in your price range and are proven performers.  The Kelty is the one I would choose over the others.  It's only downside being that it is heavy.

Two more questions that have not been covered in this thread so far.  Are you going over with a group of people or by yourself?  Will you be in just one or two camping spots or on the move for the duration of your stay on the island?

2:24 a.m. on May 13, 2012 (EDT)
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I would pick the Extreme for wind resistance over the CE 2.   There are a lot of Alps tents rolling across SteepandCheap.com lately.  I haven't noticed the CE 2 but I have seen the Extreme and the new Jagged Peak.

The Jagged Peak is essentially a CE with beefier poles and fully closeable doors and vents. It is designed to be a 4-season tent.  I don't think I would haul it up the side of the mountains Ed and the OBGO have been know to climb but it would probably be and adequate tent for Winter usage with light to moderate snow fall and wind. 

I think the structure of the Extreme which doesn't have any Y joints like the CE would be a better choice out of the Alps line.

This is from an REI review about the Chaos 2

Was caught on the side of Saddleback Mountain in Maine when Hurrican Irene hit in August. I made it over the top and to the leeward side and set up this tent guying it off as best I could. I didn't have a footprint.

Hunkered down Saturday night and the storm ended Monday morning. Amazingly, the tent was fine and a small amount of moisture through the floor (as I said, no footprint). The amount of water coming down the side of the mountain was epic as were the winds. The thing stood its ground.

This is a pic the reviewer had posted entitled "Waiting for Hurricane Irene"


29908394_220929_raw.jpg

December 19, 2014
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