New tent's maiden voyage

10:51 a.m. on November 27, 2013 (EST)
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I took my new Sierra Designs Zia 3 tent out for it's maiden voyage last week.  I went to the Schell Creek Range in Nevada.  Camp was set up about 7500 ft.  It was fairly nice when we got there but the weather changed quickly the first night.  Started out with high winds (40+ gusts)  then it started to rain hard, then freezing rain and then heavy heavy snow.  I of course kept knocking off the snow off my tent through the first night.  I left camp the next day for about 8 hours to go hiking and came back to this:  


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Luckily I removed the snow and the heavy tree limb off the tent and it sprang right back.  Bent 1 pole a bit but that is much better than breaking a pole.  Overall I am pretty pleased with the performance of this tent.  I will be heading up for another trip this week to continue to put it through the paces.  



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4:37 p.m. on November 27, 2013 (EST)
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In the Sierra Nevada in 1980 I had a four foot snow fall of so called Sierra Cement snow that collapsed my North Face VE-24 from 54 inches tall to 6. Bent the pole and shredded the rain fly. Woke to the top of my tent in my face. Luckily TNF replaced the poles and fly even tho the snow had piled 2 feet deeper than the warranty specified when I told them I was living in the tent in Yosemite's high country. Had to send them down to Berkeley CA and waited just one day after that with overnight delivery, stayed with employee friends in their dorm room while waiting. I winter camped that spring of 1980 from January to May in Yosemite.

10:19 a.m. on December 2, 2013 (EST)
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That is pretty cool Gary.  That is good that TNF replaced your poles & fly for you.  I may call Sierra Designs and see if they will replace my bent pole.  It is still functional and I could use it as a spare.  You should write a book about all your outdoor adventures some day and supplement it with any pictures you may have.  I can do the hardcore winter camping for a few days but months at a time is definitely not on the agenda for me.  

3:18 p.m. on December 2, 2013 (EST)
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I can do it if I am in southern Arizona where it rarely snows but not quite up to it like I did in 1980. But I was 24 and liked it back then. Now its harder to attempt such things at almost 58.

4:05 p.m. on December 3, 2013 (EST)
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Neat Pic Jason, glad you didn't lose the tent and that you weren't in it during the collapse!

 

I had a branch hit my tent with me in it last week. The branch was about 1.2 inches in diameter and 2 feet long but it made a heck of a thud and put me on "high alert" to say the least. :)

5:12 p.m. on December 3, 2013 (EST)
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Thanks Patman.  I am really glad I didn't lose the tent too.  I think if I would have been sleeping in it I would have periodically been knocking the snow off and may have avoided the minor incident.  

I have had branches come down and hit the tent as well too.  It gives you a real quick adrenaline rush until you realize it was just a branch.  A 2 foot long branch 1" in diameter has decent weight to it.  Depending upon how far it fell, that can be a pretty concentrated force/load on the tent.  Did it do any damage?  

6:24 p.m. on December 3, 2013 (EST)
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Strangely no it didn't. When I saw how big the branch was I was sure I had a rip but only a scuff mark as it turned out. MSR Hoop (only a 40 denier fly)

8:19 a.m. on December 4, 2013 (EST)
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Awesome.  How was the condensation or was it even an issue?

10:15 a.m. on December 4, 2013 (EST)
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Luckily, I didn't have any condensation problems rob5073.  The top portion of the tent has a significant amount of mesh so the tent breathes quite well, maybe a little too well in real cold weather.  I need to experiment with trying to keep the fly all the way to the ground to minimize drafts that roll through the tent.   That will probably give me a little more condensation forming on the fly.  

September 17, 2014
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