Tropical Weather and Tents-Which one is Best?

7:36 p.m. on August 30, 2008 (EDT)
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Greetings from south-central Wisconsin!

Seeing we are coming into hurricane season, I am considering doing some camping down in hurricane country (possibly Mississppi) after the job with the State of Wisconsin-DNR endeth, which will be at the end of September I'm sad :( to say. I love my job at Devil's Lake State Park.

I do currently own two three-season tents (Cabela's XPG Deluxe 2-person tent and High Peak Flight) and one four-season/expedition model (The North Face VE-25).

My question is which of these tents (or any tent for that matter) would you suggest to ride out tropical weather, possibly a hurricane? Of course one will need to be far enough inland to avoid the storm surge associated with these types of storms.

Let's hear hear your thoughts on this most worthy topic.

Thanks in advance!


8:36 p.m. on August 30, 2008 (EDT)
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Why would you deliberately place yourself in a situation like this where you may well become a casualty and thus add to the burden of the public safety folks who will be, one hopes, trying to assist those who DO live there with basic survival?

I have experienced hurricane force storms here on the BC coast while working for the Canadian Coast Guard and I simply CANNOT comprehend why ANYONE would choose to place himself in a tent in the path of such devastation.......

As to the tent, itself, the finest mountain tents, i.e, Hilleberg Saivo, are used at the South Pole and MIGHT survive a hurricane, I have no great personal desire to find out, firsthand.

10:13 p.m. on August 30, 2008 (EDT)
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most hurricanes "look meaner" on the radar than they actually are.

I've been thru about 7 of them now... the rain is the worst part of the storm as its flying SIDEWAYS at you, not falling.

So if you really REALLY feel adventurous and for some reason have the desire to hang out in a tent during 50 mph constant winds, so be it. but I'd suggest a tent with no windows on the sides as well as a few tarps around it to keep the rain from soakin u.

10:40 p.m. on August 30, 2008 (EDT)
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Two words-Katrina and (if you have a really short attention span) Gustav.

To answer your question: based on my limited experience with hurricanes in Bermuda and Hawaii, none of the above. A tent might keep you dry, although I doubt it in 150 mph winds like Cuba is getting right now, but even if it did, it will provide no protection against flying debris. There is so much archival footage of the massive damage a hurricane can do that I am surprised you'd even consider camping during one of these storms.

10:52 p.m. on August 30, 2008 (EDT)
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As a former south central Wisconsin resident and a current Florida resident I can tell you, don't mess with the storms!!! Seriously, they are no joke. Even if you were to make it through, the next day when the sun comes out the heat and the humidity makes it soooo miserably HOT.

12:17 a.m. on August 31, 2008 (EDT)
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Regarding your question. Have you considered a backpacking hammock? From the perspective of a hammock camper the only real negatives are a bit of learning curve and they can sleep cool to cold. A positive for hot conditions. Without underside insulation on the hammock (pad, underquilt, whatever you prefer) I get uncomfortable cold with temps lower than 70F. Upper 70's to mid 80's are real nice sleeping temps. Maybe just a bag liner used as a topsheet. In my bed upper-70's and warmer are uncomfortable. Check out for info.

12:42 a.m. on August 31, 2008 (EDT)
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The question was, what tent will best survive a hurricane? If you think the answer is a hammock, let us know how that works out in 150 mph winds with rain, trees, sheetrock, plywood, roofing materials and every other conceivable piece of debris lighter than a car flying around.

1:34 p.m. on August 31, 2008 (EDT)
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D- None of the above.

My pick would be:
Large steel Garbage can turned upside down with you under it!
Guy it out with steel cable (not wire rope).
I have been through two hurricanes, a tornado, and a couple micro bursts. This is folly! Stay home! Or wait for decent weather, and in that case, have a blast!

6:21 p.m. on September 1, 2008 (EDT)
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Forgive me for laughing, but the last post was funny, you know, the one about the garbage can. I love a good sense of humor! Thanks for the reply(ies) one and all.

I think I made a similiar post about this topic last year about this time (hurricane season).

Allow me to say I too lived in Florida (Naples, Collier County). However I was NOT fortunate enough to experience any tropical weather save it be a remnant of a tropical storm. All it did was rain for three days straight. :(

I recall an article in Backpacker Magazine about a man who took a direct hit by hurricane Hugo and survived in his tent. It even shewed this man's photo after the storm, tent and all. Very inspiring story to say the least.

As for storms, I respect them but do not fear them. I believe in taking all the nessessary precautions but I absolutely refuse to over-react. Actually I seek to camp in the worst possible weather conditions. I camped in some rather nasty blizzards in the middle of Winter here in my State of residence, with all the cold hard winds and heavy snows associated with the same. I camped in nasty thunderstorms with those gust fronts/microburst. The tent and I made it through with flying colours folks. No problem.

Since I will finally have the opportunity (after waiting for so many years most patiently) I might as well fulfill one of my deepest desires-to ride out a tropical system (whether it be a full-blown hurricane or a lesser tropical storm) in my tent. But which tent I should utilize is the question at hand. I know The North Face VE-25 is made for the WORST possible weather conditions. Plus it has all those exterior guy-outs.

I appreciate all your kind replies. :)

6:35 p.m. on September 1, 2008 (EDT)
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We worry for you man! Also share your sense of adventure!

Around here we do that in a cave. Just have to send in the dog first to check for bears.

7:16 p.m. on September 1, 2008 (EDT)
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I must confess I do have a real sense of adventure. My philosphy is "life is an adventure, might as well enjoy it before you are dead". I live by those words friend. I know it sounds rather morbid but the basic premise is most true.

I did things most people only imagined possible, such as my bicycle ride to Salt Lake City from my hometown of Akron Ohio. I faced many nay-sayers and "doubting Thomases" but I did make it to Salt Lake in spite of what my critics said to the contrary. My friend is proof: he got all the phone bills since he requested of me to call him once a week (collect) to see how I was doing or if I had need of anything.

Thanks for the kind words. :)

7:25 p.m. on September 1, 2008 (EDT)
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We lived in Mississippi for 10 years, during which I visited several of the off-shore islands. I saw what the aftermath of Camile was - the islands were scoured clean of all structures, except for some remnants of the foundations of houses. Yes, some of the scouring was storm surge. But I also saw the aftermath of the landscape a couple miles inland, beyond the storm surge - piles of scrap lumber where there had been houses, piles of trees where there had been forests. We had a plane, which I used to fly over areas a few days after tornadoes - looked like a lawnmower or industrial strength weed wacker had gone through, except those were trees of several feet in diameter (you could see the swirl pattern of the winds in the downed trees). On the ground, you could see where logs had been thrown like javelins, piercing other trees.

I have also spent time on high mountains in some of the best mountaineering tents made during storms with measured winds up to 70 knots. Some tents near ours were shredded, others, like ours, survived. Small differences in the terrain and pitching of the tent make the difference in survival. But we had no trees or cars being thrown through the air.

My son is an atmospheric scientist with a specialty in severe weather. He has shown me photos of hurricanes in progress, where large objects, such as trucks and commercial airliners have been lifted off the ground (including planes that were moored to ground anchors with 1-inch steel cable).

What am I saying here? If you really intend on camping in a tent during a hurricane, you either have a strong death wish or are incredibly naive, as others have already posted. If you are "not afraid" of hurricanes, you are very naive about one of the strongest forces in nature. A Cat I hurricane is survivable in a tent, IF you choose a well-thought-out, sheltered location and have a brand-new one of the expedition mountaineering tents, and IF you are in a location where you are well sheltered from flying debris.

Why do you think people evacuate? Why do you think people in Tornado Alley have storm shelters? Are you planning to be one of the "weather men" who stand in front of a TV camera during the storms (a number of whom have died doing so)?

The microbursts of thunderstorms are tiny compared to a full-scale hurricane, by the way. And if you contact TNF, you will find they do NOT claim in any way shape or form that the VE-25 (or any of their tents) are capable of the "WORST possible weather conditions." VE-25s do, in fact come apart in conditions that are far short of a Katrina, Gustav, or Camille (I have seen them do so).

7:37 p.m. on September 1, 2008 (EDT)
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Your words are noted Bill.

Thanks for sharing. However, I can't forget that man featured in Backpacker Magazine who DID take a DIRECT hit by hurricane Hugo yet SURVIVED, in his tent of all places! Yes, there was total destruction all around this person in question but he survived! I found that to be a most inspiring article! Unfortunately I can't recall in which edition of Backpacker this article appeared. Maybe someone else read this article besides me.

In regards to T.N.F making claims about their brand tents, I thought for sure the VE-25 was made for the world's most challenging conditions. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Campmor has this to say about the VE-25 Tent:

The classic 4-pole Geodesic 4 Season expedition tent. The VE-25 sets the standard that all others strive to match. Standard features include a ripstop polyester fly, taped floor & fly seams, vents in the roof fly & vestibules, DAC aluminum poles & many other features. Worried about wind or snow? Not with this tent, it has 16 external guy points, with the lines preattached to the fly, with continuous pole sleeves for superior strength & fast set-up. The VE-25 has 2 doors & 2 vestbules, front is hooped for strength and storage.
Sleeps 3.

Please take note about "Worried about wind or snow? Not with this tent...".

I'm not. Like I said I plan to take ALL the nessessary precautions and even report my experience right here on Trailspace!

Oh btw, here is my VE-25 in action:

9:02 p.m. on September 1, 2008 (EDT)
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Well if your set upon it, take some 3/4 ply and 2x4's to build a box around your TNF. Remember, that while life is an adventure, there is no adventure worth your life!
Good luck.

9:10 p.m. on September 1, 2008 (EDT)
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Unfortunately looks like Hurricane Gustav made landfall and it center is in Louisiana. The storm is presently weakening. It's top sustained winds are only 75 mph.

I think a well made, properly staked/guyed out three season tent can survive that.

I know the ALPS Mountaineering Taurus Outfitter tent can.

I always staked mine out well and used ALL the included guylines.

9:14 p.m. on September 1, 2008 (EDT)
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I sometimes think that some posters on forums of this type have unrealistic opinions that are in inverse proportion to the level of actual wilderness/severe weather experience they have attained. Such individuals oftimes make utterly bizarre comments and make claims that simply astound me.

The photos posted, of a NF-VE tent in 3" of slush in a developed area, note the high, solid, man-made WALL to the right-rear of the tent, ARE NOT ANYTHING like camping, esepcially solo, in really harsh winter conditions. I find this entire thread to be another of those that can give novices the idea that winter camping is easy, safe and one just kinda trips out there and it is all good......

Ah, why bother, some people seem born to become statistics.....

9:26 p.m. on September 1, 2008 (EDT)
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I have years of actual severe weather experience while camping. Like I pointed out already I seek the worst possible weather conditions to camp in. That's no lie.

Everyone that knows me can testify to this statement. I was even made fun of at Calvary Baptist Church in Sauk City Wisconsin due to the fact I lived in my tent all Winter long. The former landlord and one of his church "brethern" did this act of unkindness.

Unfortunately, I have to work for a living, not live as some "globe-trotter". So sometimes where I can travel to is limited to my work schedule. That includes my camping distances.

All my gear reviews here on this most excellent site, come from actual gear usage, not from some literature put out by gear companies/manufacturers.

I hate to tell you but that was no slush as you alleged. We had four inches of snow that came down that afternoon/overnight when that photo was taken. However I found your statement quite humorous.

No offence.

9:42 p.m. on September 1, 2008 (EDT)
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So, those here who actually HAVE worked, lived, recreated and explored Alaska, the Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Antartica are merely ..."globe trotters"...? Such individuals base their opinions simply on the promotional literature offered by gear manufacturers, do they?

You obviously do not see the inherent contradiction in making those two statements together and, all in all, I am not surprised.

You seem bent on getting yourself into a potentially deadly situation and, as in the past hereon, you will not listen to anyone. So, I am done with this and your insinuations are not only false, they are as foolish as everything else you have posted.

9:48 p.m. on September 1, 2008 (EDT)
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I'm glad for you if you had the opportunity to do all the things you made mention of. :)

However, the average person has to work and cannot simply pickup and travel far distances like you say you have.

If you disagree with my post, why even read them? They are NOT intended to raise your blood pressure in any way.

I do plan to experience tropical weather in my tent. Life is too short not to enjoy the beauties of nature, hurricanes included.

10:01 p.m. on September 1, 2008 (EDT)
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You will find no beauty in a hurricane slinging a green pine cone through your tent smacking you upside your head. Listen to the advise of seasoned outdoorsmen.
Live a long and adventurous life. Not a short reckless one!
Mother nature has a way of filtering the less intelligent out of the gene pool.

11:07 p.m. on September 1, 2008 (EDT)
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minister, i support you. although i am new to this, in the other hobbies ive had in life, i too take the risks few others would, and because of this, i am able to say, "ive been there, ive done that". Most risks taken were the ones even experts said i was crazy to even dream... yes there is a severe risk imposed, but if you dont try, how will you ever succeed. I would just like to wish you the best of luck, and may every adventure that comes be a safe one. I do apologize however, i do not have enough experience in this sport to offer you any help with tent. If you ever get into motocross (haha) im here for ya.

11:49 p.m. on September 1, 2008 (EDT)
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Regarding the Hurricane Hugo story, I can remember as a kid reading a story about a guy who was blown out of the back of a B-17 at 18000 feet without a parachute and survived the fall. However inspiring that story was, it is hardly a role model for others to emulate. There is a good reason two million people abandoned the Gulf Coast before Gustav hit and it wasn't because of the three day weekend.

11:58 p.m. on September 1, 2008 (EDT)
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with all do respect, these people were evacuated because of the government. they were required to, with good reason, 90% are not prepared for those conditions, many of them lower income families. but if a guy is going to do something, and theres no way to stop him, at least offer some support and any help possible. by only telling him he shouldnt, even though hes going without a doubt, you may be missing out on a chance to offer some vital information he may have over looked. but that is all i have to say on this.

9:26 a.m. on September 2, 2008 (EDT)
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I lived in Panama for two years and did some jungle backpacking and have to say we were all greedy to get our hands on the jungle hammocks used by the Army down there. The shelter of choice in the jungle.

As far as tents and high winds, my current basecamp tent where I stay when I'm not out backpacking is a 12x12 Extreme Weather outfitter tent made by Cabelas. It's too heavy for backpacking, way too heavy at 75 pounds, but for a stationary basecamp in high winds it's great. Very beefy with many strong guyouts, etc. It's been tested in 70 mph winds accordng to Cabelas.

My history with tornadoes, hurricanes and microbursts is not remarkable although I've been thru each in a tent or Tipi. I was in a North Face Westwind in the mountains of NC in '94 when a tornado came thru camp near Tweetsie Railroad and picked up nearby cars and tore up stuff. My tent swayed terribly and several poles split and had I been 100 feet to the east it would've been all over.

I was in a Mt Hardwear Muir Trail at 5000 feet in a mean windstorm when a microburst arrived sounding like a screaming fighter jet and for 30 seconds I was a quivering mass of jello trying the hold my tent together from the inside.

In 1989 I was up at my Tipi on a ridgetop at 3,400 feet when Hurricane Hugo came thru but the 21 poplar-poled lodge stayed put and only a bit of canvas dislodged.

About 4 years ago I was at 5000 feet in a terrible velcro-ripping rainstorm and wind festival in a Hilleberg Nammatj 3 and it pulled out guyline stakes and by morning I had one bent tentpole.

I was in a butt-cheap Ozark Trail 3 poled dome tent in South Dakota during a mean thunderstorm in July 2000 and had to go outside during the worst of the wind and hold the tent together standing out next to it. Broke a couple of fiberglass poles.

Nowadays I carry a little radio with me and if I hear a mean mood-swing is coming from Momma Nature, I'll forsake the high ground and look for shelter in the valleys out of lightning blast radius and the hardest winds. Sometimes the pinhead weathermen get it right and are good at predicting a massive storm coming my way, whether hurricane or blizzard. BTW, I was in my ridgetop Tipi during the Blizzard of '93 which shut down the southeast and loved every minute of it, although I DID tip over my pee bucket at midnight during the worst of it, and had to spend all night digging out snow from the door entrance to avoid being snowed inside. Old timers in their cabins in Alaska had doors that opened IN, not OUT. Smart move.

11:12 a.m. on September 2, 2008 (EDT)
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Thanks for the comments. I don't consider myself nessessary a "risk taker" per se but simply a person who believes in using my gear to provide me the shelter from the WORST nature can dish out. Yes, in some cases I do take risk, but who doesn't? Is not driving everyday on the road with all those horrible drivers taking a BIG risk? I should say!!!

Anyhow, I'm happy to announce my official highway map of Mississppi was waiting for me at the Sauk City Post Office. Now I can begin the planning stages of my most worthy endeavor.

My motto is: "No risk, No gain".

How can I really test my gear save it be I actually use it, even in the worst of weather? Why pay $399.99 for a T.N.F. VE-25 and not actually use it save it be in fair weather? That's my question.

I actually plan to live a long and prosperous life. :)

Thanks Again!

12:05 p.m. on September 2, 2008 (EDT)
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...The best laid plans o'mice and men, oft'gang agley...

Robt. Burns.

1:01 p.m. on September 2, 2008 (EDT)
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What TNF actually says is


ensure safety, warmth, and protection in the face of nature’s worst.

Note that they do not "guarantee" that it will stand up to the most severe conditions the planet has to offer. They do not guarantee that it will stand up to flying debris. The VE-25 is a good tent, though there are better ones for the conditions I often camp in.

You said


that was no slush as you alleged. We had four inches of snow that came down that afternoon/overnight when that photo was taken.

That photo shows your idea of "severe weather"? Sorry, but that doesn't come within several orders of magnitude of what I would consider even "moderate" weather. We take first time campers out in that sort of weather in backpacking intro courses (not even the winter camping courses). And kutenay is right - that is slush. I am familiar with Wisconsin weather, since my son works as a professional atmospheric scientist in Madison. That looks like T-shirt and shorts weather to me. Wisconsin can dish out much worse weather than what your photo shows, though Minnesota and the Dakotas often make the worst for Wisconsin look mild. Your sample photo looks to me to be "fair weather".

This is more like what I would consider "moderate" conditions, - That is from one of my trips to Denali, during which we had pretty good weather by Denali standards. The tents are Mountain Hardwear, by the way, not TNF.

One thing you seem to be missing - the VE-25 is made for mountaineering conditions. It will stand up quite well to high wind conditions (though, as I noted previously, I have seen them come apart on Denali, along with other top-quality mountaineering tents), blizzard conditions with snowfall rates in the feet per hour range, and the resulting heavy snow loads. It will not stand up to an avalanche, however. It is not made to stand up to a tornado or passage of the eyewall of a Cat 3 or higher hurricane, nor to the debris that a hurricane or tornado throws around (test yours by launching a 2x4 at it at 50 mph or faster).

It is all very well and good to quote tent manufacturers who claim their tents have been wind-tunnel tested at 70 mph. But a wind tunnel does not have flying debris. Nor is 70 mph of smooth windflow, as you find in wind tunnels, the same as the 200-300 mph of a tornado or the 100-200 mph of the central part of a hurricane as you approach the eyewall (yes, it is dead calm at the center of the eye, but not farther out in the eyewall region).

As Tom noted, yes, people do survive some astoundingly bad conditions. Yet many more perish in such conditions. I suggest you educate yourself as to what tropical weather, hurricanes, and tornadoes can really be like at the extreme. Take a good look at what happened in South Florida during the passage of Andrew, or the Mississippi Gulf Coast during Camille. Hubris and "macho man" ain't gonna cut it.

3:33 p.m. on September 2, 2008 (EDT)
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As Bill S. points out, I'm not aware of ANY tent that has been tested for, or has a "missle" or "impact" rating.
There is no way to protect yourself from flying debris, or falling trees or tree limbs with a tent.

I was in hurricane Hugo as it passed through Charleston SC, my brother and I ventured outside as the eye passed through. There were already parts of steel & wooden tool sheds all over the place, tree limbs lined the streets, some embedded in walls and roofs. Those who did not board up their windows got to replace them.
Most of the pine trees were snapped off like toothpicks about 20' or so above the ground, many landing on homes and cars.

That was just "halftime" !!
We still had another 6 hrs. to go with 100+ mph. winds, and gusts up to 140 mph.
I realize not all storms are that bad, and some are much worse.
Anyone who would purposefully go stay in a tent in similar conditions just for the thrill of it, is not thinking rationally, and it has been my experience that you can't reason with them until they have wet themselves.

I've been in a couple hairy situations before, and I didn't feel like I had proved anything but my inexperience!

4:00 p.m. on September 2, 2008 (EDT)
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In spite of what certain "nay-sayers" have to say my mind is made up-I plan to do what some would consider "the impossible". In fact, I plan to live through the storm and even write about the same here on Trailspace.

If I listened to every negative statement people said to me over the course of my life, I would NEVER attempt to do anything.

However, I will just have to shew by example how good my gear is by actual usage. Let others "cut and run" if they so choose but not this person. I plan to ride out a tropical system in my tent. Sorry if this offendeth certain posters but this is what I plan to do. So be it.

4:05 p.m. on September 2, 2008 (EDT)
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ministercreek, your plans, and the quality of your gear will have very little to do with what happens to you in a severe storm or hurricane, as several people have pointed out. Wise people listen to good advise.
I rest my case.

4:12 p.m. on September 2, 2008 (EDT)
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Best of luck to ya! Take some pics!!

6:30 p.m. on September 2, 2008 (EDT)
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mc -
I doubt if anyone here takes offense at your "plans", no matter how foolish and ill-considered. In fact, I have been laughing my head off at yet another proof of the vanity of the majority of human beings. I find it highly amusing that you would believe that you will


shew by example how good my gear is by actual usage
or that you will prove or show anything other than your hubris and lack of judgment.

A bit of science, from NOAA -
Cat 1 - 74-95 mph winds
Cat 2 - 96-110
Cat 3 - 111-130
Cat 4 - 131-155
Cat 5 - greater than 155 mph winds.

The rate of transfer of energy goes as the cube of the speed, which means that with the roughly factor of 2 increase in wind speed from the lowest category to the highest, there is a factor of 8 increase in the rate of energy transfer (also meaning there is a factor of 8 increase in the effective pressure to be exerted on your tent). This also means that the step from Cat 1 to 2 results in a doubling of the pressure on your tent wall.

Some tent makers tout tests in wind tunnels of 70 mph, which is just below hurricane-force wind speed. None test for resistance to gusting, which brings into play the rate of change of force, a quantity called "jerk". In climbing, that rapidity with which a force due to a falling climber coming onto the rope is called "shock loading". It is well known that actual materials can fail at forces due to "shock loading" well below their static load limits, since actual materials require a short period of time to achieve their static strength limits. In this context, aside from the fact that wind tests on tents use wind speeds below hurricane speeds, gusting and the speeds of mid to higher category storms have not been tested by the manufacturers. Nor, as others have mentioned, have any manufacturers tested for impact of flying "missiles."

We live in a free country, which means that you can do anything you want, no matter how ill-considered, or foolish (as long as it does not involve other people). People have frequently swum over Niagara Falls, or jumped from great heights. Some have even survived.

Please do your relatives a favor - leave a document stating where and when you intend "braving the storm", make the funeral arrangements in advance (including providing the casket or container for cremation, in case there are any body parts found), and stating that "I, ministercreek, am doing this of my own free will and responsibility, and no one is to attempt rescue or in any way risk life or limb to recover any remains." Just in case you have misjudged the capabilities of your tent.

And by the way, you owe it to the world to set up instrumentation that records the windspeeds and directions second by second (so the gust loading can be determined, as well as the static loads). This is in addition to the multi-angle voice and video recordings. GPS location documentation should be embedded in the data simultaneously, so that your location(s) relative to the storm system can be unambiguously determined.

Remember Timothy - he believed that grizzlies were his friends, and he proved it by hugging them (until he and his girlfriend were eaten).

7:00 p.m. on September 2, 2008 (EDT)
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Treadwell, for all the negative comments made about him and his demise had a simply AMAZING ability to interact with Grizzlies and I was sorry to see him go the way most of us thought he eventually would. Even with his rather distorted ego, I honestly believe he truely cared deeply about Grizzlies and was utterly sincere in his attempts to learn about and live among them.

I might add that Charlie Russell, the son of legendary Andy Russell, whom I met and discussed bears with a couple of times, years ago, shares this opinion of Treadwell. Charlie is oftimes mocked on hunting forums, by urban "quad jockies"who believe that wearing Gore-Tex and fleece camo while roaring about on their ATVs is "hunting"and makes them "bushmen", but, I have simply enormous respect for him, what he has done and his real knowledge of bears.

So, poor Timothy died tryin', anyway, may Wotan rest his troubled soul.

8:20 p.m. on September 2, 2008 (EDT)
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I have a copy of Grizzly Heart by Russell, it was a good read.

I got it used, the picture on the cover is what drew my initial interest. A picture of Russell wade fishing accompanied by a yearling brown bear. Since I fish a lot in black bear country I have read up a good bit. I found Russells perspective very helpful. Too many people know all about animals (stats and stuff) but haven't spent time observing them. This is something I like to do, just sit and watch different animals, you learn so much more that way.
I understand Russell and Treadwell were acquaintances and had a falling out over Russell suggesting Treadwell should have an electric fence around his camp.

I am by no means an expert on bears, I take the recommended precautions while camping, and stay out of their food plots.
I'm still not sure how they perceive us fishermen, but I have yielded the stream once to a black bear. I was both nervous and stoked at the same time. I guess I handled it well. Haven't done it much.

8:48 p.m. on September 2, 2008 (EDT)
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I don't mean to suggest that Treadwell was even close to Charlie, Wayne McCrory, or a number of others I know, simply that he WAS sincere, albeit misguided in certain respects.

I never worry about bears and have dealt with hundreds of them, but, I would not DO some of the things that Treadwell attempted.....for obvious reasons! Sad, tho', there are those in this world who deserve such a fate and he and his lady really didn't, IMHO.

8:55 p.m. on September 2, 2008 (EDT)
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Anytime I hear someone criticizing Treadwell I think of the hundreds of mountain climbers and their friends(not much different than Treadwell's girlfriend)who were killed on a mountain.

Anatoli Boukreev
Alison Hargreaves
Gunther Messner
George Mallory
Yasuko Namba
Robin Cook
Ray Genet
Fischer and Hall, etc

And of course Robert Falcon Scott and his buddies out in the snow.

This thread therefore might just be one about death, meaningful or otherwise. Since we're all going to die, doing it in a tent during a hurricane(or not, no suicide talk here), 'tain't no different than Fischer or Hall or Treadwell. And probably much better than checking out on a couch watching Deal Or No Deal.

8:57 p.m. on September 2, 2008 (EDT)
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I agree that Timothy cared deeply about the griz, and understood more about them than many. The thing he forgot in his hubris was that they are still wild animals. That is actually something that happens to far too many who know a lot about various aspects of nature - they become too familiar with the particular part of nature and push the real dangers to the back of their minds. If you look at the backcountry skiers who have been caught by avalanches in the last few years in Utah, Colorado, BC, and elsewhere, many were expert skiers and experts on avalanches and avalanche terrain, but made one misjudgment. Several of the world's volcano experts did the same thing - for years, they studied active volcanoes up close. Then one day, they made one misjudgment that caught them. Steve Fossett was an extremely experienced pilot and adventurer, holder of several world records. One day, he made a mistake on what was intended to be a short scouting flight, and has yet to be found.

My reference here should be expanded, perhaps, to say that since even the true experts sometimes make that one misjudgment of their ability to spot the dangerous situation and avoid it, anyone who has "learned" from reading a book or two, seeing a few TV shows, "survived" a few mildly "extreme" situations, and read a few hyped ads for "the world's best gear" that is ready for "anything", should think things through more thoroughly, pay attention to those true experts, and learn a bit of caution from the mistakes that even the most experienced make on occasion.

Tipi, your list illustrates my point very well - all these were extremely experienced mountaineers with the best of equipment. Despite that, they each made that one critical misjudgment. Someone who has not gained that level of experience is far more likely to make that one critical misjudgment, and really should think it through more completely. It is all very romantic to "die while doing what you enjoy." But, as others have pointed out, it does affect others - those who must retrieve the body and do the search, if not friends and relatives of the person dying because he/she chose the "romantic" way to die. Yes, we all die sometime, and better while doing what we enjoy. But it is still better to do what we enjoy for a longer time and put off the dying until much later. And no, dying in a tent in a hurricane is NOT the same as Scott, Fischer, Hall, or any of those on your list.

9:27 p.m. on September 2, 2008 (EDT)
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Bill, as usual, your wisdom is a HUGE contribution to this site and I TOTALLY agree. I have had several VERY EXPERT friends and colleagues die in the BC wilderness and one in Alberta. It can and does happen to the best of us and very frequently where I am from, as witness the guy who owned OR and was killed in Kokanee Glacier Park, as so many have been.

I damm near bought the farm there myself once or twice and sometimes only luck saves your sorry azz, but, while I do not really consider Treadwell an "expert"on Grizzlies, I do think that he had a certain rapport and I have always felt that there was/is something a little "hinky"about that whole deal.

Look into who Hosea Sarbar was in AK, around the time my late Aunt Annie was an RN in Sitka and kinda ruminate on this a bit.....

Anybody who "chooses"stupid risks needs a swift kick in the azz as a couple of friends of mine have DIED while on SAR missions and one of my brothers is an EMT and has packed out a lot of frozen "experts" on chopper skids from the Kootenay mountains. This is NOT a fun job in a small town where these people are your friends.

10:15 p.m. on September 2, 2008 (EDT)
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Wow, this is one of the longest threads I've seen here. I can't say that I would recomend what you are attempting, but if the 30ish other posts didn't convince you mine won't make any difference either.

You seem like a pretty smart person who takes calculated risks rather than just impulsively taking risks. Since you say you plan on taking all the necessary precautions, I'm assuming you plan on setting up a test with an empty tent filled with you're approximate weight before you try it for you're self. If the tent ends up being cut in half by a flying garrage door, then you konw that you might want to consider pitching in a more sheltered area before you do it for real. Also, I'm assuming you will have some sort of bail out plan like pitching very near to a more suitable shelter in case things start going bad.

I would imagine that these things would fall under "necessary precautions". If you are planning on trying a test tent first, I'd be curious to know how that goes. A video camera secured to the ground and aimed at the test tent would be pretty cool if the camera survives. Of course, multiple tents set up in what you percieve as an ideal location would be better. Again I still wouldn't want to be in that tent as the manufactures tests already claim that it will fail at below the speed of many hurricanes, plus you're playing russian roullett when it comes to debries.

12:57 a.m. on September 3, 2008 (EDT)
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My question is which of these tents (or any tent for that matter) would you suggest to ride out tropical weather, possibly a hurricane?

The question was, what tent will best survive a hurricane? If you think the answer is a hammock,....

Backpacking hammock as an alternative to a tent for Tropical Weather, NOT camping in the path of a hurricane or hurricane force winds. A decent tarp properly tied down & pitched will withstand a moderate wind & driving rain. But as trouthunter noted referring to a tent or hammock in a hurricane:

D- None of the above.

My pick would be:
Large steel Garbage can turned upside down with you under it!

2:13 a.m. on September 3, 2008 (EDT)
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Sorry Arbor, didn't mean to pick on you, but the basic premise of the original question just set me off. Kind of reminds of of the story about the guy who was, or so he said, going to climb Everest in shorts and flip-flops or something crazy like that.

I am sure most of us have done some less than prudent things and gotten away with them, but sometimes stories of great adventure are really stories about amazing stupidity followed by bravery on the part of the rescuers.

When I lived in Hawaii, the CG spent a fair amount of time looking for lost sailors who didn't know how to navigate, didn't have radios, that sort of thing. A friend of mine was killed in a helo crash while looking for a lost hiker-probably tail rotor failure. I understand bad luck, objective danger, unforeseen weather and so on, but deliberate indifference is what gets other people killed, so my tolerance for these kinds of stories is fairly low.

As Amundsen once said "Adventure is just bad planning."

What was it Dirty Harry said? "A man needs to know his limitations." Something like that.

8:36 a.m. on September 3, 2008 (EDT)
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He asked for advice guys, not your permission. he understands the risks. look at backpacking as a whole: a guy walks into the woods with minimal supplies to try and survive. his idea is not so crazy.

5:10 p.m. on September 3, 2008 (EDT)
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donkeypunch85 sounds normal and I agree. In Doug Peacock's book, GRIZZLY YEARS, there's this quote: (He's a grizz expert and ex-green beret vietnam vet):

"My route across these basins and ranges follows no jeep trails but crosses valleys and passes on faint game trails no human has set foot on for centuries. Each year, I strike out on a different course. If I break a leg, I will be stuck. I have a signal mirror with which I might flash a passing aircraft, though it could be weeks before one flew by close enough to signal. I seldom tell anyone about my intended routes because I do not care to be rescued."(page 362)

Wilderness entails risk and a big part of wilderness is what Momma Nature wants to hurl at us at any given time. I've had a few close calls and canyon falls, several times I was out when a dead tree limb fell next to my tent, another time I set up in the middle of the night and left the tent just before an old tree snag fell onto the tent and ripped the fly and broke a pole.

How many hornets have stung me over the years? My throat could've swelled shut and I could've said goodbye. Or all those lightning bolts zapping a white flash warning and yet I was spared. I'm not quite like Lt. Dan up in the ship's mast during a hurricane screaming at God like in Forest Gump, but I can understand the sentiment.

Miss Nature is gonna take me out no matter what I do, whether from a falling tree, a rattlesnake bite, a tumor, a blood clot, stumbling frostbit into a snow bank or laid out with a heart attack. Do I have a death wish? Nope. But she does. Would I set up on an open bald at 6000 feet in a lightning storm? I have before but won't now unless it comes in the middle of the night after a sunny day. But Miss Nature's tricky, even if I protect myself and flee to safer ground, wherever I go, she will still find me.

It's like those surfers who seek out the big waves in the middle of the ocean. I can hear Mother Nature's words: "Wow! Go for it, but you might not return." Fair enough.

5:17 p.m. on September 3, 2008 (EDT)
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well said tipi walter...

6:02 p.m. on September 3, 2008 (EDT)
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donkeypunch said


He asked for advice guys, not your permission. he understands the risks.

kutenay, Tom, and I gave him advice. He does not need any permission from anyone. It is his own choice to take whatever risks he chooses, whether foolish (as it appears he is doing from his comments) or calculated (no sign of understanding or even basic concept of the real risks in his posts).

In one of his posts, ministercreek said


I plan to do what some would consider "the impossible".

No one here said it is "impossible" to survive a hurricane in a tent. People have survived lots of hurricanes, including Cat 5 hurricanes, in tents and in the open. However, many people have died in much less severe weather. In some sense, you could say I "survived" a hurricane while in Mississippi, and in the open with no shelter at that (I was on post doing my Stormwatch duties as a member of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service - strictly volunteer, as is the case for all Stormwatch personnel and the vast majority of S&R personnel). I would not claim to have "survived" however, because I was well prepared for the known risks, with known bailout criteria and continuous communication with the Stormwatch network. I did get a bit damp and did have to shift my station twice, but that's nowhere close to "surviving".

To repeat the advice -
1. understand the risks thoroughly (having been in a few Wisconsin snowstorms does not give even a beginning clue of the risks of a hurricane, which ministercreek says he is going to challenge).
2. understand what the limitations of the gear to be used is, vs the requirements of hurricanes and their accompanying tornadoes.
3. choose gear appropriate to the requirements (an expedition tent like the VE25 does not match the requirements for coming safely through a hurricane of Cat 3 or higher).
4. have a bailout plan or other plan "B" (plus C, D, and E)
5. Notify the authorities and your next of kin and friends of actions to be taken (and actions NOT to be taken) in case your preparations are inadequate.

You will do what you want. Be prepared to accept the consequences if you have miscalculated in your hubris. But do have consideration for the S&R people who have to come after you if you have underestimated the conditions you actually encounter and those who care for you.

7:09 p.m. on September 3, 2008 (EDT)
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Interesting replies. Read them all.

Tom the Moderator saith "but the basic premise of the original question just set me off". Again I say this thread is nothing to get so worked up about Gents. Seems like some posters are having a bad day or something.

I am NOT worried one bit. I'm doing what I have been desiring for so many years but simply lacked the opportunity to accomplish the same. Now is my chance to really enjoy myself, in an truly outdoor fashion!

I did happen to call down to Mississppi today. The lady on the other end told me they got 50 mph winds with 75-80 gust from Gustav. Seems like I missed that opportunity. Plus they only experienced the outer bands of the storm. Still sounds exciting. Wish I could of experienced the same for myself! I always had an interest in storms, ever since childhood. Like I said eariler I respect them but do not fear them. Appears to be so much fear of the unknown on the part of many posters. Who really knows what will happen? That is what I'm going to find out. I'll write a report right here on Trailspace concerning my experience with tropical weather. :)

As for funeral plans, no need to. I plan to live and even write about the same. No fear on my part. I trust in God and my great gear to keep me safe and dry.

8:55 p.m. on September 3, 2008 (EDT)
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Out of curiosity, what's you're backup plan if things start going wrong?

I'd imagine you'd want something that is foolproof. I don't know if there are many below ground shelters in the area and if there was, I'd think there's a good chance of them flooding.

Probably the best thing I could think of is a cave which you're positive won't flood or turn into a river.

12:54 a.m. on September 4, 2008 (EDT)
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Um, I believe his backup plan is to die.

4:00 a.m. on September 4, 2008 (EDT)
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Perhaps this might be a good time to close this thread... ministercreek seems reluctant to listen to the advice given, and the other posters are beginning to repeat themselves.

10:38 a.m. on September 4, 2008 (EDT)
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"reluctant" is an understatement.

8:07 p.m. on September 4, 2008 (EDT)
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This reminds me of the person that insists on continuing on up Everest or K2...even though it's after 2pm and he still has a few hundred feet left to reach the summit.

At some point, you just have to say 'no'! Give it up, man. It's not worth the risk.

If you want some new adventure and thrills, why not take up skydiving?? This just sounds incredibly dumb to me.

7:23 p.m. on September 6, 2008 (EDT)
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Now to respond to NLess who said:

"Perhaps this might be a good time to close this thread... ministercreek seems reluctant to listen to the advice given, and the other posters are beginning to repeat themselves".

Actually none of the replies had ANYTHING to do with my original question at hand: "My question is which of these tents (or any tent for that matter) would you suggest to ride out tropical weather, possibly a hurricane?" All I heard was bickering about why I should NOT do what my plan is, that is, ride out an hurricane in my tent. No one even attempted to suggest a possible tent for this most challenging outdoor adventure of mine. Thus most of the replies were off-topic. :(

Like one wise poster (donkeypunch85) who most acutely observed, I'm not seeking one's approval or feigned concern for my safety. I accept the risk that cometh with my most worthy endeavor.

All I requested which tent is worthy to ride out tropical weather. Mr.NLees response is most irrelevant.

Now for some real replies to the original question I first posed..."My question is which of these tents (or any tent for that matter) would you suggest to ride out tropical weather, possibly a hurricane?"

This tent appears like a real possible candidate:

7:45 p.m. on September 6, 2008 (EDT)
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BeritOlam saith in his reply: "At some point, you just have to say 'no'! Give it up, man. It's not worth the risk.

If you want some new adventure and thrills, why not take up skydiving?? This just sounds incredibly dumb to me".

Actually skydiving has many risk involved and some would even think it to be a stupid idea.

Everything in life has risk to some degree or another. Granted some are greater than others. Doth one just stay home and sit on the couch and watch the boob tube because it's "safe"?

Nay, I will have disagree with Mr. Berit's position. Sorry Man. :(

8:08 p.m. on September 6, 2008 (EDT)
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You actually got the answer to your question


which of these tents (or any tent for that matter) would you suggest to ride out tropical weather, possibly a hurricane?

Namely, none of the tents you named, nor is any backpacking or basecamp tent suitable for riding out the winds of a hurricane of Category 3 or higher (none have been tested to be debris-proof). Your VE-25, suitably pitched (not pitched like your images), might survive Category 1 or 2 winds (emphasis on "might", and on "suitably pitched"), provided you only encounter winds and rain, with no wind-borne debris. North Face and other manufacturers of expedition tents will not provide directions for pitching in those conditions, but may refer you to commentary in expedition reports (the technique involves using the internal guy system designed into the tent plus use of climbing rope tested to "single" rating externally over the tent). As many have posted, the critical issue is wind-borne debris, which the tent fabrics have not been tested for, nor are intended for.

There is a type of "tent", sometimes referred to as a "clamshell", which is made of a material related to Kevlar, which will, properly pitched, withstand Category 4 hurricane winds, though not tornadic winds higher than F-4, and some low mass flying debris. This tent type is far from backpackable.

Compare your intended tents to the the TIV, which is intended to penetrate and withstand tornadic storms up to F-4, carrying 3 persons. Its weight is around 8 tons, most of which is 2-inch thick steel, and uses steel girders to place the "claws" to hold it in place.

But perhaps your only concern is keeping the rain off. In that case, providing the winds are below hurricane strength, and you pitch the tent in an area with sufficient drainage, any of the 3 will do just fine. But do stay away from trees to avoid branches and trees that might get pushed over by wind gusts and land on your tent - none of those tents are tested to withstand large falling branches or falling trees.

Again, you will do what you want. Personally, I am completely unconcerned for your safety. You did not ask for my or anyone else's approval, so none was given or withheld. You asked for advice on tents, then disregarded and/or blew off that advice, backed by factual information, that was given. Your choice to do as you wish.

9:23 p.m. on September 6, 2008 (EDT)
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Sorry I missed your original intent. Point noted.

I grew up in the gulf coast region of Texas, and I remember as a kid going through Alisha in '83. One thing they always use to tell us is if you get stuck in an open area with a hurricane/tornado barreling down on you, try to find a narrow ditch and hunker down. That's assuming of course it's not flooded with water (and it very well may be flooded if it's a hurricane vs. a tornado which typically produces a lot less volume of rain).

What you're looking for is somewhere that the ground dips, is at least 4 or so feet deep, and isn't more than a few feet wide. That'll give you far better wind protection than any 4-season tent.

So I suppose you could bivy up in a ditch like that and try to ride it out. If I were a betting man, I'd give you far better odds to survive that than trying to ride out a Category 3+ hurricane in a tent.

Remember recently the footage of that kite surfer who was sucked right up over the beach and down the street? That's going to be you in your tent if you come anywhere near Cat 3+ winds. Maybe even Cat 2. :)

Happy kite-tent surfing if you try it!! :)

9:25 a.m. on September 8, 2008 (EDT)
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it seems I'm the only South Florida poster here, and took my initial posting as a "tongue in cheek" to the OP's idea.

However, I want to reiterate how tropical storms and hurricanes function.

When you look at the radar and satellite, you see a lot of clouds. The actual storms are minimal and are in 'feeder bands' which lead up to the eye wall or center of circulation.

So when you see Jim Cantore from the weather channel hanging from a pole, that's just the "Jerry Springer" in them in which they've found a good 5 - 15 minute portion of the "storm" where its horrible.

for the most part, expect a constant wind of 30 - 50 mph with gusts, and some rain.

so if you are basing that on a TENT, I believe you are going to be doing a lot of research and phone calls (while we on this board look at you and go "huh"). I do feel you will not be successful in finding a tent that will

-> withstand the constant wind without buckling
-> keep you and your gear dry
-> handle the elements (flying debris, high water)

and other issues go thru my head as I realize you are serious about this. In all of my "hurricanes" the winds last about 12 hours, with intermittent rain and storms. In a tropical storm, that is pretty much just the "storm part" of a hurricane and is the same, just not as intense.

When Fay or whatever it was that just hit Florida, I had 2 days of nonstop wind and cloud cover with a few hours of rain. While I would never imagine sleepin out on the beach in a tent, it is doable, if you have a bunch of good books and a VERY strong tent.

I'd also like to point out that Abaco just got nailed by Gustav and they're missing a lot of beach and what used to be islands are now mere sand bars, if they even exist at all anymore. so if you want to camp during a tropical storm, i suggest you do it on actual ground, and not sand... and somewhere at least 10 feet above sea level.

7:05 p.m. on September 8, 2008 (EDT)
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Bill, now your post is more to the topic. Thanks. :)

I will heed your advice about being pitched near/under trees.

So a forest setting will not work in my case then.

Thanks for the post.

7:13 p.m. on September 8, 2008 (EDT)
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BeritOlam, thanks for the feedback.

Most of the storms thus far I've camped through were severe Midwest thunderstorms with plenty of winds and rains. This is over a period of years of course. I seek to camp in the worst possible weather, while others flee for shelter! Afterall, that is what camping is all about in my opinion. My ALPS Taurus Outfitter faced 60 mph+ gust from a severe line of storms (last Spring) and made it through, I'm happy :) to report. Tent held up to this squall line.

I always use the guy-lines I pitch my tents. Just a habit I got into.

I feel my TNF VE-25 tent would be the best choice on my part to survive, even enjoy riding out a tropical system. This tent is designed to face the worst possible weather. Afterall it is an expedition tent and used in Anarctica where winds blow in excess of 100 mph! I know Terra-Nova makes some really excellent tents in their factory in the UK.

7:24 p.m. on September 8, 2008 (EDT)
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I know for a fact the deadliest part of an tropical cyclone is the storm surge that accompanieth the same. I realize I will have to pitch the tent on high(er) ground and far enough to avoid the aforementioned storm surge.

As for the actual setting I have been pondering, I've been considering a pine forest. But after reading Bill's post I may have to reconsider that idea.

I'm very aware of the hazards of flying debris/airborne projectiles. Yes I agree I they do pose an real safety issue. I will have to be pitched away from all residencial/commericial areas.

So much to plan on my part. Your points are noted travelnate. Good luck down in the Sunshine State. :) Live well and prosper.

8:50 p.m. on September 8, 2008 (EDT)
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ministercreek said:
"I seek to camp in the worst possible weather"
"As for the actual setting I have been pondering, I've been considering a pine forest. But after reading Bill's post I may have to reconsider that idea."

ministercreek,If you are thinking of anything stronger than Cat. 1, I think you would be a lot better off to put this plan on the shelf until you have experienced a Cat. 4 or 5 hurricane up close and personal in something sturdier than a tent.

If you truly understood what you were up against, you would not have considered staying in a pine forest. What do you think happens to pine trees in a Cat. 3 or above ?

No matter WHERE you pitch your EXPEDITION tent you will probably get blown away in a Cat. 4 wind gust. Hurricane Hugo had wind gusts of 138 MPH. Remember it only takes one!

Please heed everyones wise advise. We would like to have you around when we argue about boots and stuff. HaHa!

8:59 p.m. on September 8, 2008 (EDT)
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Trouthunter, if I may ask thee, what part of the United States are you?

Do you live along the eastern seaboard or Gulf Coast?

Just curious.

Have you experienced any tropical cyclones?

I have to admit one thing about this topic, it's making me do alot of research (online) about tropical cyclones. Storms always did interest me, so this topic is most fascinating for me personally.

Hurricanes/cyclones/tropical cyclones/typhoons are basically a cluster of thunderstorms that are spiraling around an intense low pressure system. The rainbands contain thunderstorms that produce rains, gust and squalls and sometimes tornadoes. Interesting storm. Keep in mind these are just the rainbands that circle around the eye. Wind speeds vary-depending how far from the center of the storm the bands are. Travelnate pointed this out in his post. Thanks Nate!

Oh btw, let's not argue about boots. Let's argue about tents! LOL!

9:34 p.m. on September 8, 2008 (EDT)
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I'd say thick alders (short) would be the best bet as they provide lots of wind protection, but would cause less damage if they blew down that a full sized tree. In Alaska there are huge patches of them and they aren't much bigger than 10 feet. They make a great wind break and believe me it can get windy up there. I'd say a small clearing just big enough that the swaying branches don't rub on you're tent may work. If they get too big though then you run the risk of being crushed if one blows down.

Also, be sure to have a backup plan like being very close to a cave that you know won't flood.

Obviously take all this with a grain of salt as I have no experience with huricanes.

9:42 p.m. on September 8, 2008 (EDT)
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Where I plan to be going the State is covered with long leaf pines. Very common down in Mississppi, which is known for it's Southern pine forest.

I've bicycled through there and seen that for myself.

Beautiful forest to say the least.

9:48 p.m. on September 8, 2008 (EDT)
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I currently live in Charleston SC. (port city)
I rode out Hurricane Hugo in my house 35 miles inland, and that is something I may not ever do again. Even the 36" Southern Pines snapped off about 20' above the ground like toothpicks.
In the Francis Marion National Forest close to my house almost every single pine tree was snapped off, and I mean just plain SNAPPED OFF!
There is still debate as to whether or not a tornado touched down there.
We also have our share of tropical storms, they are not that bad usually, lot of wind and rain but there can still be debris or limbs falling that would penetrate a tent.
Before Charleston we lived on top of the Cumberland Plateau, in TN.
They have a lot of nasty storms there, and the plateau is situated just inside the eastern edge of tornado alley (depending on whose map you look at). We had several tornadoes close-by while we lived there. One missed us by a half mile or so.
There was a lot of Sunday chicken that week thanks to all the huge chicken houses that are located nearby.

p.s. We're already arguing about tents. HaHa!

12:16 p.m. on September 9, 2008 (EDT)
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As long as the topic is hurricanes and storms (well, at least peripherally), here are some current photos -

12:22 p.m. on September 9, 2008 (EDT)
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Trouthunter, thanks for getting back with me.

You live in a nice part of the country. The South is known for it's warm and friendly people. Applied for a Forest Service job down in the Francis Marion National Forest as an General Service and Support Worker some time back. Been to South Carolina once.

Thanks for the info on Hugo. Ohio (my home State) got the remnants of Hugo. I remember that distinctly. It whipped up Lake Erie pretty good. Brought plenty of thick grey clouds, rain and some moderate winds. Enough to cause some rough seas on Lake Erie. People were actually surfing on the Lake! It was quite interesting.

I'll get with you. I'm off to The Maharaja for some eats. Best Indian food in all of Madison Wisconsin! It's around lunchtime here and I'm starving!

12:27 p.m. on September 9, 2008 (EDT)
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Great shots Bill S. Thanks for sharing.

Beautiful storms as viewed from space.

5:20 p.m. on September 9, 2008 (EDT)
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Yes Bill S. thanks for the link.
The pictures were cool.

11:03 p.m. on September 9, 2008 (EDT)
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I have eaten at the Maharaja, when visiting my son in Madison. My son, the atmospheric scientist with a specialization in severe weather (researcher at UWisc), sent me the link to the photos. Thanks to the wonders of modern electronics, when I am driving across the continent, he calls me to let me know about the thunderstorms "about 15 minutes ahead of you, right on the interstate, extending for 7 miles." Nothing like having personalized real-time weather data. He tells me that riding in the P3 through a hurricane is lots of fun. Say, ministercreek, that's what you ought to do - hitch a ride on one of the hurricane penetration planes.

2:43 p.m. on September 10, 2008 (EDT)
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A loop of Ike from today, very high resolution space and time (1 minute intervals), from Young Son, the Atmospheric Scientist (part of one of his research projects) -

8:23 p.m. on September 11, 2008 (EDT)
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Small world it is! Did you eat at the westside Maharaja on Odana Road (near West Towne Mall) or the eastside one on Thier Rd? I had lunch there yesterday. They have an excellent lunch buffet! Plus I always order the chai tea, my favorite!

I like the idea about the hurricane hunter plane.

Thanks for the links to Ike.


11:08 p.m. on September 11, 2008 (EDT)
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Thier Rd. It was not far from my son's apartment (he recently bought a condo, so a bit farther away).

Projected track for Ike takes it to Madison, as a tropical depression, though, not storm. Your rain today was a preliminary test.

11:58 p.m. on September 11, 2008 (EDT)
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the comedian Ron White put it best
"it's not that the wind is blowin',it's what the wind is blowin'"
a piece of sheet metal going 50mph will slice through your tent and your head

3:40 p.m. on September 12, 2008 (EDT)
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A bit OT, but I just started reading "Storm World" a book about hurricane study and forecasting and the debate over global warming. Pretty interesting stuff.

btw, the NOAA site has up to date sat photos of Ike. This is a huge storm. Not the strongest, but it covers hundreds of miles. The flooding and storm surge is what will apparently do most of the damage. There could be 50ft waves in some places, although 20-30ft is more like it. I saw 30 ft and bigger waves in Hawaii a few times and you have no idea how big that really is until you see them in person. They sound like a jet engine. People in Galveston who thought they'd stay are changing their minds after seeing the storm surge building up. It's kind of like taking a sheet of plywood and pushing the water in a small swimming pool ahead of it from one end to the other.

5:48 p.m. on September 12, 2008 (EDT)
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I just heard over the radio that there is a freighter broke down at sea just south of Galveston, a rescue was attempted but not successful. Due to conditions no further attempts are planned.

We've all known for days this was coming, I don't understand the apparent lack of good judgement on someones part.
I expect it won't be the last.

7:35 p.m. on September 15, 2008 (EDT)
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I'm happy to report Bill my new High Peak Flight 2 person tent hath performed wonderfully!

It's been raining here in southern Wisconsin off and on all week. I stayed dry in my tent, seeing I live in the same! :)

12:49 p.m. on September 17, 2008 (EDT)
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If you wanted to try out a tent in tropical storm conditions, you should have pitched it in central Ohio this past Sunday. We just got our power back yesterday due to 70+ mph gusts that knocked down trees, power poles, etc.

I thought about you and this thread when I was standing outside with my kids trying to fly a kite in the wind... :)

6:21 p.m. on September 18, 2008 (EDT)
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Yes, my work partner Ray told me he heard on the news Columbus/central Ohio got hit with the remnants of Hurricane Ike. Lucky you! :)

Ohio is my home State btw. I grew up and was raised in Akron.

I did alot of weekend backpacking in the Wayne National Forest (time restraints you know), mainly in the Marietta District.

Your post brings up memories of my weekend camping adventures at West Branch State Park, especially one cold Winter day in particuliar. The wind was really gusting that afternoon but my Diamond Brand Mountain Home four-season tent held fast! Hardly a flinch even while being buffeted by those 25-30 mph sustained winds in an exposed location!

September 23, 2019
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