Apr 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm #1257213
@bleanLocale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Which tent would be the lightest acceptable for a canoe trip in northern Canada — north of the tree line? The issues I see are:
* high winds that can last for days
* for various reasons will get pitched on places like a gravel bar or even exposed granite.
I cannot see waiting out a multiple-day storm in a bivy sack. I've never been there, but from the pictures of trips that do go there it looks like the tent would probably need to be free-standing.
The traditional solution is a multiple-pounds expedition-rated free-standing dome tent. I'd like to see how much that weight can be (safely) cut.
–MVApr 1, 2010 at 5:38 pm #1593356
@biointegraLocale: Puget Sound
It's not freestanding, but I would consider a Hilleberg Kaitum. The huge dual vestibules make it a very livable tent. See the review here on BPL.Apr 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm #1593357
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
"High winds that can last for days."
Never camped in the Arctic, but just that alone will eliminate UL tarptents for me — not just for structural reasons (some of Henry's newer designs can withstand pretty good blows) — but also to minimize constant draft blowing across my face all through the night.
Maybe a Hilleberg Soulo?Apr 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm #1593368
+1 for Hilleberg. I spent two months in the summer of 2005 in a Hilleberg Saivo canoeing from Hudson Bay. Absolutely bombproof and the best tent I have ever been in.Apr 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm #1593371
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
When the 1983 American expedition on Mount Everest was preparing to go up the west ridge, they knew that high wind would be a problem, so they had custom tents designed to withstand 140 mph wind. When they got up on the west ridge, 15 out of 18 of those tents were destroyed by wind.
Kind of scary, isn't it? It was even very windy down at base camp on the Nepal side.
–B.G.–Apr 1, 2010 at 7:47 pm #1593401
@richardglyonLocale: Bridger Mountains
I bought my Unna from Peter Vacco, veteran Arctic trekker (and occasional BGT contributor). It not only looks like new (almost), it's taken several more years of hard Rockies weather. Great tent, and it's made me an enthusiastic Hilleberg supporter.Apr 1, 2010 at 8:15 pm #1593407
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"The traditional solution is a multiple-pounds expedition-rated free-standing dome tent. I'd like to see how much that weight can be (safely) cut."
The Integral Designs Mark 1, or Mark 1 XL if you are tall, are both very wind resistant free standing tents. They were originally designed for high altitude mountaineering.
The Mark 1 weighs ~ 3# 12 oz and the XL is somewhere around 4# 10 oz. I used a Mark 1 for years. Great tent. Only downside is no vestibule.Apr 1, 2010 at 9:06 pm #1593417
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
For SAFETY I'd get a Hilleberg tent, either dome or tunnel W/ 2 vestibules.Apr 1, 2010 at 9:32 pm #1593421
@umnakLocale: Southeast Alaska
We've used pyramid tents in the high Canadian arctic, Baffin and Greenland. The design has also been used on polar trips. I think you would be fine with some tie outs on the side for extra stability and a bug bivy or hanging net for the no-see-ums. Rocks for securing the pyramid will be in great supply, and you can use your canoe paddles joined together with velcro as the center pole. I don't think really need a stand alone tent. Our Oware 9×9 weighs 26 ounces. Take a look at the Arctic 1000 trip report somewhere on BPL and http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org for what a pyramid can withstand.
This in more docile climes here in Southeast Alaska.Apr 1, 2010 at 9:40 pm #1593424
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Bob Gross wrote: "When the 1983 American expedition on Mount Everest was preparing to go up the west ridge, they knew that high wind would be a problem, so they had custom tents designed to withstand 140 mph wind. When they got up on the west ridge, 15 out of 18 of those tents were destroyed by wind."
I watched a documentary on climbing Everest and I will never forget a scene that showed a fixed camera view of a tent in the wind high on the mountain. It brought home the unrelenting force of the wind and filled me with fear for the poor devils waiting out the storm inside the tent. Any thought of sleeping with that going on would be futile. How the tent withstood it all is amazing.Apr 1, 2010 at 9:56 pm #1593427
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Bring back the Whillans Box Tent.
Not exactly ultralight.
–B.G.–Apr 1, 2010 at 10:58 pm #1593439
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
May I offer:
Australian-made Antarctic expedition tent currently in use.
Guy ropes are (I believe) 6 mm. Corner poles are (I believe) 60 mm.
CheersApr 2, 2010 at 5:15 am #1593470
+1 to Roger. I was waiting for that photo to come up (again).Apr 2, 2010 at 6:15 am #1593483
@tallblokeLocale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
"Corner poles are (I believe) 60 mm."
Sounds like scaffolding tube. :-)Apr 2, 2010 at 7:45 am #1593499
That ain't silnylon!Apr 2, 2010 at 7:51 am #1593501
Thread drift –
David, is your avatar Papago?Apr 2, 2010 at 8:32 am #1593516
Greg – no, it's actually a tidal cliff off the coast of Vancouver Island. Things got very interesting after I got down.Apr 2, 2010 at 8:39 am #1593517
Thanks David. Just wondering. Glad you survived.
Drift Over.Apr 2, 2010 at 10:39 am #1593546
hilleberg ftwApr 2, 2010 at 5:37 pm #1593673
I used a Tarptent Squall on my Alaska Traverse, and it worked fine. I tend to avoid exposed gravel bars when possible. In windy country the wind can slam some lightweight shelters too hard if set up on open gravel bars. Usually I was setting up in spots with good drainage and protected by willows. A thick stand of willows or a cutbank upwind makes a huge difference with wind. If I had to leave soon on such a trip, I'd probably bring my Lunar Solo. If you must set up in exposed places, you'll probably want a beefier shelter. You'll definitely want a screened shelter in either case.Apr 4, 2010 at 8:37 am #1594078
I would recommend a hilleberg as well, but avoid the tunnel tents. They are great for winter around the arctic, but are simply a pain in the a** for any other time. Freestanding is the way to go. I live in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, and all we got is rock around here – soil is very hard to come by. If you are anywhere in this area, or further north, you will for the most part be camping on rock. Having to find heavy loose rocks, or other suitable items to hold up a tunnel tent is both time consuming and frustrating. I made that mistake once for a multi-week canoe trip around Great Slave lake, and lesson learned.Apr 4, 2010 at 10:36 am #1594098
@mountainwalkerLocale: SF Bay Area & New England
+1 Nicholas on a Hilleberg dome tent.
If you are canoeing and not doing a lot of portaging, weight isn't going to matter as much – so don't try cutting lots of weight at the expense of safety, sturdiness, comfort and ease of use.
On the lighter end for 2 you could go with a Hilleberg Allak. Very popular design with 2 doors, 6 lbs 6 oz. My wife and I chose it as our winter tent over tunnel designs – one very gusty winter night we were the only ones in our group who had any peace and sleep – no noisy wind flap or deflection. Easier to keep warmer inside temp as well. For an even lower wind profile than the Allak, the Hilleberg Jannu, which has one door but similar square footage. Some people even use these as single shelters in winter or on expeditions when the weight doesn't matter as much (towing a pulk, kayaking, canoeing).
You can double up the poles or use heavier poles for extra strength, or, for even stronger tent fabric, you could go with the heavier Hilleberg dome tents with their heavier poles – just check out the Hilleberg website for the strongest winter domes.Apr 4, 2010 at 5:47 pm #1594183
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> but avoid the tunnel tents. They are great for winter around the arctic, but
> are simply a pain in the a** for any other time.
Why do you say this? We love our tunnel tents – winter and summer.
Apr 5, 2010 at 8:05 am #1594365
@vigilguyLocale: Northern Utah
I also personally use a Hilleberg Kaitum 3 and an Akto, and actually prefer tunnel tents where we go, in the Wind River Range of Wyoming.
They set up fast and have an excellent space to weight ratio.
Whether it is a tunnel or a dome, they still have to be staked out/guyed out so they do not become airborne in a wind storm, don't they?Apr 5, 2010 at 8:10 am #1594366
@Roger and Nicholas: I think the comment was related to the ground Nicholas is experiencing. If I couldn't stake something, I'd want a dome-type tent. The Saivo I referenced above easily supports itself when the only thing on the guy lines is rocks.
Also, I'm a big fan of Hilleberg dividing their tents into free-standing and self-supporting categories. Freestanding tents are those than the entire tent, including the vestibule, do not require staking. Self-supporting tents require staking of the vestibules.
Finally, I have no experience with Hilleberg tunnel tents.
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