- Oct 28, 2019 at 3:58 am #3616125lisa rBPL Member
I’d like have the option of turning my backcountry xc ski days into overnighters. I’m in the PNW where snow tends to be pretty wet and heavy. I could make do with my MSR Freelite if the weather is dry, but I don’t imagine it’ll stay standing under a few inches of PNW snow. I’ve done some preliminary research into 4-season tents and have been surprised by what I’m seeing (some crazy prices, some tents that aren’t waterproof). Before I kill hours and hours of googling, thought I’d look here for some recommendations to get me started. What I’m looking for is something pretty light, a little roomier than a typical UL 1-person (for backpacking I use a 2-person because I like the extra space), and will stand up under several inches of snow (but if forecast calls for 6+ I’d probably stay home). I’m not too worried about wind and blowing snow since this is more for below treeline use. And cheaper is better.
Thanks!Oct 28, 2019 at 4:48 am #3616128
Have you ever experienced a ‘hot tent’ (tent with a wood-heating stove)? If you aren’t a total UL freak, they can totally revolutionize your long, cold winter nights backpacking experience. It may be too much of a departure from you current query, but boy they can magically turn marginal conditions into downright pleasant ones.Oct 28, 2019 at 2:04 pm #3616144James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
In the winter, UL backpacking is likely not possible in the northern sections of the USA. But, the same philosophy can be used, of course. A winter tent to shed snow loads would likely be your best option. Back when I was doing a lot of ice fishing, I would often go out with my brother and use a small SVEA stove set to a simmer (with a fair ventilation scheme) in an old Pup Tent which we covered with a sheet of plastic. We were often at or below 0F temps. Anyway…
A tent with rather steep walls (like the pyramid shown above) works well. However, the doors and edges can become compressed with snow sliding down the roof. I preffered a rather square doorway to get out of the tent a little easier.Oct 28, 2019 at 2:17 pm #3616145
Phillip Tschersich, what brand tepee and stove are you using?
GREAT photo!Oct 28, 2019 at 3:49 pm #3616156
I put a size small Ti Goat WiFi in a MLD Silnylon Supermid by sewing in a stove jack. I did the same for my buddy Brooks and that’s actually his pic. I also have a cuben Seek Outside Redcliff.Oct 28, 2019 at 4:34 pm #3616163Michael SirofchuckBPL Member
@mr_squishyLocale: Great Wet North
I’ve camped with Philip and Brooks and a woodstove in a mid is the way to go. I have a Black Diamond Mega Light with a stove jack that is perfect for two people. Even without a wood stove, a mid is the way to go in snow. You can shape your inside with sleeping platforms, stove platforms, aisles, etc.Oct 28, 2019 at 4:44 pm #3616164Jenny ABPL Member
@jenniferaLocale: Front Range
If you are willing to tow a sled, weight is not such an issue and your options open up for shelters.Oct 28, 2019 at 6:57 pm #3616177
I put a size small Ti Goat WiFi in a MLD Silnylon Supermid by sewing in a stove jack. I did the same for my buddy Brooks and that’s actually his pic. I also have a cuben Seek Outside Redcliff.
From what I can tell, Ti Goat stoves are no longer available…
You click here:
And it redirects you here:
And it’s an empty page. Too bad.
I discovered this a few weeks ago thinking about using a Ti Goat stove with this tepee:Oct 28, 2019 at 7:10 pm #3616178Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Seek Outside for the stove?Oct 28, 2019 at 8:12 pm #3616183
The founder of Ti Goat passed away recently and it was unclear if someone would take over production. Seek Outside does make stoves but the Ti Goat WiFi stoves were lighter and there were a few other design considerations that made most of us here in Kodiak go with TG. SO is apparently in the process of reintroducing a model that sort of splits the difference between their current box stoves and the continuous-wall style of the TG WiFi. But I guess titanium foil is hard to come by right now so I wonder if that is why stove production seems kind of on its lips these days. Hopefully SO can take up the slack on the lightest end of the market.
OP: sorry for the thread drift.Oct 28, 2019 at 9:00 pm #3616193
Sounds to me that Lisa is thinking of one or two nights at a time and by herself as well as beign concerned about the cost.
For that I would not suggest a tipi/stove set up for the weight, set up time and bother to collect wood and prepar it to be burnt.
yes I know that is part of the fun on long winter nights but for one individual and a night or two ?Oct 28, 2019 at 9:14 pm #3616211
You are probably right. Despite the added safety and comfort it does introduce a bunch of peripheral gear and faffing. A small free-standing mountaineering tent like the Black Diamond Firstlight is probably the way to go.Oct 28, 2019 at 9:47 pm #3616219
Lisa did make, indirectly, a comment about that tent… (Firstlight)
(my guess)Oct 28, 2019 at 9:51 pm #3616222
She mentioned her MSR Freelight, but I must have missed the Firstlight reference… ?
Anyway, I sometimes get annoyed by the copious thread drift on this site and now have to apologize for my contribution to it, lol.Oct 28, 2019 at 10:38 pm #3616248Dan DurstonBPL Member
@dandydanLocale: Canadian Rockies
Once you start talking about hot tents it’s hard not to keep that going. I’m a tad biased but I use one the fly from one of my X-Mid tents with a TiGoat cylinder stove for a combo that is ~2.5 lbs. Compared to a mid it has steeper walls so you get better snow shedding and you lose less space as snow piles up around the sides, plus quite a bit more headroom.Oct 28, 2019 at 10:49 pm #3616250
Lisa said MSR “Freelight” not Black Diamond “Firstlight”…
As to “thread drift, it’s normal in daily life for conversation to wander, and is no different on a thread. Personally I see no need for an apology.
Aside, I used a BD Firstlight for years, it’s a good solo winter shelter.Oct 29, 2019 at 12:28 am #3616260
NMOct 29, 2019 at 2:07 am #3616280
Back to the original question.
So you want to overnight on winter XC ski tours in the Pacific NW and camp well below tree line for short trips when no serious storms are forecast.
Well for your first outing, you could just use your three season tent.
Many ski tourers in Northern California use pyramid style tents from Black Diamond or Mountain Laurel Designs which can be erected quickly, and if properly staked out, can stand up to wind and a snow load. If you are concerned about windblown snow, you can have MLD add a snow skirt or buy one from MSR with a snow skirt built in such as the MSR Twin Sisters.
I would save your decision about a tent with a stove inside until the second or third season when you have decided you really want a heated tent.
BTW If you have not camped in the snow before, you might want to check out your local Sierra Club or Mountaineers chapter for a snow camping class to learn how to make deadmen to anchor you tent or shelter, snow caves, snow kitchens, hot water bottles out of Nalgene or other containers, melt snow for cooking etc. I think the camping sections in Allen and Mike’s Really Cool Backcountry Ski Book by Allen O`Bannon, Falcon Books are an excellent first place to start if you want a reading recommendation.
Cheers!Oct 29, 2019 at 3:06 am #3616295lisa rBPL Member
Thanks for all the thoughts. I’m not looking for a set up with a stove, though that does sound nice and cozy. It’s correct that I’m looking for something simple for a one, maybe two nighter, solo outing below treeline. I’ve had the unpleasant experience of waking up with a tent collapsed on my face from snow and have some anxiety about that happening again (and weather-related tent failure in general). I’ve used my current MSR tent on a couple snow outings and it’s fine, but given that clear skies in winter here aren’t super typical I thought I’d poke around to see what options are out there that could better handle some snow load. I’ll look up the few stove-free options mentioned above. Thanks.Oct 29, 2019 at 4:52 am #3616312
Given that 4 season tents are not cheap, and you are travelling on skis and probably want to go light, a pyramid is worth a look. I have found all I need to do is stomp out a flat place, let the snow sinter/freeze, then pitch the mid with my deadmen. Here is one method to pitch a pyramid for ski touring or snow camping.Oct 29, 2019 at 2:29 pm #3616328Stan BBPL Member
Have you considered using a hammock? I have a duomid for summer camping that I may try this winter, but I’ve enjoyed the hammock for the last few years when winter camping.Oct 29, 2019 at 2:47 pm #3616330Matt DirksenBPL Member
@namelesswayLocale: Mid Atlantic
You might find some ideas in this thread from a few years ago:Oct 29, 2019 at 3:34 pm #3616338Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
MSR Twin Sisters? There are other similar tents that may be lighter and cheaper, but this one has a snow skirt. I’ve used a similarly designed (sans snow skirt) Golite Shangra-la 2 in snow and wind (though not at the same time) and it did OK.Oct 30, 2019 at 1:27 am #3616434
Just to be clear, I was not recommending the Twin Sisters, just stating that such things existed. I have been perfectly happy using my stock MLD DuoMid for winter snow camping in Northern California. When I expect a biggish storm, I take my 4 season double walled dome tent,
CheersOct 30, 2019 at 6:10 pm #3616539Brian HorstBPL Member
Adventure Alan just posted a review of the SlingFin Portal, which appears to be right along the lines of what you’re looking for. Big Sky International also has several options that would seem to work for you, particularly the Chinook 1Plus (search for the review by SectionHiker). I use Chinook 2P for winter and really like it.
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