What’s your winter tent?
Oct 17, 2022 at 11:18 am #3762096
Looking to do some winter camping and was curious what solo shelter everyone is using. 4-7K ft, below tree line, not during any expected storms. Temps 0-20f, decent snow pack. I currently have:
Duplex, Plex Solo, Notch Li, Big Agnes HVUL 2. Not sure any of these would be suitable though.Oct 17, 2022 at 8:01 pm #3762153
I just picked up an Eldorado for above-treeline use, so that’s probably going to do double-duty as a winter tent for me when conditions are marginal. It’s way, way heavier than my Strat Li, but a bit more livable and easier (for me) to pitch in a pinch. If it looks like storm-free weather, I’ll probably try the Strat. I’m not sure that either are ideal, but they’re what I have in the quiver.Oct 18, 2022 at 9:32 am #3762184
That’s quite a tent. I hate to spend that much money but doubled walled/non mesh is probably a necessity. I wonder if a solid inner for my Notch Li would bridge the gap or just be wasted effort.Oct 18, 2022 at 10:47 am #3762186
You should read the two articles Ryan Jordan posted last winter where he camped under a tarp. If I am not expecting any weather and want to go light, I take my MLD DuoMid. But in the Sierra Nevada in conditions you expect, some of my Sierra Club winter snow camping fellow campers have slept under tarps and even in hammocks.
I think any of the shelters you list would work fine for the conditions you describe. Take the one whose fly comes closest to the ground. A double walled shelter would be a bit warmer and help manage condensation a bit better. When I sleep under my mid I just brush the frozen condensation off in the AM and make sure none of the frozen bits fall on my sleep system.
I would first work on fine tuning your sleep system. You can easily combine two bags to create a winter system, or use a quilt over a mummy. And make sure you have one good winter pad or combine two pads. I sleep cozy on a 25 inch NeoAir xtherm on top of a 1/2 inch closed cell.
One thing to watch for is campsite selection. Cold wind moves downhill at night. And while the ambient temperature might be 15 degrees F, a 3 mph slight breeze three inches off the ground has a material cooling convection effect. Pitching the shelter downslope from a big tree or building a 12 inch high snow wall can be quite helpful.Oct 18, 2022 at 11:26 am #3762188nunatakBPL Member
Bonzo: The Black Diamond/Bibler Eldorado? The stated weight is 2300g. Have you had a chance to verify?Oct 18, 2022 at 1:34 pm #3762197Ken LarsonBPL Member
@kenlarsonLocale: Western MichiganOct 18, 2022 at 2:31 pm #3762201Oct 18, 2022 at 4:46 pm #3762224Mark WetheringtonBPL Member
@markwethLocale: Western Montana
My go-to winter tent is any USFS rental cabin I can reserve ; ) The wood stove with firewood, mattresses, table, chairs, propane stove, and sturdy walls and roof make it hard to beat. And I don’t even have to pack it in!
But in all seriousness, I use a Black Diamond First Light for trips where I will be camping on snow. I’ve also done tarp and bivy combo for cold trips, but where no precipitation is predicted.Oct 18, 2022 at 4:57 pm #3762225
That’s quite a tent. I hate to spend that much money but doubled walled/non mesh is probably a necessity. I wonder if a solid inner for my Notch Li would bridge the gap or just be wasted effort.
In both cases, it’s just what I have on hand…and I got a deal on both as well. I have reservations about the BD and it’s overkill for your conditions, but it’s also the honest answer to your question…and at the price I paid, I couldn’t pass it up. Thus; I’m going to give it a shot…and regardless, I agree that a solid inner on a double wall is very nice to have. For me, it’s an absolute, non-negotiable necessity…but I’m also a pansy.
Bonzo: The Black Diamond/Bibler Eldorado? The stated weight is 2300g. Have you had a chance to verify?
Yes, that’s the one…and no, I haven’t, because it hasn’t been delivered yet. However, I will have it in hand late tomorrow and I’ll throw it on the scale and get as many weights in as many configurations as you like.
Also, I agree that working on the sleep system is a priority.Oct 18, 2022 at 5:05 pm #3762226
Sometimes when I expect wind and perhaps some snow, and am willing to carry the weight penalty, I carry a Hilleberg Atko but it can be kind of cramped inside. For below tree line camping, a Mid is very spacious and you can walk into it with your snow shoes or crampons on. (Just don’t step on the NeoAir.) And when battened down can be rather weather proof.
Another consideration in reference to a shelter, is whether when the weather is bad you want the option to cook inside the vestibule. A Mid comes with its own “vestibule.” Some of the lightest alpine assault tents have no vestibule.
For winter base camping when I am not carrying my kit too far, I take a Slingfin Crossbow 2.Oct 18, 2022 at 5:55 pm #3762237Oct 18, 2022 at 6:16 pm #3762239
Some of the lightest alpine assault tents have no vestibule.
And my reasonably-heavy one doesn’t have a vestibule, either. 🤣
I thought about a mid, myself, several times…but every time I stick my head inside one, it seems deceptively small on the inside compared to what I was expecting. The Strat has the same effect; I think it’s due to the angle of the walls, or something. Maybe that’s why I’m thinking on single-wall shelters; what you see is what you get. 🤔Oct 18, 2022 at 10:58 pm #3762264
@ Bonzo. Yes Mids are not everyone’s cup of tea. When we get snow in the Sierra Nevada, usually you can dig down a bit and create even more room inside a mid
And back to the original question, I think for anyone’s first snow camping experience below tree line when there is no precip or wind forecast/expected with night temps above 0 F, they can get by with a well pitched 3 season shelter that has a reasonable rain fly coverage. Other investments (or borrowed gear) will have bigger payoff: reliable stove that melts snow quickly, sleeping system, footwear, kit for travel over snow, etc.Oct 19, 2022 at 7:17 am #3762277
I think for anyone’s first snow camping experience below tree line when there is no precip or wind forecast/expected with night temps above 0 F, they can get by with a well pitched 3 season shelter that has a reasonable rain fly coverage. Other investments (or borrowed gear) will have bigger payoff: reliable stove that melts snow quickly, sleeping system, footwear, kit for travel over snow, etc.
Couldn’t agree more; that’s a perfect and succinct way to put it…and a lesson that I had to learn the hard way. My first winter camping experience was in those exact conditions: 3-season tent, decent fly/vesty, good stove, etc. We were below treeline in conditions that were above 0°F, but my sleeping system and footwear turned out to be a bit lacking when a cold snap hit us, coupled with a moderate snowstorm. 24-ish” of snow overnight, heavy wind, temps at -9°F, and I was cold. Bag was rated for 20°F, and I didn’t have the layers I needed for safety and comfort. The hike out, next morning, was not fun; snowshoes – or even better gaiters – would have made it much better. So yeah…definitely invest in the warmy bits and not just the sheltery bits.Oct 19, 2022 at 10:40 am #3762290
@ Brad Looks like Ryan Jordan took his Notch Li snow camping in 2020.Oct 19, 2022 at 2:12 pm #3762300dirtbagBPL Member
last winter, Pharaoh Mt in the Adirondack Mountains. Temps hit near 15 below O degrees Fahrenheit. I was toasty warm and cozy all night.Oct 19, 2022 at 3:45 pm #3762308Monte MastersonBPL Member
@septimiusLocale: Southern Indiana
This is my winter tent. Silnylon Solomid staked directly to the ground. Pitched in such manner it takes away some interior space, but I don’t use an innernet in colder temps, so at 5′ 10″ I find it plenty big enough. I know many would disagree and opt for the Solomid XL or Duomid instead, however, as Ryan stated in his recent thread/podcast about shelters in windy conditions, the taller the tent the bigger the wind catcher it becomes. This mid weighs 14 oz without stakes and lines. Handles strong winds and moderate snow loads like a champ. The simple solution is the best.
And it’s stupid simple and quick to set up.Oct 19, 2022 at 4:30 pm #3762310Monte MastersonBPL Member
@septimiusLocale: Southern Indiana
Another honorable mention is the TT Moment DW. With both poles (carbon) it weighs around 2 lbs 12 oz (packed weight). And when you combine the 30D silnylon 6.6 fly and its lower profile tunnel design, the Moment is bomber in just about any conditions. Of course the solid inner is also available for winter backpacking.
Far cheaper than Hilleberg and probably about as good (well, almost).Oct 19, 2022 at 7:09 pm #3762317
For reference and by request: the as-shipped weight of a Bibler/BD Eldorado. This is fresh out of the box, packed from the factory. Haven’t even removed the tags yet.
Edit: removing the instruction manual, secondary instruction manual, extra clips, plastic syringe – 🤔 – and plastic bag containing all of the above reduces the weight to 2172g. Six aluminum Y-stakes are included, at 12g each…so the tent itself (including guy lines) is exactly 2100g, or 4.629708 Roosevelts, for those in the United States, Myanmar and Liberia.Oct 20, 2022 at 10:28 pm #3762396Chris KBPL Member
Dirtbag – which bivy is that?Oct 21, 2022 at 4:47 am #3762402dirtbagBPL Member
MLD event Soul bivyOct 21, 2022 at 11:38 am #3762430Philip TschersichBPL Member
@philip-akLocale: Kodiak Alaska
I’m always surprised by the lack of interest in hot tents. They completely transform a long cold night into a cozy experience where you can dry any damp gear and hang out in comfort and read or just tend the fire until bedtime. You can add a minimalist stove jack to many types of single-wall shelters with minimal sewing skills or just buy something off the shelf from Seek Outside. The stoves pack down small and as long as you don’t go crazy on pipe length, are surprisingly light. You can get away with an UL saw as the only wood prep if you just use branches or brush.Oct 22, 2022 at 1:27 pm #3762513R LSpectator
@slip-knotLocale: SF Bay Area, East Bay
Nothing wrong with Mid’s. Pharaoh’s have been sleeping under them for a while now.Oct 22, 2022 at 3:18 pm #3762515
Nothing wrong with Mid’s. Pharaoh’s have been sleeping under them for a while now.
Yeah, but those take a long time to set up…and people always just come and take all of your stuff while you’re napping.Oct 26, 2022 at 11:58 am #3762912
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