If you snowcamp, what tent do you use? | High Sierra Topix  

If you snowcamp, what tent do you use?

Share your advice and personal experiences, post a gear review or ask any questions you may have pertaining to outdoor gear and equipment.

Postby wingding » Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:25 pm

Yes, hikerduane - I do need to get out for an overnighter in the snow. I keep thinking about a trip to Sequoia to camp out at one of the Lakes on the Lakes Trail. Maybe that will be my President's Day Weekend trip.



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Postby Randonnee » Tue Jan 10, 2006 7:57 am

For years I used the North Face VE-24. I still have it but find that it is too heavy too carry. My winter preference is a snow cave, it is warmer and requires carrying less gear.

However I do have a Black Diamond Megamid that I pitch using my ski poles, it is light weight, sets up quick and easy. For easy winter comfort I am sold on it. We have put 4 adults in it with room for gear storage and cooking.
"The distinguishing mark of true adventures, is that it is often no fun at all while they are actually happening." ? Kim Stanley Robinson
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Postby hikerduane » Tue Jan 10, 2006 6:39 pm

Trailblazer, I'm a member over there, I'll nose around some. I was checking out TT last night. Thank you all.

With my back, I hate to dig too much when I am supposed to be having fun. I get enough exercise at home after a snow storm, like last year in Jan. Every weekend for three weeks straight, blowing and shoveling paths and decks. I have considered a little the tarp approach.
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Postby earthwalker » Wed Jan 11, 2006 4:58 pm

I've used a Bibler Eldorado for 3 winters now. It's only used in winter, the rest of the time I use a TarpTent Squall2. The Eldo is bombproof, basically. Very easy to setup even in a blizzard, just stake down one corner (I use my ice axe) throw all your gear inside and crawl in and zip the door closed except at the bottom and erect the poles from inside. OK, setting it up from the inside isn't really EASY, but it's easier than setting up from the outside during a storm. The tent is spacious for one person and very cramped for two. I camped last year at Rock Creek with 2-up and it was a little too cozy for both of us. The tent has a very small footprint. I pitched in the middle of the SEKI Lakes Trail when I had punched fresh powder as much as I could stand for one day. I have camped in Oregon's Wallowas when it rained for days and I've never had any condensation problems. The tent has very good ventilation, just be sure to leave the top of the doors open (I have the 2-door). After 3 winters and 1 summer (it was my only tent the first year) I have had zero problems. There are no tears or holes or rips anywhere.

Now, after giving the Bibler sales pitch, I want to say that for snow camping I am very impressed with my buddy's MegaMid. It weighs less and for 1 or 2 people easy to pitch. If you want more room, even enough to stand up in, you can do all the snow shovelling to build you a palace inside but when he has done this, I just sit there and watch him work. I would have to have a base camp for days before I did all that shovelling. The MegaMid has stood up to the same weather that my Eldo has and for about half the cost. I'm thinking about getting one just for ski touring. Can't have too many tents, right?
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Postby hikerduane » Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:56 pm

The Bibler tents are at the top of my list. The I and the Eldorado. A lady who is part of the group I have bped with has a Eldorado I think it is. I'm not in a big hurry which will give me time to sort thru all the options out there. I have the original Squall which I even used snowcamping last Spring in Desolation when about 8 of us went in for 2-3 nights.
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Postby StumbleBum » Thu Jan 12, 2006 6:02 pm

I use the Integral Designs MK 1 for all seasons. I've been very happy with it. It's advertised as a 2 person, but I use it as a solo tent.

- quick to setup/take down.
- stable in winds.
- have had no condensation problems.
- well constructed and good materials.
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Postby SteveM » Fri Jan 13, 2006 7:54 am

Duane,

On New Years Eve weekend, I did a test on the Hilleberg Nallo 2. I found no bad reviews on it anywhere. Since it's now under 4lbs and $386 directly from Hilleberg, you may consider looking at it. It's a whole heck of a lot bigger than the akto, but not much more weight. For the extra ounces, it may be something to look at.

The link to my review is below. Don't know if it will work, but you can always cut and paste. I found no bad reviews anywhere on this tent.

http://www.summitpost.org/show/mread.pl?f_id=27&t_id=13932

Also, there's a storm coming our way this weekend. I'm going to take it out again and put it out in the open to get as much of the elements I can possibly get. Hopefully a little more snow.

I'll be adding to my previous review when I get back on Monday.
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Postby hikerduane » Fri Jan 13, 2006 10:38 pm

Sitting at home, by the woodstove is one thing when you think a small, really light shelter will be find and another when you actually are in it, in damp or extreme conditions. Nice review, sounds like you fiddled with the tent enough to tweek it to function properly. I like the free standing Biblers, but they lack the vestibule. The Hilleberg tents are lighter, cheaper, and have more room or storage. A month ago now, the night a group of us stayed by Lake Winnemucca, we received 2' of snow. A good test for everything and everybody.

Well, like I said, I have time, especially now. I just got a WM Apache SMF, regular, 15 degree bag, it should come in around 2 lbs. 1 oz. or 2.:) It weights as much as my first down bag, a TNF Lightrider, 35 degree, down bag which has lost alot of loft, it may just need to be washed.
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Postby SteveM » Sat Jan 14, 2006 8:44 am

Good choice on the WM bag. I'll be in the market for one this year. I've been eyeing some WM bags

I'm moving to Colorado in about 6 months. Just bought a house with some acreage at the 9000ft level, so trying out new gear in extreme conditions should be as easy as setting up in the driveway.

I've been searching the net for quite some time for as many reviews on Tents, bags and possibly a little heavier duty (cold rating) pad that I could get. I was very interested in the Eldorado (and an Integral Design Tent). I love free standing tents. And, it sounds great to be able to hop inside and set it up when the weather is a little excessive. I just came across a whole lot of negative reviews on the condensation problems. Which, may just be the fault of the users.

Adding another 1 1/2 lbs or thereabouts for a vestibule, turns it into a not-so-light tent. All said, though, if I had the chance to play around with one of them in some storms without having to buy the thing, I'd jump on it. I don't really enjoy removing those snow anchors after things have frozen.

Well, I'm heading out to mess around with the Nallo again. Hopefully, with a little more experience with it, I get some even better results.
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Postby hikerduane » Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:50 am

My brother and sister-in-law live in CO, they moved a year ago from Lakewood to Grand Junction.

I have a number of WM bags now. I am thinking of washing and then selling my 2 year old Caribou long and getting a warmer Megalite to handle the cooler temps I have run into in late Spring and late Summer. For that matter, the whole Summer also.

I have a Exped DAM which I don't use too much, it is heavy and takes forever to inflate with the stuff sack/pump partly due to trying to keep it in the tent while inflating. On the trip into Lake Winnemucca, I only had it and no additonal pad to sleep on. I stayed warm and felt no cold from underneath. I usually bring 2 pads of some kind for snow camping, but wanted to cut down on the bulk this time.
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Postby SteveM » Mon Jan 16, 2006 2:55 pm

Hiker Duane,
Just wanted to let you know the outcome of the Nallo 2 this weekend. I added to my last review. Didn't have quite the luck with condensation this time. I'm starting to believe that there isnt a tent that doesnt form ice. But, I'll keep looking

http://www.summitpost.org/show/mread.pl?f_id=27&t_id=13932

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Postby hikerduane » Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:21 pm

SteveM, thank you for the additional report. Kind of makes you think, what the heck will work?. You said it was vented too. I guess if conditions are right, not much you can do. Even my Squall had bad condensation one night that had no wind but I am guessing, high humidity after a light storm had come thru. I was told by others and HS himself to pull the beek back. How many stakes does the Nallo 2 require and what exactly was the problem setting it up?
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