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 Post subject: Tent floors
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:04 pm 
I have heard that tents without built-in floors are safer in bear country because if a bear collapses your tent you won't be trapped inside it. I understand how ridiculously rare bear attacks are, so let's not dwell upon that. Tents with a floor can also accumulate condensation that puddles on the floor. Another advantage is weight savings, I suppose.

Disadvantages that come to mind include sealing the tent against insects- mosquitos in Alaska come to mind, associated as they are with "bear country." Also I cannot escape my visions of a gust of wind working its way under the tent edge and lifting the thing into the stratosphere like a giant parasail. (This would be a valid worry when camping on an exposed shoreline.) Of course a final disadvantage is that you are sleeping on uncovered ground that can turn into a muddy mess, but as long as you don't camp many days in one spot and use a mattress or cot I don't think this is a very big problem.

As an example check out http://www.kifaru.net/TIPI.HTM, which is a (very expensive) floorless tent that I have been keeping in mind, that can even be fitted with a packable wood burning stove. Since longer expeditions are my interest I kind of like the large space and the stove. I even currently have a Kelly Kettle so I can boil water to my heart's content without having to haul liters of fuel around with me.

Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Tent floors
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 5:55 pm 
acrosome wrote:
I cannot escape my visions of a gust of wind working its way under the tent edge and lifting the thing into the stratosphere like a giant parasail.

My finding is that the average tent fly (the reason for the name? :) ) will catch significant gusts to launch the tent into the stratosphere, regardless of the tent having a floor or not. -The important thing is to make sure the tent is properly secured, -either staked down or the guide lines weighted down with rocks or tied off to roots of trees or shrubs.

I've also thought about the bear collapsing the tent scenario, but then the bear attacking me while I'm in my bag is just as bothersome. Like you, I don't get overwhelmed with it, just take precautions such as keeping food well away from the sleeping area.

I often sleep in the open without a tent if I feel little chance for weather or I have enough cover to offer a little privicy.
I almost bought a basic shelter from REI that only required a trekking pole for support. -but then I got the REI "Quarter Dome" for a great price. (Speaking of floors, I found the Quarter Domes floor too thin for my liking, so I bought the foot print as well.) This tent is great for back packing, bicycle touring and of course kayaking. It wouldn't be a great choice if you wanted to spread out inside.

Of course in Alaska and many parts of Canada, the mosquitos can literally eat you alive. I think I'd prefer the complete enclosure in these locals. :?

Quote:
...I even currently have a Kelly Kettle so I can boil water to my heart's content without having to haul liters of fuel around with me.


Is this the wood burning kettle that has a flu up the middle and is suppose to be so efficient? It looks great, but unfortunately I could see how fuel restrictions/limitations could be an issue. And not exactly the kind of thing you want inside a polyester tent. Your thoughts?

Regards,

Andreas


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:02 pm
Posts: 1035
Location: Astoria, OR
acrosome,

I used a self-designed tent that had a small gap separating an integral groundsheet for several years when I was a high country backpacker. It was a single-wall, very lightweight design, and it kept the bugs out pretty well, with bug screening over the entry and slopping onto the ground.

IIRC, Black Diamond sells some high-end variations on this. If you use a separate groundsheet, this might be a good way to go -- even in a rainstorm, savyy tent site choosing will keep you dry underneath, and if not, the usual self-inflating pads will keep the sleeping bag dry. With dry bags galore, there's no reason for anything else important to get wet.

Go for it!

_________________
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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 Post subject: Re: Tent floors
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:00 pm 
acrosome wrote:
As an example check out http://www.kifaru.net/TIPI.HTM, which is a (very expensive) floorless tent that I have been keeping in mind, that can even be fitted with a packable wood burning stove. Since longer expeditions are my interest I kind of like the large space and the stove. I even currently have a Kelly Kettle so I can boil water to my heart's content without having to haul liters of fuel around with me.


Something is wrong with this Tipi picture. They have a lawn chair inside, and bulky wood-burning stove, not to mention the funnel. This wouldn't work for hiking, and I hate bringing items that bulky on multiday kayaking wilderness trips, - even if it would've been be nice using them. But as they are not really necessary and can be replaced with smaller and lighter items, I go for smaller and lighter. Excessive airline luggage costs arm and leg, and any transportation becomes more difficult with bulky luggage, not to mention the limitations of kayak capacity (and you'll have to drag it all ashore and then back on every camp).

Speaking of stoves (perhaps an offtopic here); I'm carrying Sierra Zipp stove (wood-burning) http://www.zzstove.com/sierra.html as a backup for Propane Primus Easyfuel stove http://www.familyonboard.com/CAMPINGSTO ... ORIES.html (4th from the top). It is actually a Butane stove, but I've retrofitted the reductor with Coleman to accept more widely available Propane canisters (by Coleman and other, - and there are long and narrow ones from welding aisles, size of a vine bottle, I think not by Coleman). With a proper windscreen one canister is enough for 3-5 days - if you don't do anything fancy requiring hours of simmering or boiling. It is so much easier to use a Propane or Butane or any other LPG stove, than wood-burning stove. This Primus stove lives in a GSI boiler http://www.rei.com/product/47792674.htm , size 4.75 (d) x 4.5 (h) inches (with the stove inside the cup is in slightly raised position, so it is about 5" high altogether). Very compact. The 16 oz (500 ml) cup I'm using as a tea kettle (with lid), so it doesn't get greasy. 500 ml is plenty for one person, and more hot water will get cold before you've consumed it. Any tea or coffe gets cold outdoors very fast, if you don't use some insulated mug with lid (REI has some, but I'm using one from MEC - shorter, about 8 oz). LPG fuel is less economical than liquid, speaking of weight/calories ratio, but you only need 3 Propane canisters for 2-week trip. For very low temperatures liquid fuels will be better, but I don't camp with a kayak in temperatures near or below zero C.

Back to "real outbacker's stove" - wood-burning stove. It needs more open space than regular tent allows. Sparks may fly in any diretions, with or without floor, and smoke will not make you happy in the tent (again, I don't see myself carrying several foot of funnel pipe sections in a kayak). Wood-burning Sierra needs some tarp outside the tent, but will work fine without any tarp as well. Having kitchen separate from the tent is better for other reasons as well. When I'm too lazy or tired to make a tarp kitchen, and it rains, I'm using a Propane stove under the wing of my tent fly - though this is a bit dangerous, and I wouldn't do this with Sierra. I don't use and don't carry stainless cookset and windscreen that comes with Sierra, - both because don't need more pans than GSI, and to save another pound of weight and some bulk.


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 Post subject: Kifaru Stove
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:58 pm 
You need to look at that Kifaru website again and click the link for more information about the stove. The pipe rolls into a 14-inch long tube, all one piece. There are no pipe "sections" to lug around. The small stove weighs about 3.5 pounds; the larger stoves weigh more, of course. It's primary purpose isn't cooking, but rather heating. (You can cook on it, though.) It is meant for longer-term camping in cold weather. For as much as they cost it had better be a good product, and from their description it sounds like one. I have never handled one, of course.

That said, I do have a multifuel stove, as well as an ultralight isopropane stove.

Earlier questions...

I have an REI Half-Dome tent that I love. For the price it is excellent (and has a floor). It was some outdoor magazine's tent of the year a while ago or something, IIRC. It's only a 3-season tent, but it isn't terribly heavy and was dirt cheap (I got it on sale at the REI in Seattle).

Yes, the Kelly Kettle is that water-boiling contraption that works like a samovar, with a flue up the middle, and burns small branches and twigs and pinecones and such. You build the fire in a little pan that the kettle sits on, and then you can further stoke the fire through the flue. It works pretty well, actually, but it only does one thing- boil water. I wouldn't even use it to simmer soup since cleaning it would be quite impossible. And no, it must never be used inside a tent. The flue sends a column of frighteningly hot air blasting straight up. It can be a real trick picking the thing up without singeing the hair off your knuckles. The smaller one can boil in about 7 minutes if you get a nice vigorous fire going, but the bigger one takes rather longer.

Now,

My interest in this Kifaru tent is for long-distance expeditions. That's why the small amount of extra weight to haul the stove around seems worthwhile. My concern is the lack of a floor, for reasons I have mentioned. In particular in Alaska, where I want to do this expeditioning, the mosquitos are murder.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:08 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:02 pm
Posts: 1035
Location: Astoria, OR
acrosome wrote: My interest in this Kifaru tent is for long-distance expeditions. That's why the small amount of extra weight to haul the stove around seems worthwhile. My concern is the lack of a floor, for reasons I have mentioned. In particular in Alaska, where I want to do this expeditioning, the mosquitos are murder.

The self-designed tent I mentioned had a gap between the integral groundsheet and the tent walls; this gap and the entryways were free-flowing for good air circulation, but both had netting over them (I had forgotten that when I wrote my earlier description). I used it three-four seasons in the WA cascades, and never got nailed by muskies or no-see-ums. It was basically a tarp with integrated ground sheet, and to make that work, good ventilation was a must, or condensation under the tent would nail you.

I think that is the rub with these no-groundsheet rigs: you need something to sew the netting to all around the periphery of the tent walls, or they will get underneatht the tent edges and get you!

_________________
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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 Post subject: Re: Kifaru Stove
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:10 am 
acrosome wrote:
The pipe rolls into a 14-inch long tube, all one piece. There are no pipe "sections" to lug around. The small stove weighs about 3.5 pounds; the larger stoves weigh more, of course. It's primary purpose isn't cooking, but rather heating. (You can cook on it, though.)


14" isn't too small for a kayak, - and this is just a pipe, so there is the also the stove itself, as I understand, and the one on the photo looks very big to me. For comparizon, Sierra ZZ is about 6" * 6" and weighs 1 lb steel version without cookset (titanium version is lighter). I still consider it bulky, as my propane stove is twice smaller. Sierra is not for heating, of course (no pipe), but it does cooking well - no need to carry a wood-burning ketttle like the one that you described. I'm not a devotee of Sierra (though some people are), - LPG stoves are much easier to use, but I carry Sierra on long trips as a backup. On short trips my backup to LPG is an alcohol stove and a liter of fuel. Still easier to use than wood-burner (and cleaner too).

I don't know if heating is really necessary in summer season, no matter how far to the North. Seems like most hikers and kayakers keep themselves warm by warm sleeping bags and good ventilation in tents, rather than by wood burning stoves. What you need is some 4 season tent with vents, IMHO (and with floor). Dave is probalby right on mosquitos - there is no way to keep them out without a floor.

PS: I have just checked specs of those stoves - small one has pipe 14" * 2" - roll of stainless foil that needs to be un-rolled and then rolled in again in another dimension, to make a 48" long pipe. Gloves are recommended. This is chimney. Then there is actual stove, that can be dissembled into 11" * 12" pack of sharp steel plates and pieces, 2" thick - at that size and shape a cumbersome thing under decks. It could be a good stove to keep some semi-permanent hut warm, but carrying it in a kayak and assembling/dissembling... It doesn't have any self-cleaning device, no? Just kidding... Looks like too much bulk to carry and work to do, if you move the camp often.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 5:35 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:49 pm
Posts: 384
Location: Ireland
I took a long look at those Kifaru tipis at one time. The stove setup is really designed for people going winter hunting, and makes a lot of sense in those situations. Your pickup will likely be nearby anyway for hauling deer and such, or so I imagine. I was thinking of it as a way of extending the camping season, but realistically it's going to be a lot of mess and fuss. I still might be a small stove and use it with a tarp - maybe.

I've pitched tarps in all sorts of conditions, including gales, and never found any tendency to lift. So long as there's plenty of room for air to spill out you shouldn't have a problem - and really that only involves making sure that the downwind side is as open as the upwind side. If the upwind side is pegged directly to the ground the air will spill over the top of the tent and push it down.

I actually sent Kifaru an email asking about floorless designs and rain and bugs. Here's what they said:

Quote:
a floorless design WILL have its challenges.
It is not hermetically sealed like a pop-up tent, so I
won't try and deceive you.
1. The rain. For "normal" showers, you will get very
little incursion of moisture into the floor area, and
none through the Tipi fabric or seams itself. After a
sustained rain - and we're talking Alaskan type rains
- you will get some moisture creeping into the
perimeter of about 5 inches or so, but no one has ever
reported anything more than that. Just be aware of
this if you are placing gear near the edges. Water
does not "sheet" under the Tipi as it would in say, a
parking lot - the ground absorbs most of it. Most
folks bring some kind of tarp to lay under the
sleeping area or under their gear if they camp in very
wet areas.
2. The bugs - midges - what a cute name for such a
nasty little thing. Again, I won't mislead you - with
a floorless design, you'll get them, though not as
badly as you might expect. Part of it depends on how
good a seal you are able to get where the hem meets
ground. Since terrain varies, you may have some gaps
where they can get in. The netting on the door lets
you ventilate quite well, and you can open that door
fairly wide. We do recommend mosquito coils - are you
familiar with those? It's basically a little thing you
light to drive them out.
I've had them get into my dome tents in Canada - and
these things have floors and are completely sealed.
The mosquito coil was the only thing to do the trick.
I hope this helps - I realize that a floorless tent
will be somewhat of a transition.


Nohoval


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 Post subject: Re: Tent floors
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:33 am 
Alm wrote:
Something is wrong with this Tipi picture. They have a lawn chair inside, and bulky wood-burning stove, not to mention the funnel. This wouldn't work for hiking, and I hate bringing items that bulky on multiday kayaking wilderness trips, - even if it would've been be nice using them. But as they are not really necessary and can be replaced with smaller and lighter items, I go for smaller and lighter. Excessive airline luggage costs arm and leg, and any transportation becomes more difficult with bulky luggage, not to mention the limitations of kayak capacity (and you'll have to drag it all ashore and then back on every camp).


Hey, if any of you figure out how to set up a tent Harry Potter style, don't hold out on us :) . Oh, and the "Portkeys" could be handy too, -Just touch some discarded old boot, and viola, you're ready to set up camp and paddle in Glacier Bay... :)

The problem with too much "essential" gear is that it can soon get in the way of the primary mission. -Unless of course your primary mission is to live in a palace out in the wilderness. :? -In that case borrow, rent or buy an RV.

Image

Anyway, if I have a way to transport the gear out, know that I'm going to be there awhile, a week or more, these things start to become more "essential". However for backpacking/cycling/kayaking, etc, in my opinion, the camp shouldn't take more than 30 min. or so to set up or break down.

We've all been out there with the person that "brought everything except the kitchen sink". On one occasion on a 2 day backpack trip my friend started to ask the rest of us to help carry his stuff, rationalizing that we were benefitting from his luxuries. :? Well true, the steaks, nifty gadgets, etc were nice... but since we'd all planned to be more or less self contained (tents, stoves, pots, etc can be shared) these additional items didn't quite seem as essential to the rest of us. :?

There's a reason why back packers are given a mandatory orientation before overnighting down in the Grand Canyon. Besides all the deaths that result from people not bringing enough water, etc, backpackers are reminded that gravity will help you get your gear down, but will hinder you getting your gear back out; there is a hefty fine for discarding items below and mules or helicopters are very expensive to hire... In short, make sure you're gear is essential and that you are willing to pack it.

Regards,

Andreas


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 2:21 pm 
Yes, Andreas - all this is particularly true for hikers. Kayakers tend to bring more "comfort creatures", yet we too have to restrain ouselves. I'm now planning some flight with Longhaul single, and foresee about $100 of extra luggage surcharge. 90 lbs boat and 25 lbs sail rig make all my hard achieved weight and bulk savings look like nothing. Still, without minimizing most of the gear, it would've been another $100. This isn't just about money - fighting with cumbersome items on every loading and uloading can spoil the fun too. I can understand the worries about keeping the tent warm in northern regions, and that stove isn't a luxury item at all - it's just not suitable for a kayak at that shape and size, and not suitable for somebody who has to move the camp almost every day.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 5:40 pm 
Presumably this northern trip is going to be made before any hard freeze occures. In cross-country skiing trips, I've been limited to the amount of gear I could bring. One ends up being bundled all the time in sweaters and parkas. I've used my gas stove to warm the tent (granted a dangerous activity) to change clothes, but I remember spending most of the time in a bag or around a camp fire...

I've been contemplating a week long+ paddle/sail trip of the Glenn Canyon this Sept or Oct.. I'm debating between using the single or the double- much depends on the extra load/stability of the double, but for paddling some of the narrower canyons I'd prefer a easier paddling boat. If I could find another interested party, I'd take the double.

Anyway, if I take the single, I'll have to be stripped down to essentials, to make sure of room for provisions. Granted I can stock up at the marinas, but these tend to be expensive... So I'm better off being as independent as possible.

Andreas


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 Post subject: Hey!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 9:06 pm 
Andreas,

Since you won't be needing that antique Klepper tent in the photographs, I'll gladly relieve you of it for an upcoming car-camping trip :D

Chris


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:33 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:06 pm
Posts: 359
Location: Spruce Head, Maine
Golite, Black Diamond and Oware also make floorless teepees. The first two also sell a mesh insert with bathtub floor to help keep the bugs out. Oware will sew a mesh hem to the perimeter of their teepee for better bug protection, if that's what a customer wants. Another idea is the Integral Designs Bugamid which is a floorless pyramid tent made out of no-see-um netting. These systems are modular. If there are no bugs, don't insert the mesh protection. If there are bugs and no weather, just set up the mesh insert.


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 Post subject: tarps and stoves
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 6:54 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
Posts: 1712
Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)
I use the Ray Jardine tarp and the Sierra Zzip Stove. I also have a propane stove and a Whisperlite-- I take whichever one is appropriate. I am a devotee of the tarp. I bought mine from GoLite, but Ray had a falling out with them so you can't buy it from them anymore. Now you have to go to http://www.rayjardine.com and order the kit ($70). I also use a Ray-Way quilt. I haven't finished my backpack kit, yet, and I'm not convinced it will supplant my Osprey pack. Nor will the Ray-Way style sneakers supplant my hiking boots.

Sorry if I'm beginning to run on. Yes, I backpack more than I paddle. Ray Jardine is a major-league kayaker, as well as hiker. I highly recommend his "Beyond Backpacking", but you should pick and choose what you want to use from it. One night in a tarp (in a thunderstorm) convinced me to ditch tents for mid-Spring to mid-Fall forever. I also used them in high winds-- awesome. His quilt design is superior to sleeping bags, as well, for many of the same reasons that the tarp is superior to tents.

The Zzip stove is great, too. It is a b____ to get going, and it turns your pots black, but once it's going it produces more heat than anything else. It's made out of aluminum, not steel (I haven't tried the titanium version). Yes, the temperature is somewhat controllable. One big advantage is that you can take it on airplanes.

_________________
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: '84 Hobie 16; early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:05 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:02 pm
Posts: 1035
Location: Astoria, OR
Ray is a true zealot, for sure. I can only take so much of "the Ray way" before my gag reflex is activated. Like Ray, I came up 35 years ago as a committed climber and backpacker, bivuoacking in a down sweater and shortie bag under minimal cover ... but I'm grown up now and don't have to do that any more! :lol: :wink:

I'm glad Ray is out there at the edge of the envelope, challenging conventional thinking for what to wear and sleep under/on/in, but doing it his way demands a high level of careful attention, which novices are likely not to have.

What do you think of the tarp kit?

_________________
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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