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Tent cozee

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  • Tent cozee

    So there was not a subforum for whacky ideas... maybe this fits here.

    Happy hammock camper but in the winter months I would enjoy a space out of the weather slightly warmer than the ambient temperature. I know and appreciate that the DEC already resolved this by sprinkling the ADK's with lean-to's and fire rings.

    But I started looking into 'hot tents' (thank you for feedback on other thread) and got excited about a better weather shield with an event greater edge against ambient tents. Could be our last trip in January where we climbed Porter in 12F and as we were coming back down the weather took a nose dive - wind up, temp down and snow sideways. We had the gear but in hammock camping the evening's agenda was "heat something, cram it in your mouth and retreat to warm hammock".

    So on the hot tent trail I found out stoves are pricey, tipi type tents were less expensive and less weight but dark and smaller. Canvas more expensive, super heavy. Was zeroing in on Kodiak's flexbow line. Fantastic reviews. Ability to stand. Has a floor. Super heavy. Rather expensive but comfy. Canvas a better insulator than the man made double wall tent material. Great reviews of a Kodiak canvas with a Buddy propane heater [used only during waking hours, vented]. But that weight would restrict to car camping or maybe a pulk (50lbs).

    Hiking partner works at a nice outdoor Retailer Experienced In outdoor activities so she enjoys a nice discount. They have a 6 man tent rated for 4 seasons. 20lbs so not back packing but that is ok - still love our hammocks for back country camping although 20lbs is more pulk-able than 50. Tent has top and bottom vents and two vestibules - could park the Buddy Heater in a vestibule for "cocktail hour" and "brunch" only. Could stand. Nicely sheltered. She gets experience with stuff she sells and adds to her collection of gear.

    Here is the crazy part. It is a double walled typical dome tent. Will not hold heat as well as canvas. But if I were to rig something around the shoulders of the inner fly - leaving top mesh open for ventilation. I thought wool surplus blankets, a bit heavy. I thought insultex which weighs less and prevents the government from stealing your thoughts then I thought of simple fleece. Cheap, slight insulation, easy to find. Heck, I could even stitch together some canvas from drop clothes.

    Note that this is not a replacement for a proper cold weather sleep system, just for taking the edge off a bit at breakfast and dinner. We enjoy cold weather back country camping - this is mostly for front country car camping where the focus is on a winter ascent and a bit of glamping night before and night after is appreciated.
    Eyes on the Forest, not on the Trees

  • #2
    Interesting thought. I wonder if a 6 (or 8) man A-frame style might make it easier to afix the insulation due to the simpler geometry and how the poles attach to the inner tent.
    "There's a whisper on the night-wind, there's a star agleam to guide us, And the Wild is calling, calling . . . let us go." -from "The Call of the Wild" by Robert Service

    My trail journal: DuctTape's Journal


    • #3
      Theoretically interesting, but not practical for the goals you state:

      Any "insulation" between double wall winter (4 season) tent will absorb moisture and is liable to freeze in the shape of the tent. If you use bubble wrap, it won't freeze but will trap moisture inside inner tent...

      Those 1lb propane tanks will give you maybe 4 hours of heat and weigh quite a bit.
      20 lb BBQ tanks are not backcountry transport friendly.

      You say you want a place to 'hang out' yet you're looking at a tent with floor (that will collect dirt, and get wet from melting snow.

      All the "fiddly bits" (double wall dome, insulation, prop tanks, heater) take time to unpack and setup (and even more time to take down and pack away).

      Determine your primary objective: is it car camping? is it backcountry use? backpackable setup? sleeping/cooking/drying out? and try to keep it as simple as possible.
      Even the simplest task in freezing temps and challenging weather conditions can requite considerable time and effort.

      Canvas tents are great if you plan to have them up in one location, but not really portable and require good deal of time to setup / take down.

      Single pole tipi style shelters are by far the most portable and can be setup by single person.
      Wood stoves are a mainstay in these shelters for good reasons - they are simple and reliable, provide good heat (mainly via radiation, vs. convection), exhaust is acrid (you'll choke long before passing out from CO), and they will dry out your gear (all combustion by-products, inc. water vapour, are expelled outside the shelter)

      Not criticizing the idea, just sharing experience.
      Feverishly avoiding "a steady stream of humanity, with a view that offers little more than butts, boots, elbows and backsides". (description quote from Joe Hackett)


      • #4
        DuctTape - re A-Frame. I just recently parted ways with my 30 year old two man Timberline. Would have made a wonderful experimental subject.

        "Not criticizing the idea, just sharing experience."
        And that is what I am looking for. People with different experiences, skills, opinions. Thank you for sharing.

        "Any insulation/absorb moisture"
        I have our hammock under-quilts. Four of them rated down below 20F and are synthetic insulation. I may try stringing these up around the shoulder of the dome. Leave roof vent open for moisture control.

        "Those 1lb propane tanks will give you maybe 4 hours of heat"
        Right. A bit in the morning and a bit at night. Would travel with 2 for use and 1 for back up. Not back country - camping within site or short walk to car for this experiment. Kodiak tent crowd out west, mostly hunters, do the 20lb thing. Not for me.

        "Place to hang out"
        Yup. Play a hand or two of card before turning in. Boots by the door similar to our smaller 3 man tent. After star gazing, camp fire, etc. Or instead of campfire if weather is pissy.

        "Fiddly bits"
        Great point. We switched to alky stoves a while back preciously because of this. Last modification to hammock gear was a simplification. We actually use simpler gear in winter.

        "primary objective"
        for this set of gear is front country glamping. In winter we find exactly what you mentioned. Below a certain temp my IQ drops with the temperature. Simple things take longer. Especially if the weather is wicked. We've rented a cabin/room once or twice and for me I'd rather be out listening to the wind in the trees. Even if it is glamping.

        Last year we backpacked to the designated site near MacIntyre Falls on the shoulder of Algonquin in the winter. Was a great experience. Have the gear for it, maybe our 10th winter back country trip (depending on if you consider winter by calendar or snow on ground). Definitely doing the winter backpacking thing again.

        "require good deal of time to setup"
        Google a Kodiak flexbow. <10 min one man set up. Not your traditional canvas tent. Has floors, not really set up for wood stove. Amazing reviews. A true beast - small one starting at 50lbs. So as you say not portable. Manufacturer says "not portable." Reviewers say "not portable." If I got one I would throw it on a pulk for a snow shoe around the local park. But the idea of pulking in Fri night in 3" and then getting 24" sat would really suck. If I went this route I would have to be 100% happy that tent was always within 15' of car. Not portable (I have to keep telling myself that, thinking of all of the sweet spots that are relatively close to trail heads.)

        But camping buddy thinks it looks like an "old man tent." (I like to swap 'old' for 'wise' but not sure). Camping buddy also thinking 6 man double walled tent would work in summer for getting non backpacker people out into the great outdoors. Plus it would be hers.

        "wood stoves & tipi"
        I know campfires are illegal in High Peak area (but not at ADK Loj) so count that as a negative for wood stoves - which I believe fall under same rule?? Many other cool areas outside of High Peaks. I also am not keen on getting up, starting fire, and then closing the damper down when we head out for the day. Love the dry heat, ambiance, cooktop, etc. They are pricey. Also, we both are mildly asthmatic and at times smoke plays with that a bit. Can't find a wood stove < $200. The Buddy Heater is $80 and can be used in garage, deck, Covid outdoor family visits - multi-use. Like on family budget I may be able to nudge it out of the "camping" category over to the "lets spend more time with the in-laws" category.

        Great feedback.
        Eyes on the Forest, not on the Trees


        • #5
          If you want "cheap" and "quick" weather shelter, take a look at the "cube" style ice fishing tents or ground hunting blinds. You can get a used one of those for under a hundred and rarely even free if you can repair the frame/shell.

          If your friend wants to get a 4 season tent, go with that - just don't expect it to fulfill "hot tenting".

          PS: Kodiak Flexbow is "not designed for extreme winter mountaineering or heavy snow accumulations" - don't expect it to hold up more than a 'dusting' of snow...
          Feverishly avoiding "a steady stream of humanity, with a view that offers little more than butts, boots, elbows and backsides". (description quote from Joe Hackett)


          • #6
            Thank you - very much appreciate the tips and you sharing your experience.
            Eyes on the Forest, not on the Trees


            • #7

              Took wisdom from this question and skipped trying to insulated top of tent. If it works I'm thinking someone would have done it by now. Focused instead on insulating bottom of tent - 2 cargo blankets, wool blanket for floor and than our insulated Klymit mats under bags.

              Did invest in large double wall 4 season tent. Will be useful for camping with wife or when my kids want to get newbies out in the woods.

              Did invest in smaller Little Buddy heater. Rated for indoor use, used it only while awake to take edge off. Had top vents of tent open and outer fly does not come to ground - so vented bottom too. Worked well for us. Your mileage may vary and I am not suggesting this - breaks age old rule about exposed flame in tent.

              Results were pretty much what I was looking for. Was 8f outside the tent but when needed the heater took the edge off the cold. Did not have thermometer but we were comfortable in tent. Also, set my stove up in larger vestibule of tent on frozen ground (actually froze to ground so was nailed down). So was able to open back door, put a kettle on and then zip up again. Check again to see if water was hot.

              Zero condensation issues - left top vents open all night. Our sleep gear was rated well below zero so we were good even without heat.

              Overall a success. I believe the Kodiak Canvas would have gone up quicker, retained heat better and offered more head room but it is way heavier and the kids are unlikely to use. I look forward to using this large dome again in winter or summer. Will work on getting a trip report up with photos.

              I did miss the comfort of the hammock though.
              Eyes on the Forest, not on the Trees


              • #8
                There used a to be forum that was a favorite of Canadian bush campers. On that forum, I learned that the reason for using a canvas tent is because the ability of canvas to breath at very low temps. Apparently, as it gets colder and colder, synthetic fabrics contract and the gaps that allow moisture to pass through get blocked, hence frost build up. This does not happen with cotton. The forum members lamented the loss of sources of 'Egyptian Cotton Canvas' which was supposed to be lightweight canvas.

                Anyways, reading posts of the forum convinced me to build a low cost wall tent and wood stove for car camping or very short pulk hauls.

                I used metal electrical conduit, some canvas, a recycled roof from a an 'Ezup shelter' and a blue tarp for a fly.

                Homemade stove measures 9x9x25, 3" pipe sections fit in stove for transport

                It is a bit of work to set this rig up, but once that stove fires up, the tent is getting warm. A lot of times, the tent door has to be cracked open to keep the temp down!
                Last edited by jhl99; 01-15-2021, 06:35 AM. Reason: Fix image links


                • #9
                  That looks amazing. Your canvas - treated for water repellency or fire? 1" conduit? remember well. Got some great tips off of that site.

                  I was aware of the breathing difference with canvas. The synthetic tent we went with had two vents at top. I was surprised with the tempts that we used it on we did not have ice form inside the tent. Even with propane heater (wet heat) run for about an hour before bed. Maybe a bit on the fly, but not much. I remember zipping up tight years ago in a smaller double walled tent and waking up to ice on everything - bag, tent, clothing - brrr.

                  Great rig you have there
                  Eyes on the Forest, not on the Trees


                  • #10
                    Tenderfoot, go to, search "Scout Tent" and see if you would be interested in a setup like that.


                    • #11
                      Whats the secret to registering at that web site. It says the username and email are spam.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mike7575 View Post
                        Whats the secret to registering at that web site. It says the username and email are spam.
                        I don't know, it's been a while since I registered, never had a problem. It may be the URL from where you trying, they may see a commercial source, not residential.
                        Unfortunately all the pictures were on Photobucket and are unavailable now. But you can google scout wall tents. 8X10.
                        Last edited by electbc; 01-28-2021, 06:56 PM.


                        • #13
                          Good idea , I'll give that a try.


                          • #14
                            electbc, nice to run into you again. Fond memories of our outing on Cedar River Flow. So Google found that thread for me here without registering. looks like a nice traditional wall tent that one could add in a stove.

                            For me, I think we are set. Opted for a 4 season double-wall tent with a Buddy heater with green 1 pounders that we only ran while awake. The first outing with this setup went well. 8F outside, no condensation, we could dress, stretch, eat and chat in comfort. You still knew it was 8F out but it really took the edge off. Super easy to start and stop. No where close to the ambiance a wood stove would provide but suited us fine.

                            It met our needs nicely - I think the Kodiak would have held the heat better but Lit'l Dipper likes the modern look of the double walled tent. Plans on getting some of her novice camper friends out. I can see getting the wife out in such a set up too.
                            Eyes on the Forest, not on the Trees


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tenderfoot View Post
                              That looks amazing. Your canvas - treated for water repellency or fire? 1" conduit? remember well. Got some great tips off of that site.
                              Not treated for either water repellency or flame. I am very selective of when I use that rig... Yes, 1" nominal EMT conduit.

                              Here is a source for the frame fittings: