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StoneNYC
5-Mar-2014, 07:32
My apologies for the above deleted incident.

Anyway, one thing that I had mentioned that I'm pretty sure was deleted, I think a few things were but the only thing I can remember saying was that one of the things that happened to me is that I ended up meeting the executive editor of backpacker magazine back in 2010, and he was mentioning that one of the biggest complaints he had was that the ultralight tents also had ultralight bag fabric, and that bag fabric often rips very easily because it's tied to your pack it has a lot of weight on it, what I had shown you in pictures which I now have no access to because they aren't on my phone and the post was deleted, was the image of the sheered fabric from my own tent bag, versus a replacement stuff bag from REI that was probably slightly heavier by fractions in weight, but much more durable in terms of handling rough scratches, and that maybe you if you do put your tent on the outside of your pack, and you get one of those new ultralight tents, that you would consider using a different bag if material is the same, I wish I could show you the pictures but the way that the Tapatalk app that I use to post things here functions, if you take a picture within the app it does not save to your phone and unfortunately those posts were deleted. I'll check the archives on my computer in a bit to see if maybe they still exist within my account as images even if they're not posted anywhere.

Anyway it could be important and could save you because if any part of the actual tent get scraped, that's it you're done for, or you have to patch it up, which is never any fun, so it's something to keep in mind having a better more durable stuff sack for your tent if you keep it on the outside that is.

paulr
5-Mar-2014, 08:28
Wrong on all counts, Paul, except that TodTex was temporarily banned from certain states (incl here) for flammability rating issues. It was a custom triple-layer fabric with a very specific perm rating, is still made, and is NOT the same thing as what is used in their cheaper tents, which never were marketed by Bibler himself.

Why don't you read my post before arguing with it. It will save you a lot of effort. I never said it was the same as what's used in their cheaper tents (do you mean BD's lighter single-wall tents?) I said it's functionally the same as the the 3-layer gore-tex that Bibler used previously.

Whether the heavy Bibler line is superior to the lighter weight single-wall tents (like BD's Firstlight series (http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web07f/ms-el-bd-firstlight-tent)) is purely a matter of your criteria. I will bet that the latter is more popular with climbers doing cutting-edge routes, because these tents weigh a pound less. People will make enormous sacrifices in durability and weatherproofness for light weight when their success depends on moving quickly. On one hand, you could say that Steve House's choices on Nanga Parbat are irrelevant to yours and mine, because if he trashes his tent his sponsors will replace it. On the other hand, anything that will last seven days on the Rupal Face will probably last me five years of the worst I can dish out.

paulr
5-Mar-2014, 08:36
Oh I wanted to add that Marmot winter jackets and other layering such as that for winter are also very excellent superlight and comparative to Mountain Hardware for winter jackets and running gear, and Arcterix brand are pretty good with rain gear. But harder to get and view in person and I believe are a French? Company... So I just go with Mountain Hardwear for my rain stuff and winter gear since it's comparable in my opinion.

Arcteryx is Canadian. Very, very high quality stuff ... on the same level as Patagonia. They were bought by Solomon a few years ago ... I don't know if that changed anything. My complaint about arcteryx is that they lean in the direction of over-engineering. I have an Arcteryx gore-tex jacket which is beautifully made. But I've stopped climbing in it. In general I find even the lightest versions of gore-tex to be too heavy and bulky and unbreathable. And I found that the arcteryx jacket tended to pull up from my harness when I reached overhead or swung an ice tool, giving me a big poof of fabric at the chest that made it hard to see my feet. My patagonia jacket weighs less, breaths better, and doesn't do this. It also cost half as much, because it's simpler and made out of very basic uncoated fabric. It's not waterproof ... but this has never been an issue, even when I've had ice water running down on top of me. It's water resistant enough.

The arcteryx has become my city rain jacket. Keeps me totally dry and looks good.

paulr
5-Mar-2014, 08:45
I have come across such stone structures from time to time. I have never been sure if they were rock shelters or latrines.

The optimistic answer is... shelter for climbers, latrine for marmots. But since, as you've hinted, climbers aren't a particularly house-broken lot, it's hard to know for sure.

This is up on the lower saddle, at 11,600 feet, where everyone too fat or lame to climb the Grand in a day spends the night. There are a lot of other caves and rock walls up there. Most of them are roomier than this, but it's a popular spot in the summer. We took what we could get.

Looking at the picture now, it seems I left my partner with even less headroom than I had. Not very friendly of me.

Kodachrome25
5-Mar-2014, 08:46
Stone, sorry to see your hard work discarded, but I did warn you about this place. I suggest taking a break and not spending too much time on the life wasting internet. I'm politely bowing out because it seems we might get a trace of snow so I can get the heck off of here and get some work / shoots done....

Stephen Willard
5-Mar-2014, 08:54
My apologies for the above deleted incident.

Anyway, one thing that I had mentioned that I'm pretty sure was deleted, I think a few things were but the only thing I can remember saying was that one of the things that happened to me is that I ended up meeting the executive editor of backpacker magazine back in 2010, and he was mentioning that one of the biggest complaints he had was that the ultralight tents also had ultralight bag fabric, and that bag fabric often rips very easily because it's tied to your pack it has a lot of weight on it, what I had shown you in pictures which I now have no access to because they aren't on my phone and the post was deleted, was the image of the sheered fabric from my own tent bag, versus a replacement stuff bag from REI that was probably slightly heavier by fractions in weight, but much more durable in terms of handling rough scratches, and that maybe you if you do put your tent on the outside of your pack, and you get one of those new ultralight tents, that you would consider using a different bag if material is the same, I wish I could show you the pictures but the way that the Tapatalk app that I use to post things here functions, if you take a picture within the app it does not save to your phone and unfortunately those posts were deleted. I'll check the archives on my computer in a bit to see if maybe they still exist within my account as images even if they're not posted anywhere.

Anyway it could be important and could save you because if any part of the actual tent get scraped, that's it you're done for, or you have to patch it up, which is never any fun, so it's something to keep in mind having a better more durable stuff sack for your tent if you keep it on the outside that is.

This is somewhat concerning for me. If the fabrics cannot hold up as a bag for the tent, then will the ultralight fabrics hold up over the long haul? I have noticed that most, if not all, of the tents I had looked at on the web so far had loops on the flies for tent lines to tie down the tent. Is this thinner material going to be able to hold up to point loads from the tent lines and wind loading? I have notice with LF cameras the lighter they were made, the more flimsy and wobbly they became. Can this rule be applied to tents? Can these ultralight materials hold up to 60-70 days of use year after year?

Less poles, thinner poles, more marginal and lighter bungee cords in the poles themselves, lighter and less durable zippers, and of course thinner fabrics are the only way to to reduce weight. Maybe the manufactures have designed these lighter tents for just weekend use for two to three times a year? Anything longer then that may result in failure. Again should I be concerned about this?

paulr
5-Mar-2014, 08:56
YI almost always would recommend Big Agnes for ultralight, they (as of 2009, not sure now) are the only company who actually have their own fabric manufacturing, rather than outsourcing, which allows them to design fabric custom to their specs, which mans super light strong designs...

Interesting ... I'll check them out if I'm in the market again. I'm still using a tent I got in the 80s, made by a long-gone mom 'n pop shop I'll be surpirsed if anyone's heard of (Noall, anyone?). Wonderfully designed but crazy heavy by today's standards.

Back then I used to work in a mountaineering store. I had an interesting conversation with the sales rep from Moss tents. He said, "here's the big secret: tent fabric is crap. North Face, Kelty, Sierry Designs, us ... we all use the same stuff and it's crap." I asked him why, and he said it was all that was available, at least for what anyone was willing to pay. And he went on a litany about what was wrong with it, including lousy resistance to UV and mildew. He also said that it was cheap, and that sewing was cheap, and that over half the cost of a tent was the poles.

Sounds like Agnes did a smart thing developing proprietary fabric.

Back then, North Face tents were the expedition standard, and from what I saw in the climbing store where I worked, this was a scary proposition. The sewing quality was really bad. And this was before they became the huge consumer fashion company they are today.

Stephen Willard
5-Mar-2014, 09:02
The optimistic answer is... shelter for climbers, latrine for marmots. But since, as you've hinted, climbers aren't a particularly house-broken lot, it's hard to know for sure.

This is up on the lower saddle, at 11,600 feet, where everyone too fat or lame to climb the Grand in a day spends the night. There are a lot of other caves and rock walls up there. Most of them are roomier than this, but it's a popular spot in the summer. We took what we could get.

Looking at the picture now, it seems I left my partner with even less headroom than I had. Not very friendly of me.

Those rock shelters are all over the place in the high country, and in truth, that is a good thing. They cannot fail if the wind is hollowing. I have actually used them with my bivy bag quite often because setting up a 3 season tent on top of 13,000 peak is risky.

StoneNYC
5-Mar-2014, 09:12
This is somewhat concerning for me. If the fabrics cannot hold up as a bag for the tent, then will the ultralight fabrics hold up over the long haul? I have noticed that most, if not all, of the tents I had looked at on the web so far had loops on the flies for tent lines to tie down the tent. Is this thinner material going to be able to hold up to point loads from the tent lines and wind loading? I have notice with LF cameras the lighter they were made, the more flimsy and wobbly they became. Can this rule be applied to tents? Can these ultralight materials hold up to 60-70 days of use year after year?

Less poles, thinner poles, more marginal and lighter bungee cords in the poles themselves, lighter and less durable zippers, and of course thinner fabrics are the only way to to reduce weight. Maybe the manufactures have designed these tent for just weekend use for two to three times a year? Anything longer then that may result in failure. Again should I be concerned about this?

There's a huge difference between having the bag on the outside of your 65 to 70 pound pack, and when placing it down it's scraping against a rock, and simply laying out your tent and tying it down, there lies the difference, the fabric just couldn't handle the weight and Agressive rubbing. It did only tear but the rip-stop did hold it from getting worse, in the original image you'll see I still kept my tent in it... Damn wish I had saved the image first then uploaded it so I could show you, it won't be till the weekend to show you.

The tent itself is fine, and has no tears in it whatsoever, and assuming that you use a footprint as part of your tent set up, I would not and I'll be concerned about it Terinche, as far as the hook loops that grab the tent poles these days those are built very well and very strong and I wouldn't worry about those tearing, in addition I wouldn't worry about the loops that you used to tie down the tent to the ground, all of these are superstrong... The only concern would be a hurricane that had boulder sized rocks hitting the tent, then again, at that point... It's over anyway hah!

I've been through days and days of downpour rain with no water leakage at all, and I've also been in snowstorms and ice storms with the same "three season" big Agnes tent where it was below 0 and nothing cracked or was damaged etc, they are very hearty.

Just replace the outer bag with an REI stuff sack that's a bit thicker, the tensile strength of these materials is incredible, but everything has a weakness... Even your current tent.

I also at one point in the deleted threads said that the MSR tent that you like so much also didn't seem to guy out quite as far as my tent does, and that was a concern of mine for air circulation, I will have to check it out in person and get back to you...

Stephen Willard
5-Mar-2014, 09:14
Sounds like Agnes did a smart thing developing proprietary fabric.


Stone, you actually have a number of tents including Agnes. Can you see or feel the difference between the Agnes fabrics and other ultralight tent fabrics?

StoneNYC
5-Mar-2014, 09:16
Also, some of the warmer temperature Mountain Hardwear sleeping bags I mentioned (like the 32 degree bag) USED TO come with a waterproof membrane layer that breathed, but now I believe only the 20/0/-20/-40 down bags come with that option, but you mentioned that often you are afraid that the tent top would blow away and you would suddenly be caught in a water storm, and this is something that I purchased these sleeping bags for purposefully because they are waterproof and so I wouldn't have to worry about getting wet inside of them if in fact I would be caught in such a situation they could in theory act as a sort of bivy... I would never purposefully try it out, but it's nice to know it has that option just "in case".

Drew Wiley
5-Mar-2014, 09:28
Stephen - Big Agnes tents are simply thin coated nylon like with an optional clip rainfly, just like all the rest. Very thin nylon. These are very popular ultralights in
the Sierra and are particularly well designed for quick set up. But they are highly dependent upon being well staked and guyed out. People who use them a lot have
to replace them about every two years. I never set up a tent when I don't need to due to weather, never use them for casual use like car camping, and thoroughly
clean and check em out after every trip, so I expect my Big Agnes to last distinctly longer. It's nowhere in the league of a Bibler. Not even remotely close. The only other breathable proprietary tent Goretex out there was made by a company called Garuda, which is no longer in business. There is zero proprietary about Big Agnes fabric. It's just over-saturated with pthalates which need to be thoroughly aired out. But their factory seam-sealing seems to be superior to most other ultralights, and I do personally recommend them below timberline or even above if you're not dealing with a wind tunnel or serious snowloading. But since you
use llamas anyway, why do you even need a ultralight? A couple more pounds and you can have a vastly superior tent.

Stephen Willard
5-Mar-2014, 09:28
I also at one point in the deleted threads said that the MSR tent that you like so much also didn't seem to guy out quite as far as my tent does, and that was a concern of mine for air circulation, I will have to check it out in person and get back to you...

I am not married to MSR tents. Just likes the features, but features is one thing and design is another. It will be interesting to see what you think after seeing one of the MSR tents. I would probably have to go to Denver in order to see the MSR tents. Perhaps I really need to make a trip there anyway so I can check out a lot of different tents including the Agnes.

Drew Wiley
5-Mar-2014, 09:42
Paul - sorry if I misunderstood you. Yeah, when I had extreme climbers living with me it was a little different mentality. They had personal gear for general use.
But expedition gear was free from the sponsors. Both North Face and Sierra Designs funded a number of my nephew's expeditions and although the gear was considered expendable and basically trashed by the time they came back, they still wanted top quality. Some of these were three-month ordeal in the Arctic and
remote Karakorum just to get to the big walls, so gear compromises weren't realistic. Too dangerous. The plastic Koflach boots never survived more than one expedition. Only his final big expedition was funded by a satellite company pioneering some allegedly cutting-edge positioning stuff, so they had carte blanche budget wise. But in that case, it was his companion Kurt Diemberger who secured the funding, who of course, is a living legend at this point. Otherwise, the electronics failed miserably and there was a very dangerous rescue of three sherpas. I kinda got sick of the noise of gear being sorted out in my driveway by
headlamp while I was trying to sleep, often after those endless Yosemite gigs. One of those kids did something like 150 climbs of the North America wall, and still
holds the speed record up than thing.

paulr
5-Mar-2014, 09:50
That expendability issue is why my personal gear is usally a few notches down from what anyone would call ultralight. But it's many notches lighter than what I got used to back when I started out, in the maximalist '80s.

There's a film on the Patagonia site of Steve House raving about his incredibly lightweight shell ... except that he had to patch it with duct tape after resting an ice tool on the shoulder. That's a bit too light for me ...

I'm friendly with the guy who owns Cilogear, an alpine pack maker in Portland. Kelly Cordes tested one of his lightweight pack prototypes on a speed ascent in Patagonia. He brought it back in shreds and said "Perfect!" Also a bit light for me. I think there's a good happy medium for those of us who want to go light but are living the unsponsored life.

Stephen Willard
5-Mar-2014, 10:00
It's nowhere in the league of a Bibler. Not even remotely close. The only other breathable proprietary tent Goretex out there was made by a company called Garuda, which is no longer in business. There is zero proprietary about Big Agnes fabric. It's just over-saturated with pthalates which need to be thoroughly aired out. But their factory seam-sealing seems to be superior to most other ultralights, and I do personally recommend them below timberline or even above if you're not dealing with a wind tunnel or serious snowloading. But since you
use llamas anyway, why do you even need a ultralight? A couple more pounds and you can have a vastly superior tent.

So you think Bibler is top of the line?

I am not concerned with weight that much? Durability and reliability are very important to me, but also the features that I saw in MSR videos is what has motivated to upgrade. If I can get those features with a tent that can hold up to the elements year after year, then that is what I am looking for. The biggest features I am interested are side entry doors, greater headroom, and more floor space to mitigate tent fever. If I can get all of that for around four pounds or less then I will be happy. If the weight of the tent is slightly more, and I can get those features, then that is okay to.

StoneNYC
5-Mar-2014, 10:09
So you think Bibler is top of the line?

I am not concerned with weight that much? Durability and reliability are very important to me, but also the features that I saw in MSR videos is what has motivated to upgrade. If I can get those features with a tent that can hold up to the elements year after year, then that is what I am looking for. The biggest features I am interested are side entry doors, greater headroom, and more floor space to mitigate tent fever. If I can get all of that for around four pounds or less then I will be happy.

Stephen, when was the last time that you just my new tent or even took a look at the features of new tents?

Many of the statements you make lead me to believe that you haven't seen the new designs in quite a while, as I said I was working back in 2008 at a camping store, and at that time many of the new designs all had these features, so I think that you need to look at some broader options because of the fact that many of these tents have the same exact set up options just in different configurations, The single pole design with hub system, as well as the clips that clip the 10th to the polls rather then having to feed them through any kind of loop, are all basically standard, the side entrance action is also fairly standard, with only slight deviation for front access on the other half of the designs out there, The rain channels are a nice feature which I want to take a look at as well, and that's my one complaint about the big Agnes that I own, that it has a poorly designed access point where you have to reach very very far to grab the zipper and you end up touching your head to the tent, however almost all of the decent tents these days have a decent amount of headroom while sitting in them, so I will admit that the tent you've looked at certainly has more of it as far as going lighter I can sit up my tent and put my pants on usually, but I have to stay right in the center, with the MSR tent it seems you could be on either side and still accomplish this.

I'm going to see if I can actually check out the tent today while on a trip to Boston we shall see...

Drew Wiley
5-Mar-2014, 10:17
Biblers were the first major tent brand engineered for extreme conditions, and they still meet those parameters, and are very simple to set up, even under severe
conditions, but aren't quite as convenient for getting in and out of, the vestibule is not integral, etc. I did a couple of minor improvements with mine. I reinforced
all the seams and corners with an industrial kraton roofing sealant called Proflex. Seam sealants back then were basically something like Duco glue and got brittle
after a couple seasons. They've improved, but I don't know how much. Then I velro-tabbed on some thin hopsack trucking sheet to the base, which is a coated
heavy fabric and the most susceptible area to wear. There were times when I had to set up under less than ideal conditions, including an instance in the Winds
where I was on some abrasive rock. Now that I'm a lot older and lazier, I tend to pitch camp earlier and travel lighter. But a couple recent anecdotes... I was hiking
by moonlight to reach a fairly unrealistic destination the first day of a long trip, but got there, but with it already starting to precipitate heavily, and of course, the
moonlight now gone. So hard lesson number one... don't try to rig up a Big Agnes without a good headlamp and a lot of previous practice. It is NOT self-standing
in bad weather. A friend almost lot his Big Agnes blowing away when he briefly attended to his camp stove, before attaching all the lines. The second recent
incident was having to sit out an early season blizzard with a lot of snowload. I was totally comfortable and unconcerned in the Bibler (which I wisely selected for
that trip due to the dicey forecast), but would have been hopelessly miserable in any ultralight like my Big Agnes. Fortunately, my hiking companion also brought
a Bibler on that same trip (he learned about ultralights the hard way the year before), but the slightly roomier version with a side entry panel.

StoneNYC
5-Mar-2014, 10:53
Biblers were the first major tent brand engineered for extreme conditions, and they still meet those parameters, and are very simple to set up, even under severe
conditions, but aren't quite as convenient for getting in and out of, the vestibule is not integral, etc. I did a couple of minor improvements with mine. I reinforced
all the seams and corners with an industrial kraton roofing sealant called Proflex. Seam sealants back then were basically something like Duco glue and got brittle
after a couple seasons. They've improved, but I don't know how much. Then I velro-tabbed on some thin hopsack trucking sheet to the base, which is a coated
heavy fabric and the most susceptible area to wear. There were times when I had to set up under less than ideal conditions, including an instance in the Winds
where I was on some abrasive rock. Now that I'm a lot older and lazier, I tend to pitch camp earlier and travel lighter. But a couple recent anecdotes... I was hiking
by moonlight to reach a fairly unrealistic destination the first day of a long trip, but got there, but with it already starting to precipitate heavily, and of course, the
moonlight now gone. So hard lesson number one... don't try to rig up a Big Agnes without a good headlamp and a lot of previous practice. It is NOT self-standing
in bad weather. A friend almost lot his Big Agnes blowing away when he briefly attended to his camp stove, before attaching all the lines. The second recent
incident was having to sit out an early season blizzard with a lot of snowload. I was totally comfortable and unconcerned in the Bibler (which I wisely selected for
that trip due to the dicey forecast), but would have been hopelessly miserable in any ultralight like my Big Agnes. Fortunately, my hiking companion also brought
a Bibler on that same trip (he learned about ultralights the hard way the year before), but the slightly roomier version with a side entry panel.

That's alright with any tent you set out the footprint (or rainfly/pole combo) and stick it down first then as you set up the temple part it's already tied down to the ground you can then add the attachments tent etc. underneath the already double portion of the tent just like the guy shows in the second MSR video. Both the MSR Hubba Hubba and Big Agnes tents are self standing... But wind of course changes that, which would be true of any tent...

Stephen Willard
5-Mar-2014, 11:07
Your are write Stone, I have have not looked at tents in decades, until I was in REI recently and took a peak at one on the floor. It became apparent to me that there have been a lot of new design improvements make it worth my while to upgrade. From a feature point view I just loved the videos I saw about the MSR. Rain troughs, you can roll up the bottom of the fly to help with moisture, built in spreads to open up fly vents so that can actually vent, the optional large extended vestibule which I liked, and the list goes on. I do not like the MSR particularly, I just like all the features. I am looking forward to comments Stone when go inspect the new red Hubba Hubba tents. You have a lot more experience at this than I do.

Drew, the price on the Bibler dose not bother me. However, one review I read about them said he had spilled soap on some surface of his tent and it leaked in the area almost immediately. I hand some Gore Tex boots I washed out the inners linings with soap and it completely destroyed the Gore Tex. Real breathable materials are very sensitive to chemicals and any spills will destroy the material. That is a big negative for me. Also Gore Tex will not work if it is cold. Period. The material has to be warm for it to function properly. I remember long ago when I saw a single wall Gore Tex tent, I knew from all of my experiences that it would sweat. The biggest complaint of the Bibler tents from the reviews I read is that it sweats.

I am not scared of snow loads with any three season tent. I just have to keep the snow knocked of it as it piles up. Its that simple. If the fly starts to fail because of UV radiation or any other reason, then I can just buy a new one. In fact, I will probably just buy an spare fly when I buy the tent including any subfloor to add further protection and an extended vestibule if it is available.

I really appreciate everyone postings here. It has been very informative, and if I have not replied to your postings it does not mean I have not read it and value your input. I have to go now for a while, but I will be back.

Drew Wiley
5-Mar-2014, 11:27
The MSR's, Sierra Designs, Hubba, REI house brand all are similar in materials. Even most of the employees at the REI here seem to prefer Big Agnes. The fabric is a little tighter, though nothing proprietary (you can buy that kind of nylon at the custom gear maker right up the street), and the setup features are a little nicer.
Please do not confuse generic Goretex issues with the proprietary fabric used on true Bibler tents. These have been time-tested for decades, are the kinds of tents
that could literally be used on the North Col of Everest (and often have been). They will take extreme cold and survive things that would shred any of the REI-ish
products in mere minutes. They do not sweat except under tropical monsoon conditions, or maybe down South where you don't go anyway. These things have the
most track record of any tent line ever made, under the most extreme conditions. I anyone ever had one sweat in the mtns they were probably cooking in there
or had wet socks stuffed in the vents. I have never ever experienced that, even in protracted mtn rainstorms. I wouldn't use one in the Everglades just to keep
mosquitoes at bay. Biblers do not use a rainfly. Truly do not need one. Whether a true expedition tent is what you need is another issue. They tend to be a bit
cramped, but are designed for extreme winds, so need a particular tested profile. I've been in situations where I might not have survived without an extreme tent,
but then, that was when I was younger and often tempting the weather and heading right into extreme storms just for a particular type of lighting. Then there were those outings when my nephew was training for the Himalayas and gear got deliberately stretched to the limit. I'm no gearhead by any means, but don't
like buying things more often than necessary. The way I use my Bibler, it's become a lifetime purchase. But for many trips, it's overkill.

paulr
5-Mar-2014, 12:08
It's ridiculous to say that Bibler tents are the first tents designed for extreme conditions. Tents have been designed for different versions of "extreme" for as long ad there have been tents.

Todd Bibler made the first single-wall tent out of gore-tex. That was a great innovation. It was also decades ago. And since he wasn't a wizard from another planet, it didn't take long for other people to catch up. Several other companies followed. When gore-tex was banned as a tent fabric in many states, everyone making this style of tent switched to other fabrics.

Some, like Bibler and Sierra Designs, switched to proprietary fabrics that are essentially identical to the 3-layer gore laminates (Todd-Tex and Tegralex). These are really just trade names; who knows who actually makes the fabrics or if there's anything unique about them. I have yet to see a claim that these fabrics are substantively different from goretex or from each other.

Other companies, like Black Diamond, Rab, Integral Designs, and Marmot started using lighter weight fabrics. Some of these follow the general trend in outdoor gear to sacrifice absolute waterproofness for breathability (fabrics like Epic). Others have chosen total simplicity and have gone with waterproof/non-breathable fabrics, and mechanical ventilation. As far as I can tell, the lighter single wall tents are much more in favor with serious climbers than the older style gore-type tents (bibler). The advantages of that heavy laminate don't seem relevant very often.

None of these tents will be as comfortable in a wide range of conditions as a double-wall tent. double wall tents are warmer, better ventilated, less prone to condesnation, and much less prone to turning into an ice cocoon. Single wall tents are lighter, faster to set up, and have a smaller footprint. Their advantages can outweigh their disadvantages when you're sleeping on ledges or on platforms you have to carve out of the snow, when you have to set up in a storm, or when it's cold and dry enough for the breathable fabric to do its job efficiently.

Contemporary versions of both kinds of tents are lighter and faster to set up than they've ever been.

NancyP
5-Mar-2014, 12:34
Anyone here use Hilleberg tents for alpine winter use? Norwegian saying: "there is no bad weather, only bad clothing" might apply to tents also..

Drew Wiley
5-Mar-2014, 12:54
A hiking pal of mine bought a Hillegerg last fall and did the entire Muir Trail in Oct, with several major snowstorms. He was miserable with condensation, immediately
sold it when he got back to town, and bought a Bibler. I think these Hilleberg are better for true winter use -cold, dry powder snow. Sierra Designs never, ever had
a substitute for Bibler fabric. What they did make was a standing joke around town here. I had to leave the high country prematurely just to get a friend to low
altitude to dry out, who fell for that marketing ruse. The fabrication of those things was done smack across the tracks from where I am right now, so coworkers were
tempted to get bargains there, and that turned out to be yet another case of "you get what you pay for".

Drew Wiley
5-Mar-2014, 13:01
Again, Paul, don't argue with me. You don't have to be a pro baseball player to understand the meaning of "bat" or "glove", and you don't need to have a phD in
material science to look up tech data concerning tear resistance, perm rating and surface tension in relation to natural surfactants to understand the basics of
waterproofing fabrics. After that, it's a matter of seam construction and overall design. But I can indeed tell you that most of these so-called substitute tent fabrics
have simply been borrowed from the building trades and have very serious inherent limitations. If they work for you're use, fine. And again, an endorsement from a
ski camper in very cold dry snow is not particularly realistic in sleet or mushy Spring snows, or extended rain. And SCIENTIFICALLY they are nothing like Toddtex.
Engineered in the first place for something else entirely.

paulr
5-Mar-2014, 13:36
I'll argue with you as long as you seem to be full of it.

It might helpful if you'd argue back, instead of making assertions without showing any evidence. I'm happy to look at evidence, you should know that by now.

Drew Wiley
5-Mar-2014, 13:39
Gosh, Paul, even the "Hey Doood" volunteer labor types up at REI who sell that pesudo-tex stuff know the difference. I literally wouldn't even wear it for a dayhike
on a rainy day, let alone trust any fabric like that under serious weather conditions. Have you actually used these products???????????????????????????????????????

paulr
5-Mar-2014, 13:55
Maybe when I asked you for evidence you thought I was asking for schoolyard taunts.

Have I used these products? I've used some, including Bibler. I have not use the sierra designs single-wall tents, so it will have to be your word vs., say, the people at Outdoor Gear Lab (http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/4-Season-Tent-Reviews?n=0&sort_field=score#compare), who rate them higher than Bibler and (as of last year) consider them the #2 pick among single wall tents. It looks like Sierra moved away from breathable fabrics, as have many other tent makers. But they rate better than Bibler for ventilation, which supports the idea that mechanical ventilation is more important than fabric breathability in tents.

My larger point relevant to this thread remains ... a single wall tent is not the best choice most of the time. There are a lot of good ones to choose from, but most people would do better with a double wall tent.

Drew Wiley
5-Mar-2014, 14:08
Paul... I have done various reviews for magazines, but in trades that paid a lot better than outdoor gear rags, so I know how that stuff review gig works. They're rarely objective. So what kind of evidence do you want? You aren't willing to even look up the actual fabrics and technical vocabulary involved. I doubt you
understand what it means, or its implications. I'm evidence. I'm alive. Do you want to visit the morgue when someone goes hypothermic somewhere cause they were
undergeared? I'm not carte blanche advocating the Bibler for just any application. I travel with something even lighter under less demanding circumstances. But I am
stating that many of these alleged single-wall innovations are simply something else entirely, that lot's of us have know the actual characteristics of all along,
and certainly wouldn't trust in a serious storm. And I have personally seem em fail, with my very eyes. There are still all the traditional rainfly options out there too,
if that is what someone prefers.

Drew Wiley
5-Mar-2014, 14:11
Well ... I did look up your alleged review with that link. What a joke. Won't waste my time next time around. Gosh, what kinda Little League game is this supposed to
be, anyway. ...

paulr
5-Mar-2014, 14:37
Got it. Anything that supports your opinion is "evidence," including heresay and the conjured views of captains of industry you know intimately (but won't name). Anything but actual evidence.

Anything that contradicts your opinion, including a review by people who actually used the products side-by-side, is "alleged," "so-called," "little league," and unobjective.

Especially clever that you assume the reviewers are in the pockets of the manufacturers (never mind that Black Diamond, owner of Bibler, has a lot more money than Sierra Designs or most of the companies that scored better. Never mind that BD products in other categories win the site's Editor's Choice award (http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Climbing-Harness-Reviews/Black-Diamond-Chaos)).

Drew, I'm ashamed that I've let you waste so much of my time.

StoneNYC
5-Mar-2014, 14:37
Guys... I want to continue to have this thread STAY OPEN.

So take the pissing match elsewhere and just submit relevant facts please like a review with pictures or links as that is helpful.

And I just did my review at REI

I have to drive home so I'll just review the store, which was different than the other REI I've seen, this one had solar panels that doubled as rain proof car garage... I mean, why aren't there in EVERY parking lot??! It's like a duh moment!

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Review of tents to come when I get home...

Drew Wiley
5-Mar-2014, 14:53
OK... I've finally got it! You guys have absolutely no concept of what an objective engineered review means. You confuse casual web surfing for that. I had a demonstration machine upstairs with samples of such fabrics suspended over them. They all are "breathable" and hold out water for?... So you have a timer. You
also have a little jar of natural surfactant (clue: something very common in the woods), pour a little bit into the water puddle, and then watch just how suddenly
one fabric fails compared to another. That's just the start... just a marketing demonstration thing for folks too lazy to read the tech sheets. So now, one might
epiphany for me, personally.... reinstate the "ignore" function.... since it always seems the same people dogging everything I've said based on a lot of hard experience. You're welcome to your own opinion... and I'm glad that you won't ever be in the mtns with me, so I won't have to drag you out half-frozen!

paulr
5-Mar-2014, 15:08
Stone, I forget if you said you needed a winter tent. I've always had a 4-season tent, since I do winter stuff, but in recent years have appreciated the comfort of my friends' 3 season tents. They're lighter, better ventilated, and less claustrophibic. Good ones will hold up to anything short of a blizard.

Here (http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Backpacking-Tent-Reviews) are some recent 3-season tent reviews from the same site I posted from earlier. A lot of info in one place. Disclaimer: it's probably all a conspiracy.

I'm adding some pics of my climbing partner's Black Diamond vista (double wall, not Bibler) tent. It's 3-season, and marketed as a 3 person tent. We were travelling more Stephen-style ... lots of stuff to basecamp, and then lightweight day trips from there. Except we were the llamas.

This tent was a very comfortable house for 10 days, with the exception of a storm that had us sitting against the sides for a half hour or so to keep it from flattening. But I've never been in a tent that could hold up unprotected to really high winds.

This tent weights less than my much smaller 4-season tent. My friend and I would not have survived each other in those close quarters.

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Edited to add: for two people with lots of crap, it's really nice having two doors and two vestibules. Less clutter and less climbing over each other.

StoneNYC
5-Mar-2014, 15:15
Stone, I forget if you said you needed a winter tent. I've always had a 4-season tent, since I do winter stuff, but in recent years have appreciated the comfort of my friends' 3 season tents. They're lighter, better ventilated, and less claustrophibic. Good ones will hold up to anything short of a blizard.

Here (http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Backpacking-Tent-Reviews) are some recent 3-season tent reviews from the same site I posted from earlier. A lot of info in one place. Disclaimer: it's probably all a conspiracy.

I'm adding some pics of my climbing partner's Black Diamond vista (double wall, not Bibler) tent. It's 3-season, and marketed as a 3 person tent. We were travelling more Stephen-style ... lots of stuff to basecamp, and then lightweight day trips from there. Except we were the llamas.

This tent was a very comfortable house for 10 days, with the exception of a storm that had us sitting against the sides for a half hour or so to keep it from flattening. But I've never been in a tent that could hold up unprotected to really high winds.

This tent weights less than my much smaller 4-season tent. My friend and I would not have survived each other in those close quarters.

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Edited to add: for two people with lots of crap, it's really nice having two doors and two vestibules. Eliminates climbing over each other.

For the extreme 4th season... I have a Mountain Hardware EV2 4-5lbs depending if you're using the stuff sack or not, pretty much indestructible and you wouldn't have to support it with your body in high wind either...

paulr
5-Mar-2014, 15:31
For the extreme 4th season... I have a Mountain Hardware EV2 4-5lbs depending if you're using the stuff sack or not, pretty much indestructible and you wouldn't have to support it with your body in high wind either...

That's a great tent, no doubt. And it would have laughed off the wind we experienced at Cirque of the Towers. But there's no tent you can carry that will hold up to all the winds you'll likely encounter at altitude. On Denali people use the Mountain Hardwear Trangos or Hilleberg Tarras (which took the place of the North Face Pole Sleeve Oval). These are 10 pound geodesic bomb shelters. Everyone I know who's climbed that peak expedition-style has spent at least a night at 17,200 feet leaning against the side of the tent to keep it from squashing. And this is after surrounding the thing with snow walls. It gets that windy in the Tetons in winter, and even sometimes in the White mountains back east, if you're brash enough to sleep on a ridge.

StoneNYC
5-Mar-2014, 15:44
That's a great tent, no doubt. And it would have laughed off the wind we experienced at Cirque of the Towers. But there's no tent you can carry that will hold up to all the winds you'll likely encounter at altitude. On Denali people use the Mountain Hardwear Trangos or Hilleberg Tarras (which took the place of the North Face Pole Sleeve Oval). These are 10 pound geodesic bomb shelters. Everyone I know who's climbed that peak expedition-style has spent at least a night at 17,200 feet leaning against the side of the tent to keep it from squashing. And this is after surrounding the thing with snow walls. It gets that windy in the Tetons in winter, and even sometimes in the White mountains back east, if you're brash enough to sleep on a ridge.

If I'm ever there I'll give it a shot, but the problem with the EV2 is, as far as I know, it's not rated for actual rain, because you wouldn't use it in temps that would ever have rain, only snow, so I've avoided using it unless it's super frigid, but someday for the heck of it I'll give it a try in rain storm just to see...

Stephen Willard
5-Mar-2014, 15:53
I just talked with the sales person by phone at my local REI store. They have one Hubba Hubba NX-2 in stock so I am heading down to take a peek, but I am no expert on tents. He told me that all of the tents are about the same with workmanship and so forth. His favorite is the Hubba Hubba NX-2 and as soon as he gets the bucks he will be purchasing one. He also told me the Agnes are very popular with ultralight guys because they are very light tents. He said that the Agnes at his store are by far returned the most with rips. He believes it is because they use much thinner fabrics to help further reduce weight and that they will rip easier. He does not know if it is failure from wind or accidental knife punctures or what. Interesting...

paulr
5-Mar-2014, 15:54
I'm sure it would keep the rain out. The only issue I can imagine is if the seams aren't sealed. That could be taken care of in one very boring afternoon. It's just that there are a lot tents that will be more comfortable in non-winter conditions.

StoneNYC
5-Mar-2014, 15:55
OK!!!

So after staring for about 30 minutes at the tent wall with all the tents listed, I settled on 2 for space and weight/design. There were many similar tents, but these were best...

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX2

WHOOPS!! Took a pic of the wrong one by accident... Oh well...

And the Big Agnes Copper Spur 2

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Tada!

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I'll review them both but ultimately the clear winner is still Big Agnes (for my needs).

Because of image limits, I'll make separate posts for each review.... To come next...

Erik Larsen
5-Mar-2014, 16:10
I've used the half dome 2 for about 15 years or so with maybe 30 nights a year in it. It has held up well except for the rain fly's plastic window which is now not see through anymore but a translucent white. It's been in extended rain up in glacier and hellish windstorms in Utah and it's still ticking. It's on the heavy side for backpacking but I can't complain about the durability so far considering the price. It isn't all that big, so might not be good if you're claustrophobic. Never had it in serious snow so I can't comment there. If I were Stephen and had someone else packing my gear I would go for max comfort and roominess in case I get stuck for prolonged periods of time in the tent. I'm not the radical backcountry camper some of you folks are, so take my comments with that in mind.

StoneNYC
5-Mar-2014, 16:40
MSR Hubba Hubba NX2...

Ok! Overall a great tent, and in dry climates, probably excellent....

I had a little more trouble setting it up, the center pole that connects and crosses the rest of the tent sort of flops around, and it's permanent, so you can't take it off and add it after. It kept catching on things, and I had to move from corner to corner to set the tent up, with the big Agnes I could sit in one corner and simply go in a circle and connect each of the 4 corners without moving.

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In addition the metal clips that hook onto all the poles are a little more difficult to insert easily and I can see having more trouble if wearing gloves, they are also metal instead of plastic which makes it colder on my fingers, I have reinards syndrome so super cold things on my extremities affect me more than others. And that same cross pole had a very tight clipping which was very difficult to get connected and I had to struggle with it, ALSO the same pole just sticks out, so even though it's reinforced, I can see in a heavy wind, a lot of rubbing on the pole end against the rain fly and could eventually wear away the fabric.

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I did like the door design better overall, it is easy to unzip from the inside and you won't get wet opening it.

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I found the "color coded" ends to be vague at best, in any dim light, the deep red of the tent or grey of the tent, wasn't really distinguishable with the corner indicators.

The venting was definitely lacking, and only had one low vent opening, was lacking guy out attachments so it's less stable in wind, and inside was also lacking the internal guy line stabilizer hooks in case you needs to tie up the inside for stability....

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StoneNYC
5-Mar-2014, 16:42
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Comes with stakes and a repair cast for the poles should one break. But was lacking guy lines included as well as tabs for extra guy lines...
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StoneNYC
5-Mar-2014, 16:43
PS (half done was the REI equivalent... It was decent but the tent pole hub design wasn't ideal 111614

And had less room
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StoneNYC
5-Mar-2014, 16:53
Ok onto the winner!!

Big Agnes Copper Spur 2 (wasn't even on my radar till I saw the tent wall for review).

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First of all, the same basic design as the MSR. But this one is slightly taller, but the foot room is less, and the vestibule areas are identical.

BUT it's lighter by a significant amount... 2lbs12oz vs the MSR of 3lbs6oz... Nether include the footprint so both a little more in reality, but the Big Agnes footprint is smaller at the feet so probably also a bit lighter than the MSR.

OK, much easier setup, the pole in the middle is separate and can be added after setup. In addition one other complaint was the MSR center roof fabric had no attachment to the pole, so condensation would certainly collect and it was convex so ultimately drip on you... This did not.

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It also had an innovative ball and socket, so in wind, the bending wouldn't cause any rubbing and would flex without causing stress on anything

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It also has a much easier cloth catch which has a loop to hook and just way better than the MSR version.

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StoneNYC
5-Mar-2014, 16:58
Ventilation... Not as good as my Seedhouse SL, but still really good....and it all guys out, so you can really bring it far to give a wide opening above high grass etc, also prevents water splashes because the distance the water would have to travel under the fly.

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Both of the clips that clip on the poles are relatively easy to use, the MSR has the older version that used to be on the old Big Agnes I own, but are a bit more difficult to attach. The new Bit Agnes attachments are curved so they don't pop off, and easy to put on.

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StoneNYC
5-Mar-2014, 17:03
Finally the interior...

Both had pockets, the MSR had two long but not deep pockets on the windows... The Big Agnes had more though.

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And had a full setup of interior guy line loops so with heavy winds you can guy the interior very well...

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And the outside had TONS of guy lines to really keep that tent stiff in high winds...

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The clips for attaching the rain fly are much easier with quick clips instead of the metal MSR ones that had to be looped under the tent poles...

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StoneNYC
5-Mar-2014, 17:07
I don't think I had much more to say, the tent stakes and extra pole cast also come with this tent but the guy lines come pre-attached for easy first time setup.

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That's basically it... I had one final thought for Stephen...

The MSR is 3lbs 6oz.... If you want you could get the Copper Spur 3!!! For 3lbs 10oz... Just 4 oz gives you TONS more room and better innovation....

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StoneNYC
5-Mar-2014, 17:11
Oh! Forgot, the doors on the copper spur weren't AS good, but what I did like is they are in the center instead, and so you can choose to use one side over the other, and rain won't surprise you because it will have fallen off on the sides and not the center which is farther out... If that makes sense, there are loops on both end pieces so you can choose to exit left or right with ease, and both the MSR And Big Agnes have roll up clips so you can roll the doors up.

StoneNYC
5-Mar-2014, 17:13
OH! And the Big Agnes had much brighter easier to identify pole colors to know where they go....

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Stephen Willard
5-Mar-2014, 18:43
Thank you so much Stone for all your time and effort. I have just printed out your postings, and I will be taking them down with me when I go to REI tomorrow. I want to see all of this first hand. I need to get my hands on them and get a feel for these tents, and I will have your postings in hand as I do.

StoneNYC
5-Mar-2014, 19:36
Thank you so much Stone for all your time and effort. I have just printed out your postings, and I will be taking them down with me when I go to REI tomorrow. I want to see all of this first hand. I need to get my hands on them and get a feel for these tents, and I will have your postings in hand as I do.

Best of luck! I wasn't LOOKING for the internal guy lines in the MSR tent so I didn't see them and only noticed them in the Big Agnes, but I feel like I would have noticed them in the MSR had they been there. Best of luck! Look forward to YOUR report :)

Bill Burk
5-Mar-2014, 22:31
Thank you so much Stone for all your time and effort. I have just printed out your postings, and I will be taking them down with me when I go to REI tomorrow. I want to see all of this first hand. I need to get my hands on them and get a feel for these tents, and I will have your postings in hand as I do.

Bring a scale. There isn't a strong emphasis on how much things weigh. I'm always disappointed when I go to comparison shop at REI and I have to judge weight without a scale. Last weekend I made an impromptu balance by hanging two raincoats (I was considering for my son) by their neck loops on the hooks of a hanger to see which was lighter weight. In the end I went with the lighter-weight Killtec. I didn't know how much it weighed when I bought it. 15 ounces it turns out, standard raincoat weight. I would have been upset if it weighed over a pound. That's a lot of weight to saddle a kid with.

Stephen Willard
6-Mar-2014, 07:53
Bring a scale. There isn't a strong emphasis on how much things weigh. I'm always disappointed when I go to comparison shop at REI and I have to judge weight without a scale. Last weekend I made an impromptu balance by hanging two raincoats (I was considering for my son) by their neck loops on the hooks of a hanger to see which was lighter weight. In the end I went with the lighter-weight Killtec. I didn't know how much it weighed when I bought it. 15 ounces it turns out, standard raincoat weight. I would have been upset if it weighed over a pound. That's a lot of weight to saddle a kid with.

Thanks Bill, I have three more hours before REI opens, and I will bring a scale when I go.

Stephen Willard
6-Mar-2014, 08:28
Has anybody used the MSR Autoflow Microfilter. http://www.cascadedesigns.com/msr/water-treatment-and-hydration/basecamp-water-treatment-and-hydration/autoflow-gravity-filter/product

StoneNYC
6-Mar-2014, 09:14
Has anybody used the MSR Autoflow Microfilter. http://www.cascadedesigns.com/msr/water-treatment-and-hydration/basecamp-water-treatment-and-hydration/autoflow-gravity-filter/product

I tend to use the MSR "Miox" salt brine chlorine variant thing, I know it's not great to drink for long periods of time but neither is chlorinated water which is my normal tap water anyway...

It's just so small, simple, and light, and I don't have to change a filter or worry about it getting moldy or bacteria filled in hot weather...

Anything you can't purify by boiling I wouldn't want to drink anyway... Even filtered.

I assume out where you are, there's not a lot of toxins in accessible water? So it's just bacteria that's a concern?

StoneNYC
6-Mar-2014, 12:02
Saw the catalogue and thought this was interesting... Not strong!?!?, somehow goats can walk on it! Haha

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I know it's advertising but still...

paulr
6-Mar-2014, 12:32
I wonder if there's a source for the reflective guyline cord that North Faces uses. I don't much like their tents, but that cord is brilliant. I'd consider getting some and using it on whatever tent I had.

Edit: found it (http://www.rei.com/product/782824/?cm_mmc=cse_PLA-_-pla-_-product-_-7828240023&bluewater-3mm-niteline-utility-cord-package-of-50-ft,-orange&preferredSku=7828240023&mr:trackingCode=773CB1FE-FB85-DE11-B7F3-0019B9C043EB&mr:referralID=NA&mr:device=c&mr:adType=pla&mr:ad=44272151560&mr:keyword=&mr:match=&mr:filter=61471749640&msid=qqOkB7Rh_dc%7Cpcrid%7C44272151560%7C&%7Bcopy:s_kwcid%7D)

StoneNYC
6-Mar-2014, 12:44
I wonder if there's a source for the reflective guyline cord that North Faces uses. I don't much like their tents, but that cord is brilliant. I'd consider getting some and using it on whatever tent I had.

Edit: found it (http://www.rei.com/product/782824/?cm_mmc=cse_PLA-_-pla-_-product-_-7828240023&bluewater-3mm-niteline-utility-cord-package-of-50-ft,-orange&preferredSku=7828240023&mr:trackingCode=773CB1FE-FB85-DE11-B7F3-0019B9C043EB&mr:referralID=NA&mr:device=c&mr:adType=pla&mr:ad=44272151560&mr:keyword=&mr:match=&mr:filter=61471749640&msid=qqOkB7Rh_dc%7Cpcrid%7C44272151560%7C&%7Bcopy:s_kwcid%7D)

Yea you can get that from many manufacturers, I like the Big Agnes chord of course haha! :)

OK further review upcoming!!

StoneNYC
6-Mar-2014, 12:47
So I decided to visit the other store EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports) and saw that the MSR had a gear shed.

I decided I would give it a try and see if it fit on the Big Agnes copper spur! Because I like the gear shed for Stephen's needs.

Anyway it works!

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It also has this nifty part inside that's half ground but also half FLOOR so you can rest things off the ground but still inside the rainfly and outside of the tent!

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StoneNYC
6-Mar-2014, 12:48
Few more pictures ...

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StoneNYC
6-Mar-2014, 14:24
Oh and this is the Miox I was talking about... Image from the internet... It's about $100 but after researching seems they have discontinued it? Probably because once you buy it, you don't need to buy anything but salt to replenish it, so they can't make additional money off of it like they can for water filter systems...

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and this is a "backup" in case your batteries die... It only costs $12

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And someone asked about extra reflective chording...

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FEW! I'm done!

Stephen Willard
6-Mar-2014, 22:44
Stone, sorry for not get back sooner, but I had some family matters to attend to. So here is the skinny on the two tents I looked at. Please not that I am not that experienced with tents or the latest and greatest. So it is prudent to temper my conclusions with caution.

I inspected and set up at the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 (BA) and the MSR Hubba Hubba NX-2 tents. I do not have a cell phone so I was not able to take pictures. The differences in floor area, interior height, and individual vestibule area was not significant, and thus, they are not a really a differentiators worth mentioning.


PACK WEIGHT

BA - 3lbs 2oz
MSR - 3lbs 13oz

The BA was the the lightest and the MSR was the heaviest with a difference of 11oz.

TENT FLY

The MSR fly used a slightly heavier fabric then the BA fly. I would guess the MSR fly fabric weight was about the same as fabric weight that BA used for its flooring. The ripstop thread count per inch for the MSR fly was twice that of the BA fly.

Because the MSR used slightly heavier fabric, and that the ripstop thread count was twice that per inch than the BA fly, I believe the MSR fly is significantly stronger and more durable.

VENTILATION

The BA fly has one side vent. The BA fly vent was larger than both the MSR fly side vents. The MSR has two fly vents, one on each side. I believe the MSR’s configuration of having two opposing vents is more efficient and facilitates better air flow across the inner tent to vent moisture. Furthermore, both vestibules of the MSR can be partially rolled up to facilitate cross ventilation from front to back as well.

The inner walls on the side of MSR tent are slightly slopped in and away from the exterior fly to facilitate better venting. The BA has provided a loop on the bottom of the fly side walls so that it can be pull away to facilitate better venting.

Because MSR has front to back and side to side cross ventilation, I believe it has the most efficient configuration to reduce moisture.

TENT POLES

The MSR uses a slightly larger diameter tent pole than the BA poles. The wall thickness of the poles were about the same for both tents. I also inspected pole diameters for a number of other tents, and MSR’s pole diameter was significantly larger than many other tents.

It is my belief the larger the pole diameter the stronger it is exponentially and the stronger the tent skeleton will be. Because the MSR had the largest pole diameter, its pole structure was superior in strength than all other tents I examined.

TENT STAKES

I thought the tent stakes for both MSR and BA were marginal at best, and I would recommend replacing them with Kellty No-Bedium II Gold stakes. They are made from a very light anodized aluminum 700-T6 alloy. The material is as tough as titanium and never bends. A melon size rock and one of these stakes will keep your tent well anchored.

SETUP TIME

Based on Stone excellent review of setup time and based on my own trials, I believe that BA was the easiest and fastest to setup.

TENT FLOORS

The MSR floor and side walls used significantly heavier floor fabric than the BA floors. All of the floors were constructed from a single sheet of fabric. There were no seams in the middle of the floor.

Because the floor fabric was notably thicker for the MSR tent, it is my belief that MSR had the most durable floor system while BA had the lightest floor system.

ACCESS and VESTIBULE STORAGE

The MSR by far had the best access with two opposing doors and vestibules. It thus, had twice the vestibule storage of the BA tent. The MSR vestibules also seemed to be better made, better designed, and had rain troughs to reduce getting your cloths wet when you either entered or exited the tent on rainy days.

WIND RESISTANCE, STABILITY, and ANCHORING

The overall symmetrical architecture of the MSR tent with opposing vestibules and lower side end profiles, I believe will result in the lowest wind resistance, the least wind loading, and greatest tent stability compared to the BA tent.

The BA tent has two sides that have very steep high profile exterior walls that can have a more pronounced sail boat effect increasing wind resistance and loading and decreasing tent stability.

MSR vestibules replace the need to have line tie downs on the front and back of the tent. There is a exterior loop attached to the top of each fly vent for line tie downs on both sides of the tent. I believe the two vestibules and the two tie downs on the sides of the tent are all that is needed to sufficiently anchor the tent in high winds.

Because of the two steep higher profile exterior walls of the BA tent, more than two exterior loops are provided and line tie downs will be needed to properly anchor the tents in high winds.

The MSR tent has no internal loops to facilitate internal tie downs. The BA tent does. However, it is my belief that this feature is not needed with the MSR because of its lower wind resistance and loading and increased stability.

COMENTS FROM REI STAFF

The REI sales person I was talking with said BA ultralight tents had the highest rate of return from rips at his store. He was not able to tell me if it was the fly or floor that was ripping or if it was from wind or accidental material punctures that triggered the rip. I was told that BA ultralight tents were very popular with minimalist. This band of renegades tend to embrace extreme experiences and perhaps these tents are subject to more abuse than other tents. This may explain the higher rip rate, but this is speculation on my part.

That said, the materials used for both the BA fly and floor are thinner. Also the fly has a lower ripstop thread count. Perhaps both of these weaker materials could account for the higher return from rips.

CONCLUSIONS

It is my belief that the MSR tent has better access, a more durable fly and floor fabric, better ventilation, more vestibule storage, lower wind resistance and loading, greater stability, and a slightly stronger pole skeleton than the BA. The BA is lighter by 11oz, and it can be setup faster. They both cost about the same.

I think for me, the MSR is a better fit and that is what I intend to buy along with the optional subfloor and extended vestibule which is more suited for my base camp application.

For Stone and others like him, I think the faster setup time and 11oz in weight savings will make the BA very appealing.

Again Stone thanks for your initial review and efforts. They were very helpful.

StoneNYC
6-Mar-2014, 23:05
Stephen,

Thanks for your excellent review... I have one comment / question.

You said something in particular that makes me think you were looking at the ANGEL spur and not the COPPER spur...

And that is that you said the MSR had TWO vestibules so DOUBLE the space of the BA.... The COPPER Spur has TWO vestibules that are both the same size /space as the MSR... Were you looking at the wrong tent?...

Anyway the angel spur also has a sharper side area that might be what you were looking at?

Also, the ventilation. I agree cross vents work wonders, did you notice that the end guy outs would add to the cross ventilation?

What I liked about the BA was the VERY HIGH and large vent, which would let heat out of the top, vs the MSR which were lower on the tent wall.

I would agree that MSR's ability to roll up adds a lot of ventilation.

It never occurred to me to check the thread count! Duh!!

Pole thickness... Again, that makes sense...

I always tent with a footprint, always, and even my footprint has never been punctured, let alone the tent floor. I've had the BA Seedhouse SL for ... Wow just under 6 years now, and it still is fine, however the SL (super light) is going to have more material than the UL (ultra light) so it may be that they have hit their maximum point of membrane supper. It also could be that they have found a way to make a thinner, less thread count while still retaining strength.

I do suspect that the fast and light people tend to shred their tents carelessly, but, for your purposes, I can see the appeal of the MSR and I'm curious about that whole "BA only had one vestibule" thing... Because it certainly has 2.

Did you see the MSR/BA hybrid I made?! Hah!

Stephen Willard
7-Mar-2014, 03:18
Stone you are correct. I screwed up on the vestibule. I never was able to setup the BA tent because they were very busy and packed with people at the store. The MSR was already setup on display. I was just rifling through the heap of BA loose tent fabric checking out everything you said, as well as the materials. Most of the time it was hard to tell which end was up and which end was down. The guy who knew a lot about tents was interrupted to help another customer, so I asked another saleswomen if it had two vestibules. She said she was not sure, but she thought it did not. I took her word for it. It was only after I posted my response that I saw it had two vestibules on the website. Sorry about that error. However, I did hold one vestibule up on the BA in dangling form and made the best inspection I could given the fact I could not set it up.

The difference between the MSR and BA poles was only slightly less, but the rest of the tents I looked at had considerably smaller diameter poles especially the REI version.

A higher bigger vent on BA would be good for venting hot air for sure, and you are correct, the lower MSR side vents would work better if they were higher up. Everything else in my review is probably close, but I would love it if you confirmed my observations.

One thing I did not mention in my review, is the MSR stuff bag is made out of the heaver floor material of the MSR tent, and I doubt if it would fray like the BA stuff bag has done in the past.

As far as BA tents ripping, well they may have sold 500 of them and got 10 returns for ripping while the other tents may have one or two. In that case, the data point is not that significant. However, I really do not know. I just echoed what the guy told me. The "why" part is speculation...

For me durability and features are high priority, and less so with weight. I think that the MSR has the BA beat on durability by a small margin, and that is why it weighs more, so it is a better answer for me. The MSR tent is actually lighter than my current tent and has all the features that have motivated me to upgrade. If I we're carrying everything on my back, then 11 oz is a big deal. As you must know, the only way to reduce over all weight is by ounces here and there until eventually it begins to add up to pounds. So I think the BA is the right answer for you.

One thing for sure, tent technology has come a long way since I bought my last tent. It is really cool. Overall the differences between the two tents are small, and they both are superb tents. I believe you will not go wrong with either tent.

I have not checked out your concoction of the hybrid tent yet, but I will shortly.

StoneNYC
7-Mar-2014, 09:11
Stephen, you have me second guessing about holding up to the wind issue... Adding more guy lines because they are NEEDED hmmm, wish we could both be camping together in a storm to see... Hah! I'll probably never make it to your dangerous places...

Drew Wiley
7-Mar-2014, 09:14
I still don't get it. These are all basically ultralights intended for min backpacking wt. If you have llamas, why can't go get something tougher? Yes, Big Agnes bags
are deliberately thin, small, and hard to pack. But the tents themselves have some especially nice setup features that go quickly, but not quickly enough if you're
in a serious downpour doing it (but that would be the case with any of these rainfly-dependent systems). I've done quite a few storms in them; and alleged failures
are probably just due to the popularity of the tents combined with the kind of inexperienced clientele that shops REI. A lot of one weekend a year types. These thin
fabrics have to be pampered. They're not weak, but not really mountaineering duty either. I have no regrets buying a Big Agnes 'cause of my increasing needs to
lower pack wt. But it's not something I'd consider more than a summer tent (in the extended sense of the season) here in the Sierras, which are analogous to the
Winds or Rockies.

Stephen Willard
7-Mar-2014, 09:24
I saw the EMS extended vestibule or gear shed. I really like the plastic window, but I am also concerned whether the plastic window will hold up. There was a posting a while back from a fellow you claimed his plastic window in his fly clouded up over time, and it became impossible for him to see through. That does not mean it will happen with the EMS gear shed, because the windows could be made out of different materials.

In any event, adapting the EMS gear shed to the BA is a very creative and innovative approach Stone.... I have a reputation in my family and circles of friends that everything I own has been modified to better fit my needs. Nothing is stock from slippers to cameras to the darkroom and the list goes on. I am always on a quest to make things better, so I very much appreciate your gear shed solution. What follows is a picture of my home made bellows extension so I could use my 1200mm lens with my cameras.

111683

Also note my home made air foil on top of my car in the picture. The foil helps keep the dust off the back of my Montero.

Stephen Willard
7-Mar-2014, 09:42
I still don't get it. These are all basically ultralights intended for min backpacking wt. If you have llamas, why can't go get something tougher? Yes, Big Agnes bags
are deliberately thin, small, and hard to pack. But the tents themselves have some especially nice setup features that go quickly, but not quickly enough if you're
in a serious downpour doing it (but that would be the case with any of these rainfly-dependent systems). I've done quite a few storms in them; and alleged failures
are probably just due to the popularity of the tents combined with the kind of inexperienced clientele that shops REI. A lot of one weekend a year types. These thin
fabrics have to be pampered. They're not weak, but not really mountaineering duty either. I have no regrets buying a Big Agnes 'cause of my increasing needs to
lower pack wt. But it's not something I'd consider more than a summer tent (in the extended sense of the season) here in the Sierras, which are analogous to the
Winds or Rockies.

Drew, it may seem because I have llamas, I have the capacity to tote the kitchen sink. The reality is I am right at the limit of what I can carry. So weight is always an issue. I am gravity limited just like every one else. However, I also do spend 60-70 days in the back country, so things have to be rugged as well or they will break down, and historically that has been a big problem. My repair kit is extensive from glues to tapes and to mini tools. It is balancing act between weight and strength. Can the equipment stand up to extended use and exposure year after year. There is no definitive or easy answers...

Drew Wiley
7-Mar-2014, 10:08
OK. The weak point of the Big Agnes, just like the rest of these, is the floor. It would be easy to puncture it and let water in pitched over a bit of pinecone etc.
I opted for the dedicated groundcloth cause it came free and clips exactly, though being so light can instantly blow away until it is fastened. A scrap of truck wrap
would be tougher, but what the heck (and my pack needs everything as compact as possible due to the camera gear and sometimes, alas, some sort of bear container - rules in a couple park areas here). But the BA floor is exceptionally thin to keep wt at a min.

StoneNYC
7-Mar-2014, 10:15
One point, the BA bags are not small by any means and not hard to get the tent in, if you FOLLOW THEIR DIRECTIONS which instruct you to "stuff it" and put the poles in last on the side, always works.

The theory is, if you FOLD your tent every time, you weaken a specific part of the fabric that is always folded and that becomes the point water can get in and it can tear (in theory) and there is always generous room for stuffing though I will admit the MSR opening was really easy and is kind of nice in design, I might get one direct from them if I can.

goamules
7-Mar-2014, 10:54
Drew, it may seem because I have llamas, I have the capacity to tote the kitchen sink. The reality is I am right at the limit of what I can carry. So weight is always an issue. I am gravity limited just like every one else. However, I also do spend 60-70 days in the back country, so things have to be rugged as well or they will break down, and historically that has been a big problem. ...

Enjoy your purchase. Most people buy something and learn to like it's features, and ignore a few flaws. When you say you spend 60 to 70 days in the back country I assume you mean cumulatively, not all at once. Because for me, I wouldn't want to be living out of an ultralight tent for more than 3-4 nights. Weather changes, and that's the beauty of using pack animals, you can get further back with better equipment. At least with my mules you can. A 130 lb packsaddle is nothing for my mule. What can a llama carry? I know they cannot carry you if you are injured. But they're smaller and probably less trouble.

Stephen Willard
7-Mar-2014, 11:02
Okay so here is the skinny on why I am going to buy the MSR. It is 8oz lighter than my current tent; it has a bigger foot print; it has higher headroom; it has better access, it has more vestibule storage; it has better ventilation; it is easier to setup; and I believe that the fabric weight and design of the fly and floor materials will hold up to my level of use. I love MSR's innovated stuff sack. This may seem trite to all of you, but for me it has been a nightmare trying to slide my current tent into its stuff sack.

I also have a high level of trust in MSR products. Everything that I own that is MSR performs beautifully and has endured the test of time. I bought my dragon fly stoves when they were first introduced about 10 years ago. I use them four to five times a day 60 to 70 days a year. That adds up to 650 days or almost two years of solid use with absolutely no problems. I suspect the Hubba Hubba NX-2 tent will be no different...

Stephen Willard
7-Mar-2014, 11:27
Enjoy your purchase. Most people buy something and learn to like it's features, and ignore a few flaws. When you say you spend 60 to 70 days in the back country I assume you mean cumulatively, not all at once. Because for me, I wouldn't want to be living out of an ultralight tent for more than 3-4 nights. Weather changes, and that's the beauty of using pack animals, you can get further back with better equipment. At least with my mules you can. A 130 lb packsaddle is nothing for my mule. What can a llama carry? I know they cannot carry you if you are injured. But they're smaller and probably less trouble.

The time I spend in the back country is pretty much back to back over several trips. My llamas can carry 100 pounds each and can go just about any place I can go for the most part. They cannot carry me nor have they been saddle trained for that. They can eat anything including pine bows, so I do not have to bring any food in for them. They will not hop along boulder fields or go between the spacing of trees that are narrower than the width of their packs. They know how wide they are. They are very smart animals. Off trial traveling is harder to do with them, but I manage to do it all the time. They have exceptional sight, hearing, and smell, and they will let me know way in advanced if danger is lurking. They are amazing pack animals if they are well trained, or if you have the skills to properly manage them.

They are much easier to port by car because they are smaller and lighter. I have made a custom built trailer to haul my two llamas that I can actually four wheel drive with. How many times have you seen a vehicle four wheel driving on rough roads towing a trailer, especially towing llamas?

I guess in someways you could consider llamas as ultralight pack animaling compared to mules or horses.

111684 111685

PS. I actually once pulled behind a minivan with a llama bedded down in the back of it. Go figure!

paulr
7-Mar-2014, 12:05
Everything that I own that is MSR performs beautifully and has endured the test of time. I bought my dragon fly stoves when they were first introduced about 10 years ago. I use them four to five times a day 60 to 70 days a year. That adds up to 650 days or almost two years of solid use with absolutely no problems. I suspect the Hubba Hubba NX-2 tent will be no different...

I'm still using the X-GK stove that I bought in 1987. Aside from being a bit bent ugly and wobbly, it's as good as new. One of the things that makes it so trustworthy is its repair kit, and the way MSR designed it so that anyone can take it apart and clean it and replace seals and things in the field. I'm sure there are better stoves made now, by MSR and others. But nothing yet has inspired me to retire my first one.

StoneNYC
7-Mar-2014, 12:10
I concur about the stoves, not sure if I mentioned it by my whisperlight international bought in 1992 (I was 10) still works great and I only replaced all the seals/gaskets once 5 years ago, I know I should more often but I only run white gas through it, if I had to use another gas, I would fully clean it after and replace the seals more often. Amazing stoves for sure!

paulr
7-Mar-2014, 12:20
...I only replaced all the seals/gaskets once 5 years ago, I know I should more often but I only run white gas through it...

I've only replaced a single o-ring on my 27 year-old stove. I don't know if this should make you feel better or me feel worse ... probably a little of both! Maybe I should replace the whole pump before the next serious trip, just to be on the safe side.

Stephen Willard
7-Mar-2014, 12:48
I'm still using the X-GK stove that I bought in 1987. Aside from being a bit bent ugly and wobbly, it's as good as new. One of the things that makes it so trustworthy is its repair kit, and the way MSR designed it so that anyone can take it apart and clean it and replace seals and things in the field. I'm sure there are better stoves made now, by MSR and others. But nothing yet has inspired me to retire my first one.

Well said Paulr, once a piece of equipment becomes "proven", I think long and hard before I trade it in for a newer model. There has to be some compelling improvements before I will upgrade. Period.

Vaughn
7-Mar-2014, 13:04
...At least with my mules you can. A 130 lb packsaddle is nothing for my mule. What can a llama carry? I know they cannot carry you if you are injured. But they're smaller and probably less trouble.

We loaded our mules with 200 to 250 pound each...but we hand-led them and stopped a lot to do trailwork.

I have been using Svea stoves for the past 30 or so years -- the same ones (I have ended up with 3). One of them is starting to give me some problems, leaking around the valve while in use.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b2/Svea_123R.jpg Minimal moving parts -- love them!

I had one of there blow up in my face back in 1973, so don't trust them a bit (the tank seam and the safety valve blew at the same time).

http://www.backcountrygear.com/optimus-hikerplus-black-green.html?gdftrk=gdfV25269_a_7c1641_a_7c7028_a_7cOPT9H10135_d_BLACK_a2f_GREEN

Drew Wiley
7-Mar-2014, 13:08
Products change over time, often not for the better. Entire companies change. Every time a brand gets bought out, there's a 90% chance the quality will go downhill.
Very few outdoor companies are what they used to be. Mostly just importers now, just like lots of mfg goods in this country. I'm sick of it. But this is the kind of gear that is not terribly difficult to initially capitalize, so attracts innovators. Most outdoor gear brands began with someone thinking, "I can do better than this"....

paulr
7-Mar-2014, 15:27
The economy is just different than it used to be. Sewing labor in the U.S. is expensive. The cheapest men's dress shirt you can buy made in the 1st world is around $130. Not many people can afford gear that's sewn here. There are some exceptions, but they are usually very small operations that sell direct, like Cilogear packs.

Companies like Patagonia do r&d, and they do marketing, and they do retail. Everything but the manufacturing. There are some economic/ideological arguments against this, but there has been no significant quality falloff. In terms of performance their stuff is better than it's ever been.

Renato Tonelli
7-Mar-2014, 15:29
This is the stove I have been using lately when I'm trying to shave off a few ounces. OK - I'll confess: it's too much fun to use!

http://www.emberlit.com/en/emberlit-ul-titanium

Heroique
7-Mar-2014, 15:50
This is the stove I have been using lately when I'm trying to shave off a few ounces. OK - I'll confess: it's too much fun to use!

Say, that does look ultralight, fun, and useful, even if a little pricey.

Only 5.5 oz. and packs to 1/8" inch flat...

And no need to carry fuel!

Drew Wiley
7-Mar-2014, 16:23
So how does it cook above timberline, or in the rain if there's no fuel canister? Does snow burn these days?

Heroique
7-Mar-2014, 16:40
So how does it cook above timberline, or in the rain if there's no fuel canister? Does snow burn these days?

Hmm, sounds like you've brought inappropriate gear to your destination again? :D

Drew Wiley
7-Mar-2014, 16:42
I'd just go to REI. I send people to them all them time to ask for freeze-dried backpacking water. And they do go and ask!

NancyP
7-Mar-2014, 16:43
Hey, I just learned something interesting. Tyvek sheets can make ultra-light tent footprints, and you can get Tyvek sheeting at lumber/insulation stores. http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=18057
Tyvek brand 9' x 100' sheeting costs ~$100.00, so if you had a bunch of friends who wanted ground sheets or even tarps, you could make them for 10 to 20 bucks each.

Drew Wiley
7-Mar-2014, 16:44
... but on a more legit note, any kind of natural wood fire is prohibited by law in virtually all the higher Sierra, and often, due to our catastrophic forest fires, even
at lower elevations. Gas stoves are mandatory.

Drew Wiley
7-Mar-2014, 16:46
Nancy ... we throw away, or more accurately, recycle, hundreds of square yards of truck wrap a week. Most of it is better than Tyvek, but either way, you can
probably pick up this stuff for free at a local lumberyard. And it will make an excellent lightwt groundcover.

goamules
7-Mar-2014, 18:07
The time I spend in the back country is pretty much back to back over several trips. My llamas can carry 100 pounds each and can go just about any place I can go for the most part. They cannot carry me nor have they been saddle trained for that. They can eat anything including pine bows, so I do not have to bring any food in for them. They will not hop along boulder fields or go between the spacing of trees that are narrower than the width of their packs. They know how wide they are. They are very smart animals. Off trial traveling is harder to do with them, but I manage to do it all the time. They have exceptional sight, hearing, and smell, and they will let me know way in advanced if danger is lurking. They are amazing pack animals if they are well trained, or if you have the skills to properly manage them.

They are much easier to port by car because they are smaller and lighter. I have made a custom built trailer to haul my two llamas that I can actually four wheel drive with. How many times have you seen a vehicle four wheel driving on rough roads towing a trailer, especially towing llamas?

I guess in someways you could consider llamas as ultralight pack animaling compared to mules or horses.
!

I think you're right, they are like an ultralight pack animal! I considered llamas years ago, but talked to several Westerners who asked "can it carry you out?" and I changed my mind. I love my mules as much as you love you llamas. A 100 lb pack on a llama sounds like a max load. When I quoted 130 for a mule, that is a bare minimum load. Remember, most riders with their clothes and gear are pushing 200 lbs. I've ridden one and ponied another mule miles and miles in a day. 15 or so in the Gila wilderness, where you have to cross the Gila river 30 times in a day, up several thousand foot mesas, down again into valleys, and up to 10,000 foot passes. Or 20 miles on flat ground, no problem. They're the heavy 4WD of pack animals. That's why the Army used thousands of mules out West in the 1880s, and used them again in Burma in WWII, carrying howitzers broken down. Amazing, gentle, and very smart animal. Ever seen the pics of the mule tossing the Mountain Lion carcass around? My 15 hand "Cricket".

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3727/12770225243_613195de1d_c.jpg

Stephen Willard
7-Mar-2014, 18:09
There have been several postings I have made in this string about properly anchoring the your tents with appropriate tie down lines, bigger stakes than what is provided by the MSR Hubba Hubba NX-2, and then putting melons size rocks on the stakes. When the big alpine storms come rolling in you will be glade you did. Here is a youtube video that demonstrates the need for proper anchoring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mMUbOnHtm8

StoneNYC
7-Mar-2014, 18:23
There have been several postings I have made in this string about properly anchoring the your tents with appropriate tie down lines, bigger stakes than what is provided by the MSR Hubba Hubba NX-2, and then putting melons size rocks on the stakes. When the big alpine storms come rolling in you will be glade you did. Here is a youtube video that demonstrates the need for proper anchoring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mMUbOnHtm8

Hmmm, good thing you chose the tent with all those tie downs... Oh wait... :whistling: ;)

Stephen Willard
7-Mar-2014, 19:43
Hmmm, good thing you chose the tent with all those tie downs... Oh wait... :whistling: ;)

I love the number two. It is such an even number. With the divine MSR Hubba Hubba NX-2 you only need two lines to anchor it down, two to sleep in it, and best of all, two to make love in it. Now that sounds like a lots less work and a whole lot more fun.

Praise the Lord for he has created gnarly men, beautiful women, and the MSR Hubba Hubba NX-2 :o.

StoneNYC
7-Mar-2014, 20:17
I love the number two. It is such an even number. With the divine MSR Hubba Hubba NX-2 you only need two lines to anchor it down, two to sleep in it, and best of all, two to make love in it. Now that sounds like a lots less work and a whole lot more fun.

Praise the Lord for he has created gnarly men, beautiful women, and the MSR Hubba Hubba NX-2 :o.

Glad you're happy! Though the gear shed did "fit" on the BA, I wouldn't trust it in high winds, so I won't get it, best used on the product it was intended on.

Can't wait to see it in action and hear back on your first trip out with it. Hope you test it before taking it on a month+ trip.

I agree it is a lot easier to setup with less guy lines, I just don't trust it, call it a gut feeling.

If I had a month to mess around and lots of money I would pick up the 3 person tent version and camp next door and sprawl out in all my extra space... Hah! :)

Stephen Willard
8-Mar-2014, 01:17
Can't wait to see it in action and hear back on your first trip out with it.

Well, if my tent fails, then I will not be coming back to this community not because of shame, but rather, I will most likely will be dead!



Hope you test it before taking it on a month+ trip.

Oh don't you worry about that. My curvy Irish wife is very enthusiastic about climbing in and doing nasting things. Hubba Hubba! If the tent and I can survive that kind of activity, then we can surely handle anything in the alpine without her.

Most people think I head to the mountains because of my strong connection with the land. However, in truth, my curvy wife is just way to much women for me, so I flee to the high peaks for extended periods out of fear for my own life. Its purely an act of survival and nothing more!



I agree it is a lot easier to setup with less guy lines, I just don't trust it, call it a gut feeling.

I trust your guts. Its your feelings that worry me...



If I had a month to mess around and lots of money I would pick up the 3 person tent version and camp next door and sprawl out in all my extra space... Hah! :)

My base camp is a gated community for those with big bank statements, have funny looking llamas, and lack any redeeming attributes like myself. If your are that kind of guy, then welcome, otherwise, I would have put you down with bear spray.

StoneNYC
8-Mar-2014, 06:20
Well, if my tent fails, then I will not be coming back to this community not because of shame, but rather, I will most likely will be dead!



Oh don't you worry about that. My curvy Irish wife is very enthusiastic about climbing in and doing nasting things. Hubba Hubba! If the tent and I can survive that kind of activity, then we can surely handle anything in the alpine without her.

Most people think I head to the mountains because of my strong connection with the land. However, in truth, my curvy wife is just way to much women for me, so I flee to the high peaks for extended periods out of fear for my own life. Its purely an act of survival and nothing more!



I trust your guts. Its your feelings that worry me...



My base camp is a gated community for those with big bank statements, have funny looking llamas, and lack any redeeming attributes like myself. If your are that kind of guy, then welcome, otherwise, I would have put you down with bear spray.

Gated? What kind of luxurious place is that? GATES! You should have to build a new penn from scratch every time... With wood!

Gates...

Vaughn
8-Mar-2014, 09:44
I think you're right, they are like an ultralight pack animal! ...

Live weight is a bit easier for an animal to carry than dead weight -- the poor horse that had to carry me (about 220 pounds of muscle and bone...ah, youth!) did so quite couragously. I had a habit of getting off on the steeper sections and leading him up -- to get more miles out of the horse that day and to loosen up my knees.

How about burros -- don't see them used much. We did come across a fellow in the wilderness looking for his burro. The fellow was a war vet with a bad back and the beast had taken off on him. We tracked the burro down and returned it to the fellow. The gals on my crew fell in love with the burro and wanted the FS to get some..packing mules is tough if you don't have the height to reach the top of the load! But I think the temperment of the mules would be better (but I've been stuck with mules that were assholes, so I am sure there are burros that are sweet).

photonsoup
8-Mar-2014, 12:44
I guess in someways you could consider llamas as ultralight pack animaling compared to mules or horses.


OK at the risk of being made fun of I'll chime in.

I guess you would consider goats as ultralight pack animals compared to llamas! Yes, I use pack goats! They work great for my needs.
I have taken lots of trips with Boy Scouts (usually over 100 miles a year) and they are perfect for that.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/packgoat/photos/albums/446052238/lightbox/686428090
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/packgoat/photos/albums/446052238/lightbox/628205696
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/packgoat/photos/albums/446052238/lightbox/668948499

Pros:
They can go anywhere I can go (and some places I won't)
THEY DON'T WANDER OFF!!
They eat anything
They can go 3 days without water
They are smart
They carry ~50lbs each
They will ride in a car! If they cannot stand up, they will not discharge any bodily waste.
Neutered male goats do not smell bad.
Perfect size for boy scouts and women to handle

Cons:
They can only carry 50 lbs
They are smart enough to get into and eat your human food
They always want to be with you, tie them up if you want to squat in the woods without their help!
I worry about wolves, no issues yet, but I have started to tie them up at night.
You have to waste lots of time stopping and talking to every person you meet who is on foot and wants to know everything there is to know about goats!

I do enjoy riding horses and mules, my main dislike with them is once you get into the backcountry somebody has to babysit the stock. If you can afford a wrangler to take care of these duties while you explore and enjoy it's the perfect world. A solo trip in the backcountry with horses is no fun for me

StoneNYC
8-Mar-2014, 12:48
OK at the risk of being made fun of I'll chime in.

I guess you would consider goats as ultralight pack animals compared to llamas! Yes, I use pack goats! They work great for my needs.
I have taken lots of trips with Boy Scouts (usually over 100 miles a year) and they are perfect for that.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/packgoat/photos/albums/446052238/lightbox/686428090
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/packgoat/photos/albums/446052238/lightbox/628205696
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/packgoat/photos/albums/446052238/lightbox/668948499

Pros:
They can go anywhere I can go (and some places I won't)
THEY DON'T WANDER OFF!!
They eat anything
They can go 3 days without water
They are smart
They carry ~50lbs each
They will ride in a car! If they cannot stand up, they will not discharge any bodily waste.
Neutered male goats do not smell bad.
Perfect size for boy scouts and women to handle

Cons:
They can only carry 50 lbs
They are smart enough to get into and eat your human food
They always want to be with you, tie them up if you want to squat in the woods without their help!
I worry about wolves, no issues yet, but I have started to tie them up at night.
You have to waste lots of time stopping and talking to every person you meet who is on foot and wants to know everything there is to know about goats!

I do enjoy riding horses and mules, my main dislike with them is once you get into the backcountry somebody has to babysit the stock. If you can afford a wrangler to take care of these duties while you explore and enjoy it's the perfect world. A solo trip in the backcountry with horses is no fun for me

Troop 68, Trumbull, CT Assistant Scoutmaster and Eagle Scout... I had one of the best scoutmasters one could ever hope for, but he never had goats!

Heck 2 goats would be more than enough for my weight needs! Wow heck 1 goat is enough, 50lbs lighter is a dream...

Jac@stafford.net
8-Mar-2014, 16:10
Troop 68, Trumbull, CT Assistant Scoutmaster and Eagle Scout..

Troop 35, Wethersfield, Connecticut in the Fifties before any good hiking tech existed. We hiked and slept in the snow. Waxed canvas was the tech of the time. I opted out as a Star Scout because puberty happened early:)

StoneNYC
8-Mar-2014, 16:20
Troop 35, Wethersfield, Connecticut in the Fifties before any good hiking tech existed. We hiked and slept in the snow. Waxed canvas was the tech of the time. I opted out as a Star Scout because puberty happened early:)

Wait do you still live in CT?

I got out of scouting in grade school because the Troop10 in Fairfield, CT I was in didn't go camping on their first trip (after being a member for 4 months) because it snowed... I mean... Really? Anyway it was also on the night I was supposed to see my father (parents separated) and after they cancelled the camping trip I was disheartened and felt they were lame and quit... I re-joined as a junior in high school in a mad rush to get eagle... I made it, because of the Scoutmaster, an amazing man, good friend as an adult too.

The GF's made fun of me a bit, but I stuck with it.

Jac@stafford.net
8-Mar-2014, 17:29
Wait do you still live in CT?

I got out of scouting in grade school because the Troop10 in Fairfield, CT I was in didn't go camping on their first trip (after being a member for 4 months) because it snowed... I mean... Really? Anyway it was also on the night I was supposed to see my father (parents separated) and after they cancelled the camping trip I was disheartened and felt they were lame and quit... I re-joined as a junior in high school in a mad rush to get eagle... I made it, because of the Scoutmaster, an amazing man, good friend as an adult too.

The GF's made fun of me a bit, but I stuck with it.

I left Connecticut in the Fifties. All my experiences with The Scouts were challenging, including the horrible Winter camping, largely because my Father, a WWII Veteran shared the misery

Father shaped my expectations. Many years later I became a military medic (1964 to 1970). I have no regrets.

Nightmares, but no regrets.


Pax

paulr
8-Mar-2014, 21:09
How much does a goat weigh? Impressive they can carry 50 lbs.

photonsoup
8-Mar-2014, 23:45
Most pack goat weight between 180 and 250 pounds. If they are in good shape they will carry 1/3 of their body weight about 13-14 miles a day on a good trail (like a horse could use). If i am going off trail in rugged terrain, I try and keep their packs under 20% of body weight, If I only plan on going 5 to 7 miles or less a day they don't mind full loads even hopping across boulder fields.

I guess the picts didn't make it so I'll try again (definitely NOT LF)
http://theplumberbryan.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/100_1083.jpg

http://theplumberbryan.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/101_1392.jpg

http://theplumberbryan.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/101_1343.jpg

http://theplumberbryan.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DSC_9439.jpg

Drew Wiley
10-Mar-2014, 12:02
Does anybody make a cat pack? I've got a bunch of cats.

Stephen Willard
10-Mar-2014, 12:57
Most pack goat weight between 180 and 250 pounds. If they are in good shape they will carry 1/3 of their body weight about 13-14 miles a day on a good trail (like a horse could use). If i am going off trail in rugged terrain, I try and keep their packs under 20% of body weight, If I only plan on going 5 to 7 miles or less a day they don't mind full loads even hopping across boulder fields.


I ran into goats on the trail about 10 years ago with my llamas. Everyone got along fine. I thought the goats were pretty cool. I liked them. My llamas will not walk across logs over streams nor will they go over boulder fields. I have to cross streams where the horses cross which means I have to take off my boots. Each type of pack animal has its pros and cons and no one animal is perfect. The attributes I like about llamas is that they can carry up to 100 lbs., can eat anything that is green including pin needles, and they have amazing sight, smell, and hearing. My llamas will let me know when danger is lurking nearby with ample warning. The later is very comforting when you are in wolf and grizzly country. I bed them close to camp just in case anything tries to sneak on me in the middle of the night.

Very cool Photonsoup. Thanks for sharing your pictures...

Stephen Willard
10-Mar-2014, 12:59
Does anybody make a cat pack? I've got a bunch of cats.

Cats are cool, but I do not think there carrying capacity is very great so would have to use a bunch of them.

Drew Wiley
10-Mar-2014, 13:39
The very strongest pack animals that are the best for crossing rivers are dromedary camels. My nephew used them for 200 miles getting to base camp in the Chinese Karakorum. I think I've seen goats used once in the Sierra, llamas a number of times. Horses and mules are restricted to prevent them crossing watersheds and
potentially grazing in high meadows. Gotta camp well into timberline. Had enough mule whatever working for a pack station as a youngster, and our pet donkey
wasn't really a good work animal any more than my Apaloosa horse was. ... Once they're part of the family, the critters expect you to work for them, and not the
other way around (at least that's the way my cats figure it).

Stephen Willard
10-Mar-2014, 14:54
The very strongest pack animals that are the best for crossing rivers are dromedary camels. My nephew used them for 200 miles getting to base camp in the Chinese Karakorum. I think I've seen goats used once in the Sierra, llamas a number of times. Horses and mules are restricted to prevent them crossing watersheds and
potentially grazing in high meadows. Gotta camp well into timberline. Had enough mule whatever working for a pack station as a youngster, and our pet donkey
wasn't really a good work animal any more than my Apaloosa horse was. ... Once they're part of the family, the critters expect you to work for them, and not the
other way around (at least that's the way my cats figure it).


Like any working animal, you have to be very careful not to turn them into pets. There is a very definitive pecking order, and I make it very clear from the moment we touch down on the trail that I am the boss followed by the lead llama, followed by the tailgate llama. Each of us knows what our responsibilities are and what we expect from each other.

Drew Wiley
10-Mar-2014, 15:02
The outfitter I briefly worked for (like a number of local teenagers) were a wild batch that came from running a million-acre ranch in Nevada. I don't think any private
ranches that big exist anymore. But they moved to Calif when they inherited a relatively small 5000 acre ranch and wanted a summer business for their own kids,
which were about my age. By for actual working horses in the mtns and general cattle roundups they strongly preferred half-broken wild mustangs. They were good
at picking out healthy ones, and strongly believed in keeping them high-spirited for energy. They were great roping horses, but had an attitude. For paying clients
riding into the backcountry, tamer stock was of course selected. A lot of fun, bumps, and bruises. But I really preferred getting around on foot.

Kodachrome25
11-Mar-2014, 19:14
At this point, this thread is downright embarrassing...

paulr
11-Mar-2014, 19:31
http://www.linkiesta.it/sites/default/files/uploads/blogs/u160/uploads/39313/jump-shark.jpg

Kodachrome25
11-Mar-2014, 22:03
I'm on my way to better film!

What has that got to do with "Ultralight Hikers"?

I just think it is embarrassing that this thread went from what could have been a really great resource for cutting edge light weight field work to a 2-3 man show of grandstanding. You had posts get deleted, fisticuffs, etc.

No one is even bothering to post their ideas anymore because they will get lost in the 2 man shuffle.
And Steve, Stone, have either of you made a stellar new landscape image since this thread started?

This is not what photography is about, it is a waste at this point.

StoneNYC
11-Mar-2014, 22:27
What has that got to do with "Ultralight Hikers"?

I just think it is embarrassing that this thread went from what could have been a really great resource for cutting edge light weight field work to a 2-3 man show of grandstanding. You had posts get deleted, fisticuffs, etc.

No one is even bothering to post their ideas anymore because they will get lost in the 2 man shuffle.
And Steve, Stone, have either of you made a stellar new landscape image since this thread started?

This is not what photography is about, it is a waste at this point.

I'll be developing tomorrow ...

I've shot 6 sheets of Delta100 over the past 3 days.

One as a test, everything's ultra light when you're shooing outside your home though...

112002

Don't be down Dan.

Not sure I'll produce anything stellar... But, I've also been playing Legos with a 5 year old the past week, both of which are important events to me.

My lego camera is also ultra light, but it had too many light leaks...

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/03/12/asubu9ug.jpg

Stephen Willard
11-Mar-2014, 22:55
Okay now back to ultralight backpacking. The views that I am about to share with you could be contentious. About ten years ago I bought a Big Agnes air mattress. It was amazingly light and very comfortable. I loved it, but it did not last the season. I kept puncturing it, and I spent a lot of time trying to find tiny holes and repair them. I finally switched back to my other mattress. The following season I bought another Big Agnes air mattress except this time I was told they had made some big improvements. They added insulation so that it was not so cold, and they made it stronger in the appropriate places. So I bought it. It was warmer, light, and comfortable, but like the first one it did not last the season for the same reasons.

When I just recently checkout the BA tent, my biggest concern was the materials they employed. When I benchmarked the BA tent against the MSR tent, I was not surprised to find the BA tent materials used were questionable. In their quest to be the lightest, their fabric weight was just too thin for both the floor and fly. It is my belief that BA went to far to reduce the weight of the tent at the expense of reliability and durability. Based on these three data points, I believe that BA engineering is too heavy handed in there quest for being "ultralight". It is also my belief that MSR got it right and struck a good balance between the weight of the tent without compromising the durability and reliability. The 11oz of additional weight of the MSR tent was a good trade off.

What do you think?

StoneNYC
11-Mar-2014, 23:05
Okay now back to ultralight backpacking. The views that I am about to share with you could be contentious. About ten years ago I bought a Big Agnes air mattress. It was amazingly light and very comfortable. I loved it, but it did not last the season. I kept puncturing it, and I spent a lot of time trying to find tiny holes and repair them. I finally switched back to my other mattress. The following season I bought another Big Agnes air mattress except this time I was told they had made some big improvements. They added insulation so that it was not so cold, and they made it stronger in the appropriate places. So I bought it. It was warmer, light, and comfortable, but like the first one it did not last the season for the same reasons.

When I just recently checkout the BA tent, my biggest concern was the materials they employed. When I benchmarked the BA tent against the MSR tent, I was not surprised to find the BA tent materials used were questionable. In their quest to be the lightest, their fabric weight was just too thin for both the floor and fly. It is my belief that BA went to far to reduce the weight of the tent at the expense of reliability and durability. Based on these three data points, I believe that BA engineering is too heavy handed in there quest for being "ultralight". It is also my belief that MSR got it right and struck a good balance between the weight of the tent without compromising the durability and reliability. The 11oz of additional weight of the MSR tent was a good trade off.

What do you think?

I think for your extreme environment and long term needs, you made the right decision.

Two points ... One, check out exped... I highly recommend their insulated extreme pad, it's easy to inflate and you don't have to use your breath, it has an internal pump built in, and is also light for what you get from it, but seems very good materials wise, I also used a BA pad and found it to be thin and lacking in warmth...

Second, as I said earlier, every company has it's strengths, my mountain hardwear gloves have lasted a long time, but they have never been as warm as I expect and when they are truly destroyed I will get OP instead... But their jackets are the best...

So I don't entirely discount a brand based on a single line they carry.

Good stoves don't = good tents (necessarily) but I think your tent will last :) I hope!

Those are my thoughts.

Stephen Willard
12-Mar-2014, 00:59
This is an alternative solution to the ultralight LF photography. It is similar to a posting I made earlier.

There are many basins that are very big and five to six miles from a road. They have enormous potential for harvesting many photographs over the entire seasons. You could make an initial hike in to establish a base camp that is tucked away from sight. The base camp would remain in the back country for the entire season from yearly spring to first snow. It would consist of your tent, cook tent, stove, first aid kits, sleeping bag, mattress, film changing tents, and many other things.

You would then frequent your base camp on the weekends throughout the entire season. All you would need to bring is clothing, food, film, fuel and your camera gear. As you build up confidence in this approach, you may decide to leave your camera gear at base camp as well. As an extra level of security, you could collapse your base camp into waterproof bags at the end of each weekend and hide the bags so they would be impossible to find.

You can also buy equipment insurance for a around $100 to $200 a year that would cover any theft as an extra precaution. It would also cover stolen gear from your car, and if you were in a car accident, then it would replace any damaged camera gear as well. I have insured all of my camping gear and camera gear.

This approach would keep you fresher, allow you to bring in more gear to establish a highly functional base camp, and allow you to bring more lenses increasing your yields and capturing a greater verity of images.

Throughout the season, you could easily move your base camp as shooting conditions warranted to adjacent basins and over the entire season to cover an entire range of peaks and basins without having to carry everything in each time.

I have done something similar to this where I establish an outpost five or six miles from base camp. I would toggle between the two camps as weather and shooting conditions dictated. I used my bivy bag for shelter. I never had any problems with people coming into my camps and taking equipment. Of course, I was fairly far in so there were not many people in there.

If anyone decides to do this, then it would be very interesting if you maintained a string on this website and post your successes, failures, and learnings as you perfected this approach of doing back country filming without packing animals. It would be fun to track your progress as time progressed. You could post on a weekly basis. Indeed, this would be a very cool project that I think many people would be interested in.

Hope this helps...

Drew Wiley
12-Mar-2014, 09:02
I'd just reassert that the Bib Agnes IS and ultralight, and that does imply a very thin floor - and floors are a significant weak point for leaks in rainstorms. I'd normally
velcro something heavier to the bottom to reinforce this, but I deliberately use my own BA tent as an ultralight, over the groundcloth, and am very careful about
nothing sharp where I pitch it. When things get rough, I take the Bibler. And let me add that Tyvek might seem light and waterproof, but contact with dissolved
tannins (very common in the woods) will break the surface tension of the water and let it through. But the BA tents are very popular here, have a known track
record, and no, they are proabably not rugged enough for the kind of use Stephen gives them without some supplementary reinforcement.

NancyP
12-Mar-2014, 10:56
Thanks for the word on Tyvek. Oodles of tannins where I camp. X that idea. I am super-careful to scan the site and pick up offending sticks and other objects before I pitch the BA UL. Hey, I got fancy and just bought a Caldera Cone (fancy design windscreen-pot holder with vents, the alcohol stove sits inside) and new Ti pot, my first Ti anything. I got sick of the old aluminum one with the fixed handle, also sick of scraping Esbit blackened leavings off the outside of the pot. Esbit cubes and emergency stove may be the lightest of all cooking set-ups, but the smell is a bit off-putting at the end of the day.

Drew Wiley
12-Mar-2014, 11:16
Alcohol stove? That's a warm weather option. Haven't used one of those since I was sixteen - an old Sterno thing during a memorable misadventure. A friend and I
descended into a particularly rough part of the canyon and were looking for some ledge to sleep on, climbing thru the cliffs. Then we stumbled onto an almost unbelivable campsite - a perfect room-shaped cave about thirty by thirty feet, with a nice flat floor, and straight above the river where we could lower our canteens
with a rope. Set up that little Sterno stove (it was actually hot summer weather). Had dinner. Too warm to crawl into the sleeping bags, so just lay atop them and
drifted off into sleep. Then the entire little cave suddenly filled up with freetail bats, which were having an orgy all nite on the roof, while pooping all over us. No place to go because of the cliff, so had to crawl inside those hot bag to survive the bombing, not to mention we weren't welcome at their wild party, so some would fly right smack over us all nite squeaking in protest. Worst nite I ever spent. Bags were so filthy the next morning we just left the there. Meanwhile, the
bats had moved on, and we still had to climb out of that substantial canyon exhausted.

Stephen Willard
12-Mar-2014, 11:53
Thanks for the word on Tyvek. Oodles of tannins where I camp. X that idea. I am super-careful to scan the site and pick up offending sticks and other objects before I pitch the BA UL. Hey, I got fancy and just bought a Caldera Cone (fancy design windscreen-pot holder with vents, the alcohol stove sits inside) and new Ti pot, my first Ti anything. I got sick of the old aluminum one with the fixed handle, also sick of scraping Esbit blackened leavings off the outside of the pot. Esbit cubes and emergency stove may be the lightest of all cooking set-ups, but the smell is a bit off-putting at the end of the day.

If Ti stands for Titanium then beware that Titanium does not conduct heat well so it is not optimal for cooking. I have a Titanium french coffee press that I love. It is lighter than aluminum, stronger than stainless steal, and does not tarnish or rust. I have yet to put a dent in my press. All of the metal parts of Ebony LF cameras are machined from Titanium which is one of the reasons there so expensive. Titanium is not cheap.

Before I resorted to llamas, I used a small Trangia cook stove that used either alcohol or methanol. It weighed around 6oz including the cookware. I used methanol that I got from University of Colorado chemistry lab because it had a higher energy content than alcohol. I was able to squeak a nice hot meal out of it. it is very simple and elegant in design and extremely reliable in function. If you search on "Mini Trangia stove" you will find it. REI has one for $35.00 and Amazon has one for $30.

NancyP
12-Mar-2014, 16:10
Well yes, I am talking nice steamy summers in MO and AR and southern IL here.... Would that we had all those bats here in the Midwest, where the little brown bat and other bat species are suffering greatly from white-nose fungal disease. All the caves on state and federal lands are closed to visitors, in an attempt to keep people from tracking out fungal spores.

tgtaylor
12-Mar-2014, 19:32
I'd just reassert that the Bib Agnes IS and ultralight, and that does imply a very thin floor - and floors are a significant weak point for leaks in rainstorms. I'd normally
velcro something heavier to the bottom to reinforce this, but I deliberately use my own BA tent as an ultralight, over the groundcloth, and am very careful about
nothing sharp where I pitch it. When things get rough, I take the Bibler. And let me add that Tyvek might seem light and waterproof, but contact with dissolved
tannins (very common in the woods) will break the surface tension of the water and let it through. But the BA tents are very popular here, have a known track
record, and no, they are proabably not rugged enough for the kind of use Stephen gives them without some supplementary reinforcement.

I agree with most of what Drew says but note that I also have a BA tent and have used it on both 3 season and, yes, heavy winter weather (up high a a major storm) without a problem. I routinely carry a lightweight military rain poncho (rip-stop nylon) for both a rain poncho and a ground cover. Using it as a ground cover will keep the tent floor free of the punctures it otherwise will suffer and during the day serves as a rain poncho that will keep you and your gear dry down to the shins. It also kept the inside of the tent dry during a major winter storm. Several us were trying to make it over this pass on night in the Sierra when the storm became too violent to continue and we were forced to bunk down for the night until it passed. The freight train ran all night just outside the door and at times it felt that the wind was on the verge of picking up the tent with me and my gear inside and toss the whole shootin' match over the cliff. After about an hour I got accustomed to that sensation and went to sleep and woke up to a very calm and beautiful morning. And no, the BA wasn't staked down.

Thomas

Bill Burk
12-Mar-2014, 20:39
Those bat detectors I saw at Florence Lake would have come in real handy for you guys...

I'll be going on an overnight backpacking trip in a couple of weeks. I think it's time to load the Grafmatics and shoot some 4x5 so my comments can remain relevant.

Stephen, The MSR water filter sounds nice, but I'm going to use what I have, an old-school pound-and-a-half Katadyn. Last trip I took it on, I blew out the main seal. It was incredible. Water spewed everywhere. At first I thought it just came unscrewed like always but no, it was the main seal. My fault really, we were at a cow trough and I had some real nice leverage going. Really bore down on it, so I got what I deserved. At home I actually had a spare ceramic cartridge unit for it, so I'm giving it another chance. This trip I'll be more careful to pump with reasonable force.

My newly-assembled "emergency coffee kit" is coming with me. NancyP, I had assembled a four-ounce kit that includes two Esbit tabs, a silly titanium stove thingy, a single-wall titanium mug and coffee. But you mention the smell and the black soot, so it's making me think twice. On one hand... I'll probably never use the Esbit tabs. So for something I won't use, 4 ounces is about the limit of what I can laugh off. I could switch out the Esbit tabs for an alcohol penny stove. But you have to be careful with alcohol stoves. I read a thread over at that backpacking light site about a big fire on the Pacific Crest Trail. In the thread, a lifetime member knew the guy who started the fire with an alcohol stove, and vouched the guy was otherwise conscientious. The problem they say is you can't turn an alcohol stove off if you knock it over. Your caldera cone sounds like a good system, I'm sure the cone more than makes up for the thermal inefficiency of titanium. My third option is to bring a cartridge stove. The big advantage to the third option is that I might actually use it, and I might actually have a cup of coffee early in the morning while everyone else is still asleep... Leaning towards that.

Stephen Willard
12-Mar-2014, 20:42
You do not need to stake a tent down in freight train rains, but you do need to properly anchor your tent when you are experiencing hurricane winds.

I suspect that most have or know about bivy bags on this string, but just case there are some who do not, I would like to acknowledge their virtues. Bivy bags are lighter than tents, pack smaller than tents, easier to setup, faster to set up, warmer than tents, you do no need level ground, and you can unzipped the head when the night sky is filled with stars. Because they are much warmer than a tent, you can pack with a lighter sleeping bag to further reduce weight. In the summer months I would pack only with a flannel sleeping bag insert with my bivy and stayed very warm. If it ever got cold, then I would throw on a jacket to add extra warmth.

The biggest disadvantage of a bivy bag is when you need shelter from a storm that lasts for days, then holing up in a bivy bag for long periods can be a suicidal experience. Other than that, they are a perfect application for the ultralight trekker.

If you should decide to get one, then I would recommend a Gore Tex bag that is not tent like, but rather hugs your sleep bag to keep the Gore Tex warm. Cold Gore Tex does breath very well when it is cold. Moist warm body vapor will condense on cold Gore Tex before it will breath.

I have used my bivy bag in summer, winter, and on top of 13,000' foot peaks and I love mine....

Stephen Willard
12-Mar-2014, 20:55
But you have to be careful with alcohol stoves. I read a thread over at that backpacking light site about a big fire on the Pacific Crest Trail. In the thread, a lifetime member knew the guy who started the fire with an alcohol stove, and vouched the guy was otherwise conscientious. The problem they say is you can't turn an alcohol stove off if you knock it over.

The Trangia alcohol stoves are designed to reduce spillage if you knock it over. However, they can explode in a small flame (not like a bomb) if they are red hot and you jar them. The jarring causes the alcohol to burst into a boil of flame. It is not a big flame, and it can be managed by keeping it away from combustable organic materials, and placing it in area where you are not likely to kick it. In all the years I used one, it happened twice.

StoneNYC
12-Mar-2014, 21:21
May I ask a question?

Everyone mentions ground cloths but no one seems to use a footprint but me?

Why use a heavy ground cloth when you can use a footprint that is the exact size of the tent and so cuts down on material so it's light.

Is there a reason? I know footprints are "relatively new" in terms of tent design compared to tents 20 years ago, when I believe it started to become more common to have a footprint, but still, why?

Thanks

NancyP
13-Mar-2014, 09:53
Footprints are properly trimmed ground cloths for tents, in some cases with nice grommets fitting on the tent poles. Ground cloths are what people call that flat cloth where you place your pad and bag, usually under a tarp?

All fuel is dangerous. Besides spillage, a danger of alcohol is that the flame is invisible in bright light. If I were desperate to shut down a burning but still contained alcohol stove, I would put an empty pot over it and wait until the oxygen has been exhausted. I think that one of the thinking skills involved in packing is deciding which mode of cooking is appropriate in which situation. Read the trail alerts or listen to the ranger's advice. If there is a drought, be careful. Look for a bare rock or if not available, bare ground without tinder. Spread out a small aluminum foil. Grumble and use the smelly Esbit stove. I do different things depending on whether I am in a designated rough campsite (with cleared cooking area) or just out there.

The Esbit stove is a perfect emergency kit stove.

David Lobato
13-Mar-2014, 10:19
All of my old tents and some backpacks developed a rotten plastic smell over time and are long gone. I have always kept my gear clean and dried thoroughly before storage in a dry place. Some like Stephen W. have had gear for decades. How do you avoid that plastic breakdown?

Drew Wiley
13-Mar-2014, 10:26
Most nylon tent floors, and a number of other things, were routinely coated with a kinda urethane sealant. So when it breaks down and smells like piss, it is basically
urea odor. You can buy rejuvenator coatings at the outdoor shops that will keep things lasting a bit longer, but after time it just happens and there is nothing you
can do except throw the gear away. High temps, storing your gear away damp, or lots of UV just accelerate the breakdown.

Drew Wiley
13-Mar-2014, 10:33
I have a Goretex sleeping bag (not to be confused with a bivvy sack), not because it will keep rain out (it won't - it's far more breathable than a Goretex parka,
otherwise would be miserable to sleep in), but because I can sleep outdoors in it and dew or frost will almost instantly shake or dry off it. With a conventional bag,
the thing gets wet and can take a lot of sun and lost time before packing up for a day on the trail. ... But Tom... I think there's quite a difference between what
you classify as "freight train" winds and what I do. I been in true hurricane force winds in the Bibler that would shred any of these ultralights to bits in no time flat.
I've even had it happen to me. This distinction is very well known to high-altitude mountaineers.

goamules
13-Mar-2014, 11:13
Sometimes when I read threads like this full of recomendations for titanium coffee presses and carbon fiber walking sticks, I wonder what the ultralight hikers used 100 years ago? 1000 years ago? I read that the silk and wool suit used by the first Everest attempt was actually waterproof, warm and comfortable. I know the Indians and trapper frontiersmen didn't worry about shaving 3 Oz from their kit, or carry much at all. Yes, I like modern materials that are lighter and stronger. But it's been funny when I'm way back in the Gila with my super light stuff, and a few kids come walking by with heavy (but indestructible) plastic canteens. Or the grey bearded guys coming back down with heavy military down bags.... I've used it all, and it all works to some degree. Except for packing foil wrapped potatos, cans of beans, and fifths of liquer, which I learned early on to avoid. And know what a lot of Westerners carried back in the late 1800s through the 1920s, on foot out west? Cans of beans......

StoneNYC
13-Mar-2014, 11:28
Sometimes when I read threads like this full of recomendations for titanium coffee presses and carbon fiber walking sticks, I wonder what the ultralight hikers used 100 years ago? 1000 years ago? I read that the silk and wool suit used by the first Everest attempt was actually waterproof, warm and comfortable. I know the Indians and trapper frontiersmen didn't worry about shaving 3 Oz from their kit, or carry much at all. Yes, I like modern materials that are lighter and stronger. But it's been funny when I'm way back in the Gila with my super light stuff, and a few kids come walking by with heavy (but indestructible) plastic canteens. Or the grey bearded guys coming back down with heavy military down bags.... I've used it all, and it all works to some degree. Except for packing foil wrapped potatos, cans of beans, and fifths of liquer, which I learned early on to avoid. And know what a lot of Westerners carried back in the late 1800s through the 1920s, on foot out west? Cans of beans......

I love carying cans of beans, I used to anyway before I had heavy cameras hah!

I think there were also a LOT more game to catch, with "civilization" happening it's harder to "live off the land" and with rules and regulations it's just not the same in terms of being able to survive with a knife and a match.

But sure, it's possible. Those same survivalists wouldn't be carrying heavy large format cameras without Sherpa or pack animals.

Drew Wiley
13-Mar-2014, 12:09
Garrett - I grew up with Indians whose grandparents were still alive and actually recounted life in the mtns aboriginally. There are some differences between them and us. They were remarkably genetically conditioned for such life due to millennia of living that way, had plenty of their own appropriate technology and knowledge
(think, why did the Vikings starve on Greenland while the Inuit ate well?)... and a lot of important critters they ate even in last century are now extinct. But I did
try living that way myself a number of times, and for shorter durations, rather routinely in the lower canyons. Nodoby knows how many of them froze to death up on
the high passes, but basically the historic tribes commuted up forested canyon and relatively quickly crossed the more negotiable high passes at the Sierra Crest,
much like a horse packer would today if it were not for zoning regulation concerning stock. When one gets way the hell up there and shakes their head at how
someone got to those places in the stone age, then one needs to examine the evidence carefully. For one thing, it's almost never an arrowhead, but an atlatl
point of far more ancient derivation, and probably back from times when the technology itself was geared for extreme cold weather, i.e., prior to the end of the
ice age; and the game itself might have significant differed. At times, the mtn valley routes might have even been filled with glaciers, and crossing up high would
have been easier, just like today when certain rugged areas are actually easier to traverse in winter when snow evens things out. Once had one of those old Indians tell me that nobody could ever starve in the Sierra if they actually new what to eat. I didn't have much luck with that theory myself, but with a fishing pole
or .22 rifle and a book of matches I was generally fine.

Bill Burk
13-Mar-2014, 18:15
Everyone mentions ground cloths but no one seems to use a footprint but me?

You invest in a nice tent and at the time of purchase, pick up a footprint, sure. I'd do it.

But I went in after the fact and thought "hmm I'll get a footprint for my..." and when I saw the price, for something that is meant to protect my already waterproof tent floor from abrasion and dirt... and suddenly the plastic film alternative looked very very good.

Stephen Willard
13-Mar-2014, 21:01
May I ask a question?

Everyone mentions ground cloths but no one seems to use a footprint but me?


I always buy one, and I intend to get one for the MSR Hubba Hubba NX-2 when I purchase it.

StoneNYC
13-Mar-2014, 21:26
I always buy one, and I intend to get one for the MSR Hubba Hubba NX-2 when I purchase it.

I contacted MSR, they don't carry extra tent bags, but are willing to make one extra for me for $30, not bad for a massive company.

I'm sure you do use one, do you ALSO use a ground cloth on top of that?

Stephen Willard
13-Mar-2014, 22:15
Okay, we have covered a lot of stuff on this string including bear spray, tents, lovers, stoves, tripods, and cameras. However, there has been one big omission in large part, and that is a way to change film. There is no lightweight alternative to Readyloads and Quickloads. Of course, if you are shooting formats other than 4x5, then the Readyloads and Quickloads were never an option.

I do not believe that changing film in limp dark bags is viable. I do not believe using a sleeping bag at night is viable because of dust. I do not believe using your tent at night is viable either because moon light in the alpine can shine through the tent particularly ultralight tents.

This leaves us ultralights with a film changing tent as an effective tool. The problem with film changing tents is that you need some kind of table to places them on to get a rigid platform for a smooth level bottom to keep film holders and film from sliding all over the place. Yes, you can place them on the ground and belly down on them, but that is not fun especially for us older guys. Currently, I carry two pieces of plywood and bolting them together to make a table. That is not practical for ultralights if you lack llama power.

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The other issue is cleaning film holders. Currently, I am using compressed air. Bringing in cans of compressed air is not light and takes up space. Furthermore, the more you use them for a cleaning session the colder they get and the more the pressure drops. I no long change film at night because the air cans get too cold and have very little air pressure.

Here is what I am going to try. I going to try replacing the compressed air cans with a Kinetronic SW-140 brush. I just bought one from Kinetronic's website for half the price what everyone else is selling them for. I paid $30. The URL is http://www.kinetronics.com/store/wisk1.html.

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For the tent I am going to experiment using a series of 2-piece tent poles cut to the length of the long side of my changing tent. I will then attach them to the underside of the tent to form a oven screen grid to create a somewhat rigid platform. I will place velcro on the underside of the tent and on the poles to hold the poles in place. I will probably start out with six poles and add or subtract more as required. Hopefully, the poles will add enough rigidity to replace the plywood and be far lighter and far more portable.

I am open to any suggestions, and debate.

Stephen Willard
13-Mar-2014, 22:23
I contacted MSR, they don't carry extra tent bags, but are willing to make one extra for me for $30, not bad for a massive company.

I'm sure you do use one, do you ALSO use a ground cloth on top of that?

No, I do not use an additional ground cloth.

A few years back I was cleaning my MSR dragonfly stove at the end of the season, and I stripped the nozzle threads on it. They sent me a new stove for $25.00 including shipping. Considering the stove sells for around $150 now (I think) that speaks highly of them, and I am confident that if anything happens to my MSR tent they will stand by it and provide me with excellent service.

Stephen Willard
13-Mar-2014, 22:33
Just for the record, I sent my Nikon binoculars in to have the eye optics replaced about a month ago because they were badly scratched. The binoculars were over 20 years old, and they repaired them for free, and then retuned them without charging me for shipping. Nikon is another company I find to be very reputable.

StoneNYC
13-Mar-2014, 22:34
Are those bear resistant food canisters in the green bags??

If you REALLY want to be ingenuitous (yea I make words up) you might consider that the BA center pole is removable, if you can get that to be the same on the MSR, you could use that pole INSIDE a non tent changing BAG and make it into a tent with that center pole? Saves you weight of extra poles, and you won't need that center pole for your tent when you're changing film anyway. If you insist on 2 poles, you could request a replacement from MSR but you would still be cutting the pole weight in half and have a lighter Ilford changing bag than the heavy Harrison tents.

I'm not sure how long the center poles are in comparison to the Harrison tents, but if they are very close, you could at least drop one of the poles to save weight and again use the center pole from the sleeping tent.

Many people say the "torpedo" style duster air pumps work as well as air cans.

The dust brush idea has been around forever, except they used to be made of animal hair... :)

That said, I wouldn't trust a dust brush....

I think plywood is excessive... What about black plastic corrugated? Hmmm... You may just have gotten too used to comfort with your llamas hah!

Stephen Willard
14-Mar-2014, 09:31
There are two types of film changing bags or tents.

The film bag is the one that is used in labs to put roll film into film tanks for development. These types of bags have no skeleton to keep the bag material from coming in contact with the film and holders and contaminating them with dust. If dust gets on the film after exposure it is just washed away during development. I tried one of these when I bought my first LF 4x5 camera. It was disastrous. I had dust spots all over my film. I gave up on that approach after many trials.

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I have found over the years it is important to keep the film from contacting the bag surfaces to avoid dust. When I take my film out of its storage container I set it on the top of the cardboard sleeves it is stored between with the emulsion side down. This way if any dust lands on the film, then it only contaminates the back of the film. If the floor of the tent is not ridge and level, then everything starts to slide all over the place and the film comes contact with the tent surfaces and dust. That is why I made a portable plywood table. That was the only thing that worked, and made the job reasonable to use on an on going basis. Everything I do is evolutionary. The solutions I gravitate to are because that was what finally worked after many trials. I am not happy about the plywood, but it really works well.

Long ago I used the Photoflex film tent. It was real light, but I stopped using it and sold it when I switched to Kodak's Readyloads. I cannot remember if there was sufficient room for changing 4x5 sheet film. It is not as big as my Harrison, but for for those of you who are using 4x5 this may do the trick. It is lighter then the harrison. It runs for $90 at B&H, and you can checkout the specs:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/41880-REG/Photoflex_AC_CROO1_Film_Changing_Room_25.html

Here is another bag I found on the internet. It looks like it may work, but I am not sure if it has any skeleton to keep the surfaces from contacting the film. Because it is called a bag and not a tent, I suspect it does not have a skeleton.

http://www.freestylephoto.biz/322730-Arista-Changing-Bag-27-in.-x-30-in.

I am going to test out the Kenitronic brush. It may or may not work. I did have a long conversation with one of their people about my application on the phone, and I now believe there is a very good chance it will do the job. If it works, then I can dispense with the compressed air cans and my Snow Peak lantern. If the air cans become to cold then the air pressure drops. I set the cans directly on top of my red hot lantern for 10 seconds to help warm them up. If I can get rid of the lantern, the three fuel can, and three compressed air cans I can save a lot of weight and space. Of course, that can only happen if the brush works. If the brush does not work, then it will not be the first time I pissed away money from failed trials, and it will not be the last. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I am still open to suggests from anyone. Changing film in the field is a big problem for all of us. Camping companies have innovated for us and produced a wide range of ultralight products for us to choose from. This is not the case with changing film in the field. With the loss of the Readyloads and Quickloads, we have taken a step back, an it is up to us to try and invent a better solution.

Drew Wiley
14-Mar-2014, 09:44
I think those Kinetronics brushes add more dust than they remove. One dust or lint gets in your changing tent, things are pretty much doomed. I avoid this by lining the tent with a supplementary thin black kitchen trashcan liner (carry several - they weigh next to nothing), by rinsing my arms and hands first, and by placing the film itself in presealed boxes in advance of the trip. I spray both new film boxes and change-out boxes for exposed film with print lacquer (not oil-based varnish, and not electostatic acrylic spray!) to hold down any potential cardboard leavings, and let this thoroughly outgas for several months before use. I'm very careful where I set up a film tent - usually near a stream with some shade on a smooth rock, with no dust or dry pine detritus around. My filmholders are all treated with antistatic spray, so a simple cheap little nylon paintbrush is all I ever seem to need to whisk them, but rarely need even that. I carry some unscented disposable little alcohol wipes and a few nitrile finger cots, all weighing next to nothing, and never seem to have a dust issue.

Drew Wiley
14-Mar-2014, 10:14
I did treat myself to one of those expensive carbon-fiber bear canisters last year (Bearikade), but only use it where some anal jurisdiction downright demands a hard
sided canister. Otherwise,the lightweight combat-fabric Ursack bear bags seem plenty secure. I've never had a bear incident (yet) in my life; but then I don't like
hiking into Yogi Bear and dumb ranger saturated spots. Truly wild black bears are rather timid. I'll leave it to the experts, like Tim Treadwell, to discuss grizzlies.

StoneNYC
14-Mar-2014, 10:23
Stephen,

I meant using the pole on the inside of the BAG to essentially MAKE it a tent with an internal skeleton rather than the external skeleton harrison tents.

I was just trying to give you a dual use, but I suppose that center pole might get pretty dusty now that I think about it.

I still suggest using plastic corrugated, it's pretty stiff but also light. If you really want it to be stiff, glue two pieces together and make the "grain" go in opposite directions, it won't bend...

NancyP
14-Mar-2014, 12:53
What size is that film changing tent? Is it the "Harrison pup tent"? I hadn't thought about the nuisance of not having a table. I have yet to take LF into the field, but can see that sitting cross-legged on the ground with your arms in the pup tent could get old fast. Your foam z-pad or air mattress can only raise the tent an inch or two off the ground. Thanks for the lead on the anti-static brushes. I had these way back when, used not only in the darkroom but for de-static-ing the records, yes, VINYL.

Drew Wiley
14-Mar-2014, 13:38
Just like eating dinner in the woods. You find a nice flat boulder or big log for your film tent, and a smaller one to sit on. No big deal. The Pup tent is nice for 4x5, and the big tent for 8x10. I have one of each. Don't know how 5x7 would fit into that formula - probably either. That's the nice thing about the Harrison tents - you can lay things out side by side on the tent floor, unlike a changing bag.

Stephen Willard
14-Mar-2014, 17:33
What size is that film changing tent? Is it the "Harrison pup tent"? I hadn't thought about the nuisance of not having a table. I have yet to take LF into the field, but can see that sitting cross-legged on the ground with your arms in the pup tent could get old fast. Your foam z-pad or air mattress can only raise the tent an inch or two off the ground. Thanks for the lead on the anti-static brushes. I had these way back when, used not only in the darkroom but for de-static-ing the records, yes, VINYL.

The tent in my picture is the standard size for 8x10.

Stephen Willard
14-Mar-2014, 18:51
Stephen,

I meant using the pole on the inside of the BAG to essentially MAKE it a tent with an internal skeleton rather than the external skeleton harrison tents.

I was just trying to give you a dual use, but I suppose that center pole might get pretty dusty now that I think about it.

I still suggest using plastic corrugated, it's pretty stiff but also light. If you really want it to be stiff, glue two pieces together and make the "grain" go in opposite directions, it won't bend...

I thought about using plastic corrugated board and fashioning an accordion that would fold out to make a platform. My tent is 36"x27". I would cut 4 pieces of 36"x6.75" that would be taped together lengthwise and could be folded out to form a platform of 36"x27". 2" Gaff tape would be great for the hinges.

The problem with plastic corrugated board is it can build up static charge which would draw dust like shit draws files. However, if you covered one side of the board with aluminum foil tape, then that would help to eliminate any charge. You lay the plastic corrugated board inside the tent with the aluminum side facing up and periodically wipe it down with a wet sponge.

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Now that we have a rigid platform perhaps we we can come up with a stable harness to hang the tent from a tree branch. That way you could adjust it to any working hight you like including standing up. Boy would I love that. Right now I am on my knees and that can get old. We might have to use a guide line on each corner of the tent to tie it off to the ground so that it will not swing in the wind. Hey this is beginning to sound plausible....

There are two draw backs to this approach. The first is you must have a tree with a branch which may be hard to find in the high alpine, but you could hang the tent to a rope tied between two trees if there are not big trees with branches. And second you are going to be carrying around a bundled accordion of 4 pieces of plastic corrugated board 36"x6.75" in size. If it sticks up above your pack you will have to be careful not to catch it on a branch. I do not think you will brake it because it would be four boards thick, but you could damage one of the boards. Putting the according in some kind of stuff sack would be advisable.

This approach could scale to any of the harrison tents. These tents would work well because you have the exterior poles to connect a line to hang it from a tree. The Photoflex changing tent does not provide any means for hanging it from a tree branch.

I know this sounds complicated, but once you got used to it, then it will become very routine. Of course, this is all theoretical until I actually try it, but we are just brainstorming at this point. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

Again, changing film in the back country is a big problem for all of us, and we need to figure something out.....

StoneNYC
14-Mar-2014, 19:19
I thought about using plastic corrugated board and fashioning an accordion that would fold out to make a platform. My tent is 36"x27". I would cut 4 pieces of 36"x6.75" that would be taped together lengthwise and could be folded out to form a platform of 36"x27". 2" Gaff tape would be great for the hinges.

The problem with plastic corrugated board is it can build up static charge which would draw dust like shit draws files. However, if you covered one side of the board with aluminum foil tape, then that would help to eliminate any charge. You lay the plastic corrugated board inside the tent with the aluminum side facing up and periodically wipe it down with a wet sponge.

112166 112167

Now that we have a rigid platform perhaps we we can come up with a stable harness to hang the tent from a tree branch. That way you could adjust it to any working hight you like including standing up. Boy would I love that. Right now I am on my knees and that can get old. We might have to use a guide line on each corner of the tent to tie it off to the ground so that it will not swing in the wind. Hey this is beginning to sound plausible....

There are two draw backs to this approach. The first is you must have a tree with a branch which may be hard to find in the high alpine, but you could hang the tent to a rope tied between two trees if there are not big trees with branches. And second you are going to be carrying around a bundled accordion of 4 pieces of plastic corrugated board 36"x6.75" in size. If it sticks up above your pack you will have to be careful not to catch it on a branch. I do not think you will brake it because it would be four boards thick, but you could damage one of the boards. Putting the according in some kind of stuff sack would be advisable.

This approach could scale to any of the harrison tents. These tents would work well because you have the exterior poles to connect a line to hang it from a tree. The Photoflex changing tent does not provide any means for hanging it from a tree branch.

I know this sounds complicated, but once you got used to it, then it will become very routine. Of course, this is all theoretical until I actually try it, but we are just brainstorming at this point. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

Again, changing film in the back country is a big problem for all of us, and we need to figure something out.....

Everything I just typed it got deleted, but basically I was saying that I don't think a swing system hanging from trees would be very convenient, I think no matter how much you tied it down, it would always have a lot of movement and be a pain in the butt.

I have a special Kelty table that is made of cloth, it's not light, but that's because it's made from heavy crap materials, but the concept is sound...

http://www.rockymountaintrail.com/detail.aspx?pid=103471&&ocid=489303&coid=361388&utm_medium=DataFeed&utm_source=googlepla&utm_content=KeltySoft_Top_TableBlack&gclid=CLH7wri7k70CFTIV7AodDgUAnA

If you notice at all four corners there's a strap going from the top to the bottom, this pulls on the hinges and spreads out the top cloth portion of the table, this acts to add severe tension to the cloth and makes it flat and rigid.

With more expensive titanium gold you could design a similar system, very easily even doing it yourself I'm sure, and simply make it larger later but even better tension.

The version I have has cupholders that are inside the cloth this creates an even surface it's still pretty tight and stiff, but isn't ideal for the purposes you're looking for, but one could be fashioned that would make a lot more sense and be functional, and also of course double as an actual table which would be convenient for other uses when out in the field...

Just a suggestion.

Bill Burk
14-Mar-2014, 22:23
Sometimes when I read threads like this full of recomendations for titanium coffee presses and carbon fiber walking sticks, I wonder ... Cans of beans......

Well, if I truly was in it for the weight savings, I'd stop whining about the coffee and just take the caffeine pills. I tried out the Esbit tab stove today, because I just wanted a quick cup of coffee and thought it would be a good experiment. Little bit of steady wind... blew the flame sideways most of the burn time. Finally fashioned a little windscreen of aluminum foil and knocked the cup over trying to fit it around the stove and cup. By that time the tab was gone and the water was barely lukewarm. So heck with the Esbit. It's either the canister stove (because it WILL get the water hot), or nothing (because somebody else WILL have a stove)...

Cans? I think the old-timers carried sacks of beans. Me? I take cans of beans and dehydrate them. Pretty significant weight savings that way.

StoneNYC
14-Mar-2014, 22:28
Well, if I truly was in it for the weight savings, I'd stop whining about the coffee and just take the caffeine pills. I tried out the Esbit tab stove today, because I just wanted a quick cup of coffee and thought it would be a good experiment. Little bit of steady wind... blew the flame sideways most of the burn time. Finally fashioned a little windscreen of aluminum foil and knocked the cup over trying to fit it around the stove and cup. By that time the tab was gone and the water was barely lukewarm. So heck with the Esbit. It's either the canister stove (because it WILL get the water hot), or nothing (because somebody else WILL have a stove)...

Cans? I think the old-timers carried sacks of beans. Me? I take cans of beans and dehydrate them. Pretty significant weight savings that way.

Nothing like a good cup of coffee in the morning, when you're living in a harsh climate, it's nice to have a little civilization to start your morning, for some, it's more about the flavor and warm feeling, than about the caffeine bit.

If I met you on the trail, and you hiked without a stove expecting "someone else" to have one, I would politely explain that I've measured and estimate my fuel needs and that I didn't have any spare gas to cool your food. The privately mumble something unpleasant about you when you were gone LOL.

Dehydration is certainly a great plan.

Bill Burk
14-Mar-2014, 22:58
If I met you on the trail, and you hiked without a stove expecting "someone else" to have one, I would politely explain that I've measured and estimate my fuel needs and that I didn't have any spare gas to cook your food. The privately mumble something unpleasant about you when you were gone LOL.

Haa, no I don't mean bumming off strangers. These are the Boy Scouts I'll be out with - they WILL have stoves and enough fuel to share for my coffee...

An example of the absurdity of the Esbit stove... on the JMT when I last carried the little tab stove... my share of the community gear included the MSR Simmerlite and fuel. My buddy ribbed me about how stupid I was carrying the gas stove and the tab stove TOO. Anytime I wanted I could just pull out the main stove and make all the coffee I wanted.

Stephen Willard
15-Mar-2014, 00:35
Everything I just typed it got deleted, but basically I was saying that I don't think a swing system hanging from trees would be very convenient, I think no matter how much you tied it down, it would always have a lot of movement and be a pain in the butt.

You are probably correct, there could be a lot of movement causing everything inside to flop around. I do not think your table is practical either at 5.6 pounds.

Here is another idea that is based on what I do for my cook tent. On each corner of the Harrison film tents are loops for pulling the tent tight as you insert the aluminum poles and erect the tent. You would attach adjustable guidelines to the loops on each corner and include four aluminum stakes in the Harrison bag. That is all you need.

When you arrive at your intended camp site you would cut four legs for the table from small trees. The table legs can be as long or as short as you desire. You put a notch on one end of each leg for the guidelines to rest in close to the loop on the corner of the film tent. The other end of the legs is cut with a bevel so that they will stick into the ground and not slide around. This is how I make my poles for my cook tent. You then raise the film tent with the legs in place and synch it firmly down with the guidelines. You would still need the plastic corrugated board that I talked about earlier to create a solid floor inside the tent. And there you have it.....

I think this would do the job with the added weight of just four guidelines and four aluminum stakes. If making poles this way for my cook tent in the field works, then making legs for my film tent should work as well.

The only other thing that may need attention is the loops that come with the Harrison tent may not be strong enough for this application. You may have to either reinforce them with added stitching or sew some beefer loops on. I also would be very careful about how tight you synch the guidelines down. I do not know if the Harrison film tents can handle this kind of tension if the guidelines were too tight. The only thing we want to do with guidelines is make the table rigid and not the fabric flooring inside the tent. For that we will use the plastic corrugated board.

Any comments are welcome.

Stephen Willard
15-Mar-2014, 00:46
Well, if I truly was in it for the weight savings, I'd stop whining about the coffee and just take the caffeine pills. I tried out the Esbit tab stove today, because I just wanted a quick cup of coffee and thought it would be a good experiment. Little bit of steady wind... blew the flame sideways most of the burn time. Finally fashioned a little windscreen of aluminum foil and knocked the cup over trying to fit it around the stove and cup. By that time the tab was gone and the water was barely lukewarm. So heck with the Esbit. It's either the canister stove (because it WILL get the water hot), or nothing (because somebody else WILL have a stove)...

With my Trangia methanol/alcohol stove I always used a MSR aluminum wind break to minimize the heat loss from wind and drastically increase the efficiency of the stove.

Stephen Willard
15-Mar-2014, 01:09
Sometimes when I read threads like this full of recomendations for titanium coffee presses and carbon fiber walking sticks, I wonder what the ultralight hikers used 100 years ago? 1000 years ago?

At the time I bought the titanium coffee press, it was the only small camping press on the market. I think now there are other less expensive ones available. Lets face it, just about everything we do today is hi-tech. Who are you kidding. The synthetic cloths, the nylon tents, the camp stoves, the boots, the beacons, the GPS devices, the water filters, our nylon packs, the LF lenses, the LF cameras, and the list goes on is all state of the art stuff. They say the reason why so people today can climb Everest is because of the synthetic material we now have can make us impervious to the elements.

I am considering purchasing an 8x10 Ebony camera. It is the most versatile and rigid camera made, and guess what, all the metal parts are made from Titanium because that metal is incredible strong, incredible light, and never rusts or tarnishes.

If you want to make fire on top of a mountain rubbing two stick together to cook your dehydrated beans, then go for it. I on the other hand, will use a lighter.

StoneNYC
15-Mar-2014, 07:45
Stephen, you sparked a boyscout memory... I feel foolish not even thinking of this to begin with...

Why not just MAKE a table... Use some chord, and just build a table using traditional sync chording methods...

Here is one dependent on 2 trees being next to one another...

http://boyslife.org/hobbies-projects/projects/3420/build-a-camp-table/

I was actually thinking of building one without any trees, but certainly at least one tree would stabilize the entire system a lot more, here are some basic cordage tying message that you would need to understand



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And then you could build a platform of sticks and tripod legs.

Or use at least one tree and 2-3 tripod legs... Example 102 was more what I was thinking...

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Of course you could also go really crazy and build a lookout tower! Haha

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But you get the idea.

You could still bring the plastic corrugated, as additional flattening for the base, but would have a much more stable flat platform, and you wouldn't have to rely on the loops on the tent to support the tent itself, and would put less strain on those corners, also I think that it would be dangerous to start adding extra threating to the design as you may end up puncturing the light proof-ness of it...

So this I think is my final answer... Build one in the field.

Now normally regular guyline is just fine, as cordage, however I do know that that more natural fiber is going to be less flexible and better for building, as he doesn't have as much play, it's that crappy wiry stuff that's yellow in color but I suppose regular old guy line is good enough....

tgtaylor
15-Mar-2014, 08:08
Well, if I truly was in it for the weight savings, I'd stop whining about the coffee and just take the caffeine pills. I tried out the Esbit tab stove today, because I just wanted a quick cup of coffee and thought it would be a good experiment. Little bit of steady wind... blew the flame sideways most of the burn time. Finally fashioned a little windscreen of aluminum foil and knocked the cup over trying to fit it around the stove and cup. By that time the tab was gone and the water was barely lukewarm. So heck with the Esbit. It's either the canister stove (because it WILL get the water hot), or nothing (because somebody else WILL have a stove)...

Cans? I think the old-timers carried sacks of beans. Me? I take cans of beans and dehydrate them. Pretty significant weight savings that way.

I also did the JMT with an Esbit but found that it took several tabs to bring 16ozs of water to an almost boil because of the altitude. The idea appealed to me because I used a similar set-up in the army: you would cut holes around the bottom of a small can that cookies or crackers came in with a church key, and then around the top (upwards pointing) to hold the can. Worked pretty good but we were almost always around sea level.

Thomas

Bill Burk
15-Mar-2014, 08:52
With my Trangia methanol/alcohol stove I always used a MSR aluminum wind break to minimize the heat loss from wind and drastically increase the efficiency of the stove.

Of course! The MSR windscreen is in the bottom of my pack with the Simmerlite stove! Now I feel stupid for having something, bringing it, needing it AND forgetting to use it. That happens to me all the time!

Bill Burk
15-Mar-2014, 09:20
So this I think is my final answer... Build one in the field....

To give you an idea what to expect... built this at camp last summer... took better part of an afternoon and it is wobbly as all get-out...

112185

So you don't blame the counselors, the class I took that week covered lashing... the day after I built the table.

StoneNYC
15-Mar-2014, 11:54
To give you an idea what to expect... built this at camp last summer... took better part of an afternoon and it is wobbly as all get-out...

112185

So you don't blame the counselors, the class I took that week covered lashing... the day after I built the table.

I certainly have designed much more hearty structures than that very easily with the skills I learned as an Eagle Scout.

If my memory serves me correctly we actually did that one, built a 2 story outlook structure just like the ones in that picture, it was a pain in the butt, but the lashings held very tightly if properly designed, one of the comments I would make about your structure is that you didn't wait till the end where the lashings attach so that everything was leaving, I see a lot of bumps that would cause issues and make it difficult for the lashings to be held tightly. That said I'm glad that you like your new knowledgebase to work for you, and I encourage you to keep trying and learning to better and more stable structures :)

Vaughn
15-Mar-2014, 14:07
Ah...memories of lashing together 'monkey bridges' in the Boy Spouts!

Vaughn "Almost an Eagle Scout" Hutchins

http://www.vcc-troop577.com/_Media/monkey_bridge.gif

goamules
18-Mar-2014, 14:34
...Here is another idea that is based on what I do for my cook tent. ...

When you arrive at your intended camp site you would cut four legs for the table from small trees. The table legs can be as long or as short as you desire. ...

...Who are you kidding. The synthetic cloths, the nylon tents, the camp stoves, the boots, the beacons, the GPS devices, the water filters, our nylon packs, the LF lenses, the LF cameras, and the list goes on is all state of the art stuff. They say the reason why so people today can climb Everest is because of the synthetic material we now have can make us impervious to the elements....
If you want to make fire on top of a mountain rubbing two stick together to cook your dehydrated beans, then go for it....

Any comments are welcome.

Do us all a favor, don't cut table legs from small trees when in my wilderness.

If you want to use "cook tents", titanium coffee presses, GPS, and "state of the art" stuff in the wilderness go for it. But don't destroy the wilderness, or my solitude, with beeping gadgets and 10K lumen LED flashlights. I'm sick of people like that intruding into nature. If they needed this much technology before deciding to leave the security of their cities, maybe they shouldn't be on Everest or in the Wilderness. I'm more of an Edward Abby and Aldo Leupold type than a Sandra Hill Pittman.

Drew Wiley
18-Mar-2014, 15:57
Lots of the things the Scouts, horse packing companies, and even the Sierra Club routinely did up thru the 70's would probably get you fined or outright arrested in any official Wilderness Area today.

goamules
18-Mar-2014, 16:28
Yep, as more and more people go into less and less wilderness, leave no trace has to be the methodology. I'm going back into the Gila Wilderness this weekend, on foot, and just got a report from a friend there last weekend, that there are a lot more people in the canyon I go to than 15 years ago. I used to see no one else for a week at a time. Thank God for Leupold and the Wilderness movement, or we'd have quads ripping up every square inch of forest land. The last time I was in an "official" NFS campground, up near Flagstaff last spring, it was a nightmare of loud music, booming explosions (I never did figure out what several camps were setting off every few minutes), and roaring quads.

David_Senesac
6-Apr-2014, 14:12
Well first ultralight and large format gear are an oxymoron unless one is so rich to have porters carrying gear and slaves grabbing 4 poles riding around on a litter. No reality is the mentally demented here that lug large format into mountains will be suffering pack animals.

Rather surprising amount of discussion on this thread. Read first few pages and then noticed how long it really was. Of course considerable divergence going off on various tangents than what the OP asked.

Besides Steven Williard and Drew Wiley, I'm one of the few that have been lugging large format gear into the backcountry a long time. Steven's gear, methods, printing and goals are quite different than mine however Drew's and mine have similarities and we are of similar age with long experience. Though unlike those two don't depend on making a living from doing so as is much easier working in hi tech. Though a small guy at 66" 140# have when younger carried 80# weights into the high country. Picture tells it all.

http://www.davidsenesac.com/Backpacking/david_pack_r.jpg

I do considerable off trail stuff sometimes places only fit for goats. See my website and read any of my backpacking feature stories. A few years ago in my mid 50s went to all the lightest gear so now my backpacking weights are between mid 50s and upper 60s depending on trip length and am no longer using a piggyback system like in the above picture. Need to rebuild that webpage...yawn. Total weight now just for camera gear including containers is about 23 pounds that includes Wisner 4x5 Expedition, 3 lenses, an SX130 compact digital camera, 6 film holders, and my Induro CT113 tripod with Manfrotto MH054M0 ballhead at 44 ounces, plus much small stuff.

In any case more of my view camera work is day hiking and for that use a larger pack and put more into it including my Canon G10 gear I use for closeup work. Often can be seen dayhiking rambling about lugging about 35 pound like yesterday when I was up at North Table Mountain where I exposed 10 sheets of Provia. As one of conservative mind, I do tend to take more gear than most just to be prepared, safe, and comfortable.

paulr
6-Apr-2014, 14:44
I find it disheartening that anyone thinks it's ok to go into a park or wilderness area and cut trees. Or branches. Or even make fire rings or do any of that other boy scout stuff that just creates visual polution for everyone else.

StoneNYC
6-Apr-2014, 15:33
I find it disheartening that anyone thinks it's ok to go into a park or wilderness area and cut trees. Or branches. Or even make fire rings or do any of that other boy scout stuff that just creates visual polution for everyone else.

I'm not sure if you misunderstand my post about structures, I mean to use already fallen wood, not fresh.

You also have to realize the places some of the guys are talking about are places where even a structure like a table, would disintegrate before another human came upon it...

StoneNYC
6-Apr-2014, 15:33
Well first ultralight and large format gear are an oxymoron unless one is so rich to have porters carrying gear and slaves grabbing 4 poles riding around on a litter. No reality is the mentally demented here that lug large format into mountains will be suffering pack animals.

Rather surprising amount of discussion on this thread. Read first few pages and then noticed how long it really was. Of course considerable divergence going off on various tangents than what the OP asked.

Besides Steven Williard and Drew Wiley, I'm one of the few that have been lugging large format gear into the backcountry a long time. Steven's gear, methods, printing and goals are quite different than mine however Drew's and mine have similarities and we are of similar age with long experience. Though unlike those two don't depend on making a living from doing so as is much easier working in hi tech. Though a small guy at 66" 140# have when younger carried 80# weights into the high country. Picture tells it all.

http://www.davidsenesac.com/Backpacking/david_pack_r.jpg

I do considerable off trail stuff sometimes places only fit for goats. See my website and read any of my backpacking feature stories. A few years ago in my mid 50s went to all the lightest gear so now my backpacking weights are between mid 50s and upper 60s depending on trip length and am no longer using a piggyback system like in the above picture. Need to rebuild that webpage...yawn. Total weight now just for camera gear including containers is about 23 pounds that includes Wisner 4x5 Expedition, 3 lenses, an SX130 compact digital camera, 6 film holders, and my Induro CT113 tripod with Manfrotto MH054M0 ballhead at 44 ounces, plus much small stuff.

In any case more of my view camera work is day hiking and for that use a larger pack and put more into it including my Canon G10 gear I use for closeup work. Often can be seen dayhiking rambling about lugging about 35 pound like yesterday when I was up at North Table Mountain where I exposed 10 sheets of Provia. As one of conservative mind, I do tend to take more gear than most just to be prepared, safe, and comfortable.

I wonder if I can get 8x10 to that weight.... :)

goamules
6-Apr-2014, 20:04
...In the meantime, I took my 3 kids and 2 of their friends ultralight backpacking miles into the Gila Wilderness 2 weeks ago. Didn't bother taking any LF gear. We camped in a cave I know about, used for hundreds of years before me by "ultralight" Indian backpackers. No GPS, phones, LED flashlights, titanium....

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7335/13683916684_01c865f468_z.jpg

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7458/13683915334_c5c3eecf51_z.jpg

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7221/13683572815_52562f7a6d_z.jpg

Drew Wiley
7-Apr-2014, 08:56
That looks like a wonderfully fun trip, Garrett; but does it count without lugging view camera gear? I mean, is one allowed to do that??? You should be investing in
my helium-filled bellows patent before the stock goes public. The bigger the camera, the less it weighs!

goamules
7-Apr-2014, 09:26
That's a dandy idea, and just crazy enough to work. Heading to grocery store for balloons....

Funny story, I did take an "old" lens, a Pen-F on my Fuji digital X-E1. The battery had a fresh charge. Half way up there (3 hour bushwack/creekhack hike to the cave and hot springs), the low battery started flashing...then gone. Only got about 8 shots. No, I didn't have a spare. Pics taken with my daughter's point and shoot. So I "lugged" the deadweight of a cam and lens anyway!

Drew Wiley
7-Apr-2014, 10:09
I remember a long week in a southwestern canyon where we saw nobody else the whole time. I packed my Sinar 4x5 system, but didn't want to leave the 6x7 gear
in the car all that time, so my nephew volunteered to pack it with him. But he wasn't particularly amused when I never took a single shot with the 6x7 the entire trip. Plus we were carrying gallon jugs of water, around 85lb apiece. Eventually I learned, the less stuff the better. Extra meter battery, extra red filter, extra sunglasses (always). No second camera system.

StoneNYC
8-May-2014, 06:14
Stephen, any news with the new tent? How did it perform?

Also, wondering if you'll ever get back to me on my question ;)

Stephen Willard
9-May-2014, 20:31
Stephen, any news with the new tent? How did it perform?

Also, wondering if you'll ever get back to me on my question ;)

Hi Stone,

I ended up purchasing the MSR Elixir 2 man tent because it uses heavier more durable materials. It does weigh more by about a pound, but with llamas that is not an issue. The bottom line for me is I need a tent that will hold up to the elements for 60 to 90 days a years, years after year. I also like the fact that the Elixir use a more opaque silver fly that will reflect more light and help keep the tent cooler on sunny alpine days. In the alpine, hot tents can be a big issue, especially in Wind River where there are few canopies of trees.

The tent has the exact same design as its lighter sister the Hubba Hubba tent, so I get all of the features that motivated me to replace my existing tent in the first place. I had it setup in my backyard for several weeks and slept in it for five nights. I loved it.

If I need to go lightweight, then I will us my Gore Tex bivy bag which weights a little over a pound.

-Stephen

StoneNYC
9-May-2014, 20:59
Hi Stone,

I ended up purchasing the MSR Elixir 2 man tent because it uses heavier more durable materials. It does weigh more by about a pound, but with llamas that is not an issue. The bottom line for me is I need a tent that will hold up to the elements for 60 to 90 days a years, years after year. I also like the fact that the Elixir use a more opaque silver fly that will reflect more light and help keep the tent cooler on sunny alpine days. In the alpine, hot tents can be a big issue, especially in Wind River where there are few canopies of trees.

The tent has the exact same design as its lighter sister the Hubba Hubba tent, so I get all of the features that motivated me to replace my existing tent in the first place. I had it setup in my backyard for several weeks and slept in it for five nights. I loved it.

If I need to go lightweight, then I will us my Gore Tex bivy bag which weights a little over a pound.

-Stephen

Gotcha,

I ended up deciding I will use my existing tent for now, it still works, and ill just hope it falls apart this year so I can get something with side exists, that's the thing I miss... Lol.

Best of luck with your first serious trip!

Drew Wiley
12-May-2014, 09:35
You're a young guy, Stone, so why do you need an ultralight? Just save up a small percent of your vast wealth and get a side door Bibler.

StoneNYC
12-May-2014, 12:27
You're a young guy, Stone, so why do you need an ultralight? Just save up a small percent of your vast wealth and get a side door Bibler.

Because I'm young and also wise from those who came before me with bad knees and feet and gout and who struggle to hike now because they took on too much when they were young... ;)

Drew Wiley
12-May-2014, 12:54
"Young" and "wise" don't fit well in the same sentence. And what would Vittorio Sella think about this "ultralight" philosophy of yours?

StoneNYC
12-May-2014, 13:31
"Young" and "wise" don't fit well in the same sentence. And what would Vittorio Sella think about this "ultralight" philosophy of yours?

Who?

;)

Drew Wiley
12-May-2014, 15:26
Look him up. Real large format photographers carry 18x22 plate glass cameras on their backs up to 23,000 ft for months on end. Of course, you could one up him by doing the same, yet also packing a coating tent for your homemade color film - gotta work fast if you don't want the liquid emulsion to freeze at that altitude.

StoneNYC
12-May-2014, 15:33
Look him up. Real large format photographers carry 18x22 plate glass cameras on their backs up to 23,000 ft for months on end. Of course, you could one up him by doing the same, yet also packing a coating tent for your homemade color film - gotta work fast if you don't want the liquid emulsion to freeze at that altitude.

18x22, pft, why not just go to 20x24... What a wuss afraid of 2 little inches....

Drew Wiley
12-May-2014, 16:13
He had to trim things down a bit, cause they were being chased by Gurkha soldiers intent on decapitating them. Fortunately, the crevasses pretty much thinned out anyone on horseback once the glacier was reached. Sella was also the first person in history to traverse the Matterhorn, climb Mt St Elias on the Alaskan coast,
climb the Mtns of the Moon in equatorial Africa, etc. Down there giant earthworms coat the film for you.

StoneNYC
12-Jun-2015, 17:06
Hi Stone,

I ended up purchasing the MSR Elixir 2 man tent because it uses heavier more durable materials. It does weigh more by about a pound, but with llamas that is not an issue. The bottom line for me is I need a tent that will hold up to the elements for 60 to 90 days a years, years after year. I also like the fact that the Elixir use a more opaque silver fly that will reflect more light and help keep the tent cooler on sunny alpine days. In the alpine, hot tents can be a big issue, especially in Wind River where there are few canopies of trees.

The tent has the exact same design as its lighter sister the Hubba Hubba tent, so I get all of the features that motivated me to replace my existing tent in the first place. I had it setup in my backyard for several weeks and slept in it for five nights. I loved it.

If I need to go lightweight, then I will us my Gore Tex bivy bag which weights a little over a pound.

-Stephen

SOOOOO how did the tent fair?!! We all want to know! :)

John Kasaian
13-Jun-2015, 07:24
Ultra Light & Large Format?
Thanks! I needed a smile this morning.;)

StoneNYC
13-Jun-2015, 09:25
Ultra Light & Large Format?
Thanks! I needed a smile this morning.;)

So far my 8x10 Chamonix kit is lighter than my 35mm Canon kit was back in 2010 hiking the Grand Canyon.

Under 20lbs :)

Bruce Watson
13-Jun-2015, 10:27
I used a 3 lb Toho and a four lens kit. It was lighter when quickloads were still available.

Me too. Such an excellent camera. Sigh...

tgtaylor
14-Jun-2015, 09:33
For extended back-country travel I carry a Toyo 45cf (3.42 lbs), 150mm Rodenstock apo Sironar-s (a normal that folds-up with the camera and has the same FOV as a 120mm lens), a series 0 Gitzo CF with Wimberley BH (tripod weighs 1.7lbs, folds to 21”, brings the GG almost up to eye level and has a hook to attach your backpack), 4 holders in an F64 case that attaches to the outside of the pack, 50-sheet box of film, a Harrison pup tent, and finally, a Pentax digital spot meter. Although the Rodenstock is my most used lens in the back country, my 2d most used is the 90mm and to save weight and bulk I recently purchased a 90mm Nikkor f8 for backpacking which I pack in a Seagrams Crown Royal whiskey sack (zero weight and bulk).

Thomas

Drew Wiley
15-Jun-2015, 09:13
For traveling ultralight you need something ultra-large-format. It's a simple scientific equation. If your bellows are properly sealed, the bigger they are, the more
helium they hold.

Stephen Willard
17-Jun-2015, 23:19
SOOOOO how did the tent fair?!! We all want to know! :)


Hi, Stone. My MSR Elixir 2 man tent worked real nice. The highly reflective opaque silver fly and the opposing double doors allowed for reflection of light and cross ventilation respectfully to help keep the tent real cool on hot sunny days in the high alpine. I loved how roomy the tent was compared to my old tent, and I love the side entrances of the tent which facilitates easy access. The tent was also exposed to five fierce alpine storms. Two of the storms were full winter storms, and in all cases, the tent held up real well.

I also just bought the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 man tent. I intend to uses it when I take family and friends up for a week long trip in early June. It is a nice tent for short trips for a week or less, but I would not use it for a 30 day trip. It is just not as beefy as the MSR Elixir. I set both tents side by side, and I do not believe that the Hubba could take the abuse that the Elixir can take. For me the extra pound of better pole support and thicker fabric of the Elixir is worth its weight in gold.

The main draw back of the Elixir is not its weight, but rather its pack size which is is about twice that of the Hubba.

The Elixir cost around $250 and includes the protective footprint. The Hubba cost around $450 to get the optional protective footprint.

Hope this helps....

StoneNYC
18-Jun-2015, 07:44
Hi, Stone. My MSR Elixir 2 man tent worked real nice. The highly reflective opaque silver fly and the opposing double doors allowed for reflection of light and cross ventilation respectfully to help keep the tent real cool on hot sunny days in the high alpine. I loved how roomy the tent was compared to my old tent, and I love the side entrances of the tent which facilitates easy access. The tent was also exposed to five fierce alpine storms. Two of the storms were full winter storms, and in all cases, the tent held up real well.

I also just bought the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 man tent. I intend to uses it when I take family and friends up for a week long trip in early June. It is a nice tent for short trips for a week or less, but I would not use it for a 30 day trip. It is just not as beefy as the MSR Elixir. I set both tents side by side, and I do not believe that the Hubba could take the abuse that the Elixir can take. For me the extra pound of better pole support and thicker fabric of the Elixir is worth its weight in gold.

The main draw back of the Elixir is not its weight, but rather its pack size which is is about twice that of the Hubba.

The Elixir cost around $250 and includes the protective footprint. The Hubba cost around $450 to get the optional protective footprint.

Hope this helps....

Thanks Stephen!! Excellent review, I would love to know about water proof-ness and about how it handled condensation, in particular in unzipping the tent opening and getting out of the tent, did you feel as though you had to struggle to open it without getting your hair/head wet against the side of the tent, could you unzip it without water falling inside the tent? Or without having to reach far out to reach/get to the zipper.

I have a lot of trouble with this and my current tent, which is why I ask, it's my ONLY real complaint about the Big Agnes tent I own, which is not the brother to the elixir but an older longer, single door design (similar to the current fly creek model but slightly different / heavier) I am blanking on the name.

Thanks.

Sal Santamaura
18-Jun-2015, 08:01
...150mm Rodenstock apo Sironar-s (a normal that folds-up with the camera and has the same FOV as a 120mm lens...Assuming "FOV" stands for field of view, please explain what you mean by this. With 4x5 film, a 120 and 150 have distinctly different fields of view, whether comparing horizontal, vertical or diagonal angles. If you instead were referring to image circles, which 120mm lens' image circle are you comparing the 231mm Apo-S image circle to? Thanks in advance.

Drew Wiley
18-Jun-2015, 08:29
I've adopted a two-tent strategy. I'll bring along both an ultralight and the Bibler, then assess the weather forecast at the last minute, and leave one of them in
the truck. I seem to be a magnet for wacky weather. It also has a lot to do with planning the route day by day. I really don't like the idea of being up in some
wind-tunnel of a high pass in an ultralight in inclement weather. Want to be able to make it to at least the edge of timberline. With the Bibler, I've got way more options. Those things can handle a serious storm.

StoneNYC
18-Jun-2015, 10:43
Assuming "FOV" stands for field of view, please explain what you mean by this. With 4x5 film, a 120 and 150 have distinctly different fields of view, whether comparing horizontal, vertical or diagonal angles. If you instead were referring to image circles, which 120mm lens' image circle are you comparing the 231mm Apo-S image circle to? Thanks in advance.

I'm going to go out on a limb and assume they actually meant the angle degree number?

tgtaylor
18-Jun-2015, 11:11
Assuming "FOV" stands for field of view, please explain what you mean by this. With 4x5 film, a 120 and 150 have distinctly different fields of view, whether comparing horizontal, vertical or diagonal angles. If you instead were referring to image circles, which 120mm lens' image circle are you comparing the 231mm Apo-S image circle to? Thanks in advance.

The Rodenstock give me essentially the same composition as the 120 Nikkor SW and the 75mm Pentax 67. It's not identical of course ( the 120 and 75 are a tad wider but the difference is inconsequential. The Pentax is my favorite lens because I prefer a wider view than say the Pentax 105mm which is super sharp and if I went on a long trip and could carry only one lens, that lens would be the Rodenstock for 4x5 and the 75 Pentax for 6x7.

Speaking of the 105 Pentax, several years back I dropped it very softly in a loose sandy soil in a ghost town somewhere. I had a B&W UV filter on the lens for protection and the filter hit a stone that was in the sand and cracked it and made it difficult to remove the filter. Instead of waiting until I got home to get a filter remover, I forced it off and the cracked filter left a nasty gash/scar on the outside of the glass. Although I use my equipment I take very good care and keep everything looking as close to mint as humanly possible. I was so taken back by this accident I didn't use or even look at the lens for years and even considered replacing the 105 with another on several occasions. Then about a year or so ago, again considering buying a replacement, I examined the lens carefully. The gash turned out to be bits of the filter glass stuck on the lens and wiped off leaving a very tiny spot (you have to really look for it up close) where the coating was damaged. I've put that lens back in my kit and nothing shows up on the negatives or enlargements. I'm sure glad of that because the 105 is a very useful lens and it was my first lens for that camera which I bought as a kit with the AE Pentaprisim viewfinder and 105 lens. And that lens now commands a higher price used than it did when new.

Thomas

Drew Wiley
18-Jun-2015, 11:20
Stone - those new side-entry tents from both Big Agnes and Bibler should be more to your liking than front-entry, but it does add about a pound of wt in each case. You won't get wet crawling in and out of them. We had one along last year. Life if full of coincidences. A neighbor of mine recently retired and had knee replacements. He was just getting back from his first long walk up the canyon with an even older cronie. The old fellow turned out to be the person who drew up
and marketed what was allegedly the world's first single-ply "no rainfly needed" pup tent, when Sierra Designs was next door to us here. And back then a hiking
pal of mine happened to be the world's first customer/guinea-pig/sucker for the new tent technology. He bought it for a week-long trip we were taking up on the
Goddard Divide during an exceptionally snowy year. One day a big storm was moving in and we made it back down to around 10,000 ft to camp at the head of
McGee Canyon. He had a deluxe indoor swimming pool that night, courtesy of all the condensation. Had to hoof it all the way down to low altitude the next day
to dry things out. Not a very good testimonial for Sierra Designs. I think Bibler was the first one to do it right.

Stephen Willard
18-Jun-2015, 11:38
Thanks Stephen!! Excellent review, I would love to know about water proof-ness and about how it handled condensation, in particular in unzipping the tent opening and getting out of the tent, did you feel as though you had to struggle to open it without getting your hair/head wet against the side of the tent, could you unzip it without water falling inside the tent? Or without having to reach far out to reach/get to the zipper.

I have a lot of trouble with this and my current tent, which is why I ask, it's my ONLY real complaint about the Big Agnes tent I own, which is not the brother to the elixir but an older longer, single door design (similar to the current fly creek model but slightly different / heavier) I am blanking on the name.

Thanks.

Stone, both tents have a gutter system above the the zipper on each vestibule. Any runoff on the fly is diverted to the ground at the bottom of the entrance. As a result, I have never gotten wet from entering or exiting the Elixir from water on the flys. I suspect the same hold true for the Hubba as well.

The climate I use the tents is very dry so I cannot speak to cross ventilation from the fly vents. I can say the Elixir has twice the fly vent area that the Hubba has, and the vents are much higher up the tent walls than the Hubba, so if ventilation is an issue, then the Elixir is the better solution. Personally, I do not think any of the vents on any of the tents I have seen are sufficient in humid rainy climate. The Hubba does have the means of rolling up the bottom of each vestibule to achieve additional cross ventilation through the opposing doors. However, I have not used the Hubba in the field yet, so I do not know if this will offer any improvement or it is just a gimmick. The Elixir can be easy modified by adding a guy loop on each vestibule to mimiic the Hubba cross ventilation of the vestibules. I plan on making this modification to my Elixir.

One very noticeable difference between the two tents is the Hubba fly is transparent and will allow a lot of daylight and moon light to pass through when compared to the Elixir which has an opaque silver fly and reflects most of the light. Out west moon light can be so bright that it can keep me awake at night. When sun light is not reflected by the fly, then your tent can heat up real fast. Some times it has been well over a 100 degrees in my tent at higher elevations where there can be no tree cover during the day. The Elixir was much darker at night and much cooler by day compare to my old tent, and I suspect this would also be true for the Hubba as well.

The guys on the Elixir are much sturdier and higher up the tent walls which I believe is preferred for properly anchoring down the tent in severe storms. This is a big deal for me because some of those high alpine storms can have winds well over 100 miles per hour perhaps even closer to 130 miles per hour. One time I ran out of my tent with a heavy duty Marmot rain jacket only partially zipped and the wind ripped that jack right of my body. It took me two days to find my jacket tangled about 40 feet up in an Ingelmann spruce tree about three miles from my camp. Now that is unbelievable! The garment survived in tacked, and the rest of my camp site was well anchored and defied the storm's forces.

My Elixir experienced no deformity form the high winds of the five storms I lived through. I suspect it had to do with the sturdy pole design and the wind dynamics of the tent. For those of you who are listening in, I would highly recommend you suit up in full rain gear with warm under garments when inside your tent during a severe alpine storm. If the tent should fail you can take cover under a big spruce and live for another day. I had a tent do just that about 20 years ago, and I almost died from hyperthermia. All I had on at the time was my briefs. This is a great tale of being young a stupid verses old and experienced.


Hope this helps....