Tents/Sleep Systems Emergencies

ntodwild

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Please read before you comment on your favorite shelter or tent.

I would like to start a conversation about backcountry sleep system for ""1 or two nights or Emergency situations"". Many of us find ourselves 2-4 miles or more into the backcountry when we take an animal (Elk, Mule Deer or Bear), even when hunting out of a basecamp. I personally never go into the backcountry without a plan to spend a night or two even if the trip is considered a day trip. Things happen! I have found myself with an animal down only two miles from camp, nightfall is coming fast and the hike out is NOT an easy one. In most cases I have found myself just electing to spend the night, get up in the morning and get it done. 90% of my hunting is done in the Northwest (think wilderness areas NOT desert or open country).


My current "Emergency" sleep system is planned around being able to save my life under some ugly conditions (snow, rain, 25-35deg. temps).
1) Alps Lynx 1 man freestanding double wall tent.
pros:
a) double wall bombproof will take a snow pack, high wind and rain.
b) "amazing" heat retention because of tent wall design + 2nd wall rainfly (tent walls are only partial mesh). I own two other 1 man tents that are lighter but do not retain heat like this little tent.
c) packs well.
d) free standing design.
cons:
a) Heavy for a one man tent/emergency shelter at 3lbs 4oz. (complete tent/fly/poles/MSR groundhog stakes).

2) Heavy duty emergency blanket/quilt (12oz)
3) goose down hooded jacket
4) oversize goose down pants (long enough to completely cover my feet and band the cuffs for heat retention).

Total system=5lbs 4oz.

As a total sleep system/Emergency/1-2 day system in possible "sh*t" weather is it worth going to a single wall system like a seek or basic single wall trekking pole shelter without a tent system (floor/walls)?

I see the trade offs in the weight you save on a shelter but it seems to be made up with a sleeping bag with windproof/resistant properties as most single wall shelter require venting (primarily at the base of the shelter). I could see wrapping yourself in an emergency blanket to keep the wind off and sleeping bag off the wet ground??? Heat retention could certainly be an issue with any sort of wind??? I certainly can see using a single wall shelter during summer months (I just carry a lightweight tarp during summer months myself) and I know people use them often for winter hunting in the backcountry (with stoves and so on which is a completely different topic).

Any of you who use a single wall like a Seek or other would be good to hear from. Total sleep system weights? Heat retention in cold climates, condensation and any other pros vs. cons. Would it be worth a 2lb weight savings under the conditions described above? I could also just shed 2lbs pretty quick by giving up a cheeseburger or two and not worry about it. Will I be gaining anything over my current sleep system or will I be giving up something other than weight??? $$$?
 
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rustednuts

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I would ditch the tent 100%

Warm and dry clothes are what will keep you alive. You can build / fashion a shelter if needed, and build a fire for warmth. If you are set on some sort of shelter get a lightweight tarp. The goal is survival not comfort.
 

ntodwild

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rustednuts said: "I would ditch the tent 100%"

Honestly I would If I lived somewhere else. Here in the Northwest it's almost impossible to keep anything dry during spring, fall or winter hunting. Ditching an enclosed shelter of some sort is pretty much out of the question in my eyes.

I guess my original question didn't put enough emphasis on "selective" overnight stays vs survival. In the last 30 some odd years of hunting I have never found myself in a survival situation (Thank the lord) but I have found myself "selectively" electing to stay a night a handful of times. I find myself these days hunting spring more than ever in the northwest (cold, wet, windy). My current setup is what you would call comfortably uncomfortable. Ideal for 1 or two nights but surely not comfortable (no sleeping bag, no stove, no sleeping pad or pillow).

Spring bear in the northwest can lead a hunter into some pretty nasty places even if it's just a few miles from basecamp or a truck. Sometime the safest thing to do is start a fire, pitch camp and hold up a night.
 
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wllm1313

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My sleep system is 6.7 lbs (tent, bag, pad) most of the time I just hunt/scout with that in my bag the entire time.

If I'm climbing a peak or something in the summer, I bring rain gear and down layers.

I totally agree sometime electing to stay the night is the right move.
 

EYJONAS!

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I have invested in a good tarp shelter and it's saved my ass to say the least. Whether it's sitting under glassing between squalls or your played out on a ridge at night under the stars and 3am the skies decide to open up and dump rain. Mountainous hunting presents all kinds of unexpected little surprises to add to the adventure. That's why are love it though, most of the time.......

If I look at different tarp or shelter systems I have it makes me feel like I have a problem Haha but here they go.

Brooks mountaineering guide tarp 16oz. Big enough for a couple guys to sleep under with gear or a shelter for glassing under while it's dumping.
This coupled with enlightened quilt 20oz and ex ped insulated pad 16oz makes for 3.2lbs or so with extra stakes probably 3.8lbs. Pretty doable for keeping on your person.

Stone glacier Sky Air tarp with inner tent and vestibule I believe this combined setup is 18oz or so, very light with the actual tent capability. Just the tarp is 8oz. So far pretty impressed with the tarp it's smaller than my guide tarp but can accommodate myself and someone else if things get shitty. Total sleep system is about 3.8 lbs.

Also have a 2p hex peak tipi from luxe and a msr mutha hubba 3p tent I take in if I'm hunting with someone on extended trip. I always bring a tarp shelter as well.

I think a tarp is a damn good piece of insurance to have they are pretty bomb proof if you spend the time practicing pitches and learn correct configurations. The Sky Air will be in my pack all season long no matter what.
 

EYJONAS!

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Clothes and gear situation is all relevant to the hunt and situation. Lately my layering system had consisted more of rain gear and down coat and pants vs packing a softshell. So far it seems to be working well. A few extra items I carry are socks and occasionally and extra base layer shirt.

This year I'll add a windshirt courtesy of @SnowyMountaineer and a 50upf hoodie courtesy of @wllm1313 for those extra ultralight ideas.

Puffy pants and jacket are game changers and add that extra layer at night with really not much extra weight.
 

Randy11

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I've also been packing a super lightweight tarp, Between that, insulation layers, and firestarter, I figure I can get by in some pretty tough conditions.

I have also in the past carried around one of those SOL emergency bivvies. I don't anymore, but it's probably not a bad idea.
 

kwyeewyk

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I have a horn hunter full curl system, I dedicate one outside wing to first aid/survival kit and one of the heavy duty SOL emergency mummy style bags (8.5 oz), so I always have these with me. I also always carry rain gear as an extra layer if needed. I dedicate the small attachment bag as a 1-2 night overnight bag and am able to get an MSR flylite tent (kinda like an oversized bivy bag, around 2lbs. with footprint, not counting trekking poles), klymit staticV pad (18 oz) and x-pillow (2 oz), a light bag (22 oz), an extra base layer and heavy socks, and down vest in that bag. If I know I'll be many miles out on a day trip I'll take the overnight bag, just in case or if I wanted to stay. It's more a warmer season set up for comfort, but in a pinch with all my layers on I think I could handle a lot without being too miserable.
 
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ntodwild

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I've also been packing a super lightweight tarp, Between that, insulation layers, and firestarter, I figure I can get by in some pretty tough conditions.

I have also in the past carried around one of those SOL emergency bivvies. I don't anymore, but it's probably not a bad idea.
I carried a Walrus tarp set up for years along with a similar mindset and gear when I hunted, regardless of season UNTIL a friend/hunting partner got caught out in a snow storm in August about 16 years ago. He also had the same setup. Long story short is he was "well dressed" with synthetic clothing, good boots and wool undergarments. We both left camp at 10AM and were supposed to meet at a designated place by noon. The snow storm was a white out, temps dropped rapidly and by 3PM there was 8" on the ground. He didn't show at our designated area and as 3PM rolled around I was on the phone with search and rescue. We found him 18hrs later, a night in the woods and not in great shape. His words: "I don't think I could have made another night like that!" He pitched his tarp over a downed log, spent the entire nite fanning the log end fire he started (everything was miserably wet). After a few months we both went over his experience in detail and it was very clear that heat retention for a shelter was a massive problem for a tarp (single wall TP's or tents really were just becoming fashionable back then). Yes the tarp kept the weather off him but he was already wet when he pitched it. Not having a sleep system and a way to capture/retain heat was what we surmised was one of the biggest issues so as an avid backpacker (almost 45 years of my life now), from that point on I never left hunt camp or went into the backcountry without an enclosed shelter system and a sleep system (blanket, bag or down clothing layer) during spring, fall or winter here in the Northwest.

As I get older and my fitness level is not what it use to be when I was younger I think about weight savings, the pros and cons and so on. I do ditch my tent setup during the summer months and still carry my Walrus tarp but spring, fall and winter in the Cascade mountains can get nasty VERY FAST. I believe EYJONAS mentioned an Enlightened quilt and I have considered something like that instead of a down hooded jacket and pants. It would be interested to explore the pros and cons of that gear. As far as an ultralight "enclosed shelter" my curiosity is really with some of the single wall tents and TP's and whether I would be giving up more than just a few pounds?
 
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EYJONAS!

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There's no doubt in my mind that a guy could get screwed real quick out there in the mountains if storms set in like that. Gear makes rapid advancements it seems as with anything anymore these days. Even a guy with the best gear can get into deep shit though out there. I heard a story about guys unlimited sheep hunting they killed a ram opening day that night as they were going across a plateau a full on blizzard set in. They had to make camp with a tent they had everything with then including the ram. Well they tried to power through it for a bit ended up getting soaked. Spent 2 nights one guy lost toes another lost fingers the guy with the ram managed to be ok. They got wet and with rapid temp drop developed frostbite and some borderline hypothermia......amazing they made it out.

I was skeptical about the Enlightened gear not the company just a quilt idea in general. Always using a bag my entire life and now I'm relying on a blankey....... well to my surprise it really has been a nice upgrade to the system. I still have my colder bags but for spring summer fall hell I even took it up in November on my last sheep attempt and it was -5 with my down pants on and puffy coat I was plenty warm.

Also been very impressed with Luxe like I said I have the hex peak 2p with an inner tent it's like 3lbs. With just the tipi it's barely a pound. Very happy so far and compacts.

I'd give that Stone Glacier setup a fair shake it is basically a 1.5 person tent that weighs 1lbs. Set up with trekking poles or a couple branches. Atleast something like that you have a full enclosure opportunity. I'm yet to see one product that company hasn't put through the absolute ringer out there, if something doesn't perform its scrapped.

Other life line ideas, solid rain gear, multiple layers, puffy clothes, space blanket, emergency bivy, obviously a solid fire kit. That pyro puddy looks cool. There's lots of different combos. Very cool thread thanks for starting it.
 

EYJONAS!

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One addition I'll make to the quilt idea. You need a good pad or it's probably not be too great.
 

devon deer

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This was a brilliant thread about finding oneself in such situations

Cheers

Richard
 

ntodwild

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This was a brilliant thread about finding oneself in such situations

Cheers

Richard
Thanks for sharing this Richard.

This sounds much like my hunting partners story 16 years ago aside from the fact he did not kill an elk. The closest I have ever come to something like this was in the military but had plenty of resources around me in other people and equipment. As stated earlier I have spent a handful of "selective nights" while hunting in the mountains and have backpacked for 40+ years almost 100% of the time in good if not great weather conditions with everything needed for safe travel which doesn't really count when discussing this topic.

Thanks for the post
 

JRMiller

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I used to use the Lynx as well. Great one man tent. A tad heavy though.
I now use a SOL Lite bivy. Weighs 5.5oz. Together with a lightweight 2lb 30 degree bag and your good. Oh and a Klymit air pillow. Think thats like 2-3oz. Total setup not more than 3lbs.
If you feel you need just a tad more protection, take only the Lynx rain fly itself with two shortened poles and fashion a semi-tipi tent with it.
Adds about another .75lbs but your fully wind/rain covered so you can cook without the chaos of weather.
 

wyoboypt

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I feel like having a sleeping bag with an emergency bivy and tarp would be much safer than a tent with no bag. I would definitely trade the tent for a bag and get a better nights sleep. I always carry a down jacket and pant anyway and throw the rain gear on top. A bag such as the kifaru would allow you to keep your boots on and then you can still throw on your emergency bivy and a tarp if you wanted. A fleece balaclava to keep your head and face warm which I always have anyway unless it’s summer. But you’re not exactly saving weight if you take a bag.
 

beginnerhunter

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There's no doubt in my mind that a guy could get screwed real quick out there in the mountains if storms set in like that. Gear makes rapid advancements it seems as with anything anymore these days. Even a guy with the best gear can get into deep shit though out there. I heard a story about guys unlimited sheep hunting they killed a ram opening day that night as they were going across a plateau a full on blizzard set in. They had to make camp with a tent they had everything with then including the ram. Well they tried to power through it for a bit ended up getting soaked. Spent 2 nights one guy lost toes another lost fingers the guy with the ram managed to be ok. They got wet and with rapid temp drop developed frostbite and some borderline hypothermia......amazing they made it out.

I was skeptical about the Enlightened gear not the company just a quilt idea in general. Always using a bag my entire life and now I'm relying on a blankey....... well to my surprise it really has been a nice upgrade to the system. I still have my colder bags but for spring summer fall hell I even took it up in November on my last sheep attempt and it was -5 with my down pants on and puffy coat I was plenty warm.

Also been very impressed with Luxe like I said I have the hex peak 2p with an inner tent it's like 3lbs. With just the tipi it's barely a pound. Very happy so far and compacts.

I'd give that Stone Glacier setup a fair shake it is basically a 1.5 person tent that weighs 1lbs. Set up with trekking poles or a couple branches. Atleast something like that you have a full enclosure opportunity. I'm yet to see one product that company hasn't put through the absolute ringer out there, if something doesn't perform its scrapped.

Other life line ideas, solid rain gear, multiple layers, puffy clothes, space blanket, emergency bivy, obviously a solid fire kit. That pyro puddy looks cool. There's lots of different combos. Very cool thread thanks for starting it.
That luxe is cheap! Why is it so inexpensive? I'm not someone who has to spend a lot of money on something to feel good about it but for that $$ and weight I could pretty much replace everything I use. Seems too good to be true. Could you give a full on review with pros/cons?
 

EYJONAS!

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That luxe is cheap! Why is it so inexpensive? I'm not someone who has to spend a lot of money on something to feel good about it but for that $$ and weight I could pretty much replace everything I use. Seems too good to be true. Could you give a full on review with pros/cons?
https://www.hunttalk.com/threads/tent-tarp-or-tipi-oh-my.296324/page-2#post-2957680

I have been pretty impressed so far. As with tarps proper setup is key if your off with either a tarp or tipi your gonna have issues.

I think they even have a sale going right now. If you got any other questions feel free to ask.
 

beginnerhunter

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https://www.hunttalk.com/threads/tent-tarp-or-tipi-oh-my.296324/page-2#post-2957680

I have been pretty impressed so far. As with tarps proper setup is key if your off with either a tarp or tipi your gonna have issues.

I think they even have a sale going right now. If you got any other questions feel free to ask.
Thanks! How has it performed in wind and weather? Have you used a stove or would you recommend against the stove jack? Not an emergency function, but if I wanted to use it as a base camp or whatever.
 

EYJONAS!

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I had it out this season on some plateaus in the unlimited areas and if anyone has been on top of those sons a bitches in the late summer and fall it can get windy as f......... I had a slight wind break from a little knoll out in the middle for a few of the nights and it held up fine besides being loud but I don't know what wouldn't be with 50 60 plus mile an hour winds. Sounded like I was in a NASA space shuttle getting ready for liftoff a few times.

Couple nights during the summer on some scouting trips I had some hail experiences and it held up good but, if that hail would've been much get bigger don't know how things would've held up but again I'm not sure which tents would've either i think the steep pitch really helped it though in that scenario. It has done nicely in the rain only thing is as with any floorless setup if you set it up in a area where theres condensation from a previous rain or morning dew your just gonna get build-up on the inner walls with the door closed theres no way around it....... Maybe a groundsheet would help but I haven't tried that. I never use it without my inner tent if I am going to camp.

Had some snow experience, the thing I really like about the inner tent of the Luxe Tipi is they have about a 2/3 solid wall on the sides with a mesh top 1/3 so when it is windy and blowing some snow around it doesn't blow under the outer walls and blanket you as is it would if you only have a mesh insert. The inner tent insert is also oversized as well theres more than enough room for myself and gear in there I just leave my pack in the vestibule side along with my jetboil and boots. It's also tall enough for me to sit-up in which is huge when your stuck inside IMO, I'm 5'11'' for reference.

As far a the stove goes I wouldnt get a stove for a 2p tent while it would be nice to have to get warm it's just to much of a sacrifice of room to have it. Minimum 3p tent is what I would consider. You'll be sacrificing about 1/3 of your tent space for your stove and gear. Plus the weight of it would be tough for 1p.

It could also double as a great shelter to if need be, I can think of many spring bear trips that something like this would've been damn nice to have. That being said my bride bought me a Stone Glacier Sky Air tent/shelter, which I am very excited to try this upcoming season....

I would give Luxe a try if your into the Tipi idea, it's not for everyone though some like it and some don't. Kind of like the quilt idea that's becoming very popular as well. Let me know if you have any other questions.
 
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