it's a totally different direction from most 4 season tents out there and i know a lot of guys use these Tipi style tents...but for some reason i never see any reviews on them...and they're a fantastic option when it comes to lightweight and warm. one of the things i've always hated about camping in the winter is trying to cram all your gear into the tent to keep it dry and out of the elements. the next thing that has always bothered me was mud and snow getting into a tub bottom tent, you always end up with some sort of moisture and dirt (which eqauls MUD) hanging around the entrance of the tent. the open floor design is not as bad as you'd think until you try it. yes you can get dirt on your stuff...but with a small tarp to stack gear on and everything neatly in stuff sacks you can keep it dry and clean.
the best part about this style tent, and what i've come to love to the most is that all the gear...pads, sleeping bags, tripods, rifles, packs and whatever else you might need can go under the tent and stay dry. my buddy and i use an 5 man Wyoming Lost and Found Tipi tent...which is more than big enough for the two of us and all our gear. you could easily fit three big guys and all the gear for a 10 day hunting trip underneath..and that's with a stove in the way. without the stove...4 guys and all the gear no problem! another benefit...the tent only weighs 3.5lbs!
now onto the stove. for those hunts when the temps plummit....there is no better option than the Ti-Goat cylinder stove to be used along with the tipi tent. all together the stove weighs 1lb 10oz with the titanium stove pipe!!!!! that's less than 6lbs for a tent large enough to hold 4 guys and all thier gear...while being cozy warm in the middle of winter. you can get the tent up to about 55-60 degrees in 10 degree weather..and i'm not making that up. it gets warm as hell inside the tent...in 20 degree weather i was lying on top of my bag because it was too hot. i've heard of a lot of guys that pack summer bags in the winter time while using this tent/stove combo...it's a nice way to save a few pounds. plus..you can split up the parts. the tent, the tent pole, the stove body, and the stove pipe can all be packed seperate to spead out the weight among friends.
now you do need to be careful at night...if you roll into the stove with your nice new sleeping bag...you're going to melt it. embers can of course melt and pop your infaltable sleeping pad. the trick here is to make sure the stove mouth faces away from everything important and try not to burn pine too much last year we burned nothing but sappy wood and we had no problems...just need to pay attention.
the stove starts up and gets cooking easily...small kindling and some vasaline cotton balls is all you need to get it burning. it takes a little practice to get used to the flu design..but once you get the hang of it you can get it nice and red hot at with a slow burn. the stove will burn for about an hour after being stuffed with wood....so someone has to feed the beast during the night. i found the stove was a nice way to warm up the tent to get to sleep...and then after that my bag kept me warm. but if it is crucial to have it going all night...someone will have to feed it to keep it going.
so there it is...seems like i blew through this so if the review flows weird...i appologize. if you like standing up while getting dressed, keeping your rifle and spotting scope dry..and keeping toasty warm next to a fire...all while being in your tent...then this is definitelty worth looking into. the setup is not cheap...but then again neither are 4 season tents. this tent makes a great summer tent also...and if you hike with dogs...there's no floor there to put little claw holes in
hope you've enjoyed,