Building Apon A Tent

Discussion in 'Shelter' started by Citizen, Mar 21, 2013.

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  1. Citizen

    Citizen Banned Member Banned

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    So I'm looking to know if you can take a 1 or 2 season tent and build upon it to make it a 4 season tent? Even a 1 season tent. But what I mean by this is taking a simple tent and before winter taking spruce bows and placing them either in or under the tent to stop the cold from reaching you and to keep the rain from inside of the tent. Then taking paracord and running three strands along the outside of the tent and then placing spruce bows on the outside of the tent to help weather proof it. The paracord to keep the bows from pressing against the side of the tent.

    That's how I'd do it, would doing it that way make it into a 4 season shelter? Would be adding a stove depending on the tent size. Also what are your suggestions? I'd buy a 4 season if I had the money for it, but money's tight. I'm looking for ways to turn a 1 or 2 season into a 4 season.
     
  2. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    I have tried it twice now for bigger tents and in my experience it simply isn't worth it. Improving a 3-season tent for winter is going to be easy or difficult depending on the tent.

    Good winter tents are expensive for a reason.
    How big a tent do you need, solo or 3 or more people?
    Fixed camp or moving every day??
    if you look at most winter tents they have either a lot of lightweight crossing/ intersecting poles/wands up to 6 hoop poles or the frames are made of really strong timber or tubing and a lot of the cost of a tent is in the frame.

    One of the things I'm looking at for my winter is taking my old cotton tent and using a really strong steel A-frame with a nylon flysheet over the top and an All-weather blanket inside strung over the internal ridge line. But I will not be carrying that on my back or the pulk
     
  3. postman

    postman Scout Bushclass I

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    I would keep the tent for summer camping and get a nice canvas tarp 10x10 and set it up as a baker tent with a nice big fire out in front. I don't think theres much you could do to make a summer tent into a 4 season. Maybe get an extra sleep pad for more insulation?
     
  4. Citizen

    Citizen Banned Member Banned

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    I don't drive, so carrying the material would be hard. Also it would be a fixed camp. My price range is $100.00 or below for everything I purchase.
     
  5. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    A hundred dollars, strong enough for winter and light enough to carry on your back is a pretty tough combination. I would be looking for a good second-hand single pole tipi, and sew in extra snow flaps along the edges. I have to say tho that I don't have snow flaps on my Megamid I usually just dig down a bit and build a low wall as well.
    If you can make a lean-to or have a couple of trees close enough to fix a permanent ridge pole a tarp as additional shelter would not weigh too much more
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  6. Citizen

    Citizen Banned Member Banned

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    I could save up for something, but I'd like it to be able to fit on my cart and last a long time through the years. Something I could leave outside for years and it would be fine. Keep in mind I'd most likely put things in, around, and on it to keep it lasting longer.
     
  7. freebirdfb

    freebirdfb Supporter Supporter

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    While growing up, my Dad tried to make a cheap 2-man tent work for winter and it never did work. So he then tried other experiment and we always ended sleeping in the back of a ford ranger with camper shell hudled next to a propane heater. If you want a winter tent you might as well spend the cash om a four season or canvas tent or set up the tarp with a good fire and good insulation.
     
  8. snuffy72

    snuffy72 Tracker

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    in my experience summer tents are extremely hard to make four season tents. The problem being overhead insulation. Summer tents just don't have the insulation to stop heat loss on the top and sides of the tent. I have better luck with a tarp to protect me and my kids from the elements and then a firewall to reflect the heat from our fire. There may be someone on the site with some more practical info, and I would love to hear it as well.
     
  9. Citizen

    Citizen Banned Member Banned

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    Forgot to mention that it would be for only me, possibly someone else, and the gear we/I'd have with me.
     
  10. Citizen

    Citizen Banned Member Banned

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  11. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    The red tent in the first link is NOT a winter tent, the unsupported fabric would build up snow and collapse on you.
    I'd be happy with the Eureka tent as it has a reasonably strong pole design and fairly steep walls, all important features, cheap enough too.
    But these tents cannot be erected and left out in the weather all the time, none of them can, even with superior after market UV and water proofing they have a limited lifespan .
    If you want to leave them up and exposed to the weather ALL the time then I think you need to look at using a light weight tarp over them as well for the extra UV protection.
     
  12. Citizen

    Citizen Banned Member Banned

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    In regards to a tarp. I plan on getting this tarp on one of the sales.
    http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/guide-gear-emergency-shelter.aspx?a=1158425

    Also I have a 9x12 Canvas Drop Cloth. Certainly not water proof but it's pretty big.
     
  13. snuffy72

    snuffy72 Tracker

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    I would google them and check campmor and rei and some other sites to see how they are rated and get reviews. That is the nice thing about being online, get a lot of feedback before you buy.
     
  14. Citizen

    Citizen Banned Member Banned

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    That's why I love the internet. Well one of MANY reasons.
     
  15. snuffy72

    snuffy72 Tracker

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    I love the sportsmansguide. I have found a lot of cool stuff cheap there, but that tarp isn't going to do what you want it to. If you look close that is meant as more of a sun shade, light rain guard. You are looking for something a little tougher. I feel your pain. I was a single dad looking for a way to spend all my time in the woods with the kids and sportsmansguide was my go to place. Lots of good gear, just be careful.
     
  16. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    At $20- each I would buy 2
     
  17. Citizen

    Citizen Banned Member Banned

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    Yea I love the site, a lot of great gear for cheap. Also this tarp is for hammock camping. I do that mostly but because I can't always find the perfect set of tree's to use, I'd like to get a tent. Plus, the tent adds a homey feel because of the roof and walls. I'm getting this stuff for if some sort of large disaster hits, I can be ready to go to a safe spot.
     
  18. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    I meant as a cover for the Eureka tent, to extend the life of the expensive gear, not as a stand alone shelter, although if the Guide Gear tarp is similar to many I have seen a little extra sewing and another coat of diluted silicone makes them plenty strong and waterproof enough, you just use the silicone on the side that hasn't got the urethane coating on.

    Read what Todd has to say in this thread

    http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/showthread.php/88593-Modding-a-Nylon-Tarp-with-Grommets
     
  19. snuffy72

    snuffy72 Tracker

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    Sounds good, actually I think I might buy one so I can make a hammock seat out of it.
     
  20. Citizen

    Citizen Banned Member Banned

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  21. snuffy72

    snuffy72 Tracker

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    you can buy a canvas drop cloth at lowes
     
  22. bodhran4me

    bodhran4me Supporter Supporter

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    If it is to be left up year round why not try a wiki-up or tipi with a cheap blue poly tarp?
    You could leave the frame and debris in situ and leave the tarp in an ammo can or similar container to protect it from weather and UV damage. If you periodically maintained the debris for insulation and with the frame work up it would only be a couple of minutes to waterproof it with the tarp when it was needed.
     
  23. Citizen

    Citizen Banned Member Banned

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    Like I said, I'm doing this for in case of a disaster. So if I was to do this, it'd become like a home. Although I was looking at the wiki-up, looks like I have something to play with come summer.
     
  24. amusin

    amusin Guide

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    You don'twant to rely on a tent for long term shelter. use it for a night or a week while you build a good lean too or debris shelter. a sheet of the housewrap tyveck may be a great option to windproof and rainproof said shelter. once it starts snowing pile the snow in around your shelter for extra insulation/ protection, maybe even skip the tent in the first place a little over $100 will get you a used military sleep system which not only will do ok for a couple nights in fair weather, but will also make up for a lot of lacks in your shelter.
     
  25. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I don't see some of your ideas ending well. When did they add the 1 or 2 season classification to a tent? How much snow do you get in your AO? How high are the winds? My advice is to focus on that. Also a ground pad will work the same in either a 3 or 4 season shelter. What gear do you have right now? Think in terms of sleeping bag, ground pad and clothing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  26. postman

    postman Scout Bushclass I

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    I would take that canvas drop cloth, put some grommets or tie outs on the corners and sides, treat it with a waterproofing mixture and use that. You already have the tarp, grommet kits are dirt cheap, and there are plenty of "reipes" for canvas waterproofing mixtures on this site alone. You could even get another drop cloth and make a front/awning that you could close the front of the shelter off with. Put a stove jack in it so you could have a small wood stove in there with you. I love canvas tarps, they have so many possibilities. You could even wrap it around a tripod setup and make sort of a mini tipi, with a fire inside. Use your imagination, leave the tent at home.
     
  27. Panzer

    Panzer Prepared Wanderer Supporter Bushclass I

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    A good tent will hold up fine for winter camping if you are set on a tent. I personally camp under a tarp now a days. Used to be a tent camper and did it four season with no issues. It's all about your pad and bag to keep you warm. A good rain fly is crucial. Seems like a lot of non sense to go through with cutting pine boughs to make the tent more better. If you want to sleep in a natural shelter do it, if you want to sleep in a tent do that. No need to mix and match.

    A good tarp, pad and bag along with fire set-up will go a long way.
     
  28. Ned

    Ned Scout

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    I would just get some heavy tarp and make your own tent. No need to convert something not made for it.
     
  29. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    I do not believe it can be done, or at least be any sort of comfortable living....and nothing will kasts years, tarps UV in less than a year.

    As far as a stove goes......what is the fuel?

    I would save my money until I could afford a suitable set up....or you will just be wasting money on junk.
    Just my opinion.

    Option one.
    We used my 12 X12 wall tent as our base camp in Colorado, ridge board/uprights made from 2X6"....for snow load.
    canvas floor over tarp, over a couple of bales of straw spread out straw will freeze to ground.....3 Dog Stove, needed to be fed often......room for about 4 guys and gear....for a week/10 days.
    If going to stay longer or semi perment...build wood platform with side walls, pot cabvas up when there.

    Set up with kitchen fly about $2000.

    [​IMG]

    Option two...again good one $2000
    Tipi, know several people that have lived in them year round for a couple of years, lots of straw for floor, and bales stacked around out side....stove.

    [​IMG]
     
  30. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    If you really think you will ever need a permanent shelter then a good axe and a good saw will be needed, as well as a few other woodworking tools. You can do a lot with some poles, polyethylene ( beats tar-paper hands down) and fencing wire though.
     
  31. Verkstad

    Verkstad Tracker

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    This sounds just like the homeless guy down the street has set up and been living there a few years.
    Bluetarps layered over cardboard layered over a 'family size' camping tent.
    He burns a woodstove inside of some kind. Discreetly too I might add, I see but a hint of smoke, seldom at that.
     
  32. Paveglass

    Paveglass Scout

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    For me, a four season tent has a wood stove inside, especially if one will be in it for a while. Not sure man-portable, four season, and extended duration are all compatible.
     
  33. PineMartyn

    PineMartyn Scout

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    Citizen,

    I'd like to clarify a distinction between 3-season, 4-season tents, and winter hot-tents that's relevant to what you have in mind.

    A 4-season tent is not intended to keep out the cold. It's intended to negate wind-chill effects, keep out rain, blowing snow, and to remain standing under a snow load...and above all, it's designed to vent out moisture (albeit imperfectly) to reduce the problem of condensation inside the tent. Consequently, a 4-season tent is not significantly warmer than most summer tents, but a typical summer or 3-season tent simply won't vent moisture much unless it's mostly mesh (especially if there's more than one person sleeping in it) because it's not designed for that the way a 4-season tent is. There is an inverse correlation between moisture-venting and heat-trapping. A tent that holds in heat also holds in moisture, and tents can only vent moisture by leaking heat. So how does one stay warm in a 4-season tent that leaks its heat in order to vent moisture? Your sleeping system does. That's what your ground insulation and sleeping bag is for. Typically, the air temperature inside a 4-season tent will be only a few degrees warmer than the outside temperature (not factoring in wind-chill effects). A small candle lantern is all the heat you need in such a tent to drive out some moisture, minimize condensation, and make it comfortable inside, even on very cold evenings and mornings. Building a super-structure or shelter around a summer or 3-season tent will simply inhibit the amount of moisture that can escape to the degree that the shelter is insulated by such materials. In other words, you would be insulating against heat loss only to the extent that you were trapping moisture inside, which you can't afford in a winter shelter unless it's just an over-nighter. Perhaps most importantly, such tents are not intended to have stoves inside them. At best one should use a small camping stove in the vestibule area, but not in the tent itself. These tents are made of synthetic materials that can burn/melt very quickly if they come into contact with sparks or open flames.

    Now, a true winter tent that's designed to accommodate a stove works on a very different principle. First, it can safely accommodate a stove because it should be made of a treated material (usually cotton canvas, Egyptian cotton, or the like) so that some moisture can escape while still offering flame retardance. And because it's function is to actually warm you by day (one usually lets the stove go out at night to sleep cold), the air inside is so warm that it avoids the problem of accumulated condensation because that moisture is driven out by the high temperatures achieved whenever the stove is going.

    So, my advice to you is either to make a tarp shelter as have some suggested, make a natural shelter such as a wiki-up, or else get a 4-season tent and forego the use of a fire (other than a candle lantern), or get a proper hot-tent and stove.

    The difference between cold-camping and hot-tenting is huge, but I think it's unwise to try to force a summer or 4-season tent to do the work of a hot-tent. 4-season tents are not supposed to keep you warm, just keep you dry, negate wind-chill, and hold up to a snow load, but they are very poor heat traps. If you want to camp with a heated shelter, go for a hot-tent or natural shelter. In any case, I doubt very much that one could weather-proof a summer or 3-season tent against winter conditions without creating a moisture-trap.

    And if the prospect of being in a cold tent doesn't appeal to you, you could try snow shelters. They are fantastic heat traps, which is why I have long preferred them to 4-season tents.

    Hope this helps,
    - Martin
     
  34. kayakfisher

    kayakfisher Tracker

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    TENT.jpg
    +1 for Canvas. I have had this up for going on the 4th year. They will last a long time. Now this photo was at the 2 1/2 year mark and the tent now has some mold spots at the 4 year mark but not too bad. Nothing a good 1 part bleach to 15 parts water will not cure. Just make sure to rinse the Canvas very well if you do this. I have a small tent that I experimented with the bleach. I am going to pull this one down at the 5 year mark and bleach and wash. I think I can get another 5 + out of it or more. I have both a Davis and a Denver and both are great tents. You can get a 8x10 for under $450. One thing they tell you is to go bigger than you think, I would suggest the reverse. Photo is 14x17 and it is too big (IMO). Go for the 8x10 or the 10x12. Good luck!
     
  35. Citizen

    Citizen Banned Member Banned

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    If you can get some photos of this, assuming he allows it, would you? Hell if I lived where you lived, I'd be shooting a short documentary on this guy.
     
  36. Citizen

    Citizen Banned Member Banned

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    Where exactly is the place you purchase this?
     
  37. DarkXstar

    DarkXstar Guide

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  38. dancan

    dancan Scout

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    You might want to look into some yurt info .
     
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