New solo tent for west coast weather

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by dmon707, Feb 23, 2019.

  1. dmon707

    dmon707 Paddler

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    I'm new to this site, but hardly new to sea kayaking B.C. and Alaska. I'm just getting into paddling solo since my spouse gave it up to old age. My smaller tents are old and I'm hoping to find a new tent/ dining fly combo to make storm days more livable and maybe even comfortable. It would be smaller than our Mountain Hardwear Trango 3 and fit well with an adjoining dining fly/rainy day space. I used to use a Kelty sunshade, but it's really too big and heavy for solo, but Kelty does sell a "cabana shelter" that might fill the bill for a dining room.

    Anybody bought a tent or dining fly recently that they can recommend for a solo Alaskan paddler?

    Oh yeah. I guess I carry a lot of gear for a kayaker when it comes to tents, but I've got a Feathercraft K-1, and, like with a backpack, there's always room for one more thing. And it's nice to spend a stormy day in comfort.
     
  2. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    My solo style is close to yours, except I place the dining fly separate from where I sleep, and pretty much only sleep or read in the tent. MSR made a solo version of their Hubba series that slept one with a decent vestibule that sheltered boots, other gear needed to reach the dining fly. That was the best solo tent I have ever owned.

    I've never found a dining fly that satisfied me. An 8 x 10 nylon tarp is ample for me, if it is reinforced at the logical anchor points, and in the dead center for a centerpole if you cannot run a ridge line instead. Ripouts at the corners and midway along the edges can be prevented, but I have never found readymade tarps with strong enough reinforcement at those points. The "aerodynamic" tarps with catenary cut along the major diagonal (for example, the Kelty Noah series) pitch with those corners high in the air, allowing windblown rain right in. A plain rectangular tarp can be anchored all tie points down to prevent that, with the use of short poles at the tarp edge here and there to get the necessary amount of downforce so that the wind does not lift any panels.

    I have used cabana style shelters as sun shades, but the open face in the current model from Kelty will likely ship windblown rain inside. If you are committed to integrating your dining fly with the tent opening, a smaller rectangle than 8 x 10 may work, set as a tunnel with its ridge line coming over the top of your tent, inboard corners staked to minimize any dining fly-tent gap. This moves the entrance opening away from the vestibule, and allows raising or lowering it as conditions require.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  3. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Welcome to WestCoastPaddler!
    I don't have any suggestions for the dining fly. I used a (homemade) pyramid 'tarp' - really a pyramid tent without a floor - on a cool and rainy AK trip last year and it worked really well for cooking/eating in 'weather'. It also allowed me to keep the food well away from the sleeping tent, which I like to do.
    For the tent:
    I have a 'solo' tent and also a 'two person' tent - I wouldn't want to spend many stormy days in the 'solo' tent (again) - been there, done that for a few days.
    What's your budget?
     
  4. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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  5. designer

    designer Paddler

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    I second the idea of switching up from solo to "two-person". You have the room and the small weight difference won't matter. You'll have slightly larger footprint but I'm sure you'll enjoy the larger interior space, for some gear you want near, or just the extra headroom.

    I'm a hammock/tarp camper but I always have a go-to-ground option. From past adventures (misspent youth on mountains) I had several tents but for this "kayaking tent" I wanted it completely self-standing. No stakes required. I still lash it to something - nothing like seeing your tent hovering completely off the ground, tugging at ground stakes to burn into your mind to always lash it.

    I could end up on a sand/shell beach or rock slab and I don't want the tent to require stakes to hold its shape. These days there are plenty of tents to chose from that satisfy that condition. A year or so ago I got a Kelty TraiLogic TN2 because it was on sale at REI.
     
  6. dmon707

    dmon707 Paddler

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    Thanks for the info! My budget's unlimited for a good tent/dining solution. I've looked at that REI tent Astoriadave suggested, and I'll definitely check out a Trango 2. I had a chance to try a cabana once. Roomy and reasonably waterproof with the flaps down, but it can't be used in any kind of wind. That's when I appreciate in large vestibule for cooking. Some of you may shudder to think of cooking in or near your tent, but I've been weathering storms that way for years in bear country and have never had an incident.
     
  7. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    :)
    I really like my Hilleberg Staika.
    After our AK trip last May, my paddling partner bought one, too.
    In cool weather, it's a lot warmer than part mesh tents, but in warmer weather the two doors and 'roof vent' allow good air exchange. (You can buy a mesh Staika inner tent if you want..)
    Completely self supporting - a lot of so-called self supporting tents actually need the vestibule to be staked out.
    And, the outer tent pitches first so you can pack the inner separately and keep it perfectly dry even in very rainy conditions.
    DSCN0388Harriman Fiord last morning.JPG
    Harriman campsite.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
  8. paddlesores

    paddlesores Paddler

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    Not to sidetrack this thread but......we've been seriously considering a Staika also but haven't been able to see one up close. Where did you get the tent from John? My main concern has been the size it will pack down to. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.
    Doug
     
  9. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Doug-
    About the Staika-
    I wouldn't say it is extremely compact for packing, but I separate the pole bag, outer with footprint, and inner so it stows pretty easily. My tripping boat has a lot of storage space - it's a Mariner Max with bulkhead at the footrest position. I geared up for a 10 day trip in my Mariner Coaster (13' long) a few years ago and took the little brother to the Staika (the Soulo) to save some space. It got a bit coffin-like when I bunked down for a couple of days of fog and drizzle.
    The Hilleberg tent bags are sensible size - you can get the tent into the bag when you are tired and in a hurry and haven't done a very good job of rolling up (or stuffing) the tent. With the poles lying on the keel line, the tent can be jammed crosswise in most boats.

    I bought that red Staika hardly-used from an Australian on eBay but that was a lucky find.
    A friend bought one last year via Campsaver and got good service from them.
    Buying direct from Hilleberg works really well-great service and fast shipping to Victoria-, but the Customs Declarations are very precisely completed. On a different Hilleberg tent, I ended up paying almost 20% duty (Not Made in USA), then the usual PST/GST on top of that, and of course the USD/CAD exchange so the total was breathtaking.
    Your best strategy would be to get it in Seattle at Hilleberg or pick it up from a Bellingham mailbox, I think.
     
  10. dmon707

    dmon707 Paddler

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    Oops. Mountain Hardware doesn't make Trangos anymore. That Hilleberg Staika certainly has a revolutionary design! I watched the set-up video, but couldn't figure out how much space there was in the vestibule. I'll keep it on the list of potentials until I can see a floor plan.
     
  11. dmon707

    dmon707 Paddler

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    Floor plan shows the Staika to be a lot bigger than it looks. I'll buy this tent unless I can find better. Thanks to John Abercrombie:)
     
  12. paddlesores

    paddlesores Paddler

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    Thanks for the info John. I think we may end up going to the states one day to check them out. It's got everything we're looking for except availability here. Appreciate your input.
    Doug
     
  13. Jasper

    Jasper Paddler

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    That sounds like a perfect text-book example of familiarity bias in risk assessment. Can I quote you as an example in classes I teach?
     
  14. dvfrggr

    dvfrggr Paddler

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    Jasper,
    Keep up the hard work on your project! I played around with it a little so here's some quick observations.
    I miss not having the Canadian chart info, i understand it may not be available .
    The tide and current data is nice, i noticed the buoy icons are not working.
    I like the double click anywhere on the chart, giving the NOAA weather.
    It's has a nice feel to look at a detailed chart up close and expand out to get the larger view, i'll be spending a lot more time at your site, so much easier than using the the Charts I downloaded years ago for dreaming and planning :)
    Thx Dave R
     
  15. Jasper

    Jasper Paddler

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    Dave, thank you for your kind words!
    I wish I had chart data available for Canada, as it stands its a bit above my pay-grade :(
    My bouy list is way out of date, I am working on a more dynamic back-end database that should make it easier to keep up with NOAA (and enable users to store/share/collaborate on data on specific locations, trips, events, etc) but in between a day job and going out paddling myself progress is kinda slow :D