Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 20 of 60 Posts

·
aka Mental Avenger
Joined
·
4,987 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
In another thread, it was suggested that this might be a valid topic of discussion.
Years ago, I camped on 6 ft of snow in Round Valley on Mt. San Jacinto. Back then it was not developed, no facilities of any kind. By morning, the condensation from the tent had soaked everything. That led to developing ways to mitigate that, and other problems.
One solution is to pitch a large tent, then set up a smaller tent inside that large tent. Many tents come with a rain fly, which provides some additional protection. The tent-in-a-tent takes that to the next level. It provides several advantages.
1. Whether it is hot, or cold, it provides a large area of insulation for the inner tent.
2. In the rain, it keeps the run off from the outer tent further from the inner tent.
3. If it is snowing, it keeps the snow several feet or more from the inner tent.
4. It provides an area around the inner tent that is protected from the elements. That could be used for storage of supplies, or a protected area to cook, work on repairs, cleaning, or other projects.
5. In cold weather, it allows the inner tent to be smaller and easier to heat.
6. In small groups, a large enough tent could shelter several small tents.
7. In EXTREME cold conditions, especially for long term sheltering, three layers of tent could provide even more protection.
 

·
aka Mental Avenger
Joined
·
4,987 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I have found some very nice tents at garage sales and thrift stores for $5-$10. I bought a Marmot Equinox, which sold for $575, for $5 at a thrift store. I found several 2-person, 3-person, and 4-person tents at garage sales for between $5 and $15. The largest tent I currently have is 16’x20’, but I have a sidewall canopy that is 12’x30’. Like all my other supplies, the tents are labeled with a tag that shows how much it weighs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,455 Posts
Years ago, I camped on 6 ft of snow in Round Valley on Mt. San Jacinto. Back then it was not developed, no facilities of any kind. By morning, the condensation from the tent had soaked everything.
That’s why, when you build snow caves, you set up a platform or shelf of snow for your bed, lined with plastic or tarps, cut a few drain grooves into it, and make sure there’s a sump for liquid to drain into.

And also why many modern tents have LOTS of mesh on the inner tent, to let that condensation get out to the fly so you stay dry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,463 Posts
I wonder too. 20 below, we heat the bag with our body, no heat for the tent, unless it’s a bigger tent. The propane “Buddy” heaters are nice.
I've pulled dead people out of tents who used unvented heaters though...

I ask because tents have essentially zero insulation value and twice nothing is still nothing so you need a constant source of heat if your heating...

And propane heaters inside tents are a terrible idea, not just from dying from CO or gas but massive condensation problems so that means a stove with a chimney, that now you have to run through two tents, somehow.

I just wonder if a tent inside a tent for cold weather is something that has really been tested or if its something that 'seems' like a good idea.

If you aren't heating there will be no difference, and if you are heating, it seems like extra problems.
 

·
Super Moderator
CRAP CREEK SURVIVOR
Joined
·
2,498 Posts
I have never tested the nested tent idea, but I see a potential problem: without a rainfly on the outside tent, the rain will drip onto the smaller inside tent, eventually seep inside and also collect on the floor, creating a soggy mess that won't drain.

With a large enough rainfly, a double nested tent arrangement might be a good idea in cold weather IF some ventilation is maintained in both tents. In a winter camp, I would consider filling some of the air space between the tents with leaves and dried grasses for insulation.

Yehudi, I hope you keep on thinking outside the box and throwing ideas out there! My grandpa used to say if'n you throw enough...um...stuff on the wall, some of it is bound to stick. It's how good ideas are born.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,357 Posts
There are a lot of proven tents with liners that use small wood stoves and they work in extreme cold, snow, and minimize condensation...and temperatures can get uncomfortably warm. Seek Outside is my preference...and while they're not cheap, they are proven and work extremely well.

ROCK6
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,455 Posts
I've pulled dead people out of tents who used unvented heaters though...

Yes..you MUST use the correct heater, and use it correctly.


I ask because tents have essentially zero insulation value and twice nothing is still nothing so you need a constant source of heat if your heating...

Correct...

And propane heaters inside tents are a terrible idea, not just from dying from CO or gas but massive condensation problems so that means a stove with a chimney, that now you have to run through two tents, somehow.

So....you don’t really understand the new heaters? They don’t produce measurable CO. And, you don’t usually use them in a 2 man pack tent. You use them in a larger tent. I’ve used them...no condensation, no issues.

I just wonder if a tent inside a tent for cold weather is something that has really been tested or if its something that 'seems' like a good idea.

If you aren't heating there will be no difference, and if you are heating, it seems like extra problems.
Agree. There are better ways to go.
 

·
Gumpherhooberpelt
Joined
·
4,908 Posts
Known tactics:
_ Siberian Reindeer herders live in tents, even when the temperature drops below -40 F for long periods of time. Their trick is to have a small tent within a larger tent. The layered approach buffers the heat loss. A similar technique was the old fashioned four poster bed with heavy draperies around it. In essence, it formed a small tent, and kept the sleeper snug. (Search on yaranga and polog)


Blanket fort / bed tent :
https://www.buzzfeed.com/danieldalt...-scotch-scotch?utm_term=.eaZ6NMnwK#.ysdk61EKl

Using a small tent as a template for a down quilted inner tent may also work. If you can insulate a house, why not a tent?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,587 Posts
Air is actually the insulator in insulation. The better insulation traps more air in it so heat can't transfer as well.

So a tent in a tent is using the best form of insulation, layers with air trapped in between them. Problems with condensation and air quality are different issues that will negatively affect the insulating properties of the set up if you change the air out in between the 2 tents. If you can vent problem air directly outside and draw inner tent replacement from the gap between the tents, while minimizing the air volume changed, you'll slow down the heat losses considerably.
 

·
aka Mental Avenger
Joined
·
4,987 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I've pulled dead people out of tents who used unvented heaters though...
I doubt that.
I ask because tents have essentially zero insulation value and twice nothing is still nothing so you need a constant source of heat if your heating...
The insulation is not the tent, it is the dead air space between the tents.
And propane heaters inside tents are a terrible idea, not just from dying from CO or gas but massive condensation problems so that means a stove with a chimney, that now you have to run through two tents, somehow.
The heaters made for tents are safe. They produce very little, if any, carbon monoxide. Complete combustion produces no carbon monoxide. Properly maintain the heater, and use a CO monitor. Here in Wyoming, hunting camps often use wall tents with propane or coal/wood stoves with a chimney. Chimney through second tent, no problem.
I just wonder if a tent inside a tent for cold weather is something that has really been tested or if its something that 'seems' like a good idea.
Yes, it has been tested. Also, that is essentially what a 4 season tent is. The rain fly fully encloses the tent, creating a tent within a tent. The dead air space is just smaller. I have one of those 4 season tents. Some even come with foam spacers to maintain the gap.
If you aren't heating there will be no difference, and if you are heating, it seems like extra problems.
As noted, your body creates heat. Maybe yours doesn’t
 

·
aka Mental Avenger
Joined
·
4,987 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
A safe way to provide heat in a tent is to heat rocks in the camp fire. A steel bucket full of hot rocks, set on a wooden slab in the tent, will provide mild heat most of the night. It is perfect for taking the chill out of the air initially. It makes the air and the sleeping bag warmer to start with. That is a big help when it is really cold.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,602 Posts
In another thread, it was suggested that this might be a valid topic of discussion.

Years ago, I camped on 6 ft of snow in Round Valley on Mt. San Jacinto. Back then it was not developed, no facilities of any kind. By morning, the condensation from the tent had soaked everything. That led to developing ways to mitigate that, and other problems.

One solution is to pitch a large tent, then set up a smaller tent inside that large tent. Many tents come with a rain fly, which provides some additional protection. The tent-in-a-tent takes that to the next level. It provides several advantages.

1. Whether it is hot, or cold, it provides a large area of insulation for the inner tent.

2. In the rain, it keeps the run off from the outer tent further from the inner tent.

3. If it is snowing, it keeps the snow several feet or more from the inner tent.

4. It provides an area around the inner tent that is protected from the elements. That could be used for storage of supplies, or a protected area to cook, work on repairs, cleaning, or other projects.

5. In cold weather, it allows the inner tent to be smaller and easier to heat.

6. In small groups, a large enough tent could shelter several small tents.

7. In EXTREME cold conditions, especially for long term sheltering, three layers of tent could provide even more protection.


The moisture in the air will still be there unless you stop breathing.
An average human puts out almost a liter a day through respiration and perspiration. If you do not vent the tent your clothes and sleeping bags will still get wet, if it is warm enough in the tent you may not notice it until you need to go outside.
A better and lighter solution is a single well ventilated tent. If weight is not an issue just use a good canvas wall tent and put a wood stove in it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,602 Posts
SNIP
Yes, it has been tested. Also, that is essentially what a 4 season tent is. The rain fly fully encloses the tent, creating a tent within a tent. The dead air space is just smaller. I have one of those 4 season tents. Some even come with foam spacers to maintain the gap.
As noted, your body creates heat. Maybe yours doesn’t

A 4 season tent usually means that the top of the inner tent is entirely mesh so as to allow adequate ventilation.
The fly does not provide a dead air space for insulation, it allows respirated moisture to rise up through the mesh and condense on the fly, then drain outside the tent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
I have ran into this before as well.

Had used a cabin tent for years and a tarp for a rain fly to keep the dew off the tent and sides. This helped a ton keeping the inside dry.

one trip during severe weather we grabbed a tarp large enough to cover the entire tent. All the way to the ground.
Staking it in places, throwing wood, branches, anything we could on the edges.

It worked great, fairly warm and completely dry in the morning. made camping enjoyable again.
totally understand how a tent within a tent could work well.

have always thought if the rain fly doesn't go all the way to the ground it was a waste of time.
 

·
aka Mental Avenger
Joined
·
4,987 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
The moisture in the air will still be there unless you stop breathing.
An average human puts out almost a liter a day through respiration and perspiration. If you do not vent the tent your clothes and sleeping bags will still get wet, if it is warm enough in the tent you may not notice it until you need to go outside.
That issue is the same for any tent. The point is that with an external large tent over all, the moisture in the inside will stay in the air, instead of condensing on the cold tent sides. Low venting available with some tents allows venting without disturbing the dead air space above.
 

·
aka Mental Avenger
Joined
·
4,987 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
A 4 season tent usually means that the top of the inner tent is entirely mesh so as to allow adequate ventilation.
The fly does not provide a dead air space for insulation, it allows respirated moisture to rise up through the mesh and condense on the fly, then drain outside the tent.
I have not seen an entirely mesh top 4-season. Most have the ability to fully close all mesh sections. Some feature highly breathable double-wall construction
From a tent-in-a-tent discussion: “That's essentially how 4 season tents work, the tent is full nylon (no mesh) and the fly is full and basically acts as a second tent, creating that air gap. some 4 season tents even have little foamies on them that help keep the gap, preventing snow from squishing the fly against the tent and eliminating that insulating volume”
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,602 Posts
I have not seen an entirely mesh top 4-season. Most have the ability to fully close all mesh sections. Some feature highly breathable double-wall construction
From a tent-in-a-tent discussion: “That's essentially how 4 season tents work, the tent is full nylon (no mesh) and the fly is full and basically acts as a second tent, creating that air gap. some 4 season tents even have little foamies on them that help keep the gap, preventing snow from squishing the fly against the tent and eliminating that insulating volume”


You are mistaken. Look it up, research it, try it, or do none of the above and remain ignorant...it matters not to me.
BTW:
There are a lot of people on here smarter than I am but I only camp in winter and only when it is below freezing, I know what I am talking about when it comes to moisture, respiration, and ventilation to avoid those problems.
Good luck and have fun.
 
1 - 20 of 60 Posts
Top