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View Full Version : blizzard ,tent or shelter?



mweinstone
02-15-2006, 22:43
apon reaching the shelter you can set up your tent or stay in the shelter.you know the blizzard will be a storm of great power and duration.your tent is a bomproof one and could be used to close off the front of the shelter. forcast is for high winds with gusts to 60 mpg.snow 2to 3 feet with drifts to 10 feet.temps dipping to 0.how do you shelter ?

Skidsteer
02-15-2006, 22:47
Tent. No doubt.

Ridge
02-15-2006, 22:56
No question about it....Tent.

LostInSpace
02-15-2006, 23:01
Set up my TNF VE-25 INSIDE the shelter. Nobody else would be there in that weather. Only a fool like me! :D:D:D

Programbo
02-15-2006, 23:10
Hmmm...Would depend on the shelter and it`s location..I mean some of those things have been sitting there almost 70 years and are fairly sturdy affairs...Some aren`t completely open on the front...Now if I happened to be carrying my old JanSport "China-Everest" tent which was probably the most "bombproof" thing ever built..But hey what thru-hiker doesn`t carry a 10 pound two man tent specifically designed for use at the higher camps on windward side of Mount Everest? :p

Panzer1
02-15-2006, 23:32
I would set up my free standing tent in the shelter.

Panzer

Lone Wolf
02-15-2006, 23:41
Tent. Putting up a tent in a shelter is ignorant. I would use my cell phone to call "authorities" on any s**tbird that would do that.:rolleyes:

Billygoatbritt
02-15-2006, 23:44
Set up my TNF VE-25 INSIDE the shelter. Nobody else would be there in that weather. Only a fool like me! :D:D:D


That is exactly the way I would look at it.:sun

mweinstone
02-15-2006, 23:49
when max my son was little id sweep the snoww into a pile in the bach of our apartment and make a hollow inside with electric work light and a rug.we would have coco inside laying down with our feet thru the door.i might set up my tent and then make a snow house to bolt to .or i would make a wind break of snow or rocks if i could.

Ridge
02-15-2006, 23:56
Tent. Putting up a tent in a shelter is ignorant. I would use my cell phone to call "authorities" on any s**tbird that would do that.:rolleyes:

You'd probably get a recording: "Out till spring, call back then"!

smokymtnsteve
02-15-2006, 23:58
if U had a dog with U it would keep U warm in the shelter inside your tent;)

LostInSpace
02-16-2006, 00:15
if U had a dog with U it would keep U warm in the shelter inside your tent;)

The last time I called my hiking partner a dog, she wouldn't go with me any more. Oh, you mean the four legged kind. Gotcha! :D

the goat
02-16-2006, 00:15
if U had a dog with U it would keep U warm in the shelter inside your tent;)

NO DOGS IN THE SHELTER DAMNIT!!!!:D

p.s. and where's his leash??

smokymtnsteve
02-16-2006, 00:39
when U run a team of dogs they are on a gangline, not a leash:banana

my dilemna is not if to bring a dog or not..

but how MANY dogS to bring.

Ridge
02-16-2006, 00:45
And I always thought it was called a towline or tandem hitch's!

khaynie
02-16-2006, 09:06
Tent. Putting up a tent in a shelter is ignorant. I would use my cell phone to call "authorities" on any s**tbird that would do that.:rolleyes:

If you're the only ones there, why not set it up in the shelter? It's double the protection, and level, too. If people are there, set it up outside and dig in for Weinstone's blizzard.

kyhipo
02-16-2006, 09:58
I vote for my tent for sure:clap :clap :banana :banana ky

Green Bean
02-16-2006, 11:46
Tent Definetly!! Sleeping in an open face shelter with 60mph winds when the temp is dipping to 0degress your goin to be cold! in a tent you have the elements outside and the warmth inside! def. would go with the tent. ~GB
live a happy life, and enjoy it....~MOUNTAIN MAN JOE

Frolicking Dinosaurs
02-16-2006, 15:35
I'd set up a tent in the shelter under those circumstances if we were alone. If not, I'd use my tent to windproof the shelter and to make myself a 'cocoon' inside for warmth using our ponchos

Peaks
02-16-2006, 17:34
Most 3 season tents don't stand up well to a snow load. So, if it's a blizzard, then I'd set it up inside a shelter from warmth.

orangebug
02-16-2006, 17:43
Not having a free standing tent, I'd try to make do in the shelter, perhaps trying to put it up like a tarp to hold wind or heat.

ed bell
02-16-2006, 17:51
Set up my TNF VE-25
Well, I recently went on a long weekend trip and one of my co-horts had this tent. It would be a shame to not let this baby spread her wings in weather she was designed for. Talk about sleeping soundly in weather that would make you pray to God, I love setting up a solid tent in tough conditions.:sun

Jack Tarlin
02-16-2006, 17:55
As a general rule, setting up a tent in a shelter is considered uncool, unless you're alone.

If you're not alone, setting up in a shelter either means you're taking up an unfair ammount of space; you make it awkward for later arrivals; and it's fairly anti-social, in that you're setting up a "private" space in what is usually considered, open, communal space.

I'd be glad to hear other opinions, but in almost every case, the place for your tent is on the ground, unless you know nobody else is coming.

the goat
02-16-2006, 18:11
As a general rule, setting up a tent in a shelter is considered uncool, unless you're alone.

If you're not alone, setting up in a shelter either means you're taking up an unfair ammount of space; you make it awkward for later arrivals; and it's fairly anti-social, in that you're setting up a "private" space in what is usually considered, open, communal space.

I'd be glad to hear other opinions, but in almost every case, the place for your tent is on the ground, unless you know nobody else is coming.

when i got to rausch gap shelter a couple years ago, there was a family of four with their tent set up in the shelter, forcing me and another thru-hiker to squeeze against the wall. when they went to sleep they all climbed in their tent and left their dog outside the tent, in the shelter and he/she subsequently crawled all over us all night.
that dog took a couple of good kicks throughout the night for his/her owner's stupidity.
just for spite, my buddy & i got up at 4:15 am for the hike to the doyle (we needed a beer badly), and we were none too quite a/b packing up our stuff either! :D somehow i had developed a strange and violent hacking cough that didn't subside until we were out of ear-shot of the shelter.;)

general
02-16-2006, 18:16
tarp. stake it down on three sides and build a wind break in front with a roaring fire in between the tarp and the wind break. let it snow.

Jack Tarlin
02-16-2006, 18:19
You MUST have needed a beer badly......Rausch Gap to Duncannon is damned near 29 miles!

Sure hope you mae it.

mweinstone
02-16-2006, 18:49
whats with the guy with the bond fire in high winds? you like burning down?and my megamid wouldnt fit in a shelter what with its 15000 square hectars of footprint.no the only solution is tenting. you would not sleep in the shelter well in those conditions. granted its possible to shelter in a shelter in a storm but not easy.with more people and tarps the shelter could be closed but for how long .or should i say ,four howeling long sleepless hours.and the tarp would rip cause it would be vertical and under stress.a snow cave,hut,or bolt hole would be the thing to have .i spent an hour standing in the water under the bridge at windsor furnace shelter in a violent storm once.i was in my bivi in the open field when the skys broke open.crouched in the worst positin trying to keep under cover.

ed bell
02-16-2006, 18:58
somehow i had developed a strange and violent hacking cough that didn't subside until we were out of ear-shot of the shelter.;)
I hope you either got their goat:D and/or enjoyed your hike out.

vipahman
02-16-2006, 19:24
Having just returned from an overnight at Fingerboard shelter during the blizzard on Sat/Sun, I can say that I didn't have a problem sleeping in the shelter. The shelter did seem to provide sufficient (about 75%) protection from the winds that I opted for it instead of the tent. Besides I was too tired from my little hike anyway to setup tent and then clear up in the morning.

So when I woke up in the morning, there was about 1/2" of fine snow on my sleeping bag from the chest down. Outside there was about 12-15" of snow at 6am and it continued snowing till about noon. Total accumulation was about 18".

So my recommendation would be to check the winds and call it based on that. You do run the risk that the winds might change so you need to evaluate it on a case-by-case basis.

icemanat95
02-16-2006, 19:57
You are highly unlikely (n the thru-hike) to be carrying a tent capable of withstanding the snow and wind load from a blizzard. My 4 season tent is a Wild Country Quasar. I also have access to a VE-25 and a Bibler. The Bibler is a tight little Alpine Style tent that weighs about 4 pounds or so. You wouldn't want to live in it for 4 days though. The VE-25 is something to live with, but it weighs about 11 pounds. The Quasar is in between at around 9 pounds. A bit more room than the Bibler, but not as much as the VE-25.

Having weathered several nights above treeline in the Whites in the VE-25, I can tell you that even thoroughly staked out and guyed out, you will wake up multiple times in the night to pound snow off the canop and tighten guylines. If you don't, the snowload of a strong storm, will bury the tent and may collapse it to the side.

Another positive thing you can do to reinforce a marginal tent is to build a windbreak wall of snow and perhaps debris to prevent snow drifting up on the tent wall, blocking in the entrances and otherwise causing trouble. A full perimeter wall big enough to contain the tent and to offer a cooking area will dramatically improve your experience.

Snow shelters are the ultimate blizzard shelter. When properly constructed they offer unmatched strength, wind resistance and WARMTH. Your body heat alone will bring the temp up into the thirties. You may need to add extra ventilation to keep the temp down around freezing. Building a proper snowshelter with a proper heat and wind trapping entrance is quite an endeavor however.

JJB
02-16-2006, 20:11
Hopelfuly it would be a shelter with a loft. Then you'd be golden.

mweinstone
02-16-2006, 22:33
its a 4 man tent. its a bibler.its used all over the world in the harshest conditions.its a megamid light. look it up. its the best tent. its my second.15+years in one.no probs.never seen another .why. why?.

Crazy Larry #1
02-16-2006, 22:37
if you don't have company and the tent is small then set it up in the shelter....

mweinstone
02-16-2006, 22:43
what about people that could arrive late in bad shape?you might be in there way and you hoggedall the good corners.it would suck for you to what with their frozen corpses on your vestibule.not to mention lone wolf who could see you and call you in to the cops.wolf ?,,,.........over to you babe.

Crazy Larry #1
02-16-2006, 22:47
what about people that could arrive late in bad shape?you might be in there way and you hoggedall the good corners.it would suck for you to what with their frozen corpses on your vestibule.not to mention lone wolf who could see you and call you in to the cops.wolf ?,,,.........over to you babe.that's quite a point to ponder....however i don't think lone wolf would call the cops and i wouldn't want to be there to see him take matters in his own hands.........what would even be worse is if "Wee Willy Prince of Whales" would show up...

Turbo Joe
02-16-2006, 22:50
while hiking last year the class of 2005 encounter a mild snow storm april 2nd the day that will live in infamy. all i can remember is that there were so many people unprepared for this my self included. but not just equiptment. they had no idea what to do. most people were surprised by the storm in the morning and you can't blame them but one kid had no boots just tevas just an example. any ways i veering off topic my point is it is ok to set your tent up in a shelter just always leave room for one more. a few weeks later when i got to overmountain shelter it was a sight for sore eyes cause it was raining horizontally all day long. when i arrived 12 people were there with thier tents pitched inside the shelter which was no problem until... and im not kidding....30 more people showed up and i can remember saying "cmon guys let make room for these folks I have a big tarp we can block the wind with and im sure other hikers do as well" and every tent stayed while the newcomers had to pitch outside or sleep on the lower level. take it as you will.

Skyline
02-16-2006, 23:09
When the weather is bad shelters are like a magnet for hikers. Unless it is Deep Winter, you should EXPECT company. If the NOBOs have started anytime after March 1 and you hit blizzard conditions, there's no such thing as just a slight chance you will have company at a shelter. More like a really good chance you will have company. Sure, many head for town but not everyone has that luxury and some shelters are located far from town access roads.

So if you set up a tent in a shelter, you might have to hastily move it outside the shelter. Might as well set up at your leisure out there in the first place, or simply use the shelter as intended (not in a tent).

Deerleg
02-17-2006, 07:12
while hiking last year the class of 2005 encounter a mild snow storm april 2nd the day that will live in infamy. all i can remember is that there were so many people unprepared for this my self included. but not just equiptment. they had no idea what to do. most people were surprised by the storm in the morning and you can't blame them ...
Iím sitting here this morning listening to the wind howl as a cold front moves through Ohio and it reminds me of that storm. My son and I caught the tail end of it just north of Hot Springs. We talked to some thru hikers that had hold up for 2-3 nights in the same shelter. Some werenít ready for the conditions and others improvised. We were thinking more in terms of a spring hike too and were caught some what by surprised by the conditions. The hammocks were OK in the gaps, but higher up no way. We stayed in a shelter with the thru hikers that night. Some people tented, as there were about 25-30 people at what I believe was a 12-person shelter. The snow had stopped, but the temps were in the low 20s and the wind was fierce. We used our hammocks as a bivy, and 2 girls set up their tent on the ground in the vestibule of the shelter (which was fine) and others set up 10-30 yards away. Everyone had a good night.

Crazy Larry #1
02-17-2006, 08:05
Tent. Putting up a tent in a shelter is ignorant. I would use my cell phone to call "authorities" on any s**tbird that would do that.:rolleyes:why would you care? you don't even stay in shelters...remember you said shelters ought to be burnt to the ground.........shouldn't even have them on the trail.........you do remember that don't you???

mweinstone
02-17-2006, 08:33
dead on again. if there were no shelters there would be much less unprepared folks. think about it.no one with no skill could come! less damage,better exspierience for all.and the wolf makes a second valid point.burning them to the ground would be the most efficient way of demoing them. so dont be so quick to close your mind to the poosibilitys. in the future the trail could be a different place with wonderfull differences.ii would bushwack to main with a smile if thats how they do it in the future. maby they will decide to demo the trail and make people spread out the way your supposed to hike. or ,maby they will just remove all blazes,signs,and shelters and up the anty a bit,challenge wise. and when i use the term they,i mean our children,the future worlds movers and shakers.

the goat
02-17-2006, 10:13
You MUST have needed a beer badly......Rausch Gap to Duncannon is damned near 29 miles!

Sure hope you mae it.

in the interest of timely alcohol intake, and, having already hiked that section before, i blue-blazed that old railroad bed that starts right around that cemetary just north of raucsh gap. that nice, flat railroad bed + a bit of road walking, and i was sucking down beers and some of pat's french fries at the doyle by noon:sun

Ridge
02-17-2006, 12:30
I gave up shelters years before my thru-hike. I've only used them to occasionally cook a midday meal when it's raining, as long as no one else is there. Way too many problems with shelters to stay overnight. I've actually seen a homemade sign "Shelter FULL" on a post at the trail stating the shelter at .01 miles was full. I went down to use the privy at the shelter, were 4 hikers who stated they where waiting for more from their group to show up. This is the kind of crap one must contend with when dealing with shelters and inconsiderate hikers.

Crazy Larry #1
02-17-2006, 13:06
if you like hiking in the late fall, winter and early spring, you don't usually have to contend with full shelters..........that's when i like to hike....

neo
02-17-2006, 14:18
hang my hammock higher than a snow drift:cool: neo

mweinstone
02-17-2006, 19:59
what with your chocolates and your stawberries so nice and jucy,and all of dat vanilla.

Lilred
02-17-2006, 21:02
Most 3 season tents don't stand up well to a snow load. So, if it's a blizzard, then I'd set it up inside a shelter from warmth.


Yup, I agree. If we're talking drifting snowbanks, I'm in the shelter, using my tent in one way or another to stay warm.

Ridge
02-17-2006, 21:08
If we are talking about 3 season tents and snow blizzards don't you think that Winter is not one of the seasons the manufacturer advertises?

Ender
02-18-2006, 12:41
Blizzard doesn't necessarily mean heavy snow loads, just snow and high winds so whatever has fallen is blowing around. Some blizzards have less than 6 inches of total snow fall. Of course, they only last for a couple hours if that's the case.

wildbill4416
02-18-2006, 17:54
On my Ga. section hike in March of '05 Me and a buddy of mine stayed in the Blood mtn. shelter. It was windy, cold and raining and there was almost as much rain and wind inside the shelter as outside, so I set up my tent inside the shelter, but we were the only ones there and if anyone else came in I would have took my tent down with no problem.
A few days later we were hiking in about 6 inches of snow and it was still coming down hard. We decided to stop at a shelter just to rest up some and to get a snack. When we got to the shelter it was full of hikers and 2 2-man tents. The wind was blowing the snow directly into the shelter. There was about 3-4 inches of snow in the shelter, even the picnic table was covered. My buddy set his stove on the table to heat up some water to make some hot chocolate, when he went to get his stove to put back in his pack, it was frozen to the table.
With all these conditions we were dealing with, what really made me mad was the people who had their tents set up in the shelter and they never bothered to move them. Everyone was all bunched up against each other trying to get out of the weather and trying not to trip over the tents. Finally after about 30 minutes we left, but on the way out we ran into a scout troop hiking in going to the same shelter, bet they were in for a surprise.

Ridge
02-19-2006, 01:11
...........With all these conditions we were dealing with, what really made me mad was the people who had their tents set up in the shelter and they never bothered to move them. Everyone was all bunched up against each other trying to get out of the weather and trying not to trip over the tents. Finally after about 30 minutes we left, but on the way out we ran into a scout troop hiking in going to the same shelter, bet they were in for a surprise.

1. Never underestimate the rudeness of some hikers. I've seen weekend groups take up a shelter in the GSMNP and not make room for a single thru-hiker.

2. The scout troop you passed may have been part of the troop who already had tents set up in the shelter.