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Paul Bonner
09-30-2003, 11:38 AM
I was told by janice ot go to this forum to discuss a problem I just experienced with my 4 man tipi. It was my understanding that the shelter would stay dry when raining. Well it ain't so... We had to cancel our trip after one day due to the amount of misting that came thru the walls and soaked our bags. The temperature was around 45 degrees and rather than pack up and portage to our next stop and risk sleeping in WET bags and the chance of hypothermia, we decided to pack it in. I was told the moisture was due to condensation. Baloney... We were constantly being sprayed in the face. It did not drip as in most condensation releases. It appears that this shelter is good for 4 season use only. I was told to buy a liner and that would help. I don't want to be helped. I want results. My two companions have now decided that they would never purchase this system due to their negative experience. If anyone has any ideas I'd sure like to hear them. Thanks for any assistance.

Dissatisfied /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/mad.gif

Kevin
09-30-2003, 01:50 PM
Okay, I'll give you $200 for the 4 man.

wolfe
09-30-2003, 02:33 PM
oh oh bid war
is the four man brown or white

mtnali
09-30-2003, 02:43 PM
Wow, Bummer of a trip. I have to say that I am suprised you had such a terrible experience! Being the proud owner of a 12 Man Ultra lite tent, and the fact that I have never posted anything, I thought I would share a good experience. I have been unlucky enough to be caught in a complete down-pour every time I have been camping in the last few months- but one time sticks in my mind; 6 of us planned a trip around our busy schedules, and when the weekend arrived so did terrible weather and a chance for snow abouve 6000 ft. We were camping at above 8500 Ft. We set up the tent in pouring rain and got the stove going and all huddled around to dry out. Within an hour the ground was dry, we were dry, food was cooking on the stove, and everyone was happy. It rained all night and into the next morning. Finally it stopped and the sun warmed things up to a happy 50 degrees. So anyway, that is my story of how 6 people and 3 wet dogs stayed warm and dry in a kifaru Tipi!
So mr. Bonner, Have you seem sealed your tent? Have you vented it while the stove is going to get the warm air to dry out the condensation?

Kevin
09-30-2003, 03:53 PM
In all seriousness, I used an 8 man Labor Day weekend in Colorado, and because of a fire ban that was posted, didn't use the stove. The 8 man was one of Kifaru's rentals, that had been loaned out to Sea Kayaker magazine for a year. It was well used, and had a few pinholes from the stove. So, no, I did not have a factory fresh, perfect tent.

I got a few drips during the rainstorms, and believe me, some of the storms were like the wrath of God. It rained for hours, and when I was in the field, soaked me completely. A Mountain Hardware jacket was completely worthless as were gore-tex lined boots. I didn't have dry feet until I was near Vail in the Jeep. But only a few drips in the tent, and they were quite minor.

So why are our experiences different? Perhaps the seams were not sealed. I assume this is a new tent, and perhaps an ultralight. If the seams are not sealed, as many seams as it has, I'd bet you'd get a fair bit of water coming in.

On the other hand, particularly if the 4 man is an ultralight, I'd be glad to take that worthless tent off your hands.

Tyde
10-01-2003, 09:56 AM
Paul,
I was wondering if you could elaborate on your setup(Tipi type, stove size), weather conditions, etc. What sort of history does your tipi have? I have asa of yet not bought a tipi and you are the first really dissatisfied customer posting. It would really be some graet information as a counterpoise to other posts. Also to see how different people use the tipi and stove.

By the way, What color is it?

Kevin,
if he sells no calling "Shotgun". This is a fair market system (Supply and Demand), and you have compitetion.

Good Luck and Good Hunting
Tyde

Kevin
10-01-2003, 10:25 AM
Tyde,

Go for it. My offer is partly in jest, partly serious as I expect that he will figure out the problem, fix it, and start liking his tipi.

I am luckier than you are, 10 minutes from Kifaru world hq and can get one anytime. What I am planning to do is get a paratipi and a 1/3 share in a 12 man this year, and cover both bases...but if I can get a 4 man instead, I could modify my plan.

As I recall, you're working for my Uncle in AK. In my practice, I discount for active duty military as a matter of course because of the hardships you folks and your families endure on my behalf. So, in this case, if you can get it, I would gladly defer to your good fortune.

Tom
10-01-2003, 06:45 PM
Kevin, you are indeed a gentleman and a scholar for your attitude toward those who serve. Perhaps someday the fortunate among us who are within hailing distance of Kifaru World HQ might gather for a libation and good cheer. Or else we'll see you at the rendevous.

Tom

Paul Bonner
10-01-2003, 07:37 PM
Thanks to everyone for the feedback. My 4 man, Brown tipi is brand new. I seamsealed it thoroughly twice over. There were no problems with the seams whatsoever. As far as the weather goes, it was very windy and the rain was a constant downpour. I have experienced this many times over the years. Even without a rain fly, my North Face has never "misted" through onto my face and gear. Some of you were asking about the stove. It was fine. I didn't keep it going all night as we wanted to get some rest and not concern ouselves with who would be tending to the fire. I'm sure that if we had kept the fire going that the moisture problem might not have happened. However, does that mean that on every rainy evening that if you don't keep a fire going that your gear will probably be wet in the morning? It wouldn't be so in my regular tent so why should it be in an expensive ultralight. Sorry guys, I don't plan on selling it. Especially not for $200. But thanks anyway. One reply asked about my stove. My system comes with a medium stove. I am also having a cap designed for the stove pipe that will shed rain and still allow it to vent properly. If anyone has a liner and can tell me if it was worthwhile for condensation buildup, I'd like to hear about it. Any other comments, solutions and suggestions are appreciated. I still believe I purchased the overall ultimate wilderness system. I simply would like to solve this problem. Thanks to all for your assistance.

Paul

Kevin
10-02-2003, 06:02 AM
IF what you say it true, and I am not conceding that point by any means, perhaps the fabric was not coated properly. It is a silicon impregnated nylon, which is very wind and waterproof. Such a failure would not be readily apparent, but if you try to "blow through" the fabric, it should difficult if not impossible.

However, I have spent many years troubleshooting problems, and often find the "given conditions" presented at the beginning aren't. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/confused.gif

Therefore, I'm just throwing this out as a possible explanation. I have two of the game bags made of that material and nothing, repeat nothing, soaks through them.

Paul Bonner
10-03-2003, 10:02 AM
Kevin, I appreciate all of your suggestions. I would like to take you up on one though. Since you live so close to the headquarters, maybe you can ask them to reply to my emails. I have sent them 4 messages looking for some answers and assistance and as yet to receive a reply. I would like to visit myself. Hopefully, you can get their attention for me. Thanks.

paul

Kevin
10-03-2003, 11:42 AM
Paul,
This time of year they're running long hours getting the orders out. I achieved some infamy there with Sgathak when we showed up one afternoon with a little beer and some Russian vodka to give them a break.

If Patrick is there, he'll talk to you. I have been there many times and seen him on the phone with customers. Or,since you're on the military board, I assume it's a mil tipi, and therefore you might try Mel at his 800#. 303 278 9155. 9-5. Your experience is so much differen than mine that I'd like to know why, too.

Good luck.

Patrick
10-03-2003, 12:20 PM
Paul--

We haven't received any emails from you. Our email address is kifarupack@yahoo.com.

Your tipi did not leak. You were in a mega-condensation condition, and the heavy rain and wind "misted" the condensation within the tent. The liner solves all this. Nevertheless, many tipi owners don't want the added bulk and weight (though scant) of a liner, and they go without even on "those" occassions when condensation occurs--which is by no means all that often. There is much advice on this over on the Hunting Forum. I suggest you just read it and evaluate in your own mind these words from experienced users. I believe the thread is "8 man tipi in Alaska", or somesuch.

Paul Bonner
10-03-2003, 03:27 PM
Well thankyou Patrick for the info. I am sorry oyu haven't received my emails. I sent them to the address on the web page at tipikifaru.net. Anyway, I will take your advice and check out the hunting forum and hopefully, something positive will transpire. I'm not a complainer, but I am a troubleshooter and I've never experienced this type of problem in over 20 years of camping and I simply want answers and results. I have already invested over $1500 for this system because of the exchange and I am willing to go the liner route if it will TOTALLY eliminate the problem. Thanks again for getting back to me.

Paul

Kevin
10-03-2003, 04:08 PM
Paul,
Patrick's word is golden. Period.

Kevin

Patrick
10-04-2003, 12:09 PM
Hello Paul--

I've asked Maggie, our webmistress, to check on the email difficulty from our other site--tipikifaru.com. BTW, she put up that site when mags like Sea-Kayaker started taking an interest in our tents and stoves. Give 'em a place to go see just the tents, and so forth. As you now see, this site--kifaru.net--is much more active.

I think I should review for you the philosophy behind my tipis. Perhaps a few words will pull things together for many readers. Let's start with my background. First of all, I've been sleeping "out there" for about 50 years, all up. I started with an Army Surplus shelter half. That's pretty much what kids did in those days. As many of you know, these venerable shelters were open at both ends and floorless. I moved on to largish ponchos (lighter), pitching various ways--depending on conditions--all of which is an art form. Meanwhile, there was a burgeoning nylon tent "industry" a-growing, as was backpacking as a "sport". In these post-WWII years, perhaps because of Dr, Spock, the trend was to put floors in tents, leading quickly to hermetically sealed cocoons utterly seperated from Nature. They have become the norm. Campers nowadays don't know that all this is very recent--for eons tents didn't have floors, baggie-like bug prevention, and so forth.

While all this was going on I was still camping beneath rather open films of nylon, using a campfire out front to cook and keep warm. You see, I pack in year-round, and always have. (I did my stint with top-of-the-line womb-tents and couldn't stand the confinement, the constant dithering with the "floor" and freezing my butt off, and so went back to my heathen shelter ways.) By some 15 years ago I had "brought the fire indoors", with these tipi-like shelters...and their vital companion-- our woodburning stoves. The criteria I followed all along in their development are simple:

---Lightweight- These designs HAD to be man-carryable. Furthermore, they, tent and stove, had to be equal, or lighter, than a comparable size conventional tent with petro stove and fuel for cooking.

---"Livable"- This term covers a lot of factors. One is roominess. Having it is vital to "living" well when you're stuck in a storm. Another factor is of course warmth. And what a huge breakthru the man-carryable stoves made! Being able to stay warm and dry and cook your meals on these stoves is simply not duplicatable in a man-carry shelter system anywhere else. And it is very, very important to sustained backcoutry...here's that word again...living.

---Anywhere-Anytime- That simply means 4 season use anywhere on earth. And that comprises astonishing wind and snow proofness. Obviously, the shape of the tipis is significant in that regard, not just in standing room (though we'll all take that too).

Discussion: OK, to accomplish all the above I chose a single wall synthetic tent shell. I count ounces, and this was the lightest way to go. To convert this single waterproof shell to a conventional breathable/waterproof system all one has to do is get our liner. It's as simple as that. Nevertheless, most of our cutomers count ounces too. As light as the liner is, most guys don't go with it. Neither do I. Condensation such as you experienced on your maiden voyage is not by any means the norm. And one soon realizes that there's a STOVE in the tent--no way hypothermia is gonna get anybody.

So. Condensation will occur inside these tents when conditions are right for it. Many methods for dealing with it--which you will learn. The stove helps a lot...till bedtime. Nobody wants to stay up feed the stove. It's important to relize a couple of things about condensation, when it occurs. Most times it just sits there on the walls. The tents are big enough that you don't come in contact with the walls. But, with gusting wind and/or pounding rain it can get free of the walls and mist over the interior of the tent. Which is what you experienced. There are ways to deal with that too. First and foremost, get the liner and be done with it. But if you're an ounce-counter there are lots of ways to make it a non-issue too. Like drape your parka over your sleeping bag and your head so you don't feel the "mist" on your face when the wind slaps the tent. Put your rain pants over the lower bag. I don't even go that far. I use a synthetic bag and pull my head inside; sleep like a baby. Some guys put a small tarp or poncho over their bag. Some guys use bivvy sacks inside the tipi--probably they have them along for possible nights out away from the tipi, because a liner winds up being lighter than several guy's bivvy sacks. In any event, you get the idea. Come morning just start the stove and get the day underway. No system anywhere will be as freindly for on-your-back wilderness living in any conditions if you learn how to live with it. Remember, it is NOT a yuppy prophylactic divorcing you from everything except (filtered?) air. The whole tamale is ultimately MORE user-friendly, from the stove to the clothes line to the absorbent earth as the "floor" beneath you. I am basically using space age materials to produce a man carryable version of a wood-heated tent of yesteryear, and one that stays put in a genuine blow. It is far more comfy than a modern Baggie Tent. At least to me.

Your choice Paul. Go forth and make friends with your tent, with or without the liner, or send it on back to us. This is about all I can tell you--the rest is up to you.

Paul Bonner
10-04-2003, 12:32 PM
Hi Patrick. I'm going to reply at the hunting forum.
PB

Tyde
10-10-2003, 09:36 AM
Kevin
this may be a little late, but I am not one to take credit for other's work. I am not at present employed by our Rich Uncle and due to age and family constraints will proably not be asked to. I did work for him previously and I still have several buddies that are working for him as we speak in various arid regions. As one of my retired buddies said to me at the start of ground action, "Dammit Tyde! We missed another one."

It brings a pleasant feeling to one's soul to know that there are people in our country that still support (in any way they can) our fighting men and women. Keep the home fires burning and the letters coming to our troops. They are in my childrens prayers and our grace at supper.

What is your business?

Good Luck and Good Hunting
Tyde

Kevin
10-14-2003, 10:16 AM
Tyde,
I am an attorney, and practice primarily family law and criminal defense. Active duty military that need my help get a break. Heck, I represented a fellow a few years ago who had his calves blown off by a SCUD attack in the first Gulf War. Least I could do.

Kevin
10-14-2003, 10:16 AM
Tyde,
I am an attorney, and practice primarily family law and criminal defense. Active duty military that need my help get a break. Heck, I represented a fellow a few years ago who had his calves blown off by a SCUD attack in the first Gulf War. Least I could do.