View Full Version : Stoves and Tipis

01-29-2005, 05:40 AM
What kind of temps am i going to be able to c
omfortably go down to in a 12 and large stove.?I know it all depends on wood type etc.In the north ontario woods we will be burning birch, pine, spruce and the likes.I can,t tell you what a wonderful wealth of info this web site is..thanks everyone.

Dave R.
01-29-2005, 05:13 PM
Bob...I think Patrick has this all doped out on his website somewhere. I remember reading an essay that has specific temperatures and stoves used...can't tell you exactly where the essay is though. ....I don't have a 12 man, but I know that they can be made with two stove jacks for using two stoves in severe cold.

Dave R.
01-29-2005, 05:17 PM
one more thing bob....I pitched my tipi last year at 5 degrees(4 man tipi) in my Back yard just to test it....I was able to get it so hot I still had to ventilate!! So I'm sure that below zero would be easy....how far...I'm not sure, but I'm guessing that minus 20 would be no problem.


Kevin B
01-29-2005, 06:12 PM
There's tons more experience here than me but a simple thought. I think most tipis can be made comfortable inside in almost unbelievable outdoor temps. But the Q really isn't how warm can I make the tent with the stove running. Because the stoves aren't designed to run more than a couple hours max and in that time I'm sure you'll be comfortable. So, at the end of the day the Q ends up; how cold is your sleeping set up? Is your personal gear, geared for -10 with no stove running? The stove will be gone and you'll be at nature's temp sooner than later. If the stove can't keep you "warm" enough when it's running, what prayer is there that you can sleep out the same set of conditions when it's out? So, down to what temp can you sleep? That's the end point imo.

01-29-2005, 11:15 PM
Hello all,

I just read the post on the pin holes in the tipi and someone said that the stoves were designed to burn only for a few hours at a time. My impression was you could burn them however long you wanted, however that once you quit feeding them they burned out pretty quick and stopped heating. I am thinking of getting a 12 man for truck camping and planned on burning the stove through out the day and then at night using a "MR heater portable buddy heater" to keep the chill off. Am I mistaken about that, is it best just to burn the stove for a couple hours at a time? and do you think the mr heater would keep the chill off at night?


01-30-2005, 04:11 AM
Bob- A lot depends on the level of comfort desired...do you want to take the chill off or sit in your tee-shirt in subzero temps? Like Kevin B. said, the end result is how will your gear do in a unheated tent??...unless you want to wake up every two hours to stoke the fire, your sleeping gear will be the limiting factor. Good luck with your tipi reasearch. I have an 8 man w/ a large stove and love it. I have not camped below zero yet but...in single digits a tee-shirt is all that is necessary.

Dave- If you are speaking of the backyard test that you did when I was "investigating" tipis...that was two years ago!!! Time really flies, huh? /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

HH- Have all of the fires you want, I don't believe anyone has burned out a stove yet.

Dave R.
01-30-2005, 04:55 AM
you are right Ken...my brain remembered it as last year!!

Huntinhick....there is no reason at all why you can't burn your stove all the time....sometimes you have to get rid of ashes if they build up...no big deal...I have removed my stove from the tipi many times while it was burning. dumped out some ash and returned it....I take the stove out to cook sometimes too....you can easily take it in and hook it up fast while its burning...take a little skill, but not much...dave

01-30-2005, 04:49 PM
Kevin b.Good thoughts,.Did think about this..Use to cram wood stove full at bed time and go to sleep worring(just me)stove would backdraft or whatever.More the guys i was with than me.Then i start to think.It doesn't seem to matter what you do with the stove at bedtime you wake up at 5 to do natures call it was freezing.So really don't care about burn time on stove as long as when i'up having a nightcap at the end of a good hunt that i'm warm Sleep Gear has all to do with it.Thanks.Will search out wiggy's stuff.

bill s
01-30-2005, 09:54 PM
Bob - quite right about it getting cold in the tipi pretty quick. But its much nicer to go to bed flushed with heat from the stove (and perhaps the nightcap) rather than taking an hour to warm up an icy bed. Oh yes, since I took an extra Nalgene bottle and marked it with big "P" "NO!!" skull and crossbones, etc., I haven't left the bag to do natures call...

12 Man
01-31-2005, 08:04 AM
Bill s..good idea..will try.How are things in alaska.What kind of tipi stories can you tell me.Cold weather winds etc.She's going to be a big learning curve on my tent when i get.Wish i had it now to fire up stove.We have been having some cold weather here and would love to experiment with it.Thanks to all.

01-31-2005, 02:58 PM
Maybe the best scheme is to let the stove burn out while you are snug in your bunk, but have kindling and wood available for lighting it in the morning, let it warm things up while still in your sleeping bag. I must be getting old, rolling out and dressing in a cold tent is no longer one of the great pleasures in my life.

Even in the summer, I have the coffee all set up and more often than not, light up the stove and let it brew while still abed. No reason I couldn't do the same thing with a heating stove.

02-26-2005, 07:53 AM
Got the 8 man with a large stove. I hope you guys keep your expectations reasonable. I've had mine out to -30 F with a number of -20 to -25 trips. Including some with nasty tent shaking winds. I go out to enjoy myself, therefore I'm not going to spend the night shoveling wood into a stove. Not worth it. Use small stuff, get a roaring fire, heat the place up, throw some big stuff on and go about your business. Half hour later, add more sticks since the previous batch is about gone. Time to go bed, open door vents and turn the lights off. Open vents - yup there goes all that precious heat. Single wall, your respiration is going to condense and fall down as snow if you don't ventilate. If I'm making noodles or rice, I'll ventilate even in below zero weather. Expectations, since I don't pound the stove, when I sit 3 feet away I get an increase in temperture of 60 to 80 degrees, a foot above the floor. So minus 30 outside and indoor temp is around 40. 6 feet away temp is getting cold probably 20 to 30. Stand up and temp is probably 70. These tents have a huge volume to heat a huge surface area to loose heat. Plus in winter, you're sitting on snow and try as hard as you want the warmest that snow is going to get is 32. But in that kind of weather if you have 40 degrees inside, thats going to feel like sweat shirt weather, a regular hot house of heat. Good luck and have fun.

Dave R.
02-26-2005, 08:32 AM
Mike...can you tell us what gear, clothes, headgear and the like that you use when you sleep at 30 below?



02-26-2005, 09:58 AM
Hi Dave. Nothing special I was just doing weekend snow shoeing trips. -20 REI down bag, 1 1/2 inch full length thermarest on full length blue foam. Windsor light weight wool long johns, soft thin polly propelene open face hood, wiggleys sock boots, fleece jacket, and vaseoline in the nose to prevent bleeding.

Forgetting to pay attention to the weather I've ended up with my REI -5 Dri loft bag in - 25 weather. After a few hours I had to put most of my clothes on to do it.

With a stove, you can always dry the clothes you sleep in. Before and after.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that with the wood stove the outdoors is more forgiving.

Dave R.
02-26-2005, 11:08 AM
Thanks Mike....dave

02-26-2005, 01:49 PM
Dave, what were you looking for? Are you planning a cold weather hunt? Or just looking for ideas for playing around outside in the winter time? Personally, I don't view -30 nighttime as being extreme temperture. We have had a warm spell these last 9 years but prior to that -20 to -35 were common winter DAY TIME tempertures. If you're looking for a sleeping bag combination that in a pinch will work at these extremes but your normal expectation is a temperture around zero then I would research the threads where folks have been using the wigglys leg wraps and jackets to lower their sleeping bag ratings. That way the same clothes provide dual use. (BTW, compared to my -5 bag the -20 bag has been a waste of money for the amout of use I've gotten out of it). On the other hand if you got some serious camping conditions coming up with really cold weather then I would research the dual bags that our military use. Again, good luck.

Dave R.
02-26-2005, 02:43 PM
Mike...I was wondering what head gear you wear when you sleep... looking for ways to keep the face neck warm ...yes, I'm sold on Wiggy's gear. I want to get one his bag systems and some of his auxillary gear. I have winter camped a lot, but most of it not below zero...I have been in the zero to 15 degree zone many times.

02-26-2005, 04:42 PM
Dave- I tried a quick search to find my headpiece, but I can't find it. Basically it is a fleece gaitor with a lycra type hood...if you can picture that. The hood probably is not as important as the gaitor part though as I pull the fleece up over the bridge of my nose, then pull my knit hat down tight on my eyebrows, leaving only my eyeballs exposed. Once I cinch down the hood of the sleeping bag to a little bitty porthole, everything stays pretty warm.

Dave R.
02-26-2005, 04:55 PM
Gotcha Ken...I have a Wind Tech "shellaclava" that I use that is kind of like that. I wear my fleece hat over it, but sometimes it gets "jacked up" when I sleep and I have to scramble around to get it back on ...


02-26-2005, 05:11 PM
Well Bob and others I have a few things to share. First off all bob it sounds like you are looking for some options to the traditional moose camp since you are asking about Northern Ontario and minus temperatures. My buddies and I prefer to wander the woods whenever we can no matter what the season. If you remember 3 weeks ago when it was -25 without the windchill I was out running into some bunnies with my dog and a buddy and by the end of the night we were both in our cap undies and fleece outers with the door open. While the stove is going full bore you have no issues with cool weather. I usually fall asleep with the stove going and it is an incredibly enjoyable experience. As for cold weather sleeping I can add that your insulation against the snow is one of the most important things. During Chilly weather I drag in my sled a typical blue foam pad plus a 3/4 inch thermarest. I have kind of a weird sleeping arrangement though for winter which I don't think a lot of people utilize. I use a down half bag from nunatuk combined with a down jacket (with hood) and some overmitts. I am more comfortable in my tipi during winter then I think I am in my own bed. On a side note Maybe I should have spent less on my gear and more on my home comforts.

Dave R.
02-26-2005, 05:55 PM
Greer....what do you mean by "half bag?"



02-26-2005, 06:38 PM
Dave, my REI bag is a standard mummy bag with hood. As soon as tempertures get in the teens or lower I wear a light weight balaclava made of 95 % polypropylene and 5 % lyca. I get them at the local ski shop for $15. They weight 3 - 4 oz. Makes all the difference to me and I can't say I have ever had a cold head while sleeping with them. Use the same thing fishing, hunting, and snow shoeing to protect ears and neck. In the bag I don't cover my nose though with the balaclava. Condensation would just collect. When you tighten down the hood on the bag the resulting snorkel seems to preheat the air.

As for sleeping in colder temps it just takes more loft to prevent the cold penetration. Although I seem to do better if I have more insulation under me. I have gotten cold using my 1 inch, 3/4 length termarest on blue foam. The other thing, if you toss and turn you will get cold. Each time you roll the new part of the pad is the same temp as outside and you will feel it through the bag. Really noticeable in sub zero. Other then that, I have gotten very cold in a down bag by burrowing my head and recking the insulation through condensation. From previous threads I suspect a wiggy bag would be the same. Finally, the colder it is the dryer it is and the harder on sinus.

Dave R.
02-26-2005, 10:39 PM
Mike....your particular balaclava is all you wear on your head?? No hat over it? What REI bag do you have? I currently have an REI snowshoe with polar guard HD rated at zero. I'm unhappy with the bag as it has lost a lot of loft in a short period of time. I have read testimonies about Wiggys bags that are contrary to what you mentioned. Claims say that the lamilite is very resistant to condensation build up, and loft retention is very high over a long period of time.


bill s
02-26-2005, 11:30 PM
Regarding hoods, a while back I got a "Finbar hood" and really like it - he has a website, which notes that the Steger expedition used 'em. Anyhow, for me it is MUCH more comfortable than the built-in sleeping bag hood, you can turn and change positions without losing the breathing hole. I've never been a back sleeper so it is wonderful. If it is really cold I also like the psolar balaclava, which warms and humidifies the air you breathe in and helps the sinus problem mentioned by Mike M. Though in fact have had occasion to use this setup only a bit below zero. Still it seems promising - I know years past in other setups I have been warm enough, but still not slept well, due to nose contacting cold zipper pulls, drafts when moving, the mentioned "cold part of Pad" issues, etc.

02-27-2005, 04:09 AM

I have a wiggy bag and I often burrow deep down in the bag and breathe through the bag. It handles this much better than down. If you want to do this, you need to decide, based on your height, if you need the regular length or the xtra long length. To me the extra long/ extra wide makes his bags heavier than others (most of which fir me like a body glove), but it gives you plenty of room to roll over, store damp clothes in the bottom to dry out, and 'snuggle' deep down inside the bag. To me thats the funny thing about folks who knock his bags for being too heavy - of course they never want to talk about storing wet clothes in their down bag, much less burrowing deep down into a down bag and breathing through the down all night.

And by the way, I'm not 'suspecting' this, I'm telling you from personal experience. Anybody who wants to use a down bag - thats cool. More power to them. A down bag is lighter and more compressible. It's just not as bombproof or as flexible as a wiggy bag. Every man has to decide what he wants/needs in a bag and what he is willing to pay/carry. YMMV.

Dave R.
02-27-2005, 05:43 AM
Hi Bill, Catfish

I read the satphone journals of Will Steger from his transcontinental dogsled expedition....didn't pick up the info in the finbar hood, thanks for that....but I did learn that he heated his a little tent with coleman fuel every night.

Catfish...I think that the extra size you are talking about adds about a 1/2 pound?? I'd deal with that for a god nights sleep....sleep is everything...dave

02-27-2005, 06:20 AM
Dave, I went over to the REI site and they don't sell the bag I have anymore - the bag is about 7 years old. It's just REI brand dri loft down bag. I do not get a cold head while sleeping in it. And due to age 50 plus hair migration transition I do wear a hat outside - a warm hat!

For wiggy condensation, I guess I was reading between the lines in a discussion Sgathak and JW had in this thread on 12/10/2004: http://www.kifaru.net/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=001841;p=1#0000 14

Catfish I agree with you, a down bag is not bomb proof, more like a ticking time bomb waiting for you to do something stupid.

02-27-2005, 06:37 AM
Dave I went rooting around and found this REI tag. The bag is a "REI Down 700 EL -5 F" and has what they call REI Elements shell with Pertex liner. A fancy name to protect the bag from tent drips and to trap body mositure in.

We got on this discussion talking about getting a cold head. I sleep on my back (and stay there), usualy throw a fleece vest down for a pillow inside the bag hood. So maybe a sleeping bag hood works better for me than for you. Tell you what though, I'm really impressed with wiggy's socks so if I suffered from a cold head I would check out their hood. Think Copper has one.

Dave R.
02-27-2005, 10:28 AM
Hey Mike....thanks for all of this. Didn't know wiggy made a hood...I'll go on his site and check it out. Others on this board have raved about his socks...I think he calls them "booties" I posted tht my bag is an REI...well, Its actually a Northface Snow Shoe with polarguard HD, bought through REI. No matter, I'm not happy with it due to its loss of loft.

02-27-2005, 10:29 AM

In regards to Sgathak's experience with condensation inside the bag, he himself said the circumstances were extraordinary... he was using a 20-degree bag (Wiggy Ultralight) in subzero temperatures (-10 to -15) under humid conditions. To exacerbate this, Sgathak has stated he is a cold sleeper. It should surprise no one that condensation from his breath was not readily exiting the bag, or even that there was some freezing of condensation around the bag's opening. I have found ice on my bag many times when sleeping at or near the bag's rating but have never had any moisture problems inside--even when I have rolled over so my face was inside the bag.

Dave, if the hood fits well and you aren't stretching the bag's rating I would think a light hat would be sufficient even in cold weather. I usually wear a light watch cap or Smartwool beanie simply because I tend to sleep with my head out of the bag until the stove cools down. I do consider myself to be a warm sleeper however.

BTW here is a description of the half bag (http://www.nunatakusa.com/sleeping_bag_akula.html) Greer mentioned.

02-27-2005, 01:29 PM
Thanks Shu. I've been delaying buying a good bag for a couple of years now. My down is like that die hard bunny and keeps going. The shame of it is when I think what I used as a kid on boy scout winter camp outs where the really lucky kid had a Korean War surplus mummy bag and mine was some hand me down polyester barely fit for summer. And a matress was a piece of carpet padding that had a thirst for water. Quess we were stronger when we were kids. Anyway I wasn't on the board when the guys were designing the Kafaru special so I guess it's time to check it out. Mike.

02-28-2005, 07:54 AM
Hey david sorry about the confusion and I should clarify what I am talking about. I discovered the half bag a couple months ago and it seems to be the norm for a lot of mountainerring types. Due to winter weather I generally have a heavy down jacket with me for when I get to camp to keep the chill off. All the half bag (its called an Elephant's foot in Mountaineering, Not too sure why)does is come up over your waist for your legs. You sleep in your jacket with the half bag with your hood up and mitts on. I have really begun to like this setup even though I was really sceptical at the start.

02-28-2005, 09:36 AM
Yes, condensation in that bag was under extraordinary circumstances. Used under rated conditions, you shouldnt have a problem. That being said, I REALLY dislike breathing into a bag. I now carry a balaclava type mask to keep my face warm. It weighs only 2oz, and allows for me to use a lighter bag and stay still warm - - actually by using insulation Im already carrying (jacket w/hood), and combining it with a lighter synth bag, I have dumped nearly 2lbs in sleeping gear weight, and find myself overheating when I used to shiver.

02-28-2005, 10:50 AM
Thanks Sgat appeciate it again. Sgat, I was going over some old posts researching sleeping bags, where, I think it was July that you mentioned the up coming wedding. Are you getting pretty close and how did you manage to delay it as long as you had. When I got persuaded to get married, it was sort of one of those or else take a hike clauses, I tried to negotiate a two year engagement but my better half cut to the vein and convinced (told) me 3 months was enough time. I had no problem helping my best man make the giant step but I was pretty much horified of it myself. No response needed - good luck, BTW I've never regretted my wife's decision.

02-28-2005, 12:20 PM
Sgathak --

What Jacket and bag are you using now? I am looking to get a new sleeping setup pretty soon and would be interested in what you are using. I have used my issued Army 3 bag system in 8 degree F weather under a poncho shelter and was pretty impressed with it. I imagine that if I started off with a warm environment, that this system would be good all the way down to zero or colder. I would like something a bit lighter and less bulky though. I will be getting a Paratipi in a few months so the initial heat will no longer be an issue.


02-28-2005, 01:11 PM
Shathak, like Smackdaddyj I'ld appreciate it if you would share your setup. Especially the part about saving 2 pounds! Guess I should have asked before I sprouted off - Thanks again.

03-01-2005, 02:29 AM
Actually guys, the bag/jacket Im using are "homemade" in design. I am in negotiations with a manufacturer to have them made professionally (along with a few other designs). Because its still in "non-disclosure" stages, Id rather not go into detail.... however, you can get close by taking a light summer bag, a good example is the Montbell #7 Burrow Bag (50-60deg by itself), and wear a vest, jacket, or hooded coat in with you (Integral Designs Dolomitti/Logan, GoLite Belay, Wild Things EP, Snugpak Sasquatch/Ebony, etc). This can as much as triple your insulation around your core, neck, and head (the major heat loss areas) and your utilizing insulation you probably already had... on your head, wear a well insulating balaclava. Mine is made of a merino/cotton blend (I plan to go full merino as soon as I find one I like - PossomDown would be ideal) and can be worn in several different ways to keep as much warmth as needed, or vent as required. On my feet, I wear primaloft booties... Down also works since they are not used for insulation outside the bag. I dont generally wear gloves since I can pull my hands inside the jacket sleeves or all the way into the jacket body if need be.... though a light smartwool or marmot glove liner would be nice to have.

So, take a 3.5-4lbs 3 season synthetic bag (manufacturer is irrelevant) - then throw it away. Replace it with a 1.5-2lbs synth summer bag, add in a 2oz balaclava, and 4oz booties. At most, thats a total weight of 1lbs 13oz to 2lbs 6 oz - less if your a down user. (Remember, your probably already carrying a jacket - I do anyway - and this system is based on my habits /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif and since Ive already got it and would be carried wether I had a light or heavy bag anyway, its weight isnt tallied - your probably also carrying long underwear bottoms as well, right? Why not throw them on? Its just more insulation)

I currently carry only 1.8lbs in *sleeping gear* for warmer months. When it gets cold, my *winter weight* sleeping gear is less than 3lbs! I have used this to a recorded -10 when I used a friends 30deg bag and my coat with hood.

MikeM, the date was set by her. We needed time to save the money so 2004 was out. Its also an outdoor mtn wedding - and rather than a reception, were having games. Caber toss, axe throwing, archery, etc... We didnt want it to be rainy (spring) or too hot (summer), or too cold (winter) and that just left the fall.... sooooo.... there you have it.

03-01-2005, 04:15 AM
Sgathak- What kind of pad were you using when you hit -10? You probably remember me trying my hunting setup out in the yard a while back in similar conditions...it seemed to me the limiting factor on that day was my pad setup. When you say your winter setup is 3 lbs., are you talking about the bag only or the combination of bag, pad, coat etc.?

Bob, my apologies for the thread drift...

03-01-2005, 04:25 AM
Thanks Sgathak, good to see you still have your sense of humor. Wow what a wedding, nothing like the standard Wisconsin poka band with a keg of beer. I tried to use that save money reasoning but it didn't fly. She had that hook set and wasn't going to give any slack.

Thanks for the sleeping info. Raises interesting thoughts since you're right I'm carring the other stuff including booties anyway. Good luck with the business and please keep us bow hunters in mind. There's a lot of garbage out there now. Either noisy, heavy, or no considerations for ventilating. Thanks again.

03-01-2005, 05:16 AM
Ken, 3lbs is Bag + Balaclava + Booties. It does not include coat. Of course, you could use a heavy bag w/ coat to really get the temps down... This set up isnt only good for ultralight, however it does make it possible to really cut weight and have similar performce to a heavyier bag. The particular pad I used was my old Mt washington pad over a thermarest ultralight. I also put my feet into my backpack (kinda like a mini foot bivi). I have plans to replace the Mt Washington with a Nunatak Luna.

MikeM, my primary target buyer is ultralight hikers, however hunters and soldiers will definatly get some attention.

03-01-2005, 05:39 AM
Sgathak- I picked up the walmart version of that pad (I think) after my last outing. I'll have to weigh it to see if it compares to the Nunatak. I think I paid $12 for mine. We should be around zero or a bit below by the end of the week, I feel another "test" coming on... /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

03-01-2005, 07:17 AM
Hey Ken, let me know how the testing works out with that pad you bought. I was just eying that new luna pad last week when they announced they were going to begin producing it..

Dave R.
03-01-2005, 07:43 AM
Ken, are you talking about the walmart blue foam pad?? I have one too...so far so good.


03-01-2005, 08:05 AM
Nope... looks like this...


I'm also using a green CC pad from Walmart, probably similar to yours.

Edit: Both pads are in the neighborhood of 24" x 78"

I'm going to start a new thread for all of this.

03-01-2005, 01:25 PM
i have on of them there el cheapo ...mart pads too! paid $15.00 works darn good for the money saved, havent been subzero yet,waitin on my paratipi before i try that.