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Author Topic: An overnight with 3 Grandsons, in a heated tent  (Read 4325 times)

Offline Haggis

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An overnight with 3 Grandsons, in a heated tent
« on: December 30, 2015, 03:35:08 pm »
Three of my Grandsons and I spent the night in the Michael Maruska Spike Tent. It was a sort of experiment to see if they would mind the cold and if their sleeping kits were up to the challenge. The oldest (17) has his own MSS bag he’d bought with his own money, from his own job; (he’s buying a lot of camp kit with his wages). The second oldest, Angus, 14, with two summer weight sleeping bags, had rather freeze into a solid block than admit to being in the least chilly. The youngest, 3 months shy of 13, also had two summer weight bags, but he wasn’t above letting me know, at about 3:30 this morning and just above 0ºF; (Herself came and got him). Daughter #4 has a winter weight bag ordered for him, and he’ll give it another go later.

The youngest, was first to claim a spot for the night, and the first into his sleeping bags.


By 6:30PM three exhausted teenage boys had quieted to three cocoons. In summer they talk all night!!!!


We shoveled about 8” of snow out of the way of the tent before setting it up, but there was still some snow remaining. I was pleased at how much the heat of the stove melted the snow. Great cooking surface too, and no carbon on my pots to rub off on the rest of my kit.


This morning things in the Grandson’s corner of the tent looked normal, for them,,,


In deference the fears of the mothers and Herself, I kept a smoke detector hanging from the center pole. I didn’t keep a fire at night, but the smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector, (not shown), eased concerns about the boys.


The stovepipe came with a spark arrestor, I tried it while with and without it installed. I was curious as to whether it made a difference in the draft,,, it did, but only a slight difference. The pipe draws better without it in place.


After an hour walk in the woods, the boys were taken to their respective homes, and I to my shower and an to my easy chair,,, for at least for a few minutes rest,,,


 The older Grandson is fascinated with all things military. He is always asking my about my 3 years in the Army in the late ’60’s, and I tell him nothing but I was glad to be discharged. He asks his Dad, my Good Son. about his time in the National Guard, and gets exactly the same answers, The boy says he’ll be joining the service the first day he can because he’s “Sick of people telling him what to do”. 
“It is tedious to live; it is tedious to die; it is tedious to c**p in deep snow”
Old Norwegian Observation

Offline southcove

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Re: An overnight with 3 Grandsons, in a heated tent
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2015, 03:43:19 pm »
Nice looking setup.  At that low exit angle, you might want to pin those stovepipe sections together with wire or screws. 

When I camped with 3 teenage boys, I was also worried about noxious gasses disturbing my sleep... :o :P :-[... but none would ever admit to being the gassy culprit! 

Good to have the boys as an excuse to get out there in the good weather...!

Offline Bioguide

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Re: An overnight with 3 Grandsons, in a heated tent
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2015, 04:05:26 pm »
Nice setup Haggis, my son "can't wait" to join the military as well...he doesn't like being told what to do either :o

Regarding southcove's stove pipe suggestion: I would go further and suggest replacing the stove pipe with a FourDog pipe kit http://fourdog.com/camp-stove-pipe-set-16-72/ It's built so much better than the Kni-Co and the FourDog pipe joints fit extremely well; to the point you might not even need pins... just my 2 cents.

Update: I just received word from Kni-Co (as it's not on their web site) that their stove pipe is 28 gauge and FourDog's is 26 gauge... therein lies one of the differences.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 04:13:03 pm by Bioguide »

Offline Haggis

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Re: An overnight with 3 Grandsons, in a heated tent
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2015, 05:00:53 pm »
I have screws to pin the pipe sections, but was so aggregated after struggling to get the pipes joined, I moved on to something easier whilst what's left on my sanity remained intact.

I pondered the low angle of the pipe all evening and this morning, but a simple solution is slow coming,,,

“It is tedious to live; it is tedious to die; it is tedious to c**p in deep snow”
Old Norwegian Observation

Offline Bioguide

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Re: An overnight with 3 Grandsons, in a heated tent
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2015, 05:23:17 pm »
I have screws to pin the pipe sections, but was so aggregated after struggling to get the pipes joined, I moved on to something easier whilst what's left on my sanity remained intact.

I pondered the low angle of the pipe all evening and this morning, but a simple solution is slow coming,,,

Not to perseverate on this but I too became aggravated struggling to get the Kni-Co pipes to stay joined using pins, wire, and such. After it's first field use the seams seperated and well I tossed the whole pipe out and purchased the FourDog kit. Here is my rant on it: http://www.wintertrekking.com/community/index.php?topic=3738.msg33112#msg33112

Offline jerryswiss

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Re: An overnight with 3 Grandsons, in a heated tent
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2015, 05:50:09 pm »
Sweet, thanks for sharing, hope to go camping with my grandson, when his family gets back from North Carolina :o
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Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: An overnight with 3 Grandsons, in a heated tent
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2015, 06:33:52 pm »
I have screws to pin the pipe sections, but was so aggregated after struggling to get the pipes joined, I moved on to something easier whilst what's left on my sanity remained intact.

I pondered the low angle of the pipe all evening and this morning, but a simple solution is slow coming,,,

How far is the back of the stove from the tent. If you use a good heat shield it is possible to go quite close which would bring the angle of the stove pipe up.

And if you are camping in deep snow you will be able to dig a stove pit that will also bring the angle up.

Looks like it was a great adventure for the grand kids.
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Offline GearFreak

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Re: An overnight with 3 Grandsons, in a heated tent
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2015, 08:00:37 pm »
Great story Haggis, good on the ladies for letting the boys get out and be boys.

They will have memories that will last a lifetime.  My grandfather took me camping and if not for him and air cadets I probably would not have developed the love I have today.

My father took the same tack with me - refused to say much about his time in the navy - still insists I am too young to hear about trips to Tijuana. 
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

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Offline Haggis

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Re: An overnight with 3 Grandsons, in a heated tent
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2015, 08:44:02 pm »
How far is the back of the stove from the tent. If you use a good heat shield it is possible to go quite close which would bring the angle of the stove pipe up.

And if you are camping in deep snow you will be able to dig a stove pit that will also bring the angle up.

Looks like it was a great adventure for the grand kids.

I had the stove perhaps 20" from the canvas. What is a safe spacing for an aluminum flashing heat shield and stove?
“It is tedious to live; it is tedious to die; it is tedious to c**p in deep snow”
Old Norwegian Observation

Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: An overnight with 3 Grandsons, in a heated tent
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2016, 09:42:48 am »
With the caveat that it is not my fault if you burn your tent down I think you can come down to 10"-12" which is the spacing I tend to work on. You can monitor the fabric temperature with a bare hand from time to time until you are comfortable with the set up. One thing you do need to be aware of is the way heat shields can direct heat up or to the sides on to the tent if the angle is wrong.  So a reflector sloping back away from the stove could throw heat upwards on to the tent above the stove so it pays to keep an eye on them, checking they haven't fallen over as the snow settles in the tent.
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Offline campcasey

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Re: An overnight with 3 Grandsons, in a heated tent
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2016, 10:20:14 am »
Great looking fun, I ran into a similar issue with the stove pipe angle, ended up folding up the stove legs and sitting it on a couple of pieces of aluminum angle iron. good luck.

Offline HOOP

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Re: An overnight with 3 Grandsons, in a heated tent
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2016, 12:22:51 pm »
Good to get the kids out Haggis!   Re that heat shield spacing:

How far is the back of the stove from the tent. If you use a good heat shield it is possible to go quite close which would bring the angle of the stove pipe up.

And if you are camping in deep snow you will be able to dig a stove pit that will also bring the angle up.

Looks like it was a great adventure for the grand kids.

I had the stove perhaps 20" from the canvas. What is a safe spacing for an aluminum flashing heat shield and stove?

You can get closer that 20 inches to the back canvas.  The trick is to use a heat shield that is much taller than the stove and angled away from the stove, reflecting the heat inwards, up and away.  You can see my setup that I find works well for me, at time starting at exactly the 16:00 time, on my latest video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJstWHe_e8c    Also at time 13:15 you can see how I rest the heat shield on the top of the stove skids at the back

Screen grabs:







On the last one there, you can see the shims I used to tilt the stove slightly forward, which reduces smoke leaking when the door is opened.

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Offline Undersky

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Re: An overnight with 3 Grandsons, in a heated tent
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2016, 01:16:22 pm »
Great adventure! Thank you for the report, Haggis.

Stove clearances:

I do the same as Hoop's description and have had excellent success, even with a large stove (12x14x30 inches) cranking out huge heat in a bigger tent. Leaning an aluminum shield from floor level right against the top two back corners of the stove works fine.

Make sure the shield is at least 1.5 times as wide as the stove body, and that it is stable just like Hoop's pics (definitely not resting on snow).

If your pipe runs closer to the vertical, what works even better is to run the shield from the floor up to the top of the interior pipe. Loosely wire the top of the shield to the highest point on the pipe, right up where it exits the tent (between the pipe and bottom half of the pipe thimble). This way, all heat from the back of the stove & back of the pipe is reflected away from the back tent wall and toward the middle of the tent. Once it is wired in place, you can relax. It isn't going to go anywhere until you move camp.

For travel, this tall shield folds in half once lengthwise, then gets layered under the stove on the sled.

You can always check the effectiveness of your shielding by getting a good fire going for long enough that everything is cooking hot, then holding your bare hand back behind the shielding for a minute. With Hoop's set-up, that back wall of your tent will hardly feel warm, let alone anywhere near a combustion temperature.

We've got to have a safe set-up! Especially when we're responsible for kids - teaching them by what we do, and bringing them home with smiles on their faces.

Offline TZBrown

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Re: An overnight with 3 Grandsons, in a heated tent
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2016, 08:09:01 pm »
Nice trip report Haggis, glad you got the boys out
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Offline ravinerat

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Re: An overnight with 3 Grandsons, in a heated tent
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2016, 07:00:21 am »
Nice report Haggis. Nice to see you getting another generation into winter camping.

I hav't had any problems with my stove pipe. Fits together easy and comes apart easy. I do find that the stove sometimes moves toward the wall from shutting the door firmly. The pipe then gets skittle misaligned. Next morning I just pull it back a few inches.

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