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Thread: My first backpacking tent! Vargo stove, fatwood, and hiking action!

  1. #1

    Default My first backpacking tent! Vargo stove, fatwood, and hiking action!

    I usually car camp and bring really heavy gear with me, but this summer I decided to venture deeper into the woods and try to see what lies beyond the road. At 5 lbs this tent isn't considered "ultra light" by any means. Next time I'm going to leave the tent pegs and tent footprint at home to save space.


    In the video, we backpacked to a place in Southern California called Little Jimmy Campground. The only water came from a natural spring! We found fatwood, the Sikly BigBoy made sawing firewood really easy. I also tested out a Vargo Titanium stove with mixed results.


    What I really like about this tent is that it's relatively light, waterproof to a high rating, and lots of ventilation. The rain fly goes all the way down and helps keep the wind out, big plus for me since I get cold easy. Only negative for me is that there's only one door so it's hard not to disturb your tent mate.


    For me, it's the perfect size for my me and my girlfriend. I like keeping my gear inside the tent and leave our boots in the vestibule right outside the front door.


    If anybody is interested here's the video review:

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: My first backpacking tent! Vargo stove, fatwood, and hiking action!

    If you want to go below about 5lbs, then ruggedness tends to go down fast, or price up fast, often both. :-)

    Remember to have an emergency exit near by (knife).

    Also, mind if I ask what didn't work out well with the stove?

    Sounds like you have a good thing going. :-)

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Christoph's Avatar
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    Default Re: My first backpacking tent! Vargo stove, fatwood, and hiking action!

    What is the difference between the 210 dollar 190 dollar and the 135 dollar version? color?
    Chris

  4. #4

    Default Re: My first backpacking tent! Vargo stove, fatwood, and hiking action!

    Quote Originally Posted by terjee View Post
    If you want to go below about 5lbs, then ruggedness tends to go down fast, or price up fast, often both. :-)

    Remember to have an emergency exit near by (knife).

    Also, mind if I ask what didn't work out well with the stove?

    Sounds like you have a good thing going. :-)
    @terjee great tip brother! You're totally right about the price, keeps going up and up as weight and ruggedness goes down. I used the Vargo stove 6 times on that trip and once it died on me even with the wind guard. I"ll have to test it some more, but I followed instructions by filling it all the way up with alcohol. I'll do a review on it and post it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Christoph View Post
    What is the difference between the 210 dollar 190 dollar and the 135 dollar version? color?
    From what I was reading, the 210 dollar one has a skirt that went past the bottom of the tent. and the 135 dollar one is made of a less durable fabric.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: My first backpacking tent! Vargo stove, fatwood, and hiking action!

    Doesn't sound too bad for such a compact stove. :-)

    If you'd like to consider other options for a stove, I absolutely love our Primus OmniFuel. It's awesome, and puts out more heat than our cooking-tops at home, close to 3kW or so I think. No problem sitting in the woods making pancakes for four, even in chilly weather, as long as the pan has good enough heat distribution (ie: nothing you'd bring on a light-weight hike).

    I haven't kept up entirely, and the various brands have released new products, so more of a recommendation of the type of stove than the OmniFuel specifically. If I was buying today. I'd probably go with the Primus OmniLite Ti, together with the silencer for quiet operation when running off of LP-gas or white gas. Would check reviews before making a decision though.

  6. #6

    Default Re: My first backpacking tent! Vargo stove, fatwood, and hiking action!

    Quote Originally Posted by terjee View Post
    Doesn't sound too bad for such a compact stove. :-)

    If you'd like to consider other options for a stove, I absolutely love our Primus OmniFuel. It's awesome, and puts out more heat than our cooking-tops at home, close to 3kW or so I think. No problem sitting in the woods making pancakes for four, even in chilly weather, as long as the pan has good enough heat distribution (ie: nothing you'd bring on a light-weight hike).

    I haven't kept up entirely, and the various brands have released new products, so more of a recommendation of the type of stove than the OmniFuel specifically. If I was buying today. I'd probably go with the Primus OmniLite Ti, together with the silencer for quiet operation when running off of LP-gas or white gas. Would check reviews before making a decision though.
    Dang, the Primus OmniFuel sounds incredible, I'll definitely check that out as well as the OmniLite. I appreciate the suggestions!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: My first backpacking tent! Vargo stove, fatwood, and hiking action!

    Quote Originally Posted by Thosewhowander View Post
    Dang, the Primus OmniFuel sounds incredible, I'll definitely check that out as well as the OmniLite. I appreciate the suggestions!
    It's awesome, but it's not perfect.
    Downsides; windscreen isn't very durable, but you can easily just use alu foil. It's noisy, but after a while we've come to love the sound, associating it with good memories. While it can run on most fuels, it won't run on alcohol. Oil-free lawnmower gasoline works well for example, and is virtually free. You can also get ultra-purified gasoline intended for cooking. In cold temperatures or high winds, you really need a screen. It doesn't go out easily, but you'd loose a lot of heat. If you change between LP-gas and gasoline, you'll need to change nozzle. Other than that, it's served us very well, for closing in on a decade now I think. Rep kit is also available, as are spare bottles.

    If you're somewhat handy (can check the oil on your car for example), half of that is probably as much in the pro-column, nice to have something to tinker with. Only real downside for us has been the noise. We love it when it's just us, probably similar to how people love the crackling of a lit fireplace, but it makes us careful about using it when there's too many others around, such as a public park. The OmniLite Ti with silencer would solve that with some of the fuels, so now I'm considering getting that as well. :-)

    Quality wise it's the type of tool that you can use for 10 years, strip it down and clean it, replace a few parts, run for another 10, and so on.

  8. #8

    Default Re: My first backpacking tent! Vargo stove, fatwood, and hiking action!

    I too associate the noise from stoves with good memories, like Pavlov's Dog! You gave me a ton a great information on stoves, I really appreciate you taking the time to pass on the knowledge.


    Quote Originally Posted by terjee View Post
    It's awesome, but it's not perfect.
    Downsides; windscreen isn't very durable, but you can easily just use alu foil. It's noisy, but after a while we've come to love the sound, associating it with good memories. While it can run on most fuels, it won't run on alcohol. Oil-free lawnmower gasoline works well for example, and is virtually free. You can also get ultra-purified gasoline intended for cooking. In cold temperatures or high winds, you really need a screen. It doesn't go out easily, but you'd loose a lot of heat. If you change between LP-gas and gasoline, you'll need to change nozzle. Other than that, it's served us very well, for closing in on a decade now I think. Rep kit is also available, as are spare bottles.

    If you're somewhat handy (can check the oil on your car for example), half of that is probably as much in the pro-column, nice to have something to tinker with. Only real downside for us has been the noise. We love it when it's just us, probably similar to how people love the crackling of a lit fireplace, but it makes us careful about using it when there's too many others around, such as a public park. The OmniLite Ti with silencer would solve that with some of the fuels, so now I'm considering getting that as well. :-)

    Quality wise it's the type of tool that you can use for 10 years, strip it down and clean it, replace a few parts, run for another 10, and so on.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: My first backpacking tent! Vargo stove, fatwood, and hiking action!

    Quote Originally Posted by Thosewhowander View Post
    I too associate the noise from stoves with good memories, like Pavlov's Dog! You gave me a ton a great information on stoves, I really appreciate you taking the time to pass on the knowledge.
    Happy to help, and spread the joy. :-)

  10. #10
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: My first backpacking tent! Vargo stove, fatwood, and hiking action!

    Oh, and speaking of outdoors food-related things, this is also awesome:

    https://www.katadyn.com/us/us/405-80...adyn-vario-usa

    Normally not at all needed in Norway, but we had a nasty rodent-bacteria going around a while back, so wanted to err on the side of caution. Configurable between one and three levels of filtration, you can screw a camelback bottle into the filter (surprisingly convenient when you're balancing on rocks to reach cleaner water), use an outlet hose, and I seem to recall that you can find an adapter to pump directly into a bladder system.

    Really is overkill for a lot of areas, but we wanted err on the side of cation when bringing a (then) young child hiking in an area with nasties going around. It's since seen a lot of use, and held up well. Works well enough for large-ish groups as well, we've used it with 8 people. If you ever get one, a coffee filter can make a great pre-filter if you'd like.

  11. #11

    Default Re: My first backpacking tent! Vargo stove, fatwood, and hiking action!

    Nice tent! It looks very easy to set up.

  12. #12

    Default Re: My first backpacking tent! Vargo stove, fatwood, and hiking action!

    From information on Amazon the wind speed rating is Grade 7. I'm not certain what is meant by Grade 7 unless their referring to Beaufort Wind Scale. A wind rating 7 would be approx. up to ~31 to ~37 mph winds. Which isn't high enough rating for some areas and for freak wind storms that occur occasionally.

    What to look for with nylon Geodesic type dome tents is good venting, enough tie down connections for higher winds and possibly a water proof floor with sides for wetter areas. The nylon material used to build a nylon tents needs to have enough strength and should have additional heavy duty support for all the tie down connections. Many Nylon tents don't use a strong enough nylon material and can easily rip, of course you can usually easily repair them using the proper repair materials.

    I started backpacking with dome tents back in the 70s. 80+ mile hikes in the Cascades such as around mount Rainier, Mount Baker, etc. Many hikes were at higher elevations where use of wood at higher elevations is prohibited. Needed to carry e.g. an Optimus or Primus stove with liquid fuel. Stoves normally had a pump where one would pressurize the stove to burn a liquid fuel.

    I don't backpack much any more and mostly use a canvas tent such as a Springbar tent for car camping. Good for winds up to around ~65 mph

    Canvas tents are becoming lighter and more durable, using a double weave canvas getting the weight down to around 15 lbs for a two man canvas tent.

    Possibly even lighter if using a poly-canvas material.

    Nylon dome tents with good venting and able to withstand higher winds many becoming fairly expensive into the hundreds of dollars. Quality nylon tents, cost for some is over 500 dollars.

    A nylon dome tent for under 200 dollars I'm not certain as I've not really looked around lately for nylon dome tents. The market has become flooded with so many of less expensive ones. Many are only useful for a few short camping trips, throw away type camping tents.

    I've read some good reviews on the Eureka! Apex 2XT, however haven't been able to find any wind rating. Has been reported to have additional loop tie downs for higher winds.

    Depending on you location, additional tie downs and weatherproofing for various types of weather conditions may be of importance.

    NatureHike Cloud-Up Ultralight 3 person backpacking tent appears to be a good tent for moderate climates and weather. I couldn't class it as a four season tent and wouldn't want to use it for winter camping. The tie downs appear to be ok but don't appear would be able to withstand higher winds as there no heavy duty additional material and tie down support. Will likely eventually rip when not used in more moderate climates.

    For areas where I camp I would classify it as more of a summer tent partially due to the storms and type of weather we get in the Northwest during fall, winter and spring. Farther north such as in SE Alaska weather potentially even becomes more sever during all four seasons. The Northwest Rain forest is continually shrinking but still gets over 150 inches of annually precipitation in some areas. Higher winds potentially come from the ocean reaching 60 - 70+ mph. I would think twice of using the NatureHike Cloud-Up Ultralight 3 tent along the Pacific Ocean in the off season where high winds and rain become common.

    One area we sometimes hike is along the Pacific Ocean on the NorthWest corner of Washington state. Washington State has National Parks with old growth forests. Huge trees over 500 years old along the Pacific Ocean. Camping in these areas one can get a feel what it use to like camping out years ago. Though much has been logged over there are smaller areas of old growth that still produce transpiration and fog, which was more many common years ago when the forests were large enough to produce buffering becoming warmer in the winters and cooler in the summers. Logging has lead to forests switching between hot and cold much quicker as there's little buffering of the weather.

    From SE Alaska to Northern California is considered a green belt. This Green Belt just over a hundred years ago the average age of the forests was around 750 years. Today only a small percentage of the old growth forest are left in this green belt that actually acts a filter for the entire planet earth.

    When these forests average around 750 years in age, Douglas Fir wasn't the dominant tree species as it is today. Just over a hundred years ago
    there were around eight different tree species including Douglas Fir which took over when these forests were replanted as a wood supply.

    This replanting created more of a mono-culture single species forest which is prone to disease and insects or which the old growth forests had natural defenses against due to there being a multi species forests with heavy undergrowth of various types of plants that protected the forests.

    Most modern forest survival is based on spraying the forests with chemicals, to help prevent attacks from disease and insects which has only a limited effect for the survival of modern forests.
    Last edited by Albert_; 10-24-2017 at 12:43 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: My first backpacking tent! Vargo stove, fatwood, and hiking action!

    Thank you for sharing the video!

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