Kifaru Tipis and Cold Climate Bug-Outs

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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PineVole
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Kifaru Tipis and Cold Climate Bug-Outs

Post by PineVole » Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:40 pm

I originally wrote this up as a reply to Woods Walker's Paratipi review. But as I typed I realized I was getting a bit off topic so I decided to post a new thread.

I was recently checking out the Kifaru Tipis online in my search for a winter shelter with a wood stove. I really liked the 4 Man Tipi. I thought one of the best things about it was the interior height. Their diagram shows it to be 6 ft. 6 in. It would be nice to be able to stand up in your shelter and straighten out your back once in awhile.

From the Kifaru website:
Image

But that image is probably a little misleading. If your tall (like I am) your head would probably be hitting the fabric, not to mention the center pole.

Another image from the Kifaru website:
Image

Unless that dude is like 7 ft. tall, I'd say a diagram showing a stand up interior is a bit of an exaggeration.


Anyway, my main concern is durability. I want a shelter that can withstand the snow and fierce winters throughout a cold season in northern New England. Kifaru makes some high quality products but their FAQ's has this to say on the question of long term setup:
Q.What about long term set up?

A. Any nylon structure will suffer from UV rays if allowed to remain erected for prolonged periods of time. We strongly recommend NOT using your Kifaru shelter as a permanent structure.
Ok, so a little common sense should tell you that shelters that fit into a backpack and are made of nylon should not be used on a permanent basis. I suppose you could bring something like a disassembled garden shed with you instead, but the weight and size of that would make it unreasonable...

So there's the dilemma. How to get a sturdy, wood-heated shelter to your bug-out-location without having to use a delivery truck as a BOV?

One solution might be to use the Kifaru shelter if you have to bug out in the middle of winter and then also have tools, like and ax and saw, to build a more sturdy dwelling when the seasons change and the weather warms up. (I'm planning along the lines of TEOLAWKI/I'm Never Coming Home type of scenario.)

I guess I'm just thinking out loud here to see what everyone else has to say.

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Post by Woods Walker » Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:20 pm

I have a 4-man tipi and it holds up great during New England weather.

Image

The inside is larger than it looks based on that photo. I think the man looks larger due to a forced perspective illusion.

Image

Here the tipi looks higher than the people in the background.

Image

But do to the tipi shape I can only sort of stand just behind the pole. My 6-man was much easier to stand inside. However I now use a 4-man due to now better heating with a smaller stove. But now think this was a mistake. I liked the extra room of the 6-man. Not that I don't enjoy my 4-man.

The longer term setup issues are due to UV damage. All nylon shelters are subject to UV damage. This is less of an issue in winter as the sun is lower. Also I tend to pitch the shelter in a woodland setting. I have used the shelter for over a week at a time and the thing looks brand-new. I am considering a UL canvas shelter for extended use on the BOL.

http://www.empirecanvasworks.com/

At nearly 20lbs for the shelter alone I can't pack it without my sled but that is the most UL canvas tent going. I once used the 4-man as a shelter on the BOL when we lost power for 5 days after a wind/ice storm. Worked great for cooking and a place to warm up. I have fixed the generator and keep 5 days gas on hand. A better solution for short term winter outages.
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PineVole
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Post by PineVole » Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:51 am

Thanks for the input Woods Walker. Your 4 man tipi looks like it's holding up well in that snow.

Wow, those Snowtrekker tents look very durable. I'm going to look into those some more. It might be just the thing I'm searching for.

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Post by Obiwan » Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:02 am

I believe their disclaimer is related to the intended purpose of most all single wall shelters

They are generally geared toward a low carry weight....not long term durability
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Post by Squirrley » Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:31 am

You could always try to pitch a tarp over/around the tipi, to keep it in the shade.

PineVole wrote: So there's the dilemma. How to get a sturdy, wood-heated shelter to your bug-out-location without having to use a delivery truck as a BOV?
You build it there before-hand. That's the whole point of a BOL, someplace with shelter and such, ready made, and where you can stockpile food/gear.
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Post by PineVole » Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:28 pm

squirrley wrote:
PineVole wrote: So there's the dilemma. How to get a sturdy, wood-heated shelter to your bug-out-location without having to use a delivery truck as a BOV?
You build it there before-hand. That's the whole point of a BOL, someplace with shelter and such, ready made, and where you can stockpile food/gear.
True enough, a prepared BOL is ideal. But if you don't own property then you have to come up with something else. If a sudden collapse of civilization occurs, then fleeing to a remote area to set up camp might be your only option. Trying to build a cabin in the same spot beforehand will probably get you into trouble. If there is anarchy in the streets then I think people will have more to worry about then whether I'm living on public or private land. That's if they even find me.

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Post by toyotaman » Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:05 pm

PineVole wrote:
squirrley wrote:
PineVole wrote: So there's the dilemma. How to get a sturdy, wood-heated shelter to your bug-out-location without having to use a delivery truck as a BOV?
You build it there before-hand. That's the whole point of a BOL, someplace with shelter and such, ready made, and where you can stockpile food/gear.
True enough, a prepared BOL is ideal. But if you don't own property then you have to come up with something else. If a sudden collapse of civilization occurs, then fleeing to a remote area to set up camp might be your only option. Trying to build a cabin in the same spot beforehand will probably get you into trouble. If there is anarchy in the streets then I think people will have more to worry about then whether I'm living on public or private land. That's if they even find me.

You need to start meeting other like-minded people now. Somebody that already lives at a rural BOL is going to need others to help defend the homestead, help grow crops, tend animals, fix equipment, etc.

Show up the Zombie Squad meets and campouts that are listed here. Other forums have them too. Frugal Squirrels has campouts in every region and state where you can go and meet other prepared folks.

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Post by Squirrley » Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:46 pm

I don't think that there's any kind of tent that you'd want to carry however many miles to some remote location where you're going to set up camp that would be able to be a permanent tent. If you've found a place that you decide is where you're gonna stay for awhile, you could, I imagine, build some sort of semi-permanent structure, and save the wear and tear on your tent that would happen trying to use it as a semi-permanent structure.
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Post by tireiron » Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:12 pm

When I was a kid growing up on the western coast of Alaska, the whole damn town would "bug out" down to the beach in the summer when the salmon were running. Hundreds of people lived for months in wall tents or alaknak tents made of canvas. We'd get late season snows and pissy coastal weather, but with care, those things lasted year after year, set up for months at a time.

Heavy? Yes. As hell. But you could haul one in a wheelbarrow or on a pack animal. Even in a kid's red wagon, or dragged behind you on a sled/litter. You could even spilt up the component parts among people and hike 'em in, although you wouldn't want to go very far. You can cut your poles on site.

Man, those were some days.

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Post by PineVole » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:46 pm

toyotaman wrote:You need to start meeting other like-minded people now. Somebody that already lives at a rural BOL is going to need others to help defend the homestead, help grow crops, tend animals, fix equipment, etc.

Show up the Zombie Squad meets and campouts that are listed here. Other forums have them too. Frugal Squirrels has campouts in every region and state where you can go and meet other prepared folks.
That's good advice toyotaman.

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Re: Kifaru Tipis and Cold Climate Bug-Outs

Post by LowKey » Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:51 am

I've been considering a 4 or 6 man Kifaru with a small stove. The UV/nylon thing bugs me a bit, and I was wondering about alternate materials. What materials (lightweight) have a higher UV resistance?
What about something like high thread count thin silk and coating/soaking it in silicone waterproofing? Back in my SCA days I made a lavu (a Finish tipi) so sewing one up on a machine wouldn't be impossible.
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Re:

Post by misanthropist » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:45 pm

Squirrley wrote:I don't think that there's any kind of tent that you'd want to carry however many miles to some remote location where you're going to set up camp that would be able to be a permanent tent. If you've found a place that you decide is where you're gonna stay for awhile, you could, I imagine, build some sort of semi-permanent structure, and save the wear and tear on your tent that would happen trying to use it as a semi-permanent structure.
That would be my approach if I didn't have a place ready to go and I thought I would be there for months...set up your temporary shelter and then get to work on a more permanent structure.

But being anywhere for months takes a fair amount of preparation. It would be very hard to show up with a backpack and just live there on what you brought and what you could kill or harvest.

And the less you bring in terms of ready-made stuff, like soap, for instance, the more time you have to devote to making it on site.

Lot of work involved in staying alive without all our modern civilizational support structure.
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Re: Kifaru Tipis and Cold Climate Bug-Outs

Post by spchtr » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:50 pm

As someone who's lived in a tent for long periods of time, as the uv damages the nylon, it tends to strech a little bit, making the pitch less tight. Also it becomes more easily damaged by the wind. There are UV coatings that can be put on such materials, but basically EVERY tensile structure is a temporary one. The very fact that the material moves in a wind, will weaken it over time. That said, I usually got a year or so use out of the tents, that's a year, constantly pitched. So it might not be as much of an issue as some people think. Especially if it's only being used in the winter. Pitch it for inclement weather, and at night to sleep, that should almost tripple or quadruple it's life, as long as you don't have it out durring the day. I've been considering a 9X12 tarp as an option that can be pitched as a tipi style, with a smaller tarp to act as the door/vestibule/anex. Once I decide on a size I'm going to be looking into uv resistant materials, they're out there after all, it's just a matter of finding them.

Edit: to add some limited information concerning materials

http://www.mesailing.com/Knowledge/Sail ... cloth.html
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Re: Kifaru Tipis and Cold Climate Bug-Outs

Post by Woods Walker » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:24 pm

If someone is looking for a shelter that is more UV resistant than I would have to suggest canvas. Here is the most UL heated canvas shelter systems that I know of.

http://www.snowtrekkertents.com/wintertents.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

But we are still talking about 13-20 lbs for the shelter alone so there are no free lunches. I tend to pitch my shelters in the woods with less direct sunlight exposure.
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Re: Re:

Post by Squirrley » Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:40 pm

misanthropist wrote:
But being anywhere for months takes a fair amount of preparation. It would be very hard to show up with a backpack and just live there on what you brought and what you could kill or harvest.

And the less you bring in terms of ready-made stuff, like soap, for instance, the more time you have to devote to making it on site.

Lot of work involved in staying alive without all our modern civilizational support structure.

Oh, definitely. I didn't mean it like you don't want to carry a tent, I meant that any tent you would want to leave up for longer than like a week or w/e at a time and live out of would be a very heavy thing, and not something you'd want to think about carrying on your back (I'm thinking like big army tent type things). You'd definitely want to carry your backpacking tent and use that while on the move, and while setting up your semi-permanent camp with a lean-to or whatever constructed out of local materials.

And I agree with you on the ready-made stuff wholeheartedly. I see lots of discussions on the INCH bag topic - bring everything and the kitchen sink, and the reciprocal of that being get lots of bad-ass skills and drop me off in the middle of the woods naked with an axe. My personal theory is the wisest is both, you go to the clinics and practice to get the skills, but you still carry your 3 day BOB or whatever you have filled with all the gear. I say good for you, you can hunt small game and forage for food. Do that as often as you can, but there will probably be a time where you can't find any food, or need to travel fast, and having the gear and supplies to do so might be necessary for survival (like being chased by zombies :P)
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