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Thread: Tent choices for fall bear hunting AK Pen

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    Default Tent choices for fall bear hunting AK Pen

    I apologize if this has been discussed before, but I searched the archives for threads that might have something on this topic specifically.

    The AK Pen has been known to present some unforgiving fall hunting conditions, what are your tent experiences/top tent selections for a 10 hunt on the AK Pen for two hunters?
    "What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you."
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    It comes down to the Alaska Tent & Tarp ARCTIC OVEN or the Barneys BOMB SHELTER.

    Most of my experience is with the Bomb Shelter tents.
    ...A 10' x 10' is nice for two hunters, but even tied down with twenty ropes, the 10' X 10' tents have been know almost come down in the hurricane storms on the AK Peninsula. And you can stand up in the 10' x 10' tent.
    ....the 8 X 8 tents can become cramped for two hunters during the storms on the peninsula, but properly tied down in the alders they will not blow down. But you can not stand up in an 8' X 8' tent.

    When on the AK Peninsula I always have a small emergency four season North face tent along for one of those worst case situations. Those freight train winds can be un-nerving. But ya get accustomed to them after three or four days. While your tent must be in the Alder brush for wind protection, try not to get it in a really low spot. I have saw many small lakes form during the storms, where no lakes had previously been. And try not to be to close and on the downwind side to a body of water. During the big blows giant sheets of water will actuallly blow OUT of the lakes up onto the land! Of course you will be hunting whenever a big storn isn't blowing, make sure you are out spotting immediately after a storm blows through. The bear activity and sightings will be fantastic!!!

    ....I sure like the nice bright yellow Arctic Oven tent color!!

    dennis

  3. #3

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    It is very easy to die on the Alaska Peninsula. I think the 8X8 Bombshelter is the strongest tent. I did have one explode in winds of 119 Miles per Hour, as registered on the Beaver airspeed indicator. Had we not been rescued with-in 8 hours we would have died for sure. Make no mistake on the AK. Penn. Fear not the brown bears............fear the weather.

    Also remember you can be tent bound for three to five days straight. And the rivers can rise 6 feet in a few hours.

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    Member polardds's Avatar
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    I think more important then tent selection is campsite selection. Both tents have their pro's and con's. Pick a good campsite and you should be fine. Try to be out of the wind and near enough to water. Sometimes there is not much for trees out there too. Just depends on where you are hunting.

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    I have the 8x8 Bomb Shelter, I have spent some lousy weather days in it with another person, never felt cramped, never felt I needed a warmer tent like the Arctic Oven as mentioned. I can attest to the sturdiness of the Bomb Shelter as well, I think it is a tent of the highest quality and highly recommend it.

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    .338WM....concerning the 8'X8" BombShelter tent you have....keep in mind that your tent has really been the standard tent for most guide camps throughout Alaska for the last 15+ years....

    Several great tent are available, but those 8'x8" BombShelter tents have truly been "Alaska Peninsula torture tested".

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaTrueAdventure View Post
    .338WM....concerning the 8'X8" BombShelter tent you have....keep in mind that your tent has really been the standard tent for most guide camps throughout Alaska for the last 15+ years....

    Several great tent are available, but those 8'x8" BombShelter tents have truly been "Alaska Peninsula torture tested".
    I had a AK Penn. test experience as well . As a matter of fact it was before I purchased one for myself and the wife, that experience sold me on the quality and comfort.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    i agre with dennis on the tent selection, i however do not use those tents but have used them. i have several Cabela's XWT tents that i like alot and have used in extreme winds. one thing dennis touched on...A BACK UP TENT!!! must have, must have must have, a low to the ground, four man dome tent will deflect ALOT of wind, north face has some great ones, but a full coverage fly with a little vestibule and a six pole design...shelter will save your life. you can live without food..but your not gonna make it without shelter on the AK penn.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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    Bombshelter 8x8.... Period. Stake out all of the "Tie Downs" TIGHT when you first set it up!!! And "tie" your front door zippers when your gone for the day.

  10. #10

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    I've had really good experience with Alaska tent and tarp's "Arktika". It's super heavy duty, and withstands very strong winds. It's a great choice if you want a large tent. If you want to go a lot lighter, try a Mountain Hardware "Trango" series tent. They are probably the most wind resistant tent I've ever used. If I were going with one other person I'd take two of the two man tents. Stake any tents down with screw anchors or tie off to alder brush or you might come back to camp and find no tent.

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    Speaking of backup tents.. I have a Black Diamond Megamid for such purposes, or it can be a primary, or a gear storage shelter, cooking shelter, spike camp shelter etc., etc. For those unfamiliar it is a 9x9 at the base, though floorless with one center pole to a max height of approx 6'. weighs in at 2.5lbs, virtualy unaffected by the wind if properly staked down, picture a 4 sided pyramid and you have a Megamid. It was great on a solo sheep hunt I did some years ago, and has been to many a moose camp.

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    I agree with the other posters, have been using the 8x8 "BOMB SHELTERS" for close to 30 yrs. with no problems. Put two clients in each and use a 12x12 "ARCTIC OVEN" for cooking and socializing. I sleep in the "TRANGO" or "WILD COUNTRY". These are all top of the line tents that have worked well for me over the years. For what its worth.
    Goo

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    While having the gear to withstand the weather is important, I would recommend also having the gear to know what weather is coming. Weather forecasting these days is a science and fairly reliable. Radios, Sat phones, etc. As well, speak with a Nat. Weather Service guy before you go.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    While having the gear to withstand the weather is important, I would recommend also having the gear to know what weather is coming. Weather forecasting these days is a science and fairly reliable. Radios, Sat phones, etc. As well, speak with a Nat. Weather Service guy before you go.

    Hard to do if you are living there Aug. 5'th till Oct. 27'th

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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    While having the gear to withstand the weather is important, I would recommend also having the gear to know what weather is coming. Weather forecasting these days is a science and fairly reliable. Radios, Sat phones, etc. As well, speak with a Nat. Weather Service guy before you go.
    A big part of the reason I have a handheld VHF, though not reliable everywhere, they are nice when they work.

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    Member Ernie Scar's Avatar
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    Has anyone tried the Kodiak condo? I was wondering since it's been said that the 10x10 wasn't as good as the 8x8 so I was curious how the condo has held up for the people who have used them.

  17. #17

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    Any good true mountaineering tent will work. Generally speaking, the more guy lines, stakes and poles you have, the better. The less exposed location you can find, the better. I could be wrong, but I have a hard time imagining any tent that you can stand in is a good choice for serious weather. For the soft ground that you find in much of Alaska, go with Snow stakes http://www.rei.com/product/358111 They will hold infinately better than the ones that most tents come with. Don't forget to pile rocks on top of the stakes.

    As for backup, the most bombproof option is a good bivy in my opinion. I have never had a tent come apart in the wind, but there was one time in the mountains when we considered abandoning the tent for the bivys. If it got much windier, the plan was to slip the bivies over our bags up to our arm pits and wriggle out, zip up and hope the tent was still there in the morning. Luckily it didn't come to that, but a bivy is a good simple lightweight and pretty much foolproof backup. The ones with the pole are more comfortable, but a bit heavier.

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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Whatever you get make sure it's a good mountaineering tent rated for high winds, because this rain-soaked blowhole routinely tears roofs off of houses.
    Now what ?

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    Forget REI. I have a hard time believing someone would think of something other than a BOMB SHELTER. A tent out there is more than just a place to sleep. Try to set it up out of the wind as much as possible and use all the tie downs and more. I've had them in 100mph winds and they were the only ones standing when it was all over.

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    Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    Peninsula winds can blow down ANY tent that is not properly constructed, erected and protected from the direct force of the wind.

    If you cannot place the tent behind a natural windbreak, construct one. Here, on a hunt with near constant wind, we dragged a lightweight tarp THROUGH an alder to create a burble on the downwind side of the tarp. Our tent never received a full blast of wind as a result.

    This is now a new standard for me.

    Enjoy,
    Taylor
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