Wall Tents-wood canvas and deer hunting

Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
3,692
Location
Appleton, Maine
I downsized my 8x10 walltent this past winter to about 6'x7' and dropped the height down to about 5'8" from almost 7'. I also downsided my wood stove from 12x12x24 to 12x12x12 and dropped the stovepipe down to 4" from 6". I built an internal frame out of hardwood dowels and a tent angle kit that is very quick and easy to set up.
Here is the tent during a test set up.



I can set up a cot and a chair inside, along with a wanigan to use as a table. It all fits well inside my new 15' Chestnut Chum wood canvas canoe.

I plan on going to NY this fall for the "Northern Zone" (Adirondacks) deer season. Although I will be "deer hunting", I doubt if I will hunt all that hard, and most of my time will be spent around camp

I'm not sure if I will go to Little Tupper Lake, Lake Lila or Cedar River Flow. Last week of October. As I get older, a cot, a chair and a wood stove is good.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,473
Location
Raymond, ME
I guess you don't mind a little crouching. For sure a smaller tent saves on stove size.. Do you have a picture of how you balance a pot on top of the stove? To me it doesn't seem like much cook surface.. Do you have a sled for your new minimal kit?

Cot...Cot? What sort of cot? How does it pack to fit in a canoe? I have a hot tent and a stove but before the snow flies I would rather be up off the ground especially if its rotten rainy.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
wow! That looks so neat and snug! I can imagine the pleasure of being inside and the weather outside being awful. Do you have any views of the inside set up? A white tent like that and a kerosene lantern going inside, lights up like a chinese lantern. A very welcoming sight.
Will the stove draw like that with the pipe horizontal? If not, I would suppose an easy fix.
If you get a deer will you bone it out for ease of carrying? Maybe even jerk it right there. What fun.........whoa....are there wolves there?
What's that I hear sniffing around the tent flap? Just kidding.
It looks like the tent didn't suffer any in the tailoring, everything seems neat and correct. Congratulations on your work! Your adaptations will make for a hunting camp that will be the envy of everyone who sees it!
Best Wishes, Rob
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
3,692
Location
Appleton, Maine
YC- The cot folds up to maybe 36"long by 10"wide, maybe 8-10 lbs. Not something for the portage trail, but it sure is nice and comfy with that wood stove going. I found that the mice can be a problem in wall tents with no floor so I prefer the cot over sleeping on the ground.
The sled is in the first picture leaning up on a tree. It's an old 6' toboggan, I removed 2 runners on it to make it nice and narrow for pulling behind snow shoes and put a nice pine tar and wax finish on it (Thanks to HOOPS direction) I can fir my whole outfit on the sled and get where I need to go now, just not too fast or up many hills!
I can stand inside to get dressed, bent over a bit, but that's the price I had to pay to make it more manageable for solo or two folks trekking.
The stove surface is small, but fine for one or two folks. Half the weight now, at 15lbs with pipe inside for travel.
Cooking some chicken on my first overnight in the downsize (about 1/4 mile behind my house last winter)


OM-Good call on the horizontal stove pipe, I fixed that soon after the first fire...cough cough!
Here's the tent with options before the downsize, car camping was the only way to go....


Here's the tent after downsize.


Here's my cot and chair on a canoe in deer hunt a few years back before downsize...pretty cozy, but it weighed a ton.


If I get a deer in the Adirondacks that in itself will be a miracle, I guess it will be two trips back to the truck. Connecticut law is that any deer brought in must be boned because of CWD. But, we are blessed with very good hunting in my area, so the fun will be in camping with the tent, the deer up there won't have to worry about me.

My sewing was another thing. My first time I ever used a sewing machine, I bought a cheap used one for $25 and it worked well. My wife wouldn't let me near her's...she showed me how it worked and I practiced on some cut offs and the end result is not as neat as should be, but it's tight and strong, and now the tent is very portable for one person, just what I wanted.
 
Last edited:
G

Guest

Guest
Nice job! I have long contemplated a similar arrangement. Perhaps you could share some details. The angles are steel that are used for the 1” steel electrical conduit, yes? That seems to translate to 1 1/8” diameter wood dowels with a little play or 1 ¼” and a slight bit of whittling down on the ends. I found 1 1/8” poplar dowels at Lowes, but the maximum length is 48”. I have found pine dowels that are longer, but not at 1 1/8” diameter, and I am wary of pine not being strong enough for the center ridge pole when the canvas gets wet and the wind blows I would buy the canvas but I’ve never sewn anything with a machine. I wonder why the manufacturers do not offer this size option? Any thought of having a nylon tarp suspended above the roof? Sorry for the stream of consciousness questioning. Any help with specifics and suppliers on the frame would be much appreciated.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
3,692
Location
Appleton, Maine
Yes, I had a steel angle kit with conduit, wow, way too heavy. I could hang off the ridge, or hang a deer, but since the rig was so heavy I had to stay by the road, so no deer to hang....
I had the same problem with dowels at Lowes.
I will get back to you on what I did, everything is out in the barn, tomorrow I will make some measurements and reply. But I did use longer pine dowels for the legs and sanded them down. They are pretty sturdy.
Here in the Northeast we can't cut live wood in forests, and it's too time consuming to find suitable poles, so I share your concern about strength, but I figure I could get the tent up fast with my little frame and use trees or find a couple of poles to secure the ridge. It will be fun learning if my downsize works...I hope..or it could be a real disaster!

I too wish I could have bought a smaller wall tent, the canvas tents that are made smaller are really alot of money. Mine cost maybe 275.00 I think, no water proofing or fire retardant, been a while. The angle kit was another 100 I think, then the conduit was pretty expensive. But compared to a Snowtreaker (which are really great tents from what I have heard), mine comes in pretty cheep.

A nylon tarp would be good, if it can hold up to snow weights. I'm not all that up on winter camping, I got alot of info over at winter trekking.com
 
W

Willis

Guest
Nice job! I have long contemplated a similar arrangement. Perhaps you could share some details. The angles are steel that are used for the 1” steel electrical conduit, yes? That seems to translate to 1 1/8” diameter wood dowels with a little play or 1 ¼” and a slight bit of whittling down on the ends. I found 1 1/8” poplar dowels at Lowes, but the maximum length is 48”. I have found pine dowels that are longer, but not at 1 1/8” diameter, and I am wary of pine not being strong enough for the center ridge pole when the canvas gets wet and the wind blows I would buy the canvas but I’ve never sewn anything with a machine. I wonder why the manufacturers do not offer this size option? Any thought of having a nylon tarp suspended above the roof? Sorry for the stream of consciousness questioning. Any help with specifics and suppliers on the frame would be much appreciated.


Welcome to the site DaveO!
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,473
Location
Raymond, ME
Welcome DaveO! Like Beavertail I am not a deep woods in the boreal winter camper yet. We car camp in the White Mountains in our Snowtrekker. I love it for shoulder season base camping without portages. It sets up with seemingly steel elbows and aluminum tubing for the four legs and ridgepole. Snowtrekkers are wicked expensive tents and I was very lucky to get mine locally on Ebay used once for less than half the price new.

Snowtrekker tents are treated with Sunforger, a water repellant treatment. So though they are cotton so far they repel a light mist. Now as to a tarp, that is a really good question. I hesitate to throw a silnylon tarp over the tent as I have to make room for the stove pipe. Nothing like melting your tarp and Lighting Your Own Fire( the nylon will melt and not burst into flame. There were tests done at a winter gathering some years ago. But melting nylon is still not good and will not repel rain)

There are white colored versions of the blue tarp. As they are cheaper and hence could be regarded as disposable those are possibilities. Snowtrekker also makes a tarp but I have not sprung for it. Alot depends on your stove pipe exit point..is it going to have to go through a tarp. Its also possible to buy a stove jack and sew it into your fabric/tarp of choice.

I get my knowledge from the SnowWalkers Gathering and also at wintertrekking.com too.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
3,692
Location
Appleton, Maine
Hi DaveO-

YC just gave some good info there, lucky find, a used snowtrekker is hard to find.

So I went out and got some measurements,

The angle kit comes as a 9 piece unit, I used 6 and the inside diameter is 1 & 1/8th inch.

I used 3 pieces of pine, 1 & 1/4" x 6' for the ridge and top of walls. I sanded the pine ends down to fit inside the angles.

I used 4' hardwood from Lowes for the rafters (4 pieces 4' x 1 & 1/8th")

I used 3' hardwood from Lowes for the legs (4 pieces 3' x 1 & 1/8th")

McFeely's sells dowels of all widths and lengths but I didn't know that when I was making my frame.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Thanks for the welcome and assistance

Thanks for the welcome and assistance

Thanks for the warm welcome, and assistance with the materials and dimensions. Cutting poles is not an option for me either. The Snowtrekkers look super but I have too little experience to know what size to get and whether I can really justify that cost. I like the DIY idea because it could be modified as I go along, and components could be upgraded or replaced at a reasonable cost.

My plan would be to run the stove pipe out the end at a 45 degree angle, so the tarp could fully cover the roof. Ideally, I could design some system to have the tarp support integral to the pole frame. The reason I focused on the tarp top is I will probably use non-waterproofed canvas to save cost and increase breathability. Also, I would like to use it with cold rain a possibility. This canvas looks good but is way too much for me:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cotton-Canvas-WHITE-natural-off-white-Whole-roll-50-yards-Tipi-SCA-/290755819706?_trksid=p5197.m1992&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.CURRENT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D14%26meid%3D2457250634384785920%26pid%3D100015%26prg%3D1006%26rk%3D1%26sd%3D130770320587%26

I like the design of this stove but there are no reviews so I was wary and it sold out almost instantly. Too big and heavy anyway for a cut-down wall tent like we are talking about, but why don’t the manufacturers make lightweight, break-down vertical stoves:

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/new-norwegian-military-vertical-stove.aspx?a=984602

Now, if I could find suitable canvas, I would make the frame, cut the canvas, and try to find someone locally to sew it for a reasonable amount. Man, I would be a happy camper, and welcome winter more and fear less the cabin fever. Cheers, Dave
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
3,692
Location
Appleton, Maine
Home Depot canvas drop cloth

Home Depot canvas drop cloth

I bought a couple of these canvas drop cloths a few years back, 8'x5', forgot the price, but you can bet they where reasonably priced or I wouldn't have bought them...
You might consider them, they get pretty soft with use. Tough and easy to sew, tight enough to keep the wind out, but not at all water proof, build a tent with low walls and a good tarp system and let the stove dry out the wet spots.
Another idea is Tyvek for a tarp. If you run it through the washer a couple of times it gets soft and silent. It can be sew, patched with duct tape. Just the big wording printed on it might be a turn off, not sure if it's on both sides.
I have heard of folks using mail boxes for stoves....a small tent won't need much of a stove. Even a big stove goes out sometime during the night, so I always plan on a cold tent at night.

Rainy day here and just passing time.
 
G

Guest

Guest
The tip on McFeely’s was great, thanks. I had seen other dowel suppliers but they had higher minimum orders and higher shipping charges. I probably will use the painter's tarp, tyvek or some other more reasonable material, as you suggest, at least until I am sure of the dimensions. Lots of good plans for DIY stoves out there. Agree the stove is not for banking overnight or long burns.

I am currently using a roll-a-cot and tarp for moderate temp/weather/season. It is relatively lightweight and comfy but time will tell how durable. I need a cot for a good night’s sleep after heavy exertion. One cot in a tipi design is too inefficient, which is why I am focused on a rectangular, low walled wall tent. I figure I can sacrifice head room and the ability to stand for less weight and more compact design. Using a very low slung chair, again a trade off.

I found that Tentsmith has all sizes of sunforger canvas wall tents. They have 8’6 x 8’6 x 7 with 2 Walls for $340 and 8’6 x 8’6 x 7 with 3 Walls for $350. They say that all wall tents listed are starting points, they offer taller walls, peaks, or both, and tents can be made wider or longer to suit your needs and requirements. So, it seems they could make me a compact, low walled rectangular tent.

Even if I can scrape up the cash, I am hard pressed to know how small I can go, and at those prices, I can’t make a mistake. I want a place to sleep with a cot, able to withstand rainstorms, and the ability to fire up the stove to drive the chill out of the bones, at the lightest, most compact design. 6’ x 7’ seems like the cot/end of the sleeping bag will touch the canvas and the cot will be mighty close to the stove.

I am thinking 2’ walls, 6’ x 9’, with maybe a 5’ height. I need to brush up on my geometry, ha. The lower the peak angle, the less fabric (and weight), and with a second waterproof tarp covering, you could get away with less angle. Ideally, I’d like about a 90 degree peak to shed snow.

Plus, I would like to be able to bring another person. The answer to that of course is to have two tents, one for one cot and one for two cots. If I am DIY, I might be able to afford it, as the angles and some of the poles would be used for either. Also, with DIY, I would consider using Waterproof nylon for three of the sides to save weight, but I know they will flap more in the wind.

Anyway, I have gotten some great inspiration here, and I’ll let you know what I decide and how it turns out. Dave
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
Dave O, I do have a little experience with Tentsmiths tents, using them in historical reenactment here on the island. Some observations: Although heavy they are wonderfully well made. What ever it is that they use to waterproof them, I have been in driving rain storms and never got any water through the canvas. That's despite curious tourists touching the inside walls as the rain danced on the outside. A curious thing is how the early morning dews and damps cause the canvas to get drum tight, then as the morning advances it eases back to normal. You might want to look at their Sutler wedge tents, along with two of their wall tents, I have a 8 x 8 sutler. Plenty of room to stand up in it and bags of room around the edges. I used a canvas floor in all the tents with the mud flaps tucked under the floor. I think in a camping situation the ability to raise up one side as you can with the sutler and with a fire just beyond the raised section would be very enjoyable. Bill Mason's tent did that as well.
Best Wishes, Rob
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
403
Location
Ontario
Best place to find info on wall tents and woodstoves is www.wintertrekking.com this site is all about canvas tents and woodstoves and the guys on the forum there have probably tried 'em all.
I personally use a home-made 8x 10'x 6'6" hybrid with a canvas roof and nylon ends and walls, it can be used with just two end poles and one ridge pole (1"conduit) and weighs in at 17lbs total. It's perfect for two, and roomy for 1.
My poles have sheet metal loops rivitted on top to allow for some movement as the canvas stretches and the tent has ties at the top, centre, and bottom to keep it tight to the poles.
with this design, it can be set up like a traditional A-frame in parks, or I can cut scissor poles in the bush.
 
Top