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Old 04-04-2012, 04:22 PM   #16
perterra
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Originally Posted by Jedi5150 View Post
And that is a question only you will be able to answer. We all have different priorities. I decided that for my purposes, shelter was near the top of the list when doing a wide variety of outdoor activities. When you buy an expedition tent you are not only buying for the weather, but more importantly for the longevity. They are built to last. Petra Hilleberg told me that basically nobody who works for Hilleberg even uses a footprint. The tent bottoms simply don't wear out. (I use a footprint because I like bombproof.).

But that said, they are a whole lot of money. I know people who have backpacked for years and love using only a tarp. For them, and their style, an $800 dollar tent would be a waste of money, and better spent on gas and food. My style is different from theirs, and only you know what yours is. So the final decision will be one we can't help you with.

This is word. Big Agnes has a good rep from what I have heard, I persoanlly know folks who spend a lot of months a year camping and they have and have had hillebergs. I suspect it is a tent that will go many times around the world if you wish.

How big a difference the tent makes depends on conditions, like everything cheap can get you by just fine as long as the shit doesnt hit the fan. In really bad situations I have never heard anyone wish they had spent less on gear.
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:41 PM   #17
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My experience differs from Supergringo. I have spent a lot of time in some very harsh environments (Alaska, Andes) in everything from a bivvy sack made out of epic fabric to a Bibler Bombshelter (single-wall mountaineering tent that lives up to its name). There will be a significant temperature difference inside of a 4-season tent and a 3-season tent in the same conditions. While a 4-season tent tends to be bullet proof and bomber, in warmer conditions they just dont ventilate as well as a 3-season tent and you will cook. If you really feel like you need a 4-season tent, get a double-walled one that you can set up without the fly if its hot and sunny. Also try to focus on brighter colored tents as the darker ones will be warmer.

Whats going to matter most for your comfort and a good nights sleep isnt going to be the tent as much as your sleeping system. A good pad and bag are far more important than the tent. While your 0 degree bag may be too warm in the Amazon, it will likely be just right in the Andes. You can lay on top of the bag or open it up when you are warm. If you are in a 4-season tent and start roasting, there aren't a whole lot of options. I spent over a week above 16K feet in Bolivia in the afore-mentioned bivvy sack but I used a Big Agnes insulated air core pad and a -35 degree down bag.

Finally, if I was going to be making an epic trip like this I would have tested out all of my gear in various conditions well before I take off. Only YOU can really determine what you are comfortable in. Before I did my first trip to Alaska, I took everything I planned to have with me and spent a couple nights on Mt. Hood in the snow. I learned more in that 48 hours then I did in weeks of research on the internet (like not trying to thaw out my camelbacks feed tube in my sleeping bag ).

Also, keep in mind that if you get really miserable you can always get a room in some fleabag for cheap.

Good luck--can't wait for the trip report!
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:54 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by soyanarchisto View Post
Finally, if I was going to be making an epic trip like this I would have tested out all of my gear in various conditions well before I take off. Only YOU can really determine what you are comfortable in. Before I did my first trip to Alaska, I took everything I planned to have with me and spent a couple nights on Mt. Hood in the snow. I learned more in that 48 hours then I did in weeks of research on the internet
This is the best advice you've gotten so far; really wish I had been smart enough to suggest it.
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:05 PM   #19
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This is the best advice you've gotten so far; really wish I had been smart enough to suggest it.
Couldn't agree more. And I have 10 months to do just that!
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:14 PM   #20
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In really bad situations I have never heard anyone wish they had spent less on gear.
Great point. Thanks perterra.
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:23 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by soyanarchisto View Post
My experience differs from Supergringo. I have spent a lot of time in some very harsh environments (Alaska, Andes) in everything from a bivvy sack made out of epic fabric to a Bibler Bombshelter (single-wall mountaineering tent that lives up to its name). There will be a significant temperature difference inside of a 4-season tent and a 3-season tent in the same conditions. While a 4-season tent tends to be bullet proof and bomber, in warmer conditions they just dont ventilate as well as a 3-season tent and you will cook. If you really feel like you need a 4-season tent, get a double-walled one that you can set up without the fly if its hot and sunny. Also try to focus on brighter colored tents as the darker ones will be warmer.

Whats going to matter most for your comfort and a good nights sleep isnt going to be the tent as much as your sleeping system. A good pad and bag are far more important than the tent. While your 0 degree bag may be too warm in the Amazon, it will likely be just right in the Andes. You can lay on top of the bag or open it up when you are warm. If you are in a 4-season tent and start roasting, there aren't a whole lot of options. I spent over a week above 16K feet in Bolivia in the afore-mentioned bivvy sack but I used a Big Agnes insulated air core pad and a -35 degree down bag.

Finally, if I was going to be making an epic trip like this I would have tested out all of my gear in various conditions well before I take off. Only YOU can really determine what you are comfortable in. Before I did my first trip to Alaska, I took everything I planned to have with me and spent a couple nights on Mt. Hood in the snow. I learned more in that 48 hours then I did in weeks of research on the internet (like not trying to thaw out my camelbacks feed tube in my sleeping bag ).

Also, keep in mind that if you get really miserable you can always get a room in some fleabag for cheap.

Good luck--can't wait for the trip report!
Thanks for your great thoughts here. I'm wondering about the difference between a double walled tent and a not-double walled tent. My SL1 has one wall and a rain cover, but what about the Hilleberg Soulo, is this a double walled or single walled tent? Couldn't I take off the outer wall and get a decent breeze or am I misunderstanding?

Soulo:
http://www.hilleberg.com/home/products/soulo/soulo.php







On sleeping situation I hear you loud and clear and want to invest in something that is awesome. I've been following this thread to help me figure out what kind of bag I want, but still need some help on mat. What they tell me here is that the following bags are all high quality and I should look for one of these, (so basically I'm looking for a used one of these): Marmot, Mountain Hardware, Mammut, Sierra Designs, North Face and EMS.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:29 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by hope2013 View Post
Thanks for your great thoughts here. I'm wondering about the difference between a double walled tent and a not-double walled tent. My SL1 has one wall and a rain cover, but what about the Hilleberg Soulo, is this a double walled or single walled tent? Couldn't I take off the outer wall and get a decent breeze or am I misunderstanding?
Hope, Hilleberg tents are all double walled. But they designed them backwards of how everyone else makes tents. Most companies make tents where you pitch the "tent" and then have to add the rainfly afterwards. This results in getting your tent wet from rain or snow, and fighting with a fly that acts like a sail in the wind. Hilleberg the actual "tent" is the fly. You use poles and stakes to pitch the fly, which has a removable "inner tent" (the yellow part) attached underneath. This means both parts go up at once, making your inner area stay completely dry even in snow or rain.

It also has the added benefit that you can partially (or completely) remove the inner tent to make the vestibule larger. Most Hillebergs (if not all) can be pitched using only the outer tent (no floor, a typical "fly"), the outer and inner together, or the inner tent by itself (with a couple extra pole holders). In other words, if you're in a hot climate and have no need of rain protection and simply don't want bugs, you can put up only the yellow inner tent and leave the green or red outer part in the bag.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:29 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by hope2013 View Post
On sleeping situation I hear you loud and clear and want to invest in something that is awesome. I've been following this thread to help me figure out what kind of bag I want, but still need some help on mat. What they tell me here is that the following bags are all high quality and I should look for one of these, (so basically I'm looking for a used one of these): Marmot, Mountain Hardware, Mammut, Sierra Designs, North Face and EMS.
Not to start a war here, but the biggest issue with a sleeping bag for multiple climate use is going to be moisture management. This means two things: does the moisture move well out of the bag to keep you dry while you sleep, and does the insulation pass the moisture through to the outside, or does it absorb it and thus become ineffective? Before you purchase, please do some reading about Wiggys bags and their Lamilite insulation. I have owned many bags, which hace used down, hollofill, primaloft, quallofill and then lamilite as insulation. I wouldn't ever buy anything else but a Wiggys. We all generate a lot of moisture when we sleep, so a waterproof outershell only serves to keep that in the bag with you, so those aren't always a solution. My experience with breathable fabrics is that they move some moisture, but not the amount I generate, so they do not work for me personally. Lastly, Wiggys bags are designed to be laundered when necessary without any damage to the bag or the insulation, and when used daily, this is a great feature.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:43 AM   #24
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I am no expert by any means, but I will give you my 2 cents anyway. I rode to Canada last year (see ride report in my sig line) and took a North Face 0* bag. It probably got to the low 40's at night and I absolutely cooked in that thing. And I am someone who likes to be warm when I sleep. It seems you need a bag close in rating to the conditions you will be in.

I also made a trip to the vintage bike races at mid-Ohio last year. It was mid 90's and humid as could be and I slept in shorts only, on top of my sleeping pad. I didn't get on the bag (cheap Wal-Mart bag) until late into the night. Again, I am someone who sleeps under covers even in the summer.

So from my recent experience, I believe you will have a hard time getting 1 bag or maybe even tent, that will do it all. Maybe determine what kind of conditions you will see the most and aim for gear for those conditions. Of course you still have to worry about safety, you wont' freeze to death in the Amazon.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:42 AM   #25
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So, if I were going to ride in two such disparate places as the Andes Mountains and the Amazon jungle, I would use two separate setups and not try and force one set of gear into two environments, because that might leave me cold in the mountains and hot in the jungle.

I would do the Andes with the big bag and tent. When I got close to the jungle I would have my home support team (or dog) mail my lightweight junk to me at the nearest town/hotel/whatever and mail the winter gear home.

This is expensive, but being miserable in the wrong gear sucks, and since this sounds like the trip of a lifetime, what's money for anyway?

Of course if you buy the expensive tent you will undoubtedly notice the "Helliberg Effect", wherein you spent $800 and will tell everyone that it is the perfect tent. It is a great tent if you camp hundreds of days a year. Maybe not so great in hot weather unless you want a sweat lodge death.
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lhendrik screwed with this post 04-05-2012 at 05:47 AM
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:03 AM   #26
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On the two sets of gear thought: one can often sell used mountaineering gear (or any sort of adventure gear) for about as much as one paid for it in out-of-the-way places. Rather than shipping the cold weather stuff home, you may even be able to arrange to sell or swap it with inmates going the other way.

Gear commands a premium because of shipping, duty, greasing palms at customs, and the fact that most countries have a higher initial cost for it in the first place.

When rafting in Belize, I found that the PFD that I'd paid about $90 for in the US was worth nearly twice that locally in well-used condition.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:32 AM   #27
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Another thought is that if you are going back the way you came, you can leave your cold-weather gear in a hostel and have them store it for you until you pass back through. I've done this every time I have been to South America.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:34 AM   #28
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Of course if you buy the expensive tent you will undoubtedly notice the "Helliberg Effect", wherein you spent $800 and will tell everyone that it is the perfect tent. It is a great tent if you camp hundreds of days a year. Maybe not so great in hot weather unless you want a sweat lodge death.
I chuckled at this. People who buy Hilleberg tents are almost evangelical about them.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:16 AM   #29
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Of course if you buy the expensive tent you will undoubtedly notice the "Helliberg Effect", wherein you spent $800 and will tell everyone that it is the perfect tent. It is a great tent if you camp hundreds of days a year. Maybe not so great in hot weather unless you want a sweat lodge death.
Even though this is a disparaging remark aimed at me, I'll only respond as to say that I did not ever tell anyone it was the perfect tent. If solo, ultralight backpacking was my goal and I was a tent (not tarp) person, I'd recommend the BA Copper Spur 1 or 2. I also told the OP that everyone has different styles and an $800 dollar tent is not for everyone. The OP does say that he plans on riding around a large part of the world, which could conceivably involve hundreds of nights a year in a tent, in varying weather conditions. In light of his intended uses, I think it would be poor advice to recommend he buy a tent that is likely to wear out, and was intended for ultralight backpacking. Maybe you disagree. I don't know what your experience is in RTW trips Ihendrik...I myself have none, so I'm inclined to follow the lead of people who have done these trips. That is what resulted in my Hilleberg choice. Have you come across someone who actually does RTW trips and recommends a cheap tent?


As for your suggestion about having two sets of gear and mailing one set back and forth...seems very ineffective to me. What happens when he goes from cold to hot, then back to cold again? That's a whole lot of mailing and or buying.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:22 AM   #30
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Not to start a war here, but the biggest issue with a sleeping bag for multiple climate use is going to be moisture management. This means two things: does the moisture move well out of the bag to keep you dry while you sleep, and does the insulation pass the moisture through to the outside, or does it absorb it and thus become ineffective? Before you purchase, please do some reading about Wiggys bags and their Lamilite insulation. I have owned many bags, which hace used down, hollofill, primaloft, quallofill and then lamilite as insulation. I wouldn't ever buy anything else but a Wiggys. We all generate a lot of moisture when we sleep, so a waterproof outershell only serves to keep that in the bag with you, so those aren't always a solution. My experience with breathable fabrics is that they move some moisture, but not the amount I generate, so they do not work for me personally. Lastly, Wiggys bags are designed to be laundered when necessary without any damage to the bag or the insulation, and when used daily, this is a great feature.
Ssevy, Wiggy's does make great bags (I have two), and I'm fully in agreement with you on synthetics over down for use in a variety of conditions. But Lamilite isn't the only material out there that has those same qualities. Climashield Combat is virtually identical in that regard. Kifaru makes their bags out of Climashield Combat and they are much lighter than Wiggy's for the same temperature rating (mainly due to the outside material Kifaru uses). I believe that The North Face even offers bags made with Climashield Combat. After having both Wiggy's and Kifaru, I'd buy a Kifaru every time from here on out (though they are more pricy). That is mainly because I like my sleeping bag to work for both backpacking and M/C trips, and weight is a concern to me.
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