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Tent for Brooks Range
My dad & I are heading to the brooks range this September for a 9 day drop hunt for caribou. We're each limited to 50 lbs, & I'm trying to settle on which shelter to bring.
I have a seek outside 6 man tipi & titanium stove that weighs ~11.5 lbs all-in. Positives are room, ability to walk in w boots on, & ability to have a warming fire (if we can find material to burn). I can leave the stove & save ~1.5-2 lbs if necessary. I also have a 3-person Sierra designs alpha cd 3/4 season convertible that weighs ~ 9 lbs (~46 sq ft). Positives include having a lower profile than the tipi, & a bathtub floor. Negatives include taking off boots in vestibule, not being able to stand to dress.
I understand that the winds up there can be hellacious. I've used both in some pretty sever weather in the lower 48 & canadian rockies. What I'm wondering now is for those that have been in that country, will either of those shelters work, would either be preferable, or if I need to look at buying a four-season mountaineering tent.
Thanks in advance.
When tipis are an option, I'm always thumbs up! I've been in some pretty big winds in them before.
If you set the tipi in a dip, wind normally won't be a big deal. I've spent a lot of time in a canvas cabin wall tent where you're going and never had it blown down.
Bring the stove. It's hard to dry things up there. There is only minimal wood and you should have a small bag. Break off dead brush as you travel the drainages. Also, green alder will burn if mixed with enough dry willow. Minimal heat, but better than nothing. Peel and split it.
What dates do you have?
The central arctic herd (along Haul RD) went from 70,000 in 2010 to 22,600 now. You should expect the limit to be dropped to 1. No cows for NR's.
We're going in mid-September (~9-19) after the porcupine herd. I'm anticipating some cool nights. Would you think a 0 degree bag is warm enough for the most part?
It's a crap shoot about temp's, but you can always sleep in long johns. Have a big loose fitting pair of socks to sleep in. Also, you can zip up your coat and slide your feet into it. It really helps.
They have evidence that some of the CA herd went both east and some west so your numbers might be up. Look forward to hearing how you do.
Bring a saw, not only for antlers, but wood. The wood will tend to be damp and is tough to snap.
Think about a13 oz 9x12 tarp. On a sheep hunt two years ago we would pull it out and sit through the numerous showers. About $100 but well worth it if you get snow. I've had snow up there as early as 05 Aug but global warming is changing things. You must be going in high with a cub.
I've got a 1.1 ounce silnylon yarp, 8 foot long, 9 foot wide, I have just for such instances as glassing in weather, setting out storms, even use as a porch on my tent if need be. You are welcome to it. Just mail it back when done. If the winds take it, no biggie, I'll just sew another. Cause I can see now. :^) The tarp is olive drab green. It has cat cut so you can keep it taught. Weighs about 10 ounces. With stakes and suspension, close to a pound. Good stuff. God Bless men
Used a tipi tent and stove on the Upper Marsh Fork of the Canning River a few years ago without problems. That's on the North Slope. It was the last hunt of the year and we had snow and delays getting out. Lots of driftwood to utilize. If it's a caribou or moose hunt you should be fine. I can't give advise if you're camped higher in sheep altitudes.
No matter what tent you decide to bring, IMO tarps are a must for an Alaskan hunt.
Good tarps only. If I was to go again, there would be no less than 3 coming along.
Spent 12 days in the brooks in 2015! You can count on wind and wind and some kind of rain- sleet- snow! We took a 6 man cabelas tent and a 6 man teepee! We sleep in the tent and cooked and keep gear in the teepee! The ground is very wet ! I would take a tent with a floor for sleeping! If you are by a lake or river there will be some wood for a small fire ! I did a thread on here called Living on Tundra time! It will give you a good idea of what you are up for! Enjoy it truly is a trip of a lifetime!! Can't wait to go back! Hunt
I second (or third) the recommendation for a tipi. I took a Kifaru 8 man to Alaska for a 10 day moose hunt. It was awesome.
I would also take the stove.
If you find a river, look for driftwood or wood cut by beavers. That is the best wood. I would find it in the morning an stack it up. It dried pretty quickly on the nice days.
And even the little bushs have some thicker branches. if you look, you'll find some.
If you have any extra weight, you can bring one of the fireplace logs. They burn a long time and might be good for an emergency means of drying/warming.
So jealous. Have a great hunt. Went there with Pat in 1989 and it was a fantastic trip.
Jealous here also! Spent many years hunting caribou in Qc and NWT. When scouting empty camps for my employer in Qc always took two tarps, sterno, and lightweight bag. From 1987 to 2010, stayed out twice. was dry and comfy. My guide many times was Henri Bovaine (sp)...he worked for George River/Norpaq. He could sense the coming of the caribou....boil water for tea at lunch...fry you the best shore lunch in pouring rain. You will enjoy your adventure on the tundra!
Thanks for all of the input! Sounds like we should hopefully be ok with the tipi, and possibly some ground tarps...
WV Mountaineer - thanks for the generous offer! I have an oware tarp that I'll bring along, but I really do appreciate it.
I've got lots of apprehension about all of the logistics of the hunt, but I've always wanted to see bou on the tundra, so hopefully we'll get a chance to at least see some animals.
No need to be apprehensive, Caribou hunting is just a glorified camping trip with a little skinning , packing , and backstrap cooking thrown in. Enjoy it and leave your worries behind !!
I think I'm going with a Hilleberg.
We took a Cabela's 4 man to the South Slope last year. As soon as we got home, I got a Seek Outside Redcliff with the stove for this trip. Being able to stand up and heat the tent is wonderful. Also took a Kelty 12x12 tarp. Very lightweight. I suggest a -20 bag. It can get really cold. A zero bag would probably do it but I even got cold in my -20 on night but I do admit my socks were a tad damp.
Hilleberg is a smart choice for Alaska! I've used and abused mine on quite a few Alaska trips and never been disappointed. I'd likely go with at least a 3 man with large vestibule. I've never been a fan of stoves that burn wood or whatever. It's just one more thing to have to gather wood and....you and all your gear end up smelling like a smokestack! If you have enough weight savings you could bring along a 2nd tent or a tarp for more storage. If you see caribou hanging out a long ways from camp you can use the smaller tent for short overnighters and you can return to your other tent. Keep bears in mind..possibly look into electric fence!
My recommendation changes depends on where/how you will be hunting. Flying in high in a cub and planning to stay mobile? Flying lower and planning on a steady base camp?
I own 2 Hilleberg tents and 2 of the cabelas 6 man tents. For a caribou hunt, I'd never even consider taking a mountaineering tent.
The cabelas 6 man tents work really well for 2 guys and gear. There is enough room to set up the stove on top of a "tote" in between sleeping areas. This is nice for making dinner and coffee, since it's usually really windy.
I always take along some Walmart air mattresses and a portable pump. They don't weigh or cost much, and they are a really nice luxury. Be sure to take a thermarest as insurance though, since they can and will pop!
Caribou hunting is a blast. There is really not much to it other than staying outside of the tent so you'll SEE them when they walk by. I used to trek far and wide chasing them, and often wound up running TOWARDS my camp/airstrip to shoot a bull.
I think the plan is to fly into the foothills/low in the range in a cub with a very light base camp, with the possibility of spiking out if necessary to better reach game.
"I own 2 Hilleberg tents and 2 of the cabelas 6 man tents. For a caribou hunt, I'd never even consider taking a mountaineering tent. The cabelas 6 man tents work really well for 2 guys and gear."
What kind of weight limit did you have with your transporter? The Cabela's 6 man weighs 32 lbs. Two Hilleberg Nallo 3 GT's weigh less than 14 lbs. total
Seek outside makes bomb proof light shelters. Mine weighs 5 lbs worth the sxl stove. Awesome shelters.
Honestly Pat , never gave the floor much thought. On the tent above there was no floor and we didn't add one. My North Face VE-24 has a floor but it never occurred to me that I should cut it out . I really only prefer a floor if there is deep snow that cant be scraped away. Prefer no floor with a little stove . My tent priorities are durability , protection from the elements , space , condensation and bug protection. Floor not so much.