Contributors to this thread:
I am in need of a new shelter, and am tempted to go floorless. This fall I am hunting the New Mexico wilderness, and next fall have a NWT sheep hunt planned...I like the idea of having a bit more room, and the ability to add a stove at a later date. Not knowing much about floorless shelters I have been looking at the KUIU Summit Refuge or perhaps one of the Kifaru shelters. I would like the ability to sleep two guys in the shelter. Any words of wisdom?
I've done floorless the last few years, probably 30 nights or so now. I love it and have found very few down sides on typical archery season western hunts, no experience with NWT. Never used a stove but considering adding a compatible shelter (SO Redcliff) for later hunts with extra people.
I love being able to come inside with my boots on and think floorless actually keeps things much dryer and cleaner than floored. Floored tents always end up being soggy, muddy messes for me after several days. I have a very light Ti-Goat bivy I keep my bag in so it stays clean. I've spent several nights in NE and WY grasslands with no snake or creepy crawler issues beyond the occasional spyder.
Biggest downside I've found is setting up after or during a rain storm and dealing with the wet ground.
Biggest upside is not leaving the tent to piss at 2am!
If there are bugs, spiders, snakes, mice, ticks, scorpions, wind or rain involved, then forget floorless. I don't know anything about NM, but in northern Canada, I'd never go floorless in a small shelter. Wall tent or big tipi with a stove, yes, but then a floor gets put down, the mouse traps put out. And there is no weight savings if you have to carry Tyvek, tarp or other ground covering that somehow "weighs nothing" because it's not attached. A sealed tub is your best bet.
I’ve been using Kifaru shelters for years. Awesome shelters I really enjoy floorless
Once I went floorless it is really hard to go back to floored tents.
I'm in NM and will be hunting wilderness with my 16yr son and one other buddy this yr as well. I've looked into them quite a bit. I've decided on the seek outside 8person tipi. Total weight with XL stove, and half liner is 12.5 lbs. I'm upgrading to the Carbon pole which will reduce 11 ounces for a total weight of 11lbs 10 ounces. Thier 8 person has a 16' diameter floor print. The kifaru 8 person with stove was around 14.5 lbs. Thier stove is where the majority weight difference is. I run a kifaru pack and thier products are top notch. The one thing I recommend is getting a wall liner or at least half liner. If you hunt in areas where condensation will be high they keep it from dripping on you and shed it to edge of the shelter. If it's just two of you then you could definitely go with a smaller option obviously. Lots of options but from my research seek outside or kifaru seems the way to go, but they do cost a bit more than other companies. Good luck..
Only two names in floorless worth looking at in Hunting brands. Seekout side and Kifaru.
Russel and I are taking a sawtooth to alaska this year for our hunt.
I have used floorless for years in Colorado, Wyoming, and Alaska. I will never go back. The stove option is amazing and we use it every year. I have an 8 man seek outside for 3 guys and a trusty BCS2 for backpack hunts.
I have nothing to add, except those are some super cool camp chairs, Danny!
I live in NM and switched to floorless. Seek Outside Eolus. Even with a tyvek ground cloth it's lighter than any decent floored tent in the same price range. Takes five minutes to set up.
Spent Saturday night 8pm to 7am with pretty much constant hail and rain. Had no water issues except my buddy left a section of his tyvek out and got a little wet. Under the tarp everything stayed dry.
Takes a little more campsite finding time, but it's worth it. You can choose to not set up on anthills, or tick grass.
Not sure if I'd use it in a lower desert environment.
I'd look at kifaru and seek outside.
Seek outside shelters you can also buy a nest for, so you can turn them into a floored tent if you wanted.
I have a wall tent which is floorless. I was going to take it camping this weekend but the girlfriend wanted to take the Coleman. I gave in and boy I’m glad I did. The mosquitos were trying to carry us away and I can only imagine how bad the mosquitos would have been in that wall tent! Something to think about.
Depends. Small tents... floors for me. Too many bugs and critters to deal with in most cases. If you've had centipede bites or scorpion stings.... much less a mouse in your face at 2am... floors all the way for me. In a small tent you're crawling into the tent anyway, not walking around in it. I don't care to crawl around in the dirt.
A walk in tent I can see floorless being awesome on a stick...... if I have a cot getting me off the ground. =D
If you aren't sure, there are plenty of models that have a "tub" as an option. Get it without a floor and add one later after you shake that snake out of your bag, hopefully before you crawl in it... =D
I have the seek outside 6 man and titanium stove. The 6 man is perfect for 2 people, gear, stove and a decent wood pile. I like floorless for the reasons mentioned above, no need to take boots off, clean up debris when packing, etc. In buggy or rodent areas you can setup a nest for your sleeping area. I especially like the stove in the cold. I set my sleeping bag such that in the morning I can light a fire out of my bag and snooze for 30 minutes while the tipi heats up.
I've slept in floorless twice...both times other's tipis. Honestly I fail to see the appeal. They are lighter...because you don't have a floor, insect mesh, etc. So the only reason they can be lighter is lack of appurtenances.
Many, including my friends say "I love not having to take off my boots to go into the tent". Um...yeah...that's because you're marching around in the filth INSIDE YOUR TENT!
One campsite was dry as a bone and sandy. The wind blew dust and sand over EVERYTHING. Sleeping bag was gritty. Clothes were gritty. But hey, I could wear my boots LOL.
The other campsite had 6" wet, heavy snow on the ground and after sweeping it away the ground was damp and a little muddy. We had to put down plastic to lay sleeping pads/bags on. Anything that slipped off the plastic got dirty and/or damp. The good thing was I could wear my boots LOL. But then again I had to...because walking in socks would have resulted in wet, muddy feet.
I just don't see the allure to floorless. Maybe in a perfect scenario where there are no bugs, nice grassy or pine needle dry area as a floor, no drainage issues when the inevitable rain comes, etc.
And as far as a stove, it doesn't really bother me to camp in the cold. Plus there are stove options with a tent if you really need one.
Also in both cases the inside of the tipi had so much condensation the stove was nearly mandatory to dry it out, whereas a tent with fly separated by ventilated air space, condensation can be kept to a minimum. I'll admit perhaps the setup of the tipis in both cases could have been better to help with ventilation, but still I was surprised how much water dripped down the insides of the tipis in both dry and wet camping conditions.
Finally, "usable" floor space is drastically reduced in a tipi. Even in rather large models the only place I could stand up was in a relatively small footprint near the pole.
To each their own, but tipis don't seem to be the ultimate camping setup to me. I'll stick with tents of various sizes, depending on conditions.
you can see the mosquito net door in this pic, good ventilation when not raining.
you can see the mosquito net door in this pic, good ventilation when not raining.
I have a Kifaru Sawtooth and use it in NM all the time, after 4 years I have no wants to use my Big Agnes tent. One thing to remember is that when it rains in NM the water doesn't just soak into the ground, it moves around on top first so set it up for proper drainage and your'e good to go. Definitely get a liner because if it's raining outside the condensation will be raining down inside, especially when the wind is shaking the tipi. Bugs and critters can definitely get in if they want to although I do use the mosquito net door which does help with the flying bugs but yea I have had some Black Widows and other crazy looking spiders infiltrate my castle, even with the cons I still don't want to take my Big Agnes.
Edit after reading Smarbas post; LOL the good thing is that I can wear my boots inside.........
Another option is "get both".
I have a Hilleberg Unna. It has a removable inner tent you can use for the full enclosed tent experience, floor, bug protection, etc. Or remove the inner, save weight, increase space, and recieve all the other benefits that the floorless master race enjoys ;-)
I've used it with the inner 3 or 4 nights maybe and only when truck camping. I really prefer floorless but it is nice to have the option. It's a bombproof tent with or without the inner and free standing which makes suitable camp locations easier to find. Only downside with the Unna is no stove option.
As with all camps, the more you use one the better you get at it so becoming proficient in what you want be it a tipi or a tent takes some evolution. A two person Big Agnes with a tarp porch system is what I used prior to the tipi and it was a great setup but sitting under a tarp and living in a little tent in bad weather has it's issues. I've done both camps quite a bit and feel there are plenty of pros and cons for both, choose wisely!
Here is what we are using in Alaska this year. Kifaru Sawtooth
Mike, I am another big fan of floorless tents. The primary advantage for me is the weight or lack of weight actually. Fly in hunts or backpack hunts is when they really shine. I strongly suggest getting the liner for any you purchase. Personally, I have two Seek Outside Teepees. One is a 4 man and the other is the Redcliff. I have liners and stoves for both of them. The 4 man is pretty small even for two people and some gear. The Redcliff fits the bill pretty well for two guys but if I had to do it all over again, I would get the six man for two guys. I have used these in Alaska and will be taking them back next year. You do have to be aware of where you set it up but we should have all learned that lesson back in Boy Scouts or the Army. I have stayed in a traditional 2 man tent with a floor in AK and the entire tub was filled with sand. Got a heck of a lot more sand in my bag with a floored tent than I did with a floorless tent.
I live in Texas and would NOT suggest these style tents where rattlebugs may consider your tent to be a nice place to spend the night with you. In southern climates, I prefer more traditional floored tents with bug screens.
I have personally never found a one size fits all tent for my purposes.
Used the sawtooth in freezing snow with stove. It was the best setup ever. Kicked the snow away and the stove would dry up floor pretty quickly. Leaving boots on is a big perk. Just don’t kick everything around an put sleeping setup on small tyvek piece. Really nice to dry out clothes when you have a stove. Being able to fire the stove up, have coffee and put on gear and boots in a cozy tent makes it easier to get going on those cold early mornings.
Also used it in AK on an 9 day hunt That didn’t stop raining. Our pilot thought we were crazy when I told him I had a floorless tipi going in. First thing he asked when he landed to pick us up was “how was that tipi?” He couldn’t believe it when we told him how great it was. All four of us could sit comfortably in it and play card through the major rain. Definitely want a liner. Setting up with good drainage is common sense. Don’t pitch any tent in a low point. We were eating blueberries from our sleeping bags!
I've been using floorless in Colorado last several years during archery elk season never had a bug or vermin problem! As long as you don't set them up in a low point they are absolutely no problem in an extended precip event and wind is no problem either! Get one with a liner and get the stove as soon as possible, the liner and the stove are game changers! But I'm not sure I'd do one in the NWT, that's a whole other ball game from what I've deduced! If you want to do 2 guys and a stove, go with the Kifaru Sawtooth! Other 2 man tents with stove have to stove right between the 2 guys and it's too close to the sleeping bags for my comfort!