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bk_MN_iceman

Ice Sleeping Question

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A group of friends are heading up to eelpout festival this year again and we have more people signed up to come than we have room to sleep people in the ice castle. Here enters a problem.

We were looking to bring up a 30' army tent with a wood stove & blower running of the generator but I'm not sure how warm that will stay in regards to sleeping conditions.

Does anyone have experience with these types of tents at all in the winter?

We were hoping to drill holes to give us enough room for all 6 to fish during the day/night and keep it comfortable to sleep in for a few of us.

Thoughts or concerns in doing this at all?

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2 years ago there where 2 guys in a army tent on 16 mile reef on LOTW for 3 days. I didnt talk to them but seems doable.

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As long as you have a cot off the ice and -40 degree bag or more, you will be fine. I have slept in a 8X8 canvas portable with NO heat. We had to turn them off when we went to sleep and I didn't get cold at all. (That was about 15 years ago before the good heaters came out and we used sunflowers)

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I have slept in my 949FatfishInsulated quite a few times. This is my set up -I have a foam pad(like for under a treadmill)on the ice. I set up my cot-lay a piece of reflectix and blow up air pad on the cot with my arctic sleeping bag(-50). I have a small table with a battery CO2 meter attached. I heat with a Buddy heater(I always leave the vents open and the door zippers open a couple inches. I have a small 12v fan to circulate the air. LED lights and lanterns. I have never been cold even in weather down to -15. I bank the house and secure it with bungies.

** the CO2 meter is the most important piece **

Good luck and be safe.

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Leave a vent open not only to keep fresh air in but let moisture out. If you have 4 guys in a tent overnight, you are going to wake up to condensation issues. I slept in my clam 4000T a couple times. The first time I left all vents closed (no heater running) and woke up with a lot of frost on my ceiling. When I turned the heater on, it was instant rain.

I put a tarp down, then put those interlocking foam mats on top of that. Then I have a sleeping pad and my 0F bag. I keep a liner on hand in case it gets real cold. The first time I used it in 1F and it got too hot. So I'll only be using that if below 0F.

One thing I'm always scared of is accidentally knocking something down a hole in my sleep. I cover them all at night, just in case.

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1. CO2 detector for sure

2. may be worth the effort to set it up this weekend at home and see what happens. Obviously you'd have to change things a bit based on comparative weather but heck it would be like "practice" Eelpout festival. (Don't drill holes in your yard though)

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We use an army tent at eelpout for years with good success. Slept 4-8 comfortably and wood stove kept comfy. You'll find the ground will get rather wet with the snow melting, so we'd bring along a few wooden pallets to put on floor to keep feet/things dry. We use to bring a few reclining chairs also for sleeping on also, which is a nice option if you've had to much to drink. Taz

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Awesome suggestions guys! I was thinking maybe we'd tarp off a section of the tent for the sleeping area to help keep heat in that area. We will likely have a buddy heater or 2 for backup but banking on the woodstove.

We want to do a dry run if time allows. Cots, warm sleeping bags and something to lay on the ice are all good ideas.

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Put something between you and the cot (besides your bag) or it will suck the warmth out of you all night.

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Spent several years there sleeping in a 16 x 32. We put down wood pallet tops for a floor and ran plastic sheeting draped under the poles for an air space/insulating layer for the walls and roof. This made a huge differance. Slept up to 16 guys in it and you could live in shirtsleeves and light boots in it.

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Good idea with the plastic, I'll bet that makes a difference. We also are planning to block off an area of the tent for sleeping quarters to keep the heat in better. That plastic should work well for that. Thanks!

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I'll second (or third) the importance of having PLENTY of insulation underneath you. Don't short yourself there...a zero-degree bag isn't worth much when all of that insulation underneath you gets compressed and/or pushed out from under you.

And good idea about using a Buddy Heater--as far as I know, they have an automatic shut-off if O2 levels get too low. I've heard some bad stories about guys sleeping on the ice/in the BWCA using sunflowers heaters. frown

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Sunflowers and the nibco will not be used for sleeping. If the wood stove isn't enough, we have a couple backup buddy heaters which are much safer.

Also we will keep the tent vented as best as possible as well.

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I can't imagine the wood stove wouldn't put out enough heat to keep you comfy. I haven't spent the night in one on a lake, but I've spend plenty of nights in wall tents hunting in Montana during November. I'd also recommend using an insulated sleeping pad between the cot and your bag. Bring the warmest bag you've got, but I have stayed warm in a 20 degree down bag with a sleeping bag liner and wearing long johns. Someone has to stoke up the fire every now and then and you should stay warm. Wear a stocking cap to bed and warm socks. Easier to shed clothes if you are too warm than it is to add layers and try to warm up once you're cold.

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I've slept on the ice as well in a clam command post.

Remnant carpet can be had for free and does a really nice job at keeping the cold draft of the ice away. We used this elk hunting on top of the plastic tarps on the ground. I would probably run a couple strips down the middle of the tent where you don't have holes drilled for fishing. Especially have something below the wood burning stoves to stop the melting of the ice. I think a lot of that radiant heat is wasted in that scenario.

I've just started playing with the reflectix stuff. In my boots it is amazing and I think it would be great on the cot especially if you don't have a thicker thermarest or equivalent sleeping pad.

How are you going to anchor the lines on the tent? Ice anchors?

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I use a piece of carpet pad in my portable, makes a world of difference.

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Winter camped many times in an Army tent and wood stove.

The wood stove will need to be fed in the middle of the night smile and chances are it'll take more then just adding a few logs, as in starting a fire again. You can designate the guy that has to get up 3 times in the middle of the night to take a leak as the fire tender but history has shown that never works and that guy gets a ribbing all day long about the cold tent. A fan, hehe sure if you want to add wind chill factor to a cold tent go for it. Turn the fan and generator off at night.

For that reason plan on winter bags. A cot for sure and as said a closed cell foam pad.

A comfortable sleeping hat, one that won't make your hair hurt.

The cots and gear will take more room then you might think.

If you drill holes you better be sure your not going to slush up your home.

Then think about how your going to seal the bottom of the tent. If there is slush you don't want your tent freezing in. I'd test drill a hole and see what happens.

If you get water coming up you might end up packing the area with snow and letting that freeze up before you set up the tent. Use lag screws with fender washers to anchor tent and ropes. Anchor the ground cloth(tarp)to the ice or else it'll be shifting the whole weekend. If the tent has a liner use it. A heat shield under the wood stove to keep it from melting the snow and ice and making a mess.

I've seen objects to a perfect Greg Louganis dive into holes and the only way to stop them is plywood scraps to cover the holes when your not fishing.

Setting up the tent and camp is something we plan on taking up a lot of time but its part of the fun.

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So we got the tent and wood stove out of storage. I think the wood stove is overkill for what we need and brings up a fire hazard concern.

Having second thoughts at this point but also an enclosed trailer may have become available for us to use. It is un-insulated.

Anyone slept in one of these before? We thought about running a generator and an electric heater with big buddy for backup. Tarping off the back door, windows and roof vents. I think we could get it pretty toasty in there.

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