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The tent dreams are made of

Joel Stonington

Last week, I went with two friends to attempt to summit Snowmass Mountain (14,092 feet). Unfortunately, we called it quits after visibility got crappy and the high winds picked up. But even making the summit wouldn’t have been the story of the trip.The big sweetness was the tent. Instead of a little three-person backpacking setup, we went for a tent my buddy Will discovered while out in Utah.It’s a large, center-pole tent with a wood-burning stove in the middle. The stove is just a rectangular box that packs down easily, and the tent is no more than a large, light tarp. The chimney is extendable and also fits into a pack quite nicely.Thus, winter camping was completely changed. Instead of stuffing ourselves into a tiny tent and cooking in the vestibule, we sat on our pads, fed the stove and cooked a nice meal on the stove.On Wednesday night, after a 10-mile skin up West Snowmass Creek, we were able to chill out, telling stories and laughing in a tent large enough to stand up in. The difficulties were that the tent got a bit smoky at times and it took a while to put it up. So it wasn’t ideal for a one-nighter, but it would be amazing for a multinight trip of, say, backcountry skiing where a base camp is needed. For all intents and purposes, it’s like owning a moveable hut. Next time we’ll be bringing a disco ball.


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