All Weather Shelter for Field Communications

Although we’re barely passed mid-summer @ 65°N, it’s definitely not too early to start thinking and planning for the impending bad weather, which comes around and kicks my butt for six to eight months out of the year.

Just a brief recap

Looking back at the April radar challenge video I posted several months ago, there was a few bad words, tough lessons, and minor frostbite to help remember the occasion. In the video I made about the event I spoke about the need for putting together an All Weather Field Station, to protect me from the elements. Here is that video.

Current shelter system

Currently I’m using a one-man tactical shelter. It’s waterproof, it’s pretty tough, and it has enough ventilation to prevent condensation. This is a tent for someone who was on a tight budget,  looking for something cool, not necessarily  something realistic. Moreover, this tent is a beast to carry, isn’t heater compatible, and I can’t operate my equipment inside the tent. It has served me well on several excursions above the Arctic Circle, in pouring rain, but it certainly isn’t the right solution. 

Most people seem to like this tent because it looks Tactical! To be completely honest with you, that’s exactly why I purchased the tent in the first place. Having that military background I’m used to things that look, guerrilla, military or tacti-cool, But that type of equipment is not going to keep me warm, or Alive at 65° North. That’s why I decided after the April 2017 RaDAR Challenge, to start plannin and researching for a properly designed, Scandinavian made, tipi tent, for my extended field communications needs.

All WX Shelter

Recently I discovered a company in Norway, who understands the difficulties of man portable expeditions above the Arctic Circle. It’s a small company with a very good attitude, who also seems eager to help find the right combination of portability and comfort, for myself or any man portable field operator. That company is NorTent.

NorTent makes a tipi tent called the NorTent Tipi 6. The NorTent Tipi 6 is a very flexible, all-season tipi tent, compatible with wood burning stoves. It’s an ultralight tent developed for space, comfort, reliability, and portability.

This tent is made of robust lightweight fabric called silnylon. The cost might be a tough sell for the budget minded, but not having a lot of disposable cash, I want to make this investment, with the right system, just once. This is going to give me a lightweight tent, that will withstand most of extreme winter weather we find here at 65° North. Moreover, I’ll be able to Operate All year around, Regardless of the extreme weather,Without doing any more irreparable damage to my body.

I’m still learning, and the company seems eager to answer my questions, so I’ll update this blog as I get more information, and closer to bringing it home.

Why a tipi tent?

I think for Rapid deployment, emergency communications, and/or preparedness, the tipitent is the best solution, for the communications enabled field operator. Never mind being easy to erect, there are a few other reasons this shelter fits my emcomm, field and preparedness goals.

  • Firstly there’s enough room to make the tent my home away from home, Even in our sometimes harsh wx.
  • There’s enough space for a Sleep System, Hesting/Cooking System, and Communications gear respectively.
  • The tipi is nearly 7x larger than my current shelter system, but less than half the weight.
  • The tipi is also wood stove compatible.

I’m definitely going to stay on this path to the all weather amateur radio field station. I hope you all stick around to see how it all turns out.

If you’re interested in the Comms Gear, take a look at Portable Solar Powered Go Kit for Ham Radio

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