Shelter at altitude and in the winter is one of the most important things you can bring with you to keep the trip enjoyable and there is the whole staying alive thing too. One of the great things about being in SoCal is we are close to a lot of amazing destinations and new experiences, this winter many of us will step out of our comfort zones and into winter camping in the mountains. This week we will be discussing four season tents and specifically the one I use the Mountain Hardware Hunker Military Tent.
So what is a four season tent? Well it could be better described as the one season you don’t use your three season tent but that doesn’t fit to well on packaging so they went with “four season”, ha-ha. In all seriousness a four season tent is often a heavier duty tent that will provide shelter for heavy winds and snow loads. They often have extra poles to increase their rigidity and heavier materials; winter camping in the mountains is not an ultralight sport. With the heavy materials rain flys are not necessary on many designs and but will have added vestibules to keep gear and to cook and eat.
With many of these tents proper ventilation is also important so that condensation does not end up soaking you and freezing. While ventilation is there avoid cooking in your tent that oxygen is meant for you and not your stove. My tent the Mountain Hardware Hunker Military Tent is a great option for me since it is a one and half person tent it leaves me just enough room to sleep and store some gear at my petite 6’3” 260 lbs.
This tent does pack down relatively small and has a low profile against the wind and rigidity against snow fall.
My Thermarest Neoair Large XTherm takes up almost the entirety of the floor providing great coverage and insulation as I move around a lot while I sleep. With a good sleeping bag these three things make for a very comfortable sleep system.
Another great feature of this tent is aside from the ventilation there are two doors providing significant cross ventilation for good weather and added views.
One thing I will do while I am awake is run a small UCO candle lantern in the tent. This is great for some light, reduced condensation and a little moral.
Another important accessory to bring is a ground cloth. Snow is abrasive and will wear down your tents floor over time. I use a Grabber All Weather Blanket, these things have a ton of uses and are totally worth it.
A feature I really like about this tent is if your friends have one you can also attack the vestibule with another Hunker for a little added shelter and a great staging spot.
Currently though there is a limited supply left and they are only available at SKD Tactical, I think for the quality and price well worth it for solo sleeping (although you can stick a second person in a pinch.
Specs from SKD
Capacity: 1 Person
Category: 4-Season Expedition
Minimum Weight: 4 lbs. 15 oz.
Stuffed Size: 23" x 7"
Floor Dimensions: 91.5" x 48"
Peak Interior Height: 28.5"
Floor Area: 24 ft sq
Vestibule Area: 15 ft sq
I believe for many people the cost and how often they go into these environments might seem prohibitive and might cause them to think “I can get away with my usual tent”. Don’t do this at a minimum go out and rent or borrow a good four season tent, trust me you are worth it. If like us you find yourself going out into this kind of stuff a few times a year make the investment, I personally invested in the Hunker and have not regretted it.
We hope you enjoyed this article and got a little info out of it. This is shaping up to be another awesome snow season and we hope you have a great time and stay safe. We look forward to running into you on the trail Getting The Fox Out There!