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Backyard Snowtrekker Lessons

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  • Backyard Snowtrekker Lessons

    Back in June, I purchased a Snowtrekker tent (and other items) from a forum member. The weather for the rest of this year promises to be crisp and dry so I'm taking advantage of the time to familiarize myself with set up and take down processes. It's all happening in my backyard so I'm creating this separate thread to document the steps. None of this is new or ground-breaking for seasoned souls of the Snowtrekker clan, but it may be useful for a new owner. Caveat: I did not consult other sources (Youtube or the even Snowtrekker site) to come up with these processes other than two set-up sessions with friends this fall. Mistakes will be made, I'm sure, but don't be bashful - let me know! I learn it right because I learn it twice (or more).
    Last edited by SD_Motak; 12-18-2021, 09:14 PM.

  • #2
    My backyard can be soggy soft at times, so the first task was to create a pad for ease of site preparations.

    I raked one of the few flat areas in my yard and oriented everything so that the north (northwest) winds would assail the back of the future tent set up. Next I laid down some weed barrier and then 3-4 inches of fine chips.

    Then it was time for the ground tarp.


    • #3
      Next, we took a few minutes to practice folding and unfolding the Snowtrekker so that it would fit in its canvas bag. The following pics are the burrito unfolding (kinda like an unboxing event without the typical verbosity):

      The end result (or the beginning) -

      Snowtrekker burrito (folded in three-thirds) -

      Snowtrekker burrito (folded in two-thirds) -

      Snowtrekker burrito (ready to fold in one-third) -


      • #4
        Prior to the burrito fold, we laid out the tent (seen in pic) and then draped the tent peak to one side to help organize that fabric (not seen - maybe next time).

        Then we folded the front and back panels towards the center...
 well as the shortwall sections of the tent (in towards the center) so that we were left with a rectangle to burrito fold (see pic in post just above).

        Gonna call it a night, but coming up tomorrow will be pics of frame assembly, draping the tent, and staking out guylines.
        Last edited by SD_Motak; 12-18-2021, 09:08 PM. Reason: Added final comment.


        • #5
          Frame assembly is very straight-forward. No instructions needed.

          All done...
          Last edited by SD_Motak; 12-19-2021, 07:41 AM.


          • #6
            Draping and Staking. Goes quickly with two people. I used 15 stakes, but a complete stake-out is 22 stakes - not counting the rain/snow fly which will be raised later.

            Insert side poles and attach guylines:

            Set stakes and add tension:


            • #7
              Time for the woodstove assembly (Kni-Co Alaskan).
              Stove bag filled with the goods:

              The unboxing:


              Interior view - something's not quite right...

              Interior view - that's better...

              I have a method in mind for securing the exterior stovepipe that I'll post later.


              • #8
                Very good. We usually turn the snow flaps inside the tent when there is no snow and put the groundsheet on top of the flaps.
                You'll need to practice getting the pipe more vertical, both to get a better draw and to prevent wind from blowing back down the pipe.


                • #9
                  Yeah, I noticed that when looking at Bjorkman's pics he posted recently in Trip Reports. Thanks for verifying. There's lots of little things that make set up easier, better, faster. Practice, practice!


                  • #10
                    you need a bipod to support that pipe! all that weight will eventually stretch the fabric and strain the seams, plus any wind hitting the tent may cause it to buffet enough to separate the joints. Ideally the pipe should be able to float freely in the jack. I also run my pipe more vertical to prevent blowback and to have a better draw. A simple bipod wired to the pipe allows you to run another elbow to turn the stack more vertical, and starting at the stove with a short piece is now possible because you now have the option to run the elbows on a tighter reciprocal angle, which in turn allows you to move the damper to the short straight section, making it easier to access without having to reach around the stove and potentially burning yourself.
                    As for the learning part, I've been winter camping for 60 years, once spending 300 nights in a single year under canvas, and I'm still learning....


                    • #11
                      Nice tent. Scout is right, you need a bipod or some other support for that stove pipe. Looks good!


                      • #12
                        Setting up a Snotrekker by yourself can be a little difficult. I recommend using a long piece of para cord to cinch the 2 aluminum pole connectors into the ridge pole so they will not continuously fall out every time you take your eyes off them. Then that piece of cord becomes a great place to hang odds and ends for drying at night. There is a video somewhere on YouTube of this technique. Also I think it was mentioned on this forum or the old forum.... spray paint the connectors orange!


                        • #13
                          Both of your tips are very welcome. I was thinking about some kind of cup to put the bottom of the frame legs in so that they wouldn't wander, but your tip is much more doable. The Snowtrekker Short Wall is a good size for attempting to set up solo, but I was struggling with the frame while hoisting the tent over. Painting the connectors is a great idea. I dropped one in the snow this weekend and now I understand the issue.


                          • #14
                            I think the latest generation of connectors are made from the same orange plastic as the guy line clips.
                            We insert the lower ends of the poles into the the corner pockets before heaving the canopy over the frame, usually from one end.


                            • #15
                              Thanks to info shared in this thread, I was able to set up the Snowtrekker short wall (3-man) alone today. 1) I used a length of micro cord to tie the aluminum ridge pole connectors so they wouldn't fall out when wrestling canvas over the frame and (2), I laid the tent inside out at the back of the frame, inserted the back frame legs into their corner cups and then brought the whole tent over the frame from the backside to the front. Everything stayed together.