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Arctic Oven Tent

Used for 2002 Serum Run and will be used again for 2005

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Arctic Oven Tent

Stove

Selection

Pros

Cons

Resources

Field Notes

Back to 2002 Gear Page

Back to 2005 Gear Page

 

Arctic Oven Tent

The Arctic Oven has long been the gold standard in winter and Arctic Camping in Alaska.  This tent is made in Alaska by Alaska Tent & Tarp, and comes in a variety of sizes.  The Arctic Oven is made to accommodate a stove for warm winter camping.  It has been tested and improved over the years and remains the ideal tent for winter travel and base camps.  This is not a backpacking tent.

I purchased the 10 Foot Arctic Oven, which weights approx. 40lbs and sells for $1175.00.   (Pictured above)

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Stove

I purchased the smallest front loading stove Alaska Tent & Tarp sells, which is more than adequate for heating the 10ft Arctic Oven in sub zero weather.  You must or should purchase  the stove pipe, stove pipe damper & damper sleeve, and spark arrestor, as separate items.  The Stove sells for $85, the total being $133.00 complete with stove pipe and parts.  The Stove measures 9.5"x9"x12" and weights approx 6.75lbs.  The stove is manufactured by Kni-Co MFG out of Willowa, Oregan www.kni-co.com

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Selection

In researching tents for the Serum Run I found multiple sources tout the Arctic Oven as the ultimate winter shelter.  In my selection weight was not a major concern.  I wanted a tent that could be set up quickly in harsh conditions and could be heated, and can withstand severe winter storms.

Since I plan to use the tent for years to come, I also wanted to insure that it would be big enough for at least two people to spend long cold nights in comfort, with room to dry out gear and move around.  Since winter nights are long, I want to be able to lounge in the tent in comfort instead of cramped and in a sleeping bag.   I decided  the 10 foot Arctic Oven should  allow plenty of room for everything plus the heat stove.    

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Pros

Field Tested and Proven in Arctic conditions
Made to set up quick even with gloves or mittens
All components are heavy duty arctic grade materials
Made in Alaska, so any repairs or problems can be dealt with locally
Roomy - Umbrella type design allows plenty of head and foot room
Heat Stove equipped
Warm and comfortable for 2!  Like having your own portable cabin. 

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Cons

Weight: At about 40lbs for the 10 foot tent it is not a backpacking tent
Cost: The 10 foot tent sells for $1175.00 plus stove

Risk of suffocation: This is a very well sealed tent.  You must insure that the air vents are not blocked.

Pole Condensation:  The poles are inside the outer tent where moisture collects.  The joints of the poles are nice and snug, however moisture does collect between the joint and will freeze, making separation of the poles difficult.  I found heating the joints with the wood stove (removed from the tent), made separation easier. 

Spark Arrestor will Clog:  After 4-6 hours you may start getting smoke backing up into the tent.  If so, you need to go outside and knock the build up off the spark arrestor.  

 

Field Notes

Picking up my Arctic Oven Tent I found it nicely rolled up in a very large heavy duty stuff type page. The bag is about chest high on me, more then enough room to pack 2 plus 10 foot Arctic Ovens in.   The poles and stakes come in smaller separate bags.  A bottle of Seam Sealant was included, and it is suggested that you seal any floor seams prior to use, which is a simple process.

The stove is small, light and simple, yet sturdy.  The stove pipes nest for transport, but they do not fit inside of the stove.  Include is a damper section of stove pipe and spark arrestor.  

The tent and stove together make a fairly large and heavy bundle.  However it can be packed separately, the inner tent, outer tent, and stove, making no one package to large or heavy.  

Click on the images for larger view

ArcticOvenfolded.jpg (43124 bytes)

This is (Top to bottom), the inner tent, outer tent, poles, then stakes, with a 12" ruler in for scale.

After sealing the floor seams, I attempted my first set up of the tent.  With the temperature hovering at about +5 F, it was a simple process, and was up and ready for the stove in less 20 minutes, while wearing heavy gloves.  That includes taking a few digital photos along the way.  This was a  one person set it up.

I could see where one person might have difficulty in high winds, but I think two people could set it up even faster, even in windy conditions.  

The poles are a nice sturdy aluminum that are shock corded,  making assembly quick and easy.

 

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The Inner Tent

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A canvas cloth was included for laying under the stove to avoid damage from ash or sparks.  Installing the stove was just a matter of setting it inside, pushing the stove pipe through the provided stove jack, and slipping on the spark arrestor.  (It is best to burn a fire in the stove outside before using the stove to burn off the production oils that remain. Which I did.) 

Later that night, armed with a small cardboard box and some news paper, I zipped myself in the tent with the temperature at about -2 F.  I burned a few pages of newspaper and through the small box in (a video shipping box), and was able to dampen down the air intake and stove pipe to adjust the burning as desired.  Within minutes it was warm enough to be comfortable without a jacket.  

The white interior of the tent make it much easier to see and illuminate.  With the air intake on the stove open you can see well enough to move around the tent and find shoes or gloves  just from the light of the flame in the stove.  

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Strong Connections

 

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The Arctic Oven was wonderful on the 2002 Serum Run!  Our first night of camping it was at least -20F.  My musher, Dave Talbert, and I lounged comfortable in our polypro underwear before we crawled into  the sleeping bags.  We let the fire in the heat stove die at night, so it did get cold in the tent.  Upon waking up, I slipped an arm out of the sleeping bag to light the stove.  Ten minutes later we were up, out of our sleeping bags, (still in our polypro underwear), and stuffing our sleeping bags into their stuff sacks.  Dave and I both had to chuckle at the idea of putting sleeping bags away as our first task. Normally when winter camping the last thing you want to pack up is your sleeping bag, as you tend to lounge in the bag while eating and then dress as you crawl out of the bag.  There was not a drop of moisture on the interior tent walls.  The outer tent had a layer of frost on it which simply fell off with a tap or shake of the tent.  Remarkable how well the moisture escapes the inner tent!!

 

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Resources

Alaska Tent & Tarp makes and sells the Arctic Oven Tents.  They are located in Anchorage and Fairbanks. 

100 E. International Airport Road

Anchorage, AK 99518

Ph: 907-562-2293

Click to link  to:   Alaska Tent & Tarp

The 10 foot Arctic Oven sells for $1175.00. The small stove and hardware for it totals about $135.  You can also get a floor protector, ground cloth, and an add on that transforms the outer door flap into a vestibule.  

The Arctic Oven comes in a smaller 'Pup' tent design (which they say can be heated with a candle lantern) up to a 10ft x 20 ft size.  

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Back to 2002 Gear Page

Back to 2005 Gear Page

 

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