Rosaleen, et al:
Here is the Long-Term Report section of my Eureka! Wabakimi 2 Test Series. The HTML file may be viewed by clicking this link: http://snipurl.com/1regj
. Please pardon any Yahooisms.
Thanks in advance for your edits and comments.
September 28, 2007
Field Locations and Conditions:
During the long-term phase of this test, I was able to get in two trips. The first was a weeklong backpacking trip in the Wind River Range, which is in the Bridger Wilderness of west-central Wyoming. We began this trip at 9,100 ft (2,774 km) from the Elkhart Park trailhead located slightly more than 16 mi (26 km) north of Pinedale, Wyoming. Over the course of the week, we covered 50 mi (80 km), with trail elevations between 10,000 ft (3,048 m) and 11,000 ft (3,353 km) above sea level. Temperatures ranged from highs in the low 80's F (27 - 29 C) to lows in the upper 40's F (4 - 7 C). Skies were partly cloudy to cloudy and we had rain four of our six days in the Winds. I carried a 50 lb (23 kg) pack.
My second trip during this phase was a mid-August overnight backpack trip to Baptie Lake in the Copper Basin located in central Idaho. With the weather forecast calling for thunderstorms, we debated whether to make this trip. Ultimately, we decided to go and the weather cooperated on our way in. We had partly cloudy skies and the temperature was in the upper 80's F (29+ C). On the way in, we hiked approximately 4 mi (6.4 km) and gained approximately 4,000 ft (1,219 m) to our campsite. We then hiked another 0.5 mi (0.8 km) and gained another 150+ ft (46 m) as we hiked to Baptie Lake where we fished a couple of hours. When the weather became ominous, we headed back to camp. The next morning, we were wakened around 6:00 a.m. by thunder, lighting, hail and rain at 10,000 ft (3,048 m). Because this area has numerous severe lightning storms, we quickly packed our gear and made our way down the mountain. I carried a 35 lb (16 kg) pack.
Thus far, I have spent eleven nights in the Wabakimi 2. Six of the eleven nights were double-occupancy, and on five nights, I was the sole occupant. One of the six double-occupancy nights was with my eleven-year-old son. We had plenty of room inside the tent. The other five double-occupancy nights I spent with a full-size hiking buddy. We too had enough room to sleep comfortably without encroaching on one another's space. The inside of the tent was large enough for our sleeping pads, sleeping bags (mine being a long), pillows, clothes, and miscellaneous gear. Using the interior gear pockets, we were easily able to stow our headlamps, cameras, watches, etc. At 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m), I was able to both sit and kneel comfortably inside the Wabakimi with its 42 in (107 cm) center height. Outside, the vestibules provided more than enough room for our packs, hiking poles, and boots. Even with our gear inside the vestibule, there was room to comfortably enter and exit the tent
through the large doors on either side.
On my previous trips, I experienced good weather. However, on the two trips of this phase, I experienced inclement weather. First, was my early-August trip into the Wind River Range. Four of the six days in the Winds were stormy. Several storms produced thunder, lightning, rain, and some wind. At times, the rain was quite heavy, and two nights it rained most of the night. However, Eureka!'s Stormshield® design and construction performed as advertised, it kept us dry. When in the tent, the full-coverage fly, factory-taped seams, and bathtub floor kept my hiking buddy and me dry, along with our gear. The full-coverage fly, which creates the vestibules, kept the gear we placed in the vestibules dry as well. Initially, I was concerned that the flat roof might not shed water as well as other designs. However, this proofed not to be the case, the Wabakimi's flat roof sheds rain quite well. Using the vents and large screened windows in the doors allowed good airflow and
consequently, condensation was minimal. About the third day of rain, I noticed some minor leakage through the fly's zipper. I am not positive, but I believe this occurred because I did not have the hook and loop closures along the zipper completely secured. I did not have the tent guyed out, but it withstood the heavy rains and winds very well. I never felt the need to secure the guylines--this tent is very stable. On the second trip of this phase into Idaho's Copper Basin, I also experienced stormy weather. In addition to thunder, lightning, rain, and wind, it also hailed. Although it only hailed a few minutes, it was between the size of a green pea and a dime. Again, the Wabakimi performed well, keeping me and my gear dry.
The Wabakimi 2 is one of Eureka!'s Zone 3 tents which are "Designed to withstand the rigorous conditions of northern climates." Indeed, the full-coverage fly, large doors, and extra-long floor are well suited for the type of weather we experience in this area. I am pleased to report that this roomy two-person tent performed exceptionally well throughout the four-month test period. Aside from the bent stakes early in the test, everything remains in great working order. The seams are still tight, the zippers still work smoothly, the poles are straight, and there are no punctures or tears in the fly or tent. The absence of punctures and tears is noteworthy because on my Wind River trip, to reduce pack weight, I did not carry the tent in its stuff sack. Strapped to the right side of my pack, the tent and fly brushed against tree branches, bushes, etc. several times without sustaining damage. To me, this clearly demonstrates the materials and methods used in its Stormshield®
design and construction perform as Eureka! intended.
Although the test period does not extend into the winter months, I am interested in testing this tent in the snow. Based on my experience during the long-term test phase, I believe the Wabakimi 2 will perform well in light to moderate snowstorms. However, only by testing in winter conditions can I be certain.
* extra-long floor
* interior height
* large, screened doors
* 7001 series aluminum shock-corded poles
* small pack size
* easy set up
* weather resistance
* flimsy stakes
Ryan L. Christensen
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