I am planning a artic canoe trip this summer and am curious if the Ultamid would be appropriate in a treeless environment. What has your Ultamid stood up to? Whats the gnarliest your Ultamid has seen and how did it do? I gotta know!


  • bugglife
    bugglife Member Posts: 100


    Sounds like an exciting trip! I hope you'll share pictures after the trip. I love my UM4 for a group of 3 or 4, and I've got about 30 nights in it since 2019. So it's seen some use, but nothing like the adventures guides or other outdoor professionals might put it through. That being said, here is what I can share.

    • Most of my trips are in the desert. I haven't used my tent in snow, or even really significant rain, so I can't speak to stresses in those situations.
    • The main abuse my UM4 has seen is from wind. I can think of 2-3 nights in particular with pretty significant gusts. I don't have a number in MPH, but I remember being concerned - especially the first time. Luckily, the tent didn't seem any worse for wear in the morning, even if the flapping fabric made it hard to sleep.
    • I would be sure to have a strong center pole. If I'm not using my UM4, I'll use BD Distance Carbon Z trekking poles, which I generally love. However, if I am planning to use the UM4, I'll bring older poles that are heavier, but also feel much sturdier, in case of wind.
    • I would also make sure to have a solid way to stake out the tent. One of the very windy nights was in a sandy wash in Joshua Tree. Stakes weren't holding in the soft sand, but we were able to find some big rocks and tie the guy lines around them, which worked pretty well.
    • Another issue (with any freestanding tent) is when the ground is too rocky and you can't get your stakes in. I've found using a dead man technique has been pretty effective (image above).

    I hope that helps with your decision-making. Feel free to reach out if you have any additional questions.

  • nobody
    nobody Member Posts: 4

    Arctic weather will be worthy of the Ultamid-4’s high quality strength and construction.

    See picture: 13k feet up, Longs Peak Colorado, right at the end of the tree line, 6 foot of snow off main packed trail. Rocks were used instead of snow stakes. I tied them down and covered with snow . It was a chore, as you see, in the morning, it was frozen in due to the 65 mph gusting winds. The Ultamid-4 withstood the very high gusting winds. Make sure you bury the tent up to 8 inches, even the door side, and you will have no problem with this ultra tough tent in high winds. Put out all guy lines in high winds and use snow blades or MSR mountain stakes with wire loops. The Arctic snow should be packed enough, but snow shoes or ski’s can pack down the footprint. Use a ridge pad and a sleeping air mattress pad. An 8 hour candle is highly advised as a backup… if propane is used at altitude in an emergency, it can warm your fuel canister! Make sure you carry a space blanket for the rarest of times when your tent is blown off the mountain, or, a hole rips into your tent in extreme winds. The space blanket can go inside your sleeping bag.

    My Solo night on longs peak in high winds and snow, would have been very bad, if I did not have my very roomy Utamid-4. The Tarps, also work well above the Treelines, but care must be taken to use rocks on top of clothes to prevent ripping the tarp when a rock is used on the upwind side to keep the tent under the snow. (Remember, if it freezes , your clothes will be heavier with the frozen rock on them) If the wind catches a tarp that is not secured, you may become the first mountain Windsurfer.

    Before setting any tent or tarp in the mountains, secure one upwind side to anything, even your pack.

    Practice these techniques before any outing that has potential for Epic tales! If you have a yard, wait for bad weather, and practice. Then you can say hello to Park Rangers at the coffee shop and not on a mountain extraction.

    Be prepared for weather much colder than planned, and you will have great stories and no Epic Tales!

    P.S. I would love to test this gear in Arctic CAT III winds, with the hard huts in walking distance, of course! Learn self rescue! Share knowledge! Hero’s are other people. Save lives and Do!

    Buy a black diamond Bivi sack to supplement your Ultamid-4 in Arctic flat terrain high wind conditions! Lives are not cheap and neither is the best survival equipment.

    Happy trails and no Epic tales!

    “Nobody” cares.