Area51 Mike's Woods Arctic 4 Hot Tent build:
French and I have been discussing for awhile now getting a hot tent for winter ice fishing for greater comfort and the ability to stay out overnight or even a couple nights. Outfitter tents are pretty expensive, bulky and a PITA to set up. We started watching YouTube channel Chuck Porter - Everything Outdoors, an outdoor enthusiast from Labrador who converted an ice fishing pop up shelter into a hot tent.
Chuck's latest incarnation uses an Eskimo 959i which is an 8'x8' insulated pop up ice shelter. I did some research and this year Woods came out with an identical model the Arctic 4 which is 7'8"x7'8" and is also insulated. Other than color and window shape the two are identical plus the Woods was less expensive and was in stock locally.
Pop up shelters have the shelter material & poles all joined together but collapsed. They set up easily in less than 2 minutes with no extra bulky poles or having to cut sticks required.
I set up the unit in our basement spare bedroom to get a layout and feel for space vs camping equipment. I was pleased to find that my $65 Princess Auto woodstove and my cot fit wit ease.
This unit is very well constructed, the insulated material is thicker and the whole shelter much more sturdy than my older Rapala 2 person shelter.
One upgrade I made was installing a 16' 12v LED strip light in the ceiling of the shelter. It's installed with ty-wraps and will be put in place each time the shelter is set up so it doesn't get damaged during transport. The strip is extremely bright lighting up the interior in epic fashion. It will make indoor activities and picture taking much easier on future adventures. It's run off a 12v battery supply that I am currently building and will house USB phone chargers as well.
The amount of light inside now is unbelievable.
All of the windows are held in place with Velcro and each have a drop down sun/privacy shade.
I replaced one of the windows with a custom made silicone stove jack through which the stove pipe will safely exit the shelter. The stove jack was custom made by Greg Russell in Portugal Cove and he did an outstanding job on one for myself and French.
I had to modify the chimney pipe to work with the installation by adding two 45 degree bends. The full write-up of that work can be found in my Hot Tent Woodstove 1.0 Project article.
The tent is really taking shape with a lot less work and effort compared to other options. Check out my initial shakedown run on the crew adventures page: Mike's Hot Tent Shakedown.
Copyright © 2011 Michael Smith