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Re: What would you do?

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What would you do?
November 19, 2010 09:39AM
Poll
Tent cabin or real tent camping?
This poll has expired. Voting is no longer possible.
13 votes were received.
Tent Cabin5
 
38%
Real camping in a tent8
 
62%



So we've got reservations for a tent cabin in Curry Village for 4 nights right before Christmas. Hoping to do some snow shoeing, and especially some winter photography. I know that snow fall in the valley is unpredictable, but anyway, that is not our dilema.

With the food choices so limited in the valley that time of year, Yosemite Lodge food court is about it, we are considering camping instead. Camping has advantages as far as being able to cook your own food right at your site, where with a tent cabin, we'd have to go to a picnic area. (or use a table in upper pines, which is a short walk, but that's not completely legit, since we aren't renting a site) Or eat at the cafeteria every day. Or, I guess, eat non cooked food for 5 days, not too appealing.

My GF is the one worried about the cold. She hates being cold. But we can't afford a motel room at the lodge, so we were gonna do the tent cabin and bring extra blankets and an electric blanket (since they do have electricity, even though it is advertised they do not)

I have a 5th wheel, which would actually be my first choice, but with gas at $3+ a gallon, driving the trailer up there at 8 miles per gallon is going to cost too much, we can take our Mazda and get 35 miles per gallon and save over half on gas.

So anyway, in a round about way, I am asking what would you do? Tent cabin, with some food eaten at the lodge and go to the picnic areas to cook? Or camp site, save $20 a night (tent cabin is only $44) and be able to cook right at "home."
Re: What would you do?
November 19, 2010 10:02AM
If the cold is the only worry, the GF will be cold regardless. So it's a wash - if you want to eat out part of the time you can do that either way, really.

If it were me, worrying about the cold... I'd be checking out Yosemite Bug, which is priced about the same as the tent cabin. They have a little more flexibility on what you can do about food. Little of a drive from the valley but it's a hostel, with showers and heaters and kitchen, or you can eat in the restaurant which I hear is quite good.
avatar Re: What would you do?
November 19, 2010 10:02AM
How comfortable do you think your tent will be in the cold? What happens if it rains/snows?

We stayed in a tent cabin last February. The heater was very very VERY good (ie. we were hot). We ate breakfast at the coffee bar, carried snacks and PB&J for our hiking lunches, and ate dinner at various places around the valley.

We tent camped in the meadows in July, and the ground was still quite cold. We had several blankets and liners, and were still very cold overnight, because of the cold seeping up through the ground. I think having one of those camping mattresses would have helped.

For me, it would come down to a debate over food options vs. cold tolerance.
Re: What would you do?
November 19, 2010 10:29AM
Good points, thanks so far. The Yosemite bug website looks pretty cool, I have never heard of it.

We do have air mattresses, so that should help with the cold ground. If it rains, we have the rain fly, although our tent is just a basic Walmart type tent. We don't have reservations for the heated tent cabins, that costs about $40-50 more a night, not worth that much money IMO.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/19/2010 10:30AM by hotrod4x5.
Re: What would you do?
November 19, 2010 12:07PM
Quote
hotrod4x5

We do have air mattresses, so that should help with the cold ground. If it rains, we have the rain fly, although our tent is just a basic Walmart type tent. We don't have reservations for the heated tent cabins, that costs about $40-50 more a night, not worth that much money IMO.

Do not trust air mattresses with no insulation (read: anything other than the sleeping pads made for backpacking). you WILL be cold. Take a blue CCF pad and put it on TOP to insulate you from the cold if you don't want to buy expensive sleeping pads.

DO NOT TRUST cheap walmart tents in the rain. If there's any chance of rain you'll get wet, either from leaks or from condensation inside while it's raining.

Several of the folks I went to Point Reyes with got rained right out of their tents. The Black Diamond and REI branded tents (made for weather) were fine. The folks in the cheap tents from Sport Authority and Walmart - drenched. Test the tent at home with a hose before you go - make it thorough, rain can last for HOURS. Or take a cheap tarp to throw over it, but that makes condensation worse. (Don't put a tarp on the ground and set up the tent with the tarp sticking out several feet in all directions, either - any rainfall will run right under and seep up through seams into the tent floor.)

Or make it simple and stay in the tent cabins.... Or rent a REI tent (you can easily get a 3-4 person) and good insulated sleeping pads. NO worries about weight when you're car camping and you will be warmer and drier (if it does rain on you).



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/19/2010 12:15PM by AlmostThere.
Re: What would you do?
November 19, 2010 10:30AM
If it's just for a night or two, I'd say to use your own tent. With good warm sleeping bags But for four nights I'm not so sure. I've stayed over Christmas at least a dozen times, and the weather has varied from deep snow and bitter cold to freezing rain and deep slush. Or sunshine and no snow. Curry Village has its cafeteria, but it also has the reading room building where you and your GF can warm up and play cards if things get bad. And hot showers...

I would stick with the tent cabin, if you aren't experienced winter campers and aren't sure what you are getting into. Here's is the critical thing: There are no electrical outlets in the tent cabins, though there is an electric overhead light. Bring one of those pull chain outlets that screw into the overhead light, between the bulb and the socket, which have a pair of outlets on the side. Hardware stores still sell them.

The pull chain turns the light on and off without affecting the outlets.

Also take a long two wire extension cord. You'll need to test the outlet and cord and electric blanket to make sure that the plugs fit the outlets. Some blankets have a three wire plug, for example, and need an adapter. I use this setup to charge my camera, GPS, and flashlight batteries when I stay in a tent cabin.

Good luck. Yosemite is great that time of year.
Re: What would you do?
November 19, 2010 10:37AM
Thanks Wherever, definately given me something to think about. I have one of those light adapters, so we are good to go for that. (interestingly, the last tent cabin I stayed in had outlets as part of the light assembly) We are not experienced snow campers, so your warning is well taken.

As far as the curry village cafeteria, I am pretty sure it is closed that time of year. I think the only option is the one at the lodge.
avatar Re: What would you do?
November 19, 2010 10:54AM
Since the question is 'what would you do' rather than 'what do you think I should do':
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/camp4.htm
avatar Re: What would you do?
November 19, 2010 11:01AM
Quote
szalkowski
Since the question is 'what would you do' rather than 'what do you think I should do':
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/camp4.htm

Ooopsie..
Okie dokie... I'm gonna be (hopefully) looking at da face a half a dome from above
Snowey Creek then... that's what i'd do...
Chick-on is looking at you!



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: What would you do?
November 19, 2010 10:59AM
Dood,
Dis one ez. Tenty Cabin. I won't go into all the details... but staying in your own tent w/ GF
really not a good idea unless you got a crystal ball. Even then... The valley gets COLD.
It's a big ol ice boxey once the sun sets.
Dang, my hands were cold until I got up outta it even last Sat. Go over to the Ahwanee and
sit in front of the fireplace over there. GF will likey it.
Maybe see you round da valley then... hopefully there's lots o snow on the rims by then.
Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: What would you do?
November 19, 2010 11:30AM
Ok, all good points, will talk to my GF tonight and discuss it more.
Re: What would you do?
November 19, 2010 11:42AM
BTW, anybody know if you can "cook" in the curry parking lot? Say set up a stove on the bear box by the parking lot to make some hot cocoa?
avatar Re: What would you do?
November 19, 2010 11:45AM
Stay in the tent cabin. You can always to go one of the picnic areas and cook your food there.
Re: What would you do?
November 19, 2010 11:52AM
'I'd rather drink muddy water, sleep in a hollow log' than stay in a tent cabin.

James
Re: What would you do?
November 19, 2010 01:26PM
I tent camped in Upper Pines in April 2005. On Friday - somewhat cold but clear. Got up the next morning to gray skies, went to Curry for coffee, sat on the lodge porch drinking coffee and staring at HD and it started to snow. Sat and watched it snow for about an hour - 5"! Went back to the campground to find the tent buried. Went back to Curry and rented a "heated" tent cabin for the next night - an awesome 3 days!
If someone will tell me how to display a photo on a post, I'll show you one.
avatar Re: What would you do?
November 21, 2010 08:39AM
You doods voting fur the Camp-on Tent still feel da same way after last night?

btnichols. to posty picture put
[img ] <url>[/img ]
w/o the spaces. find the url of the pict in windoze by right clicky and hit properties.
Just try to post. someone will fix it and you can see what was done if no worky

or not



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/2010 03:08PM by chick-on.
avatar Re: What would you do?
November 21, 2010 08:49AM
Do not tent camp on the valley floor unless you know exactly what you're getting into. It will be cold, wet, muddy, cramped, and there is a chance your tent will collapse if it snows. With even the unheated tent cabin you will have a floor, will be able to stand up and walk around, will be sleeping off the ground, and will be dry regardless of the weather. Don't take chances on your first time out in the winter.



Old Dude
avatar Re: What would you do?
November 21, 2010 10:03AM
Quote
mrcondron
Do not tent camp on the valley floor unless you know exactly what you're getting into. It will be cold, wet, muddy, cramped, and there is a chance your tent will collapse if it snows. With even the unheated tent cabin you will have a floor, will be able to stand up and walk around, will be sleeping off the ground, and will be dry regardless of the weather. Don't take chances on your first time out in the winter.




T.W.I.M.C.,

Our burrows are a nice, constant 13°C year-round.
No rain.
No snow.
No chickens.

(Warmly Yours)
The Marmots
Re: What would you do?
November 21, 2010 12:00PM
Well we are going to stick with the tent cabin. At least this way, if the weather is really bad, we can just sit in the tent and watch a movie on the laptop. Now we just have to figure out the food situation.
Re: What would you do?
November 21, 2010 02:54PM
Just a comment: Always bring ear plugs when you stay in the tent cabins. Otherwise, some child will scream all night in the tent next door. If you bring the earplugs, then Murphy's Law insures that it won't happen, and you won't have needed to bring them....

I've stayed in Curry many times at Christmas. Most days the regular cafeteria has been open, and when it hasn't, they have set up a small buffet next to the coffee shop corner. They won't let you starve. You can also take the bus over to the Lodge.
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