I have been a solo hunter for the majority of my life. Usually going the minimalist route as far as shelter. When I use a shelter in the snow or rain, I’ve used the Fly Creek UL lightweight or something similar. When my oldest daughter Annabelle turned 10, I started to take her hunting. Several times we got back to camp cold and wet. It can be hard to dry out and I know at times she is miserable, heck even sometimes I am.
Seek Outside Stove Jack Upgrade
We went on a hunt with Ryan Avery and Jordan Budd last year and Ryan brought his Seek Outside Cimarron with a stove. While we dried out next to the stove, Annabelle told me she wanted one and I saw how enjoyable it was to sit in a warm tent verses the hurry-up-and-get-in-the-bags routine. Now this year my newest hunting buddy is my 10-year-old daughter Emmaline, I had to get a bigger tent anyways. So, when Robby asked me if I wanted to do the review on the stove Jack upgrade from Seek Outside on a Cimarron he already had, along with the Seek Outside U-Turn Ultralight stove, I jumped at the chance.
Cimarron and Stove Weight
Upon the arrival of the Cimarron, I weighed it at just over 2 pounds 8 ounces. The U-Turn Ultralight stove weighed in at 1 pound 12 ounces, making this just over a 4-pound setup. The stove jack upgrade looks like it belongs and if I didn’t know it was an addition I would probably never have noticed. I have to look at it closely to tell it was added.
Easy To Setup
As soon as I got it, I set it up without reading or looking up directions (something I like to at least try.) The tent was very easy however scratched my head for a few on the U-Turn Ultralight stove until I watched a video. Turned out It is fairly simple to set up and should take less than 5 minutes when you have it dialed.
Robby told me the Cimarron is a two-man tent. From what I’m used to, this is a 4-man tent that is very roomy. Going floor-less may take a bit to get used too but it allows a lot more to be done while inside, and saves weight.
I put the Cimarron and U-Turn Ultralight stove to work in early October on a couple of hunts when the weather shifted. It started in a heavy rainstorm followed by heavy snow and cold temps. It particularly was a huge asset on my 10-year-old daughter’s first elk hunt.
Warm and Cozy
We packed into a spot and set up the Cimarron using a 6-foot dead sapling as the center pole. Then ran to my glassing spots to find some elk before it got dark. Once back to camp I set up the U-turn stove and fired it up. I soon got it roaring and warmed the tent up quite nicely. My girls were pleased and Emmaline my 10-year-old commented that it was awesome to be in the tent with the stove and asked if we could go in it more often!
I find the U-turn to be quite efficient at burning wood. I’m still a work in progress operating it. If I would take the time to figure how to fine-tune the damper just right, I’m sure it could be even more efficient. I stockpiled a good amount of wood consisting mostly of branches ½ to 1-½ inch in diameter and under 9 inches in length. With the temp around 10 degrees, I ended up lighting it up a couple of times during the night. Firestarters like Pyro Putty helps out a lot when everything is snow-covered or damp.
Easier To Get Up When It’s Cold Out
Now the real gamechanger was getting my girls out of bed early in the morning. In the past when temps were low, it has been hard to get a kid out of bed in a frost-lined tent especially when it comes to changing clothes. I started the U-Turn up, cooked them some oatmeal and hot tea all before waking them up to a warm Cimarron. It was no problem getting them up and dressed. It was also a lot easier for me to get dressed. Usually I put my clothes on while still in bed to warm them up before getting out.
Shoot! It’s going to be hard to go back to the old way. I have late November hunts with my kids and a December muzzleloader backpack hunt. Those nights are long and cold and now that I’ve been spoiled, I can’t even imagine going on them without this setup.
Don’t Forget A Ground Cloth
The only issue we had with the set up was I didn’t bring a ground cloth such as a piece of Tyvek. With the ground being frozen even with us cleaning most of the snow off before setting up it got a little damp and a bit muddy from thawing.
After setting it up several times in different conditions I find that it helps to be a bit more selective on tent locations than I needed when I used my Fly Creek UL. While the whole setup is around 4 pounds, it does take up a bit of room in a pack and the stove takes a bit of careful packing as you don’t want to bend any of the components.
Seek Outside will install the stove Jack for $55. They have great customer service from what I have observed getting back to me with any questions quickly. The turn-around time was also quick. You can email them here if you want them to install the stove jack. In my mind, if you have a compatible tent, it’s a no-brainer. The stove jack looks great and performs perfectly.
You can comment on this article or ask Jim questions here.
Also check out this review of the Seek Outside Silex and U-Turn stove by Josh Boyd.