Which Camping Tent Should I Buy

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities

Which Camping Tent Should I Buy

Postby Sirrip » Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:24 am

Hi all,

I am in the market for a camping tent. I have never been much of a camper, but the few times I've gone have been great experiences. I am going to start joining a group of friends that go every few weekends in Arizona when I get back to school.
As for now, I am looking for a good/cheap 1-2 person tent that would be light for carry. It doesn't need to be suitable for winter, since I only envision myself using it for 3 seasons.
User avatar
Sirrip
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:54 pm

Postby Sam I Am » Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:29 am

Message deleted.
Last edited by Sam I Am on Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sam I Am
 
Posts: 2063
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:58 pm

Postby Sirrip » Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:32 am

I will definitely be hiking with it.
User avatar
Sirrip
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:54 pm

Postby rogue409 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:17 am

Good, cheap, light. You can only have 2 of the 3.

I really like my Tarptent Double Rainbow.
rogue409
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:19 pm

Postby superlight » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:45 am

Three answers:

1) some of the mid-line higher end Coleman stuff looks good for the price
2) whatever www.rei.com has on sale
3) whatever www.campmor.com has on sale

I really scored with a $29 mummy bag from campmor that has been awesome. Some good French brand, in blow-out because it is really for people 7 feet tall ;-)
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
superlight
 
Posts: 1292
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:26 am

Postby partisan » Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:03 am

I second the REI suggestion. I have an REI backpacking tent (their own brand) and love it. I think it's the half dome or something, it says it sleeps two, more like 1.5. Be mindful of the weight, the difference between 4 and 6 lbs seems small but 20 miles into the hike it won't be small, you will notice. Go lighter and get a good rainfly.
partisan
 
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:34 am

Postby Swamproot » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:12 pm

Some tents have special setups where you can just use just parts of the tent, like the floor and the fly and the poles by themselves to make for a lighter option when you might want it, and the full tent when you think its worth the trouble, like for possible rain or cold. The mosquitoes in my part of the country would never let me get away with using mine that way, But in Arizona, you probably could.
User avatar
Swamproot
 
Posts: 305
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:10 pm

Postby camper » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:24 pm

I have had a 2 man Coleman tent for 15 years. After getting married and having a child, I upgraded to a very large 3 room Coleman tent. Being 6'1'', I like the larger one much better. I can change clothes standing up! Where are you planning to camp in Arizona?
"I emphasize three main principles: first, to not be too greedy; second, to diversify as widely as possible; and third, to always be wary of the investment industry." William J. Bernstein
User avatar
camper
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:51 pm
Location: My side of the mountain

Postby Sirrip » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:40 pm

camper wrote:Where are you planning to camp in Arizona?


I will be camping in Strawberry, AZ soon (possibly this weekend). And I also plan on going to Havasupai Falls very soon.
During the school year in Tucson, I'll be at Mt. Lemon.
User avatar
Sirrip
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:54 pm

Postby RustyShackleford » Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:08 pm

Sirrip wrote:I will definitely be hiking with it.

In that case, you really ought to go to a forum that is
specifically hiking-oriented. Perhaps:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BackpackingLight/

... where you'll find a great many knowledgable and
helpful hikers.
RustyShackleford
 
Posts: 964
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:32 pm

Postby magicmom » Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:33 pm

We own an Eureka Timberline 2 man tent that has lasted 20 years, through two Boy Scouts. It is not light enough for hiking though.
Now my son uses a one man backpacking tent.
magicmom
 
Posts: 521
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 5:04 pm
Location: Neptune Beach, Fl

Postby Toons » Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:43 pm

"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee
User avatar
Toons
 
Posts: 4724
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Hills of Tennessee

Postby hudson » Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:02 pm

Consider the Sierra Designs Clip Flashlite 2. To get much lighter, you'll have a tarp or bivy. I've had one for over 10 years.

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___27670


CAPACITY 2

Min Wt 3 lbs. 6 oz

Pkg Wt 3 Lbs. 14 oz.

Dimensions 7 ft 5 in x 4 ft 4 in

Area (Sq. Ft.) 32 + 7 vest

If you get into the higher elevations and extreme conditions...and come into some cash, you will be glad you have this in your pack. Either one of these tents will go 20 years or more.

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___27629

Have your tentmate carry half. You can bring a tentmate and both packs inside and cook in the vestibule.
hudson
 
Posts: 764
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:15 am

Postby craigr » Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:52 pm

Big Agnes makes some lightweight tents that are reasonably priced:

http://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Tents

Their Seedhouse series (SL1, SL2) tents are very light and good for 3-season camping. They weigh 4lbs. or less and are free-standing. Meaning you don't rely on guy lines or stakes to keep it upright as the poles do the work (good when camping on hard or very soft surfaces where stakes can't work). Personally I wouldn't take a tent that was over 6lbs. unless it was four season rated.

http://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Produc ... filters/21

I'd get one that is rated for 2 people even if you are one person. For the slight extra weight you will have more room to store your gear inside the tent more comfortably and sit up or stretch out - A good option if you are expecting foul weather.
User avatar
craigr
 
Posts: 2674
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:54 pm

Postby EmergDoc » Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:15 pm

You shouldn't need much in Arizona. Have you thought about just getting a bivy bag? It feels a lot better on your back after 6 hours of hiking. REI's half dome and quarter dome tents are also good backpacking options. But don't go anywhere too extreme with them. One of my most memorable afternoons was spent holding that tent up from the inside (me holding two poles, my wife holding two poles) in a storm in the Tetons. I made sure the next trip I had a 3 pole tent.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course
User avatar
EmergDoc
 
Posts: 10276
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Greatest Snow On Earth

Postby hudson » Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:41 pm

EmergDoc wrote:One of my most memorable afternoons was spent holding that tent up from the inside (me holding two poles, my wife holding two poles) in a storm in the Tetons. I made sure the next trip I had a 3 pole tent.


I've heard people say that the more challenging the trip, the better the memory.

After an EmergDoc style trip, an 11 pound/4 season tent is a pleasure to purchase and carry.

Oh for a clear crisp night sleeping out under the stars....far from the city lights!
Last edited by hudson on Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
hudson
 
Posts: 764
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:15 am

Postby thatch » Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:10 pm

An REI half dome is classic for a reason. Highly recommended.
thatch
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 7:56 pm

Postby camper » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:10 pm

Sirrip wrote:
camper wrote:Where are you planning to camp in Arizona?


I will be camping in Strawberry, AZ soon (possibly this weekend). And I also plan on going to Havasupai Falls very soon.
During the school year in Tucson, I'll be at Mt. Lemon.


If you are going anytime from about this weekend through about the first week of September, just don't about the powerful monsoon thunderstorms. They occur just about every afternoon in the high country.
"I emphasize three main principles: first, to not be too greedy; second, to diversify as widely as possible; and third, to always be wary of the investment industry." William J. Bernstein
User avatar
camper
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:51 pm
Location: My side of the mountain

Postby gunn_show » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:10 pm

superlight wrote:Three answers:

1) some of the mid-line higher end Coleman stuff looks good for the price
2) whatever www.rei.com has on sale
3) whatever www.campmor.com has on sale

I really scored with a $29 mummy bag from campmor that has been awesome. Some good French brand, in blow-out because it is really for people 7 feet tall ;-)



Agreed on 1, 2, and 3. Coleman is the only way to go. The cheap stuff, will break, trust me.

Backcountry.com and Steepandcheep.com have camping stuff on big sale all the time
"I love competition. And I want to win." R. Murdoch
User avatar
gunn_show
 
Posts: 908
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:02 pm

Postby Sirrip » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:51 pm

Ahh.. I can't post links because of my new account.
But does anyone have thoughts on the Coleman 2-person from Walmart?
(first hit if you search "walmart coleman max 6.6")
User avatar
Sirrip
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:54 pm

Postby RustyShackleford » Sat Jun 26, 2010 12:56 am

Sirrip wrote:Ahh.. I can't post links because of my new account.

Welcome !

But does anyone have thoughts on the Coleman 2-person from Walmart?
(first hit if you search "walmart coleman max 6.6")

At the risk of sounding like a snob, Coleman and Walmart are
kind of synonomous with "cheap crap" IMHO. When you are
out in the backcountry, money does not mean much. Design
and quality mean a lot. Do not skimp. Unless, you do not
plan on doing MUCH hiking, it which case a rental might be
the ticket.
RustyShackleford
 
Posts: 964
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:32 pm

Postby freeman.nathan » Sat Jun 26, 2010 4:49 am

I have the REI backpacking tent and it’s good.
freeman.nathan
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 4:42 am
Location: banned spammer

Postby hudson » Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:05 am

Sirrip wrote:Ahh.. I can't post links because of my new account.
But does anyone have thoughts on the Coleman 2-person from Walmart?
(first hit if you search "walmart coleman max 6.6")


http://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-Max-6 ... u=13848689

I think that tent would work. Go for it. If appropriate report back here. It's in a different class than the many of the REI or Campmor choices. How long would it last? It would be great to test it and find out. I would love to wear out both of my tents!
hudson
 
Posts: 764
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:15 am

Postby camper » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:59 pm

For what its worth, I bought my 15 year old 2 man Coleman tent at Walmart. Never had a problem with it. I do not think they are "cheap crap"
"I emphasize three main principles: first, to not be too greedy; second, to diversify as widely as possible; and third, to always be wary of the investment industry." William J. Bernstein
User avatar
camper
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:51 pm
Location: My side of the mountain

Postby linuxizer » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:31 am

Coleman is synonomous with cheap junk recently. Eureka (related brand, I believe) has been trying to produce decent camper-worthy stuff lately, but it's hit or miss depending on the product. Some are designed and built well, some aren't.

Tarptent is great if you prefer low weight over all the amenities. Personally I've never understood why you need to have a huge tent...that's what the outdoors is for.

REI brand products tend to be good. Check out Sierra Trading Post and see what they have good sales on, then read reviews and compare weights. I think we paid $150 for our 2-person Marmot that weighs less than 5lbs.
linuxizer
 
Posts: 1537
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:55 am

Postby EmergDoc » Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:14 pm

You get what you pay for with tents (and most outdoor equipment.) You can get away with cheap if you don't plan to use gear in extreme conditions or if you don't plan to use it often. I don't recall ever regretting buying nicer outdoor equipment, but I've regretted cheaping out before.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course
User avatar
EmergDoc
 
Posts: 10276
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Greatest Snow On Earth

Postby Redbelly » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:31 pm

I'd head over to the REI outlet website. They have some nice tents on sale and if you have an REI nearby, you can get stuff shipped free to the store. REI also has a very generous return policy. Sierra Trading Post (20% off coupons on line)and Campmor are also good sources for discounted camping supplies.

A good source of reviews is http://www.backpacker.com/gear/
Redbelly
 
Posts: 186
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:58 am

John Colter likely quote

Postby sherwink » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:46 pm

"Greenhorns use tents."
sherwink
 
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 9:48 am

Re: John Colter likely quote

Postby hudson » Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:32 pm

sherwink wrote:"Greenhorns use tents."


If possible and appropriate, elaborate please.

I've got a long term camping buddy who will reserve a spot in a tent, but most nights he's under the stars... I plan to copy him; When you are miles from cities, and it's clear, the stars make the trip worthwhile.

The stars are bright, they're big and bright...many evenings over Mt. Rogers, Va!
hudson
 
Posts: 764
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:15 am

Re: John Colter likely quote

Postby EmergDoc » Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:13 pm

sherwink wrote:"Greenhorns use tents."


Real men dig snow caves.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course
User avatar
EmergDoc
 
Posts: 10276
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Greatest Snow On Earth

Postby SoccerTaco » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:17 am

A good source for discounted gear is GearTrade.

Most of what is on there is returns sent back to Backcountry. Some of the stuff has been used, some just returned without tags/boxes. It is hit or miss - but you can often find some good deals.

- Steve

p.s. I'm new, so GearTrade is the most I can enter. Shouldn't be hard to find.
User avatar
SoccerTaco
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:50 pm

$8

Postby SoccerTaco » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:32 am

Sirrip,

Just took a quick look at 3 season tents on GearTrade, and there are some decent 1-2 person tents available.
For example, there is a 2 person Sierra Designs tent for ~$84 and a 2 person Mountain Hardwear for ~$100. Those are both brands from which you can expect decent equipment. Both are over 40% off regular price.

My last purchase from Geartrade was a set of Petzl crampons. They had no box, no tags, no instructions, but were brand new - never used. Almost 50% off regular price - and I just looked up the literature on the Petzl site. (Yeah - I'm one of those types that likes to read the manual :)

- Steve
User avatar
SoccerTaco
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:50 pm

Postby El Jefe » Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:01 pm

REI Quarter Dome is a great one person tent. It works decently for two people as well.
El Jefe
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:40 pm

Postby bluto » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:24 pm

The REI tents mentioned above are solid choices at great prices. If you won't be making long hikes, consider a larger two man with two doors and two vestibules. You'll be more comfortable and a little extra weight won't matter much. I've also heard really good things about Big Agnes, but you'll pay a little bit more for similar features and weight.
bluto
 
Posts: 510
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:54 pm

Recommended Tent

Postby CarlZ993 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:39 pm

I'm a gear head. My main vice is backpacking equipment. I currently own at least 5, 2-person backpacking tents that I can think of off the top of my head.

Value? Hard to go wrong w/ a Half Dome tent from REI. A little more $$$ and you get the Quarterdome tent (also lighter). About once a year or so, you can catch one of these tents on sale. [Bought the 1/2 dome for grandson; own the quarterdome 2 & 3]

Light Weight? Hard to beat one of the Tarp Tents from Henry Shire (www.tarptent.com). [Taken the Cloudburst Tarp Tent on multiple adventures; some condensation issues sometimes - single wall tent.]

The latest, neatest, & lightest double-wall tent? Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 (really cramped for two people, though). Be sure to bring you wallet on this one. [Took this to the Grand Canyon on March; I will repeat, really cramped for two people.]
Carl Z
CarlZ993
 
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:00 pm
Location: Austin, Texas

Postby epilnk » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:52 pm

I don't want to threadjack the OP's question but since we're on the topic, does anyone have recommendations for family tents? Children are 9 and 7, and growing, and our backpacking tents are both more than 25 years old. Since we'll probably do car camping only due to health limitations we might as well go for comfort, but we still want to be able to carry gear a short distance to walk-in sites.

Linda
epilnk
 
Posts: 2591
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:05 pm

Tents, hammocks, etc

Postby AerialP » Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:00 pm

I, too, vote for REI. Great company (cooperative). Their entry level house brand stuff (Half Dome, Quarter Dome, etc) is a great place to start. I, too, would avoid anything WalMart or Coleman. Even if you decide after a few trips that you're not into the backpacking, you could sell the REI gear for decent dough, prolly not so much the Coleman equipment.

I've had a Eureka for a few years that has served me well but more often than not I really enjoy my Hennessey Hammock, which is much nicer than you'd expect.
www.hennesseyhammock.com
AerialP
 
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:34 pm
Location: Lexington, KY

Postby dratkinson » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:50 am

Idea: You could make an Alpha tent.

Pros
a poncho serves double duty
cheap to make
very light weight
quick setup

Cons
single wall
no floor

Alpha tent: http://www.alpharubicon.com/prepinfo/ponchotent.htm
User avatar
dratkinson
 
Posts: 2549
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: Centennial CO

Postby superlight » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:06 pm

You know, my Dad had some great (simple) equipment. I like his ski parka, but I can't replace it. It's too simple. There's no way REI could sell it for $100, so they won't make it at all.

No argument that there is a lot of junk at the low end, but market dynamics at the high end inflate features, and encourage "gear heads."

(I like my Gregory hydration packs, but they were also driven off the market by more "feature rich" products.)
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
superlight
 
Posts: 1292
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:26 am

Postby JMacDonald » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:32 pm

Hi,
Here is a company that sells light weight gear: http://www.golite.com/Product/ProductBy ... spx?mc=152
Best Wishes, | Joe
User avatar
JMacDonald
 
Posts: 1629
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:53 pm

Re: John Colter likely quote

Postby JMacDonald » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:50 pm

EmergDoc wrote:
sherwink wrote:"Greenhorns use tents."


Real men dig snow caves.

Hi,
Real men ride an avalanche to the bottom of the mountain: http://www.yosemite.ca.us/john_muir_wri ... ter_3.html

John Muir
But I was not to get summit views of any sort that day, for deep trampling near the cañon head, where the snow was strained, started an avalanche, and I was swished down to the foot of the cañon as if by enchantment. The wallowing ascent had taken nearly all day, the descent only about a minute.
Best Wishes, | Joe
User avatar
JMacDonald
 
Posts: 1629
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:53 pm

Postby fishndoc » Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:23 pm

I don't know about where you live, but the REI stores around me will rent equipment, and it is good quality stuff - might be a better way to start, as who knows, you may end up deciding camping is not your cup of tea.

Also, you mentioned school: most large universities have "camping club" type organizations that supply the members with equipment owned by the school.

As much fun as "buying toys" is, I would really recommend trying it out first before spending money on gear, and if you like it and keep at it, you will want to buy quality gear (not Coleman or Walmart).
" Successful investing involves doing just a few things right, and avoiding serious mistakes." - J. Bogle
fishndoc
 
Posts: 2316
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:50 am

camping tent to buy

Postby Larry Johnson » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:54 am

The best place to learn about tents is being a scoutmaster for over 15 years. My vote is the 2 man Eureka Timberline with the vestibule to store your back pack and boots. We have used it in very violent Oklahoma weather, and it has never leaked where some of the others did. Of course that assumes you don't place it under a tree or in a swale, and that you use a good ground coth under it.
Larry Johnson
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:30 am
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Re: camping tent to buy

Postby EmergDoc » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:39 pm

Larry Johnson wrote:The best place to learn about tents is being a scoutmaster for over 15 years. My vote is the 2 man Eureka Timberline with the vestibule to store your back pack and boots. We have used it in very violent Oklahoma weather, and it has never leaked where some of the others did. Of course that assumes you don't place it under a tree or in a swale, and that you use a good ground coth under it.


A lot of people don't realize this, but the best use of a groundcloth isn't actually outside the tent ESPECIALLY if it sticks out past the edges of the tent. All that does if funnel water under the tent (tent floors usually aren't waterproof.) A better way to use a ground cloth is INSIDE the tent. Ideally it is wider than the tent and you just extend it a foot or so up each wall. That way you can have a river running through camp and your sleeping bag still stays dry. The most lightweight ground cloths are those thin disposable plastic sheets that painters use. If it gets big holes in it, it's very cheap to replace. While inside the tent doesn't offer as much protection to the bottom of your tent from rocks and such, it offers much better weather-proofing. If weight isn't an issue, you could do both.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course
User avatar
EmergDoc
 
Posts: 10276
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Greatest Snow On Earth

Postby livesoft » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:51 pm

All my tent floors have been waterproof when purchased. I've added additional seam sealer on the few seams. Indeed,the best tents will have virtually no seams in the floor material and will create a "bathtub" like volume, so that you don't get wet inside. I use thick plastic to prevent the tent floor from being poked through or damaged and to keep it clean. I could pitch my tent in about 3 to 4 inches of water and it would stay dry inside. I wouldn't want to do that, but I could.

Most of my camping has been ski/snow camping, so I've used 4-season tents with the occasionally 3-season tent for non-winter camping. I prefer dome tents with 3-4 poles, but have used many different kinds. Sierra Designs and Northface are excellent brands. I have used the Eureka Timberline tents when I went with friends. They are the bare minimum standard. I'm sure just about anything will work for camping in Arizona in non-snowy weather.
livesoft
 
Posts: 35149
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Which Camping Tent Should I Buy

Postby VictoriaF » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:06 pm

Sirrip wrote:Hi all,

I am in the market for a camping tent. I have never been much of a camper, but the few times I've gone have been great experiences. I am going to start joining a group of friends that go every few weekends in Arizona when I get back to school.
As for now, I am looking for a good/cheap 1-2 person tent that would be light for carry. It doesn't need to be suitable for winter, since I only envision myself using it for 3 seasons.

Hi Sirrip,

When I buy camping or hiking gear I like to talk to the people in outdoors stores. When I lived in NJ, I would go to Campmor to talk to their staff. Now, I stop by at a local REI. In my experience, these are idealistic women and men with extensive outdoors experience who always seem to stir me in the right direction. Once I was contemplating a $700 backpack, and a guy strongly encouraged me to get a much cheaper one. He filled it with heavy ropes, adjusted the straps, and made me to walk with it in the store for a half-hour. That was the hardest sale I have ever experienced, to save me a few hundred dollars. You can also ask for the second or third opinion, and people will gladly oblige.

I'd also stress that it has to be a specialized outdoors store, not a "generic" sports store.

Victoria
Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
User avatar
VictoriaF
 
Posts: 12888
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Postby dratkinson » Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:01 pm

Speaking of improvised shelters....

I'm not really the outdoorsy type and figure roughing it is when the Winnebago's A/C fuel supply drops to 3 days.

I spent several years in the Army Guard and always dreaded the summer encampments. I didn't mind the work, just the sleeping arrangements.

We always went to the same places and there was always the possibility of pitching your tent/shelter-half near/on an abandoned latrine. Bummer.

Add to that, lumpy ground or hard cots, rain soaked ground, snakes and crawly insects, and I never could get a decent nights sleep. The week became one to endure, not to enjoy.

I'm a little slow, but finally hit upon the ideal solution for me to begin enjoying the encampments. What? I noticed that we always used several 1 1/2 ton cargo trailers (M-105) to carry extra gear to and from the encampments. But during the encampment, the trailers were unused... and empty.

These trailers had an interior cargo space of maybe 9x6x5 feet, had bow tops, and were canvas covered. A backpacker's nylon-mesh string hammock was a perfect fit when tied between the bows.

So, a string hammock and blanket were all I needed and I began to enjoy camping out in my high-and-dry, snake-free, government-furnish, "tent" trailer.

The trailers were left parked near the kitchen area so early morning KP noises became my alarm clock.

After I awoke from my good nights sleep, I took down my hammock and stored it in my duffel bag, which was left safe and dry in the trailer.

You don't need to build a snow cave, lean-to, or pitch a shelter-half when you observe the natural terrain and use the improvised shelter of an existing tent trailer, which always seemed to be following me.

Back in the day when I camped regularly, my preferred "tent" weighted 2000 pounds, empty. You may prefer a smaller personal tent. To each his own. :)

Image

Image
User avatar
dratkinson
 
Posts: 2549
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: Centennial CO

Postby dratkinson » Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:22 pm

I was thinking some more about my "2-ton hammock camping" idea and thought it could be improved and adapted for general use by throwing a shelter-half/poncho over it to make it weather-proof. A Google search proved that others thought of this idea long before me....

"Hammock Camping 101" http://hikinghq.net/hammock/hammock.html

"Why Use a Hammock?" http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/hikin ... ammock.htm

"Hennessy Hammocks" http://www.hennessyhammock.com/

According to the above, if you are not camping above tree-line, in a desert, or in the Arctic---where a tent is preferred---a hammock system (hammock, sleeping bag, weather shelter, mosquito netting) is much more comfortable, lighter, faster to setup/take down and allows more location choices. You can sleep well over uneven ground, above water, or in a swamp.

Image

Image

Image

Pictures came from linked websites.

On the HH website, a story is told about a man introducing his gf to camping. He bought a small 2-man tent for them. The night turned cool, condensation dripped from the interior and they were miserable. So he got up, set up his personal hammock system and all climbed inside (him, gf, and small dog---exceeding weight limit) and were soon warm, and slept comfortably.

I experienced the same type of night with my brother on a Buffalo River float trip in the 1970s. We spent a miserable night in a 2-man Boy Scout tent with condensation dripping down on us. We awoke, wet, cold and stiff. When we got back, I swore I'd never do it again---small tent camping. There just had to be a better way.

I relate these stories because the OP was looking for a small, 1-2 man, tent.
User avatar
dratkinson
 
Posts: 2549
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: Centennial CO

Postby rustymutt » Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:23 pm

Under no circumstance, should you buy anything other than a Coleman tent.
Cause they are headquartered here in Wichita, Ks. Ok? next question.
At the Very Least, Work Hard, Do Your Best, Know the Truth and the Facts and Always Be Honest!
User avatar
rustymutt
 
Posts: 2834
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:03 pm

Postby Hayduke4321 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 11:47 pm

I can give a +1 for the REI half dome and the big agnes tents and bags. Great quality and value.
Hayduke4321
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:33 pm

Next

Return to Personal Consumer Issues

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], CassieInVa, Cherokee8215, eucalyptus, jmoroney, tadamsmar, Templeton, westie and 50 guests