Help me buy a tent please.

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by eagles405, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. eagles405

    eagles405

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    Hey everybody,
    What I am looking for is somethink large enough for two people for comfortable weekend camping but lite enough for good long hiking trips. I am willing to spend about 350 to 400 max. I am a college student who goes camping about every other month with my boy scout troop and am getting tired of leeky tents. I have been looking at this tent form at rei outlet and have read very good revues on it. http://www.rei.com/outlet/product/47834357.htm? What do you all think about it? Do you all have any other tents that ya'll have been very impressed with? Thanks alot.
    Eagles 405

    P.S. First real post on glocktalk although I have been following it for a while.
     
  2. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    Dana is a good brand. I think that model is a bit heavy though for hiking. 4lbs will feel a lot better on a long hike. If you can shave a few pounds or ounces off each piece of gear it really adds up.

    I would also look at the clip designed tents as opposed to the sleeve design. Here's another Dana with the clip design:

    [​IMG]

    Setting up either is easy when the weather is nice, but when it's dark, cold, raining and the wind is blowing the clip style is much easier to get up fast.

    You really can't go wrong shopping at REI since they only carry major manufacturers. Marmot, Sierra Designs, North Face, Bibler, etc. All good stuff.
     

  3. Short Cut

    Short Cut PatrioticMember CLM

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    Welcome to Glock Talk!

    My favorite tent is a Bibler, but you'd have to be camping a lot to justify its price tag imho.

    A brand that I think makes some very well made tents that will hold up well without costing a fortune is Eureka!

    You really have to take the size rating with a grain of salt. If you will have two people in the tent most often, I'd suggest getting a 3 or 4 man tent. That way the tent will have room for you and your gear.

    clic pic

    [​IMG]
     
  4. RugerFan58

    RugerFan58

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    Welcome to GT. Check out Campmor. They'll send you a catalog and their prices are hard to beat. I bought a Eureka Outfitter off them about 15 years ago. It is still bulletproof after all of these years. Shop around before you buy. This is the right time of year to be looking for a tent.;c
     
  5. akbound

    akbound

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    Hi eagles405,

    The tent you've selected looks like a fairly good piece of equipment. And as was already expressed take the rating with a grain of salt. I've personally decided that a "two person" tent is most comfortable for myself and my gear. If I actually want a tent for two then a "three person" or larger is best. Yes, it will weigh a little bit more, but for all but extreme use I'd rather be comfortable, (and you mentioned comfortable as well). You also mentioned Boy Scout troops, so I doubt you're talking about extreme conditions and high long distance hikes. Under those conditions a little extra space can make all the difference between "livable" and "comfortable".

    I do think you're going about it in the proper manner though by considering "good gear". Nothing ruins a trip faster than cheap gear that can't be relied upon.

    Have fun!

    Dave
     
  6. JimM_PA

    JimM_PA

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  7. eagles405

    eagles405

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    Hello everybody,
    Thanks for your help. I want to add some other things I did not say in my first post. They are: I do a lot of warm or hot climate camping down is southern Texes and it will be nice to find a tent that can get good air flow through it. I do do a lot of camping with the boy scouts but I also want to get into longer hiking trips say 50 to 75 miles or so. So it will be nice to have a roomier tent for the weekends but somethink light enough for long trips. Another thing that would really be nice to have is a footprint and the tent to have the capabilities to go ultra lite, just taking the the footprint poles and rain fly. I would love a Bibler but can't justify the price. I have also looked at Marmot, The North Face, Mountain Hardware, Kelty, Eureka! and MSR. I do get the campmoore catolog but my mother though it away before I could see the last issue. If you guys have any more sugestions or sites that have sales on tents like rei-outlet please let me know. Thanks again for your help.

    Eagles405
     
  8. JimM_PA

    JimM_PA

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  9. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    eagles,

    Sounds like you need two tents. There isn't anything out there that's roomy, and is anywhere near light enough for long treks. I have about half dozen tents, bivy's and such I use depending on how far I'm going and the possible weather. For $350-$400 you should be able to get all the gear you need.

    I just hit the campmore site and here's what I would get:

    Solo hiking tent Not the lightest out there, but good enough for government work. All clip design on the top and a lot of mesh for ventilation. One trick with these is to tie a new line lengthwise from the ground to the lower loop, over to the upper support and down over the head. This way when you put the rainfly on it won't sag in the middle. $110 + $5 for paracord upgrade.

    car camp/short hike Freestanding, short sleeves and clip system, side vestibules for packs, bathtub flooring (best made IMHO), and no dips in the rainfly so the water will sheet off well. And it's Marmot. Awesome tents.$180.

    tent stakes Wire stakes will only last you one trip if you're pounding them into hard desert ground. Both of these tents can be held with two. $20.

    That puts you at $315 and campmor has free shipping for anything over $100. With the rest I'd head over to REI and get this:

    bug shelter For summer trekking when the lows are in the 90's this thing rocks. I used to use nothing in the summer, but after a bad scoprion experience I got this. I leave the pole at home to save weight. With a sleeping bag liner and 3/4 length foam pad, the whole setup weighs less than 1.5lbs for all my sleeping gear. Comes in handy when you have to tote 2-3 gallons of with you.

    These aren't the only deals out there, just what looked good to me from the selection in your price range. If you're going to skimp on anything let it be the car camping gear. You can always spend a miserable night in the cab of your truck if something fails there. Way out in the sticks when something breaks it can get really bad, really fast. I've had a couple close calls because of cheap gear gone wrong. Your health and safety aren't worth saving a few bucks.

    Good luck.
     
  10. akbound

    akbound

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    I agree with mpol777 in that when possible it is much better to have "different equipment" for car camping as opposed to camping when hiking. The biggest reason obviously is that you can carry much more/heavier gear when traveling by automobile. And in short that allows you to be more comfortable. All of a sudden a roomy tent, sleeping cots, large two burner stoves, even space heaters for cold weather camping. These are all things it is not a problem at all to transport by auto but can help towards allowing a more comfortable trip. Notice I didn't say more enjoyable, but rather more comfortable.

    Camping when hiking can be equally enjoyable and allows you to get to places you couldn't with a vehicle. It also allows the satisfaction of breaking with the crowds that frequently accompany all that entails camping with motorvehicles. And maybe most importantly it allows for the additional satisfaction that you've done it with out the reliance on as many modern contrivances. And it does call for lightweight gear that can be relied upon.

    When I was younger I tried to satisfy all my needs with one set of equipment. Part was youthful enthusiam and a big part was simple economics. I couldn't afford more than one set. But I quickly learned that compromise equipment doesn't really do either scenario well. So I have a number of tents that don't get much use now, because I've sinced bought gear that best suits my planned use.

    My wife and I have a substantial Kelty (rated to sleep eleven) that's rated for everything but expidition use and we've found it perfect for the two of us when we want to bask in luxury. (And are traveling by vehicle.) We include the cots, the folding chairs, the sleeping bags, folding table, two burner stove...........well, you get the idea. We have found with this setup we could enjoy camping in a monsoon if we had too. We've had our three year old (at the time) granddaughter with us and her own cot. Still plenty of room to dress, undress, move around the cots, but simple enough to set-up that the wife and I can pitch it in about ten minutes.

    I have several North Face tents, (as well a number of other brands). One North Face is a two person that I can either take on my bike (Valkyrie) or take on extended hikes and it's not very heavy. But it really is not very comfortable for two middle aged people, though it works great when I'm flying solo. I have a three person tent that does work for trips with either the wife and I or myself and a friend in a pinch. It also is easily bikable and can be carried but of course it weighs slightly more. And of course I have the small set of backpackable nestled pots, a single burner Coleman Peak 1 stove, and Apex, and a number of others. Additionally we have several sleeping bags apiece so we can take into account the anticipated uses, (sleeping pads as well)!

    Of course if you are limited to your purchases (and most people are) the "backpacking" tent should be first. It can be used to cover everything until such a time as you'd decide you need and can afford additional gear. And once again I'll state my belief that you should buy absolutely the best gear you possibly can. You'll never regret buying quality as with proper care it will last a lifetime. One very good tent is preferable to several lesser quality tents.

    Best of luck to you, stay safe and have fun!

    Dave
     
  11. eagles405

    eagles405

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    One more quick question, what is the maximum weight for a 2/3 person backpacking tent ya'll would take on a long distance trip? Thanks for your help. I think I am getting close to ordering one.:)

    Eagles405
     
  12. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    When I pack for a hike I work everything backwards. A long hike to me is anything where you have to put in about 20 miles a day. That means walking sun up to sun down depending on terrain and temperature. My max weight in that case is 40lbs. That number is from experience and nothing else. Yours could be higher or lower.

    Say you're doing a 3 day, 60 mile hike. Take 40lbs, subtract the weight of your pack (empty), 3 days worth of food (about 36oz if you use dehydrated meals, trail bars, etc), water (8lbs a gallon), emergency/med kit, cookset (sometimes just a pot and a fork), and navigation material (map, compass and gps if you have one). That's your base weight. Whatever is left you can fill up with sleeping bag, sleeping pad, shelter, hiking stove, and luxury items. So if you're hiking in warm weather in the spring or fall, you'd be looking at something like this:

    pack - 4lbs (more for an expedition pack)
    food - 2lbs
    water - 8lbs (assuming water is along the path to refill)
    medkit - 2lb
    cookset (small aluminum (titanium if you can swing it) pot, fork, white gas and stove) - 2.5lbs
    sleeping bag - 4lbs (average for a synthetic 35deg bag)
    sleeping pad - 1lb (average for a 3/4 length foam pad)
    water purifier - 1.5lbs (average for a pump filter)
    spare clothes - 4lbs
    rain gear - llb

    All that gear puts you at 30 lbs. Which leaves you about 10lbs for the tent and misc items like rope, knives, sidearm, ammo, flashlights, batteries, etc.

    If you stick with something in 4-6lb range you should be able to make it work. After a few hikes you'll know whether you want something lighter or bigger. Or you could be happy with the tent and start upgrading other gear.

    It's taken me years of trial and error to figure out what works for me. When I first came out to AZ from OH I had to learn how to camp all over again. There's no substitute for experience.
     
  13. akbound

    akbound

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    I agree with mpol777. If you stick with 6 pounds (3 person) as your upper limit you won't be far off track. If you get the two person try to cut a pound and a half or two. There are many quality tents in that weight range. One other thing to consider. If you don't need a four season tent for what you envision you can get a good quality three season tent that is usually a pound or two lighter than an equivalent four season tent. In really mild weather (as I believe you already stated) you can use no more than a rain fly and a ground cloth (foot print). If you have a good goretex bivy for your sleeping bag you'll have other options as well.

    If you plan on camping with a "partner" then only one of you need to carry a tent. In that case the balance of the load for two can be split so each of you have identical weight (or according to the needs of the weakest backpacker).

    Experience will provide many of the answers for you individually. Most people find that with experience they become pretty good at shaving weight. But don't entirely discount an old Infantry saying either, "Travel light, freeze at night"! So be careful not to leave behind critical gear. That's where good quality equipment really comes into its own. When you buy first quality gear you can be fairly confident that it will meet the needs it was designed to, with the least amount of weight. If it didn't, it wouldn't stay in a product line for long, and "name" companies renowned for topnotch gear, wouldn't stay in business.

    Dave