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  • New Scout Tents

    It's time for our troop to start looking to replace some tents. I've read through the tent recommendations in another thread, but would like to know which tents others have found work well for the scouts.

    We currently have A frame tents that are easy for the scouts to put up. This seems great, especially since our previous troop purchased some that were very difficult to put together. However, there aren't many options. We would be willing to give some on ease of setup if the other features are good.

    One more thought - Would having a frames for the first year scouts and different tents for the others be good or bad?

  • #2
    The Eureka Timberline 2 or 4 man tent is a good solid scout tent.
    Eureka makes a more modern design with twin shock corded poles, that is very similar in size and weight to the Timberline.
    This may be the model we get next. Most of our boys use their own tents; our 5 troop tents generally go unused.


    • #3
      I have three REI Camp Dome 4 tents that I've used with Cubs and Boy Scouts for about 5 years. They are durable, dry in all conditions, and well ventilated. They've been used probably 20 times by all manner of Webelos and Boy Scouts (as well as our family), and are still in very good shape. Can be set up or taken down in about 5 minutes.


      • #4
        One thing I don't like about the Timberline is that it doesn't have a full rain fly. However I see now that there is an optional vestibule, so this tent may go back on our list of possibilities. Does the fly go all the way down in the back?


        • #5
          I suggest the 2man backpacking tents out there that are popular with scout troops. My old troop used to buy Alps Mountaineering Taurus 2man tents and they are awesome. I even have one. Eureka is another good brand to buy from. By the way, I think that Campmor would be a good place to get your tents from. They are really cheap and may be having a sale right now on Eureka products.


          • #6
            ZScout5: It all depends on the kind of camping your troop does. You don't want a huge 4 man A-frame backpacking, while at Camporees/weekend car camping, they would be just fine.

            As others have pointed out, the Eureka Timberline series is a good all around scout tent. My brother's troop has some Timberlines (well close relation also made by Eureka, the Vista) that have been in use since we were scouts 25 years ago. They're showing their age now and are finally being retired, but yes, they've been used/abused by scouts in the troop for 25 years.

            Another I've had good luck with is the Eureka Tetragon 7 square dome--very easy to pitch, two shock corded poles that the tent clips to. Split between two people (poles/fly to one and tent to the other), it works for backpacking, though a little heavier than purists would like.

            Again, it depends on what kind of camping you plan to do.


            • #7
              "".... though a little heavier than purists would like. ""

              Purists? A "purist " wouldn't have a tent. He /She would have a tarp or (shudder) a hammock.

              Suggest your more adventurous Scouts try this: Get a 10 by 20 plastic tarp. Lay it on the ground and peg down the 10' end, and about 4 or 5 feet further on, depending on where the grommets are, Fold up the tarp about3 or 4 feet, hold that up with poles cut on site, again depending on where the grommets are ( you did bring rope with you , yes? Tautline hitch use, bowline use). Lay out the remaining 5 or 6 feet over the bottom as a roof, hold it up with poles cut on site and pegs cut on site (using the T/C skills, right?). Presto, Tarp Leanto. All you need. Shelters one Scout and gear, use a larger tarp for two boys. Easy to carry, versitle, adaptable, don't need a seperate ground cloth, inexpensive, easy to find replacement parts.
              Waddaya think?


              • #8
                I suggest Alps tents thru their Scout program.


                Their tents are nice and the Scout pricing is good.


                • #9
                  All good comments

                  The Alps is a good enough product and if you can get a bunch they offer a reasonable price. My boys have used the Eureka Timberline A-Frame and it is pretty scout proof but heavy. I have used a Eureka AT 2-man and like it; could set it up one handed at night in the rain.

                  Our Thrifty scoutmaster has scored a dozen marked down Kelty 2-Mans at $14 at Target at final closeout. Sold them to the newbies. He says they change their supplier about every year and sometime you get lucky at clearance.

                  Ease of setup is important for new scouts.

                  REALLY like the idea of training them to use tarps and poles. I would also consider using tarp-tents if you plan to do a lot of backpacking. If you don't do this may I suggest a patrol dining fly as a way for them to keep their knots up. This is a good life skill.

                  I use a Hammock and think that would be a good option for a small Troop; maybe not for a large one due to tree availability.


                  • #10
                    All good advice. My $.02 worth. If you see a really good deal, investigate thoroughly as they may be a reason why they are so cheap.

                    Troop was growing and our QM wanted to purchase Eurekas like the ones we already had. When the committee treasurer went to buy the Eurekas we wanted, they saw a "deal" on some all in one popup tents, i.e. poles automatically attached to the tent and you "shake it out" to set up. Long story short, all of the tents were damages and unable to be repaired by the end of the second camp out.


                    • #11
                      Steep and Cheap is currently running Alps chaos 2 man tent 50% off retail for $124


                      • #12
                        In the second decade of our Eureka Timberline Outfitter 4's for the Scouts. Still going strong.

                        Personally using a ALPS Extreme with the Outfitter Footprint for the third year(you have to ask for this footprint it's not on the list) I got the OF foot print so I could add weight when I was going to need the extra protection or have less weight when just a thin poly would be enough. Either way at 8.5 lbs it pretty much overkill but I use it as a four season tent with good results.

                        I'd like to go to a smaller backpacker tent but think I may be moving towards trying some 3 season hammock camping when I put together some cash for the next round of personal purchases.


                        • #13
                          I guess I might make someone upset, but I've had pretty good luck with the Ozark Trail tents sold at Wal-Mart. I admit the one that I got was not without flaws ($29.97 4-man tent 9x7 footprint with rain fly) but it has held up fairly well. At least enough that I'd consider checking out some of their 2-man tents.


                          • #14
                            Thanks for all the suggestions.
                            We would be using these tents for summer camp, monthly campouts, and possibly short backpacking. For high adventure such as canoeing or Philmont, we have some smaller, lightweight tents.

                            The tents need to be easy to set up and be ok in many types of weather.
                            We are in Midwest - lots of wind and rain, hot and humid in summer, and can get pretty cold late in spring/early fall.

                            Anyone have experience with tents from Cabela's? Currently on my list are Kelty Gunnison 4, Alps Taurus 4 ( 3 versions), and Marmot Limelight 4 or Limestone 4.
                            Fiberglass vs Aluminum vs DAC poles? Nylon vs polyester?


                            • #15
                              Also keep in mind whether the manufacturer is going to warranty the tent for life. If a pole bends, or a tent rips... will the manufacturer provide a lifetime warranty...??

                              I like the Eureka Apex 3XT, and Eureka Tetragon series

                              The Kelty Gunnison series is a classic, and I own one.

                              Also the Kelty Trail Ridge series.

                              Also, figure out if you want full coverage tents in case of rain, and do you want a vestibule to store items? Do you get a lot of dew in the morning, so you want to keep your items in the vestibule and dry ?

                              These above would be my recommendations...