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Mr. Boyce

Good, inexpensive family tent suggestion?

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Alps Mountaineering is a decent choice. I've used the same Coleman since about 2004. Last year our troop was forced to camp on top of a hill at a Spring Webelos Woods. It is just a tad windy in Oklahoma in the spring. My Coleman bit the dust as I didn't have it guyed properly for the amount of wind. It actually ripped up during the night. I kept wondering why the tent was slapping me every few minutes while I attempted to sleep on my cot.

 

Our Jamboree gear chairman researched a lot of affordable options and we finally decided on a 10x10 Alps. They worked great for the period of time we were there. Since I was in the market for a new tent, I bought one if the "used" tents and have been pleased with it so far.

 

Alps isn't an old company, but they have been around long enough to move into backpacks, self inflating pads, sleeping bags, etc. Our troop does high adventure trips each year, many to Philmont and many of the boys and adults have used Alps backpacks and really like them.

 

http://www.alpsmountaineering.com/tents

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by your alps tents thru scoutdirect.com Register your unit and pay 1/2 Good deal we bought 56 for jambo had one jambed zipper. The only one that leaked was the one they left the door open on.

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I too have had good service out of Coleman tents. I second the carrying of a tarp in case the rain does get bad. I've had to do this a few times. They were when campming in several days of rain. After a good 36 hours of steady rain I have had a few leaks mostly on the side of tent facing the direction the rain was coming from. Normal on /off rain overnight or afternoon showers they have been fine. If staked properly I haven't had any issues with the "smaller" rainfly.

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I've used a Coleman 4-man tent that I bought at BJ's last year ($35 with a coupon) a few time with great results. Here's a few key tips

- As noted previously, seam seal your tent. The time and $3 investment is worth it during a rain storm

- I bought a 4-person tent even though it's usually just me and my son. The extra space is great for gear and stretching out. Besides I like to be able to stand up in my tent. That's something you can't do in most 2-person tents.

- If it looks like rain, pull everything into the middle so nothing touches the sides of the tent. Its that contact that allows moisture in

- I keep a car chamois just to mop up any water that does come into the tent

- I took a blue tarp and cut it so it was slightly smaller than my tent floor to create a footprint. Put the footprint down first then set up the tent on it. The foot print helps protect the tent floor wear and tear and keeps it cleaner. I've seen people just lay down a tarp as a footprint, but if it sticks out from under the tent, the rain will be captured by the parts sticking out and pool it under the tent.

 

I'm sure there are better tents out there, but again I'm going to be doing mostly cub scout and car camping a few times a year. I could have spent more, but you can never tell how well your family will like camping. If we hardly go, it's only $35. If we love it and go every weekend, then I can go out and spend more on a tent. I can still use this one as a back up/spare or gear tent.

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