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Scoutfish

Your number one camping woe?

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Just spent two consecutive weekends camping. Matter of fact, between Council camping and pack camping..it usually ends up being back to back.

 

Speaking of backs...OH MAN! My back is killing me after the second weekend of 2 night camping.

 

But I think I might have figured out what makes it hurt:

 

It's not my air mattress. I have it pumpe about 90% full.

 

It's not my sleeping bag which is pretty thick.

 

I think it's my tent....or the hieght of my tent.

 

My tent is a basic 4 man ( read 2 man) dome tent. It's about 4 1/2 foot high at the middle.

 

So , if I want to get into my tent, I have to hunch down and clear the rain fly ( I use a real tarp) and the ddor. Then I have to stay on my hands and knees the whole time I am in the tent.

Getting undressed means unbuttoning my pants, then laying on my back and using my back and feet to hold my middle section up long enough to slide my psnts down , at which poiint, I still lay on my back, and stick my feet up in the air.

 

REverse for putting pants on.

 

Shirts: Have to sit on my matress and hunch over and pull shirt off while azlmost holding my breath.

 

I am 6'2" tall.

 

So I am thinkling of buying this thing:

 

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Suisse-Sport-Wyoming-18-x-10-x-72-3-Room-Tent/2579728

 

Yeah, it's not a hike in the middle of Canada of Africa tent, but you have to figure IO only go camping 5 -6 times a year right now. And it's pretty much during the spring and fall - not summer or winter.

 

My line of thinking is this tent is Taj Mahal enough that I have enough room to put a chair inside where I can sit down to get dressed, OR since it is 6 foo tall, I can just get away with bending my head slightly.

 

I'm thinking this will cure my back aches,.

 

Anybody else have this kind of experience?

 

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I had a scoutmaster that had a similar tent and would bring it on all the outings. It worked well for him. He brought a tent heater and a cot and really lived it up. We all used to tease him about his "taj ma hal" but at the same time it was rare he didnt have another adult stay in it with him. At one point we gave him pink flamingos to put outside his tent....just to razz him (he had everything else).

 

But my family also has one of these tents as well as about 7 other tents they range in size from one in which the "taj ma hal" can fit inside of very easily and one that you can just get inside of without equipment (designed for backpacking).

 

We love the "taj ma hal" and its lasted a long time and weve never had any issues with it. Its a great tent

 

But Im just not sure whether its the same manufacture or quality or anything like that so just be careful in that sense.

 

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I have an 11X17 tentmahall. We mostly use it for family camping. The other 7-8 tents are more conducive to scout stuff.

 

It's really big and very hard to set up alone. Can be done but it's really a 2-man job. You also have to be careful where you go. I've been to a couple campgrounds where there's not enough room for a tent that large.

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I have a tent like this from early in my Cub days. It does have the advantage of being roomy inside.

 

Disadvantages: heavy, takes time and people to set up and tear down, not all that rain-proof, takes up a lot of ground.

 

Now I only ever use the smaller tents. Pants on and off is exactly how you describe. For the shirts, I just throw on the t-shirt in the tent, and put on the Scout shirt and do any tucking in outside. Also, I have a knee mat where I crawl into the tent.

 

It all comes down to what tradeoffs there are and which attributes you value the most. Might also have something to do with the unit culture. What do all of the other adults use?

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SF, I feel your pain man. I'm an inch taller than you and shrinking slowly. That isn't the real issue, though. I don't stretch regularly like I should ... and all that not doing the physical fit thing catches up to ya on the weekends.

 

A 90% full air mattress can cause your back all manner of grief! I learned from the weeks camping with my wife the trouble it can cause. Try out some thermarest pads. (I'm sure your friends have them). My wife for a while needed a hospital egg-crate foam pad. It took up space, but made a difference.

 

More importantly, my #1 woe is high wind, the solution: low profile

 

I've taken the opposite tack from what you suggest. I wait till everyone is in bed, snap up my 30" pup tent (or lay out a tarp if I don't feel like staking) change in the dark and crawl into my bag. The pup tent gets a lot of laughs for a big guy like me, but I just explain that I'm doing some early "coffin practice." Any piece of canvas that withstands 100 mph winds earns a lot of love in my book.

 

On a dry enough night, I just toss my pad and bag on a picnic table and change in it. Something I learned from coral reef sailing in the summer: sleep topside.

 

That said, if a dad has space in his taj mahal, I'm not beyond free-loading. :)

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I'm not really wanting the width and length of this tent...I just want the hieght.

 

I'm actually looking at another tent that has a smaller footprint, but is 80" tall.

 

AS far as the rest of the pack:

 

Some tents are basic two man domes. Some l;ook like the old school pup tents with a 3 pc pole on each end supported by two guidelines each. Some are 3 bedroom deals with a screen porch, second story balcony, deck,stellite dish, and a side garage and jacuzzi! :)

 

 

Again, I only camp about 5-6 timers a year, and in the fall and spring, so I don't have to have a super high quality trek tent.

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Any tent from walmart is a problem. This is a statement of fact.

 

All tents are equal until it starts to storm. High wind driving rain will soak you pretty quick in that wallyworld or dicks tent.

 

Don't use an air mattress. they are too cold and do not provide decent support. I use sleeping pads, the style depends on season. winter closed cell pad from I think therma rest. summer I use and Alps pad.

 

I have purchases a large amount of my gear from a place called steepandcheap. You can get gear up to 90% off......I purchased my one man tent for $50 it is 70% off. Now it is one deal at a time so some patience is required. No affiliation......Just a happy customer.

 

Buy quality.

 

Full fly tent is a must. Clear to the ground or within a couple of inches. low profile to eliminate the wind issue. We have timberlines for the troop and have wind issues.

 

I never spend any time in my tent when camping so size isn't an issue and I do exit it to button, zip and tuck. I sleep in a alps mountaineering one man tent. I usually crawl in and pass out so space isn't an issue. I lash a pack stand together on every campout, gear stays, OMG, out side the tent. all of my gear fits inside my backpack, tent and sleeping pad included. I am setting the example for the boys and the direction I would like to see the troop go. I would love for the troop to move from car camping to pack camping

 

I will say.......on a wet weekend I will switch to a marmot limelight 2p. Gets my pack into the to tent and out of the weather.

 

Personal camping woes......don't have any. I love the outdoors and camp half the weekends. Quick look at air temps I am good.

 

The boys and families way over pack.....I really hate these huge tents. The cubs went to a camporee two years ago, I couldn't arrive till late.....We had 6 families and their giant tents dominate the campsite.......Left next to no room for the rest of us.......Not gonna happen. We took them all down and put them in troop tents.

 

 

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Nah, I love my air matress. I have used it in other situations, so I know it's not the matres that is the issue.

 

I usually inflate it to around 90% in order to leave some give . It's not so tight I bounce around, but it is plenty full enough to keep me off the ground/floor. I put a sleeping bag over top of it and since I am sorta hot natured, I have yet to be cold. I have even sweated in 49 degree weather with this bag on top of the air matress.

 

My problem is the bending over, being hunched over , and getting dressed inside my tent.

 

I don't rfeally want to by a mobile home size tent, but I do want the height and just enough room to allow for a chair to use while getting dressed and putting on shoes.

 

Yeah, means this glorious temple of a body is getting old and worn out! :)

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Scoutfish,

 

I'm 6'1'', and I know how you feel.

 

Just a thought: maybe the root cause of the pain isn't solely getting dressed in a tiny pup tent....

 

Maybe it's the accumulated pain of carrying heavy stuff, walking long distance, and standing for long periods of time. And on the weekends when you backpack, you are toting more heavy stuff for longer periods.

 

I'd recommend looking at your pack as well--size, load, the whole deal.

 

Sometimes a new style pack, carrying less, etc., helps alot.......

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I used to do lots of backpacking and would spend nights comfotably on an insulated pad with my bootsw as a pillow.

 

 

When I returned to Scouting at age 54 I was AMAZED at the changes in camping since my backpacking days! I would have thought that environmentalists would have been UP AT ARMS with how much HARDER the ground had gotten in a few short years!

 

For some reason it's a lot harder to stand up when you roll out of the sleeping bag, too. What's that anyway? A sudden increase in the force of gravity? You never hear scientists reporting on these issues...

 

These days when car camping I sleep on a camp cot, at age 61.

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45 here and the ground does seem to grab hold and keeping me down.

 

One bag in the house, one bag in the truck one bag to carry, my tent sets up in about super quick......plus my tent is small enough to set up in the basement to dry. Plus for a weekend all I need to do to be ready is to add cloths and sleeping bag. Well I do take a camp chair.......

 

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Dessert...Oh wait a minute..let's back up!

 

I am a CM. THis is pack camping. My hiking consists of about 30 feet from my truck. Granted, the only reason my truck is that close is that I pull the scout trailer with all the camp stoves, grills, coolers of food and waters.

 

Backpack? :) last time I used one of those was in high school.

Maybe in a year or so, I'll need to look at framed backpacks as my son goes into Boy Scouts, but right now....the longest hike I take with my tent is around 30 feet.

 

Edited to add: I am also on my feet all day. I install garage doors so I am always on my feet or climbing up and down a few steps on my 6' step ladder.(This message has been edited by scoutfish)

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I haven't posted in quite a while, but have some definite recommendations.

 

I'm 52 and 6'5" tall. Tent camping has gone from something I loved to something I have to deal with the enjoy the day.

 

My suggestion is to look at a simply designed 5-person or 6-person tent that has a 6' tall center. Though I have to lean my head a bit, it is very easy to stand to put on pants and get dressed. These are typically with a floor dimension something like a 8'x10' (5-person) or 10'x10' (6-person). The simplest design is one that has just two poles that from opposite corners and my preference is one that doesn't have pole sleeves, but rather has clips that fasten to the poles ... then there is a fly that covers the whole thing.

 

Kelty makes a very nice tent like that - Trail Dome 6, but it is kind of pricey.

 

What I would suggest you get is a tent from Alps Mountaineering since they make great tents, plus they give a large discount to Scouters (Boy & Girl).

 

Their main website is http://www.alpsmountaineering.com , but their Scout discount site is http://www.scoutdirect.com. You register with them, they send you a price list, and then you call them and place the order. Very nice people.

 

Models with aluminum poles are recommended.

 

I have a Meramac 6 and a Taurus 5, but they have some newer models that look nice too. I think the vestibule tent is easier to set up, but the hooded entrance is easier to go in and out of.

 

BTW, talk about getting old! In the last few years I found myself hating the getting up in the middle of the night to make the trip to the latrine. Eventually I tried using a pee-bottle (an old Nalgene bottle wrapped with friction tape so as not to mis-identify it in the night). I had an orange narrow-mouth (as opposed to wide-mouth) bottle so nobody knows what it is, and take it with me to the latrine each morning, and rinse it out with water. It was kind of embarrassing at first, but now its no big deal. Nobody knows. Do keep in mind that these days my kids don't tent with me, but are tenting with buddies.

 

 

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I time my water-intake-cut-off at 2 hours before bed time.

That keeps gives me enough space between latrine runs for a full nights sleep.

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