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MichScouter

Cheap Backpacking tent

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My son and I are going on a weekend backpacking trip in August wit the troop. Anyone have an recomendation on a cheap backing tents? I am not sure how much he will be into backpack so I don't want to spend a ton until I know it something the troop will do more off. This trip is our troops first foray into backpacking.

 

We are preparing now by doing a bunch of day hikes of varous length to get the boy and adults ready. We could use one of the troops tents but they are a little big.

Any recomendation would be great.

 

Here is what I have found

 

Eagle's Camp Crystal Canyon Backpacker Dome Tent $49.99 at Cabelas

 

 

 

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Check out the geometry. That 5 feet is at the waist not the head and feet. I hope you like to snuggle with your son in august and someone is going to get stepped on getting out. I would set it up and try it out in the back yard some night first. I personally would rather sleep under the stars than in anything less than a 3 man rated tent with two people in August. You could also look for one that has two doors. I would prioritize what functions you want your tent to serve. Weather protection, bugs, wind, gear, animals, comfort, weight, price etc. Rain flys that go to the ground or near it are great for rain but really suck for ventilation. I like ventilation, my bag will keep me warm if needed. I hate getting stuck in a Marmot, with some moron parent from the troop that insists on the full fly when no rain is forecast. Sauna.

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I was thinking about buying one for each of us. I just don't want to spend $200 or $400 for something we oly use once. Anyone have any suggestion?

 

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All I have ever done with backpacking is a military poncho. Stake down 3 corners and lift the fourth with your walking stick. There's a ton of variations one can use to modify this setup. 2 forked sticks and put the walking stick horizontal, using the 4th corner as a mini-awning. Keeps the driving rain out a bit. The poncho can be used while hiking to cover both and hiker AND the backpack. Also can be used as a backpack cover when one is meadow-crashing. Worse case scenario for bad weather? 2 ponchos and they still weigh less than a tent, one to cover your pack at night and the other to sleep under. So what are you out? So what's a surplus poncho running now adays? $20? I got mine so long ago, what I paid is no longer relevant.

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Check out alps mountaineering and sign up for their program at scoutdirect.com we have about 8 of their lynx-2 with the aluminum poles we bought during the Christmas sale and they work fine.

They have a vestibule and an entrance on each side. Their scout direct price is close to $100. You may want to invest in better stakes.

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Check out the geometry. That 5 feet is at the waist not the head and feet. I hope you like to snuggle with your son in august and someone is going to get stepped on getting out. I would set it up and try it out in the back yard some night first. I personally would rather sleep under the stars than in anything less than a 3 man rated tent with two people in August. You could also look for one that has two doors. I would prioritize what functions you want your tent to serve. Weather protection, bugs, wind, gear, animals, comfort, weight, price etc. Rain flys that go to the ground or near it are great for rain but really suck for ventilation. I like ventilation, my bag will keep me warm if needed. I hate getting stuck in a Marmot, with some moron parent from the troop that insists on the full fly when no rain is forecast. Sauna.
More bad advice

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So what are your thoughts regarding your tent purchase??? Solely for backpacking???? Troop car camping as well??????

 

A car camping tent will not backpack well and a backpacking tent is'nt all that comfortable. It is about weight.....The more crap you put in your pack the heavier it will be and typically the less fun you will have....

 

I like a full fly tent regardless of the weather, You can pitch it with out the fly or put the fly on and leave it rolled up high on the tent... Then when that late afternoon thunderstorm rolls thru your good..... We got stuck in our tents one evening for 12 hours it was november and just about dark so it was all good.....Poured buckets for way to many of those hours.... My guys were all dry...It was a good thing it was a 4-6 hour walk back to the cars in the morning.....

 

I like vestibule......Keeps muddy boots and gear out of the interior......

I like Two doors....So your not crawling over each other

I like the door to secure to the top of the opening....Marmot secures to the bottom and the screens get buggered up.

I like free standing.....Less likely to have to get out of the tent in the rain to reposition a stake....

I like full fly

I like lower profile....less wind issues and the smaller guys can manage them......

 

I shop a lot on steep and cheap.....I picked up enough backpacking tents to equip the troop.....We use Sierra Design Zolo2 and Marmot limelight 2's.....The zolo is 8 feet long too.....

 

 

Looking at your cabelas tent.....It doesn't have a vestibule.....A two man tent without a vestibule is a one man tent.....for the price you could buy two......but the tent weighs 5 pounds which is a bit much for a solo shelter.....Depending on where you go the might not allow solo tents....

 

I hammock when I can......but that is another thread.Warbonnett blackbird, hammock gear quilts, Super fly......Not as light as a tent but much more comfortable.

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Check out the geometry. That 5 feet is at the waist not the head and feet. I hope you like to snuggle with your son in august and someone is going to get stepped on getting out. I would set it up and try it out in the back yard some night first. I personally would rather sleep under the stars than in anything less than a 3 man rated tent with two people in August. You could also look for one that has two doors. I would prioritize what functions you want your tent to serve. Weather protection, bugs, wind, gear, animals, comfort, weight, price etc. Rain flys that go to the ground or near it are great for rain but really suck for ventilation. I like ventilation, my bag will keep me warm if needed. I hate getting stuck in a Marmot, with some moron parent from the troop that insists on the full fly when no rain is forecast. Sauna.
BD is right. That was bad advise. Don't evaluate your tent decision based on YOUR needs and preferences. Base it on his or my needs and preferences. I now highly recommend spending 4 times the amount you are comfortable with for something that has a high probability of never getting used again based on your stated needs and preferences. Don't try it out first and see if works for you, test in the field, that is the only way to go. More adventurous. Two doors is so overkill, oh wait, BD now thinks that is a good thing, I'm confused. Oh well, nothing new.

 

Don't even consider not buying a tent. BD would never consider that option for a thrifty scout. :)

 

You should also get an expensive hammock while your at it. Sorry, make that two expensive hammocks. They are compact and will fit nicely on a shelf in your basement until your next garage sale. Since you and your troop are experienced backpackers you know for certain there will be suitable trees where the troop decides to camp.

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Check out the geometry. That 5 feet is at the waist not the head and feet. I hope you like to snuggle with your son in august and someone is going to get stepped on getting out. I would set it up and try it out in the back yard some night first. I personally would rather sleep under the stars than in anything less than a 3 man rated tent with two people in August. You could also look for one that has two doors. I would prioritize what functions you want your tent to serve. Weather protection, bugs, wind, gear, animals, comfort, weight, price etc. Rain flys that go to the ground or near it are great for rain but really suck for ventilation. I like ventilation, my bag will keep me warm if needed. I hate getting stuck in a Marmot, with some moron parent from the troop that insists on the full fly when no rain is forecast. Sauna.
KDD since your going to be a knucklehead. I hope you still don't share a tent with your scout.....Seriously. The boy should be sleeping with his patrol....We do not permit parents to sleep with their scouts......Generally the boys don't want to sleep with dad.....

 

When my troop started backpacking we used plastic sheeting.....we used treking poles or rope suspended between two trees......10x10 or 20x10, gives you a floor worked really well 3mil or better if you can find it.....

 

so you want the cheapest solution......Plastic sheeting and a couple pieces of rope....Not bug proof, no floor Condensation can be an issue depending on how you pitch it........But it is lightweight, water proof and cheap.

 

We experimented with tyvek to make our tents....but it was too fragile for the boys.

 

So KDD tell me exactly how many nights you have Backpacking????? How many miles a year????? I bet is going to be zero or less than 10... So while you have an opinion.....It is not based on first hand experience..... But what you have read or may have heard......

 

The older guys backpack 3 times a year......plus the intro trip with the new guys.....We average about 100 miles or so a year..... I am hoping that I can talk the PLC into going to the Dolly Sods in WV instead or the trips we have already completed.

 

I ordered Jamboree tents for general troop use....They are 3 or 4 man....they weigh 18 pounds a piece...

 

There are many hammock hangers here......I will say it isn't for everyone. I will spend three weeks in it this summer, Troop resident camp, webelos camp and troop backpacking trip. So the extra comfort and expense is warranted in my opinion.......

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Here's a 7'x7' tent weighing less than 5 pounds for $30 at Walmart. It has a tub floor design to keep ground moisture out, but the rainfly is not very substantial. It would make a good starter tent if you are going when the weather is nice and no chance of rain. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-7-x-7-Dome-Tent-Sleeps-2/22281731.
If the weather is nice and no chance of rain, leave the tent at home and carry 7# of something more useful. :)

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Check out the geometry. That 5 feet is at the waist not the head and feet. I hope you like to snuggle with your son in august and someone is going to get stepped on getting out. I would set it up and try it out in the back yard some night first. I personally would rather sleep under the stars than in anything less than a 3 man rated tent with two people in August. You could also look for one that has two doors. I would prioritize what functions you want your tent to serve. Weather protection, bugs, wind, gear, animals, comfort, weight, price etc. Rain flys that go to the ground or near it are great for rain but really suck for ventilation. I like ventilation, my bag will keep me warm if needed. I hate getting stuck in a Marmot, with some moron parent from the troop that insists on the full fly when no rain is forecast. Sauna.
This gentleman is going on a backpack trip in August, and it it is going to be less than 10 degrees??? On this troops first foray into backpacking ??? Just when and where do you think this troop that has never been on a backpack trip is going to start camping in freezing conditions ? Did you bother to read his whole post? I did. This may very well be the only backpacking trip he or this Scout does EVER. He is trying to be thrifty and your advise on post 7 is not helpful to his stated situation.

 

Your right he should not be sleeping with his son but that is his decision to make and indicated he might do so by stating his other option is to borrow ONE of the troops heavy tents.

 

The only time my boy was ever in my tent as a BS was when his patrol's tent (kelty) failed and was flooding during a continuous rainstorm at 42 degrees, the rest of the patrol slept in cars. But you already know that story. Would hypothermia have made him a better scout ?

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Here's a 7'x7' tent weighing less than 5 pounds for $30 at Walmart. It has a tub floor design to keep ground moisture out, but the rainfly is not very substantial. It would make a good starter tent if you are going when the weather is nice and no chance of rain. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-7-x-7-Dome-Tent-Sleeps-2/22281731.
@jblake47, I suppose that could work for MichScouter, since he lives in Michigan, but here in California along the coast, August can mean fog and dew. I prefer to stay dry inside my tent. Just curious, though, if you had 5 pounds to spare, what is the "more useful" item you would bring instead of a tent?

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Here's a 7'x7' tent weighing less than 5 pounds for $30 at Walmart. It has a tub floor design to keep ground moisture out, but the rainfly is not very substantial. It would make a good starter tent if you are going when the weather is nice and no chance of rain. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-7-x-7-Dome-Tent-Sleeps-2/22281731.
Some sort of waterproof tarp/poncho would keep the dew off would be okay.

 

Nicer, less expensive foods that aren't dehydrated would be a "luxury".

 

Bit more water that would mean longer time between filtration necessities.

 

One wouldn't have to be anal about cutting down on items.

 

Maybe a small travel game or two, cards, etc.

 

Extra socks or heavier clothing for cool evenings. Or maybe an extra light blanket if the evenings in the mountains are a bit cooler than what the boys are used to.

 

Walking stick.

 

Mostly things that would not be set aside as not really necessary because of weight concerns.

 

What happens especially on the first time backpacking is that the boys over pack their stuff. One doesn't have to be so harsh, the over packing is a bit more forgiving to the newbies. Down the road a bit, they can learn the finesse of doing it correctly, but it doesn't discourage them on the first few outings of misjudgments. Even if one were to pack right and leave a 5# tent behind, the lighter load for a newbie would be greatly appreciated, especially if they are a bit out of shape.

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