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KenD500

Tents? Outfitter quality or not?

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+1 for ALPS Mountaineering tents, and Hiker Direct in general. The Taurus Outfitter tents are awesome. I have one of their smaller Zephyr series tents for myself, my everyday carry daypack is their (sadly just discontinued) Solitude, and I have a Caldera internal frame pack for bigger hauling. The current pricing through Hiker Direct for a 4 man Taurus Outfitter is $186.94 (MSRP is $329.99). But, order early, as they always seem to sell out the yearly production run.

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Some, yes...especially the ultralight tents. Many of the 3-4lbs tents from REI, MSR or Big Agnes are pretty sturdy and can do the double duty. As always, care must be taken.

exactly.  Wouldn't have to be top of the line stuff.... almost any 1-2 man tent could fit the bill great.  Not like they are doing a through on the AT with it.

a small tent from walmart could be a step in the direction I mean.  Heavy, sure....but split between a couple scouts manageable for short hikes.

Gets the brain going for camping with less stuff and opens up easier transition into things like overnight canoe trips where you might not be floating the trailer along.... or a few mile over night hike maybe, to a nice swimming hole.

also they are cheap and replaceable when they don't last.

Many of our guys use hammocks and a few have smaller 1 man biveys.

 

I'm figuring that 90% of the camps will still be steps away form the tailgate of the SM's truck, but it would get them practiced up so that it's not as big of a deal when a more adventuresome trip opportunity presents itself. 

as a comparison, right now I would guess it would take a fairly big investment for our troop to do a little 1 mile in and out backpacking overnight.  The guys have never gone without a cooler, don't have little stoves, don't know how to camp cook without pots/pans, dutch ovens, etc... and many have tents that would not be reasonable at all to carry....  We could probably pull off a overnight in the canoes camping on a sandbar, but even that would take some doing.

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Can I ask, as an interloper from across the pond...what is meant by "outfitter quality"?

 

Talking of matching tents, we had a stroke of good fortune a couple of years back. An ex-leader got back in touch with us, his company were having a global sales conference, and decided it was cheaper/better to put all of the visitors in tents, as the location had loads of green fields and it was summer. As the event was themed, they had some custom flysheets made for some standard two man tents, put one person in each, with a sleeping bag and headtorch. They had all the tents put up in rows on site by a professional organisation, then asked us, and a couple of other charities to come and help ourselves after the end of the conference. We didn't realise quite how many tents they had....

 

 

newbry-fields-strawberry-tents-banner.jp

 

 

typical British summer, it was raining heavily when we came to take them down, but we managed to fit about 120 in our vehicles. Plus about 50 sleeping bags. Then all we had to do was dry them! I say we, I was on holiday at the time, in very sunny France, so I missed all the fun!

 

We divided them up amongst local scout groups.

 

They're definitely not for hiking, unless you're feeling very strong, but we had probably 15 or 20 of them up on our summer camp last year. The Explorers, as typical teenagers, wanted to put them up randomly, but my tent OCD didn't allow it, and, to be fair, the camping space we had was not the biggest, so they were lined up, not quite as well as the picture, but not bad. Looked great though, and should last us years and years.

 

Ian

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@@fred johnson, have you guys tried to negotiate a discount? I assume you have. We found that, until we asked, no one offered or asked. Once we asked, the price dropped from $250 to $150 or lower per unit.

 

If you found the tent was $250 and you were able to get it at $150, I'm betting it was a different tent.  Eureka has lots of models of the Timberline tent.  Three thicknesses of floors and zippers.  With Vestibule.  etc.
 
  • Timberline SQ Outfitter 4 ... List $379 ... Sale in the high $280s
  • Timberline SQ 4XT     ... List $299 ... Sale in the high $280s.
 
We've watched sales and were able to get major discounts.  We were lucky enough to get several of ours at $199 as a store was clearing out their inventory of  them.  We bought as many as we could.  It was a good sale.  
 
To be honest, I prioritize less now about having them all match or having a stock for the troop to use.  It takes one kid to not dry out a tent for a month to cause major damage to a pricy investment.  
 
Translation ... Kids (and families) take better care of their own stuff.
 
Only way I've seen it done really well is a troop that has a big garage with hooks.  When they return from camp, they hang all the tents to dry.  It's a nice way to maintain inventory.  ... I'm jealous.  

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......
 
Only way I've seen it done really well is a troop that has a big garage with hooks.  When they return from camp, they hang all the tents to dry.  It's a nice way to maintain inventory.  ... I'm jealous.  

 

 

 

I've often thought how great it would be to have a proper scout hut.

and thought if I ever become very very wealthy, maybe I'll make it happen for the troop.  I'll have to add that feature to the design!

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Only way I've seen it done really well is a troop that has a big garage with hooks.  When they return from camp, they hang all the tents to dry.  It's a nice way to maintain inventory.  ... I'm jealous.  

 

 

Our hut (it's not unusual in the UK for each group to have their own hut, I'd guess probably 75% have their own) has hoops in the walls at about 5ft high, good for stringing rope across an hanging smaller tents from, it also has a decent high ceiling so we can hang bigger tents from ceiling beams. Of course, when the cubs are in the next day at 6pm, it still doesn't give you much time for things to dry.

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...

Talking of matching tents, we had a stroke of good fortune a couple of years backhe Explorers, as typical teenagers, wanted to put them up randomly, but my tent OCD didn't allow it, and, to be fair, the camping space we had was not the biggest, so they were lined up, not quite as well as the picture, but not bad. Looked great though, and should last us years and years. ...

Your explorers need to cross the pond and camp with us. We randomize tent placement ... postage stamp footprints of crushed grass is poor form for our lot.

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Your explorers need to cross the pond and camp with us. We randomize tent placement ... postage stamp footprints of crushed grass is poor form for our lot.

 

Next time....there's always a next time isn't there? We'd move the tents halfway through the week. Sadly that camp ground was so small we couldn't. It looked big enough on the recce, but that was before we knew how many were coming. My heart sank when we took down the tents at the end of the week to see a string of yellow rectangles. Ho hum, a month and it would have recovered. Another reason for encouraging hammock camping. We do try and leave no trace, and my litter sweeps are infamous.

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We use REI two man tents. They are inexpensive and last a long time. Haven't replaced ours in 7 years and they are in great condition.

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The Timberines take plenty of abuse but a 4 man tent seems awfully heavy. Do they end up camping near the trailer and vehicles then? We used to have a 2 man limit on tents because 3 or more boys = chaos at night. Older boys could sleep by themselves.

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If you found the tent was $250 and you were able to get it at $150, I'm betting it was a different tent.

Actually they were the same tent. We just called the sales dept, worked with them on bulk pricing for our troop. They knew we were a non-profit, we bought from them previously and were buying a decent quantity.

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I have been a fan of the Eureka timberline for decades and have been using the same one for 20+ years BUT we choose a different tent for the Scouts .  We use the ALPS Meramac 3 for the Scouts - 2 scouts per tent unless we have an odd number then one tent will have 3 scouts.  We use the Meramac 4 for the adults.  The tents are well made, easy to set up and can be purchased at a great discount through hiker direct.  (Meramac 3: $71, Meramac 4: $83)  These are not backpacking tents but are still light enough for even the youngest scout to carry from point to point.  we add an extra ground cloth (thick home depot clear plastic)  under the tent to additionally protect the floor.

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"Outfitter" is like "authentic," "genuine," "heavy duty," or "special."  Words that sound good but have  meaningset by regulatorsd or the industry.

 

1000mm rated coating is the least that passes as "waterproof" by law.  It wears down over time and use so 1000mm is not much.  Look for better.  I just bought a clearance tent with 3500mm coating on the floor and 2500mm on the fly.

 

A "ground cloth" outside protect from sharp and abrasive objects.  One inside protects the coating from the grit the kids track in. Result = tents last longer.

 

1.9 oz nylon is about as light as I would buy,

 

We now check tents before summer camp because  several times boys showed up with $19.99 junk.  No ventilation or waterproofing to speak of.  3/32" fiberglass poles that break when hit by loud sounds.

 

11 stitches to the inch or better.

 

Eureka has historically been a good value, but most tents are made in/by CHINA these days, so ???

 

Polyester is more resistant to solar radiation.  

 

A cheap blue polyester tarp protects from sun and rain.  Pitched with a gap between it and the fly, it keeps the tents cooler when it's sunny.

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We have a fleet of Kelty Gunnison tents in 2 and 3-person versions. They weigh 5 to 6 lbs and have been very durable. Full coverage fly, plenty of mesh for warm weather, and sturdy in high winds. Kelty has a great warranty program, and has fixed the odd tear and broken pole at no cost.

 

However, they're being used less and less since the hammock craze has taken hold!

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