Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Camping

What tent do you use?

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We like to camp out.  My 'girls', wife and daughter stay in a tent and I usually sleep in a hammock.  We have a cheap walmart 3 person tent and for as nice as it has been, it's gotten a bit mildewed and the floor is integrated so it's quite heavy if you want to hike in a ways.

So I'm planning to stay in a tent when I go do a 3 day trip.  I was looking at the MSR 3 person Mutha Hubba.  It's $500 and the floor is seperate - a bit steep but at the top end of the budget I had in mind.  It seems with the fly you get good weather protection (I'm expecting rain on that trip), two doors and two vestibules.  I haven't seen much in the way of value for what you get with other tents without going another $200 more.

I'm also hoping to take it backpacking or at least have to carry it in and don't want to make multiple trips in the future.

What do you have and how do you use it?  Any other real world reviews out there from anyone?

I tend to have cheap under $50 3-man tents. They generally last me about 10 years on each one. I try to catch them at this time of the year when they are on sale.
Where I camp with them have ranged from the Oregon Coast, to Cascade Mountains, high desert, to -48F in the mountains in British Columbia, Canada. I like them as they are lightweight, I have had them in dogsled bags, on my backpack, in my truck, and I have carried them behind my saddle while riding on my horse. I do not cry as much getting spark embers on my cheap tents, as I know I would with a more expensive tent. I have slept in a $400 mountaineering tent once (Marmot maybe? Something yellow) and I was not impressed. Totally NO room, and the tent was always 'in your face'. Granted if you break it down, $400 for a tent is only $40/yr, and it is probably worth that, but for my usual budget, $5 is much closer.


Richard (richard):
We used the Ozark Trail 9' x 7' Instant Dome Camping Tent for $59 from Walmart. I have set it up in pitch dark nights in less than 2 minutes, very good quality. Almost every single tent (I say "almost" but I think it really is "all") advertises double the comfortable occupancy, unless we're talking pygmies.

Smurf Hunter:
In my experience, the difference between a cheap and premium tent is in the design.

I have a variety of tents and go on many boy scout trips.  In most cases, the premium brand tents are MUCH easier to setup and tear down, often are lighter and take up less small in your vehicle/backpack.

e.g.  I have an old Coleman 4 man I've had since the 1990s.  Nothing wrong with it, but it's nearly impossible for me to setup solo.
On the other hand, I have a big 6 man REI tent that I can entirely setup by myself, and usually do.  The 6 man REI packs into a smaller bag then the 4 man coleman. 

My problem is I have a few little tents, and a few big family sized.  I really should get a premium 3 man, that packs up nicely.  That's what I want as an adult leader when I have to setup for a week of scout camp.  A bivvy or hammock is cool for an overnight, but for multi-day, I need to sit up, deal with personal hygiene, etc.

If you are back packing, these attributes matter even more, as weight and reliability matter.

Last year I bought a Marmot Limelight 2 when I came across a deal for it for only $175. Second night out it pours down raining. Woke up completely dry. Goes up quick.


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