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Thread: Tent Advice

  1. #1

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    Default Tent Advice

    I'm getting back into camping after a long hiatus. I camped one night this year because I had a fishing tournament early on a Sunday morning so I camped at the lake. I have a Remington 4 person tent that I bought at a garage sale many years ago and it has holes in 3 corners of the floor so I'm shopping for a new tent.

    I have a couple questions and would like your opinions. Almost all of my trips will be fishing centered and they will all be at campgrounds.

    I may be going during the winter on ice fishing trips but probably only 1-2 a year. I'm 6'1 260 so I'm not a small guy in my 40's. I have a military style cot and cold weather and warm weather sleeping bags. Are cabin style tents harder to keep warm than a dome tent?

    Also, I can't seem to find a tent smaller than a 4 person that has an interior height around 5 feet. 3 feet interior height isn't enough when you're a big guy and the cot puts you a foot off the ground. The North Face Talus 4 has a 6ft interior while the Talus 3 is 3'10" per Campmor.com and I don't know if I want to spend quite that much for less than 10 nights a year.

    Anyone have recommendations or comments?

    Thanks

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    MacGyver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tent Advice

    (Caution - personal opinion ahead)

    If you're looking for warmth in a tent, you can't beat canvas. Since height is an issue, canvas also goes in your favor because most canvas tents are cabin style and somewhere in the vicinity of 6 feet high. The problem then comes down to your not wanting to spend too much money on a tent you won't be using all that much. Warmth and height don't come cheap, maybe even more so with nylon tents. The majority of tents these days include a lot of mesh until you get into the so-called 4-season tents. So-called because 4-season tents are basically cold weather tents and horrible to be in when the weather is warm due to the lack of ventilation. It's that lack of mesh and sturdier all around construction that drives the prices up.

    So, returning to canvas, let me put it this way. I now have 4 nylon tents and 2 canvas tents and haven't used the nylons since I bought the canvas. Specifically, I have a 8-1/2 x 6 Kodiak Flexbow and a 10 x 10 Kodiak Flexbow. They're warmer in cold weather and insulate from the heat better in warm weather. With a bit of care, I expect they'll be the last tents I ever buy - or at least for many years to come. If I can leave the sentimental value behind on the nylon tents, I'll be selling them on Craigslist.

    This is just to get the dialog going. I'm sure "some guy from Indiana" will chime in soon with one of his typically detailed posts to help you out.

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    Default Re: Tent Advice

    I would look into slumberjack 4 person tent
    58 height
    https://slumberjack.com/daybreak-4/

    Click image for larger version. 

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    a65hoosier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tent Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    This is just to get the dialog going. I'm sure "some guy from Indiana" will chime in soon with one of his typically detailed posts to help you out.
    uhhhhhhhh.... Guess that's me.


    Gotta think about this one (I will do my best to keep it short-lolololol).

    Canvas is certainly an option...providing good interior height with fairly vertical side walls. Relatively...canvas, being thicker than polyester/nylon, slows heat transfer (and blocks wind) so you may also feel slightly warmer in winter (and cooler in summer). Likewise, the thicker material may provide a quieter interior. The downsides of canvas are overall weight and a longer post-camp dry out time should it become wet (all tents should be cleaned and thoroughly dried prior to storage). Price wise...it's generally more than poly/nylon, but it's an investment that with proper use/care will last a long time. It's definitely something to consider...especially if you are planning on experiencing a lot of snowfall.

    If canvas isn't your thing...(I don't know any 3 person sized tents hitting a 4-5 foot interior height)---look for a 4P. sized double walled poly/nylon tent options that can handle both cold and hot temps...and give you 6+ ft interior. Actually...any number of 3 season tents can handle the cold...it's the heavy weight of accumulated snowfall and howling winds that will stress the pole structure on a 3 season tent. You will find most tents advertised as 4 season have very little ventilation and a very strong pole structure (read: more poles, longer set-up etc.) to hold up against harsh conditions. Not so good when you take it out camping in July/August. I have one of these 4 season types of tents. Super strong dome with 7 poles, an inner tent made up of all fabric with separate ventilation panels that have mesh but can be zippered completely closed. It's an outstanding winter tent that can support a snow load (and has), but....definitely not a good summer tent.

    I am assuming you are relying on your sleep system to ultimately keep you warm in winter as a tent may, at most, be only 5-10 degrees warmer than the outside ambient air temp (much less if it is a very well ventilated tent--ie mostly mesh). Adding external heat sources in your tent is fine (like a Mr Buddy)...but of course that changes the dynamics in terms of the type of tent needed for winter camping (mainly size to make sure you have proper clearance/tolerances away from the heat source).

    My Poly/Nylon tent recommendation: I'd look at the REI Kingdom 4P. 6ft 3in interior height front to back. 2 doors. 8'4" x 8'4" footprint. Aluminum poles which are better than fiberglass in cold temps (and lighter). Huge vestibule and you can add an optional garage to even further increase the amount of covered and private storage (perfect for out of sight storage of fishing poles/box/etc/gear). In the newest version as compared to prior years, REI has increased the fabric amount/portion in the back section of the inner tent and increased the amount/portion of mesh in the front section (there is a fabric divider panel that separates the front and back sections). I can see the back section being fairly good for winter camp sleeping (due to the minimum mesh) and the front section being good for summer camp sleeping (due to the maximum mesh). The rainfly is full coverage but has the option to be rolled back either across the top or up each side(s) for additional airflow and/or stargazing. Since this is a barn style tent...always guy it out fully and attempt to place the vestibule end into the prevailing winds. Barn styles present a good sized side silhouette for the wind to hit broadside (vertical"ish" walls will do that).

    Lists at $389, but if you're an REI member ($20-lifetime membership), you should be able to nab it at 25% off, bringing the cost down to $292. Think of $$$ in terms of not just 10 nights...but 50 nights over 5 years ($6 a night for your shelter)...or more. A good quality tent, properly maintained and stored, should easily give 5++ years of service at the usage level you indicate.
    Last edited by a65hoosier; 11-02-2017 at 07:06 PM.
    2017: 19 nights 2016: 20 nights 2015: 19 nights

    Spring->Fall: Marmots: Limestone 6P and 4P, Stormlight 3P, Tungsten 3P; SlumberJack Trail Tent 6P, Big Agnes Yahmonite 5P
    Fall->Spring: Field & Stream Cloudpeak 4P, Easton Mountain Products Torrent 3P
    Every season: Kelty Noah's Tarps- 20, 16, 12


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    a65hoosier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tent Advice

    lol....some more thoughts....the Eureka Copper or Jade Series in 4P size (for cold weather-but no snow-and more overall weather protection-I'd look to the Jade-due to the full fly and the aluminum/steel pole construction). Decent reviews---several forum members own 6, 8+ person Copper versions. Good interior space due to vertical walls. 8'x8' footprint. 7 foot peak interior height. Could utilize a heater inside due to generous clearances. Decent price: $200-250. Look around the web for discounts/clearance sales. Check Eureka's website for clearance sales and/or factory seconds/returns. Also remember a lot of online retailers will be running sales etc for the holidays coming quickly upon us.
    Last edited by a65hoosier; 11-02-2017 at 06:52 PM.
    2017: 19 nights 2016: 20 nights 2015: 19 nights

    Spring->Fall: Marmots: Limestone 6P and 4P, Stormlight 3P, Tungsten 3P; SlumberJack Trail Tent 6P, Big Agnes Yahmonite 5P
    Fall->Spring: Field & Stream Cloudpeak 4P, Easton Mountain Products Torrent 3P
    Every season: Kelty Noah's Tarps- 20, 16, 12


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    Default Re: Tent Advice

    I did see the Eureeka Copper and I liked it but wondered about the fly coverage. Thanks for the input. I have plenty to consider. The canvas option is likely out because of cost. The only one close to budget is the 2P and the int height is only 4ft. The REI is interesting too. I'm a month or so from buying so I will hunt for a sale.

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    Default Re: Tent Advice

    I've got the Copper Canyon 4 for car camping and overall really like it. I was out early spring and temps got down to 31-degrees and I was uncomfortably cold once outside my sleeping bag. The mesh top let's out the heat faster than I can put it out. I have a smaller dome 3-person that I use when I motorcycle camp that keeps the heat much better, but I miss out on standing in the tent. I'll be playing around with those inexpensive emergency reflective blankets as a ceiling and maybe walls to keep the heat in better before I go out and get a heater. One of my favorite things about camping is working out all the puzzles.

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    Default Re: Tent Advice

    Yeah maybe a small tarp over the mesh would help hold heat in. I could see using an emergency blanket inside as a "ceiling" if you could attach it at the corners.

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    Apprentice Geezer Happy Joe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tent Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by ducman491 View Post
    Yeah maybe a small tarp over the mesh would help hold heat in. I could see using an emergency blanket inside as a "ceiling" if you could attach it at the corners.
    I have found that, for many dome tents, a piece of clear (lets the light in) plastic (from wally-mart); covering the mesh roof air scoops, helps the cold weather performance a lot; basically a night and day difference. Just allow for adequate venting and avoid oxygen consuming devices. Note to self; take a pic next time that I use the dome tent.

    Enjoy!
    2006 Jeep Rubicon; 4.11 gears, 31" tires, 4:1 transfer case, lockers in both axles
    For DD & "civilized" camping; 2003 Ford explorer sport, 4wd; ARB & torsen diffs, 4.10 gears, 32" MTs.
    Tents work best for me, so far.
    Experience along with properly set up 4WD will get you to & through places (on existing, approved 4WD trails) that 4WD, alone, can't get to.

  10. #10
    I Have to Get Out...Again James.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Tent Advice

    Could just buy or make a wood stove to heat the tent.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...K_w8zAEsQ7D_T3


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymdr-gAfZT0

    But you will need a hole for the chimney

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfiUgGhTe1k

    or just get a buddy heater.
    I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.
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