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klaykrusher

Tent for the non-camper

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Okay, so I figure I'm gonna try this camping thing. Haven't done it for over 30 years and that was just in a state park with facilities, but figure I'd give it a try. Not sure what's recommend for our arid climate, more mesh or less. Not looking to spend a lot of money, but would want something decent, most probably a 3 person for the added room. Do you like a taller tent for the added height or that really doesn't matter.

 

Also, looking at the shower/privy tents like the Outback privy. Do most folks use those on the trips or what does everyone prefer.

 

Any questions or concerns I may not have though of?

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I haven't camped for 25 years, so welcome! I like a bit of a bigger tent (9x9 or 8x9) for the space, but recently got to looking for one where the fly goes all the way to the ground...My current tent does not do that, so on a windy night, it can flap fairly well and let in some air....I also prefer a mesh top so I can be without the fly and see the stars. If you find a good tent at a decent price, please let me know!! LOL!

smiles, karen

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Finding quality tents at a fair price locally is tough anymore, back when we still had Popular it was a lot easier. I will keep an eye out for any good deals for you guys.

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I would look for a tent with aluminum poles, taped seams, and a full coverage rain fly. Good luck! :)

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UV light slowly destroys tent fabric so nothing is going to last forever, therefore you might as well not spend too much. however, you don't want a leaky tent - absolutely nothing worse... so i stay away from the cheaper brands and go at least with coleman. i think coleman is the best bang for the buck.

 

remember that the "person" rating is meant if you stack everyone side ways or in some sort of contortionist positions.. i.e. a 2 person is really a 1 person comfortably, etc.

 

for arizona a 3 season rated is going to be fine.

 

big 5 usually carries a 3 person coleman for about $50 that is a really great 2 person tent. actually right now they have one for $40 that's a good starter tent: http://big5sportinggoods.shoplocal.com/big5/default.aspx?action=detail&storeid=2503823&rapid=0&listingid=-2087426945&offerid=

 

next step up from there would be a kelty IMO, can be had at REI, or cheaper online from campmor, etc.

 

never tried any of the bass-pro or cabela's branded tents, but you might want to go check those out.

 

i own 3 tents:

 

~150 rei backpacking tent for go backpacking ;) kinda like this: http://www.rei.com/product/779219

 

~$50/$60 coleman for by myself or with aimee on trips where we camp somewhere different each night, it's a quick setup/teardown, very similiar to this: http://www.coleman.com/coleman/ColemanCom/detail.asp?CategoryID=11020&product_id=2000001974

 

~300 (cost more like $400 back when i got it, boo) rei huge cabin style tent for when we are bringing brady and plan to stay in one place for several nights (as it takes longer to setup/teardown), this one: http://www.rei.com/product/777764

 

also, if you are looking at a 3 person or under, a 4 pole basic square design will work well, over 3 person and it gets big enough that only 4 poles will not hold up in the wind really well, so look for a modified design (of course more poles or strange suspension pole designs may take longer to setup/teardown).

 

then there are the "quick setup" tents that fold up like a windshield sun-screen and deploy instantly. these can really suck or be pretty neat (ask G&D and Phil). Phil's seems pretty good. My replacement for my coleman will soon probably be a Quechua Seconds, probably the Air edition like this: http://www.quechua.com/EN/2-seconds-air-iii-green-67752984/

 

then of course you need to figure out if your the air mattress, self-inflating pad, or cot kinda person... or do you already have the bed thing covered?

 

hope to camp with you soon!

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oh and as far as privy/shower, most of the time we just wander off from camp far enough to do our businesses. i do own this, but have only used it once as a shower enclosure: http://www.evergreen-outdoors.net/outback/porta_privy.htm

 

privy1.jpg

 

i also own a fold-up toilet that i only use when we go into some of the more protected areas that require you to do your business in a bag and pack it out, yum. but most places we go you just need to dig a cat-hole 6-8 inches deep, 200 feet or more from water, and it's all good.

 

oh and if you get a toilet, NEVER EVER GET ONE OF THESE:

 

4b_det_folding_toilet.jpg

 

they are cheap and i've personally known more than one person have them fail and fall into their own poo. instead get a bio-toilet or PETT system, or anything that looks sturdier than that!

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Kelty and MSR are two very good brands, own both brands. I have to be honest though: I own at least half a dozen tents, but at least half of the time don't use one. Was given the chance to learn a lot about them from the vendors themselves when I managed one of the Populars, and used to research them all to help my buddy with a backpacking class he taught. You do get what you pay for when it comes to the quality.

 

For a good camp toilet get one of the ones that they sell for people with disabilites. Both my parents are disabled, so we started carrying one of theirs with us years ago when they are with. They still are a little small and weak for rough terrain, so I will be building a collapsable HD one for dad before next hunting seasons.

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How much money do you want to spend? My Eureka cost $300+ and this is the one I use the most

but it has it's negatives too .....

 

How many people will be in the tent at one time? Mine will sleep 6, but I'm the only one in it

 

Do you want to be able to stand up in it? A requirement for me

 

How much room does it take up in your vehicle?

 

Do you want it for 4 season camping? Requirement for me

 

Good ventilation? Even in winter you want a tent that has good ventilation

and in the warmer weather, cross ventilation ...

 

Our first family tents were bought at Costco ... and we still have them ....

 

If you do some Google research, will should be able to develop a list of

YOUR REQUIREMENTS and go from there ....

 

And keep asking questions ....

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I bought a tent a couple of years ago at D-i-c-k's Sporting goods for about $50 bucks and it is still in good condition. I think it's a 3 or 4 man tent but it's just me. I like it because it's tall enough for me to stand in it. (I'm 6'1") and it doesn't take much room in my Jeep. It also has a rain fly that goes all the way to the ground or take it off and it's mostly netted.

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