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Best Type of Tent For Long Camping Trips

Discussion in 'Shelter' started by 2sweed, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    When I was young, which was quite a few years ago, canvas tents were available in all sizes for camping trips. My family had a large tent that easily set up and was roomy enough for 6 people. We had cots and warm sleeping bags, which helped keep us off the tent floor, as well as, dry and warm. The tent had nice screened windows and a nice tarp flap.

    However, now days unless you buy a big hunters canvas tent with a camp stove for warmth, all that is available are light-weight tents with rain tarps, that don't seem to be that safe in high winds and rain, or against any type of intruder. So I am hoping you all have some ideas on the best tents to use or the safest modes of camping for someone who is alone on the trail or in a camp ground.

    I know your thinking I should consider a camper if I am afraid of the big bad wolf, so to speak, but somehow using a camper can take the fun out of camping. Like why cook over a fire when you have a full kitchen in a camper. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it just is so easy to be lazy and cook the modern way instead of roughing it and enjoying the old-fashioned ways of camping.

    So please add some of your advice so I can get camping more this summer. :shame:
  2. Faust

    Faust Explorer

    Canvas tents were great, but technology has made them nearly obsolete.
    The rain fly on my two tents attach to the poles and have extra loops for guy lines during gale force winds. The rain fly cover should come down nearly to ground level and so long as your tent has rugged poles and is staked into the ground you should be ok in high winds.

    As for late night visitors, if you're not camped on a game trail and have stored all your food properly critters should have no reason to wonder into your site.. At worst carry bear spray or a firearm, usually just the sound of it discharging is enough to scare off critters.

    Wish I could offer you more advice on tents but I'm unaware of what products are available to you.
  3. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    I still see canvas tents being used sometimes, not for camping but at outdoor events where they need a quick sturdy structure than can be put up to keep out the sun and rain for the day.

    @2sweed, I know what you mean though about it feeling flimsy. The newer nylon tents maybe technically just as sturdy and with the rain fly cover be able to keep out even more rain the lower roofs and lighter weight fabric they have makes them feel less sturdy. This does have its advantages though, they are easier to setup and carry with you and take up less space to store however if you really are set on the canvas tents why not get one of those instead?
  4. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    I have been looking at the tents that are made in the shape of a teepee, brand name Guide Gear. The tent I am considering is 10 X 10, and has a six foot 6" center. It is made out of 190-denier polyester and is completely water-proof. It has a center post made out of steel. And has plenty of ventilation with windows and other vent areas. And it has a sewn in floor. This tent would be for campground use and sleeps six people.

    Is anyone here familiar with this type of tent, as in ease of set up or knowledge of construction, or setup? I would like to use it when all my friends go camping, but provide myself private room space and ability to invite friends to stay with me.

    It looks like design wise that it would shed water well. Comments welcome.
  5. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    I still use an older canvas tent so I can't really offer any advice. I do understand why you'd say you aren't all that trusting of the newer tents. I personally don't like them all that well - which is why I still use my older tent. That said, there are a lot of review sites out there - have you tried looking through them for some ideas of where to start with these sorts of things?
  6. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    This is a bit late - just registered awhile ago. I have the larger Guide Gear tent and though I like it is is not as good as my Extreme T-Pee by Cabelas. The Guide Gear tent does not have an outside zipper at the bottom of the door. When I tested it last April I had a lot of rain, a bit of snow and lots of wind come through. It you bought it how did you fair? I plan to use it as a utility tent and a fun tent at the camp I volunteer at in August.
  7. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    I did not buy this tent as my brother looked one over and ask me how I would be able to haul it, plus he was concerned about the fact I might not be able to set it up alone. So now I am considering a pop-up tent that sets up in a instant and all the poles are sewn in the tent. It would be easier I suppose if I could see the tent set up, at a show or camping supply store where I would be able to gauge the height and width, to determine if the tent would suit my needs. I need a tent that I can either stand up in or come close to doing so, as I have trouble with my knees in getting up from a low position.
  8. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist


    :( Opps.. This landed in the wrong place. This is one of my Alaknak tents that I use for base camp. This one is 10 x 10, three foot walls, and for people like us the centre is 9 feet. Yes, your eyes do not deceive you - I have lights in my tent so I can read and listen to pleasant music in the evening. I use solar power.

    Most people could set the Gear Guide tent up by themselves but it could be tricky. I personally do not recommend this tent - cheap yes, but not a good choice. I made some suggestions that I follow when purchasing a tent under Shelter - "What brand do you trust in tents?" My advice? Stay away - far away - from the gimmick tents.

    I don't know your situation but when I go into the interior [access by canoe] I have a two "man" [person] four season tent [not terribly cheap] plus a Helinox chair and an Allagash Al Bed. I'm at that stage I want a bed off the ground and I want to sit in a chair in my tent [But it has to be light weight for canoe travel.]

    If you are thinking of base camp - the sky is the limit or rather whatever your pocketbook will allow.

    My suggestion is that you check out the tents and read the reviews, carefully.

    You might want to check out CABELA'S and L.L. BEAN (USA) on the net. When you check out Cabela's go to the main page - click camping (at the top) - go to the left side and you will see a menu - pick all tents - have fun checking them all out.


    Hope this is helpful. :)
  9. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    I checked out Cabela's and fell in love with a tent similar to yours but less money, but still more than I can afford. Maybe I will catch it on sale. I guess I am looking for a tent I can stand up in and one that is not see through in daylight or at night with a light on, and one that I can put up by myself if necessary. My main thought is emergencies and yet I have a great urge to camp off the beaten trail somewhere's as well. I guess I will keeping looking and watching reviews and maybe catch a good sale someplace.

    Have you ever had problems with other people stealing from your camp sites or messing up your base camp when you were gone from it?
  10. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Hi there:

    I set my base camp in Haliburton Forest in Ontario - to get into the main area you have to have a key to be able to access the territory. I thought that strange at first but have appreciated the freedom that it permits. The camp sites are far and few in between. I suppose that is why I have seen such a variety of wild life over the years. It is the most rustic of all the camping areas that I have experienced. The sites are unusually large, you have a large picnic table and campfire pit, outhouse and private beach.

    I'm blessed too because in all the years that I have been camping solo I have never had anything stolen or a camp destroyed. When I leave my base camp to go canoeing in Algonquin or the Haliburton Waterway Trails I leave my site unattended for up to five and six days - and it has never been violated. I do put some things away and some items I pack up and take with me but I haven't had any difficulty to date.

    I'm please that the staff at Base Camp - Headquarters for the organization, know who I am and staff will come by to check on me from time to time.

    You might want to check the site out for your enjoyment - Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve Ontario. It is actually a private organization. It boasts of the only enclosed Wolf Study Centre and I had the opportunity once to see the whole pack.

    When I'm in Algonquin staff patrol the park regularly and when I'm in the interior it is air patrolled and there are rangers on the ground that frequent the waterways and visit the camp sites.

    I'm glad that you found Cabela's - I admit that I have purchased a lot of stuff from that organization. I have never had any complaints. I've found them fast and efficient. I'm so glad to hear that they are opening a store in the area that I camp most frequently.

    It is like every store - shop and compare. I AGREE WITH YOU - my practise is that I never buy anything unless it is on sale and I'm very careful to check it out.

    The one blessing about having the ability at looking at so many examples is that you begin to develop a mentality that enables you to be a bit more prudent and selective.

    It's great to communicate with you - it is obvious that you have a love of the outdoors too:)!
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014
  11. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    As a young girl and later woman, I spent everyday that I could in the woods. I liked wading in streams and climbing trees, a regular tomboy, i guess. I would go on long walks to sites of old towns and logging camps, and hiked many power lines as short cuts through the woods to visit friends. People used to tell me what if something happened, there are snakes and bears, out there. I would say I was safer in the forest then on a city street, after all I could there step off a curb and get hit by a bus. lol But I did fear meeting the other strange people in the woods more than the animals I made friendly contact with. But I also lived on a farm at that time and so had a few days now and then to go off and explore the area around where I lived.

    It is nice talking with you as well. :)
  12. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I've never been acousted by any creature in the wilds - true, there are new dangerous when you are out and one should appreciate that safety never takes a holiday. I use to instruct an outdoors program called The Beaver Award . Part of the training is identifiying night sounds and other day time sounds. I always explained that the real fear are humans. That is the creature that will harm you most and harm you first. I can't recall meeting a strange person in the wilds - a lot of funny ones. My experience has conditioned me to meet people who are usually friendly and helpful.
  13. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    I guess I would change "strange" to human males, and though many times I came across some in the woods I saw them but they never saw me. I was really good at hiding and remaining hidden even if only a few feet away. Being a male yourself, you would be in a better position to deal with people in the back woods than a young unarmed woman might be. It was easier to avoid them then risk an bad encounter.
  14. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Yes...I guess there are dangers.
  15. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    Anyways, back to the tents. I kind of want one with a sewn in floor to keep unwanted guests out, like snakes and skunks. And one that is not see through when using a light at night or in the daytime either. One often likes to dress in private. And as I said before tall enough I can stand up in it and maybe with the options of using a stove set-up inside for cooking and heat. Now I just need to find one I can afford. :(
  16. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    You shouldn't have any concern about privacy because modern tents are designed to provide that. The better tents have, what is referred to as a bathtub floor. It is designed to go up the wall 6 inches or so to provide extra protection against rain and/or snow. Though I still use a foot [another ground sheet that goes under the tent floor to keep it clean.] The tub floor is usually a stronger material than the rest of the tent.

    Remember, it is not advisable to cook food in a tent - that will surely bring creatures. Though I admit I will cook in the tent in winter - there are a lot less bothersome animals that will visit.

    At one time I had less cash so I would purchase used equipment from an outdoor store. Sometimes you can luck out at a garage sale. I've done that too. And then there is Value Village - a used goods store that is popular here. I'm sure that there are a lot of outlets in the US as well or similar places. Some of the bigger outdoor stores have equipment exchanges and the like. You can go on Kijji - but be careful about this one.
  17. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    What I mean't to say was heat water for coffee or tea, or water for some freeze-dried meals. It would only be on cold wet days or in winter. I would like to get one of those small wood stoves and use the pipe to vent to the outside. Most cooking would be on or in the camp fire. There are many good things about tents with no floor and venting around the bottom, as any stove set-up is safer in the dirt, but keeping dry and safe makes the idea of a sewn in floor a better idea.

    I am sure I will find what I am looking for, just takes some online window shopping to get the job done. :)
  18. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    The great thing today is that there are so many tent brands and designs and new ones coming out each day. It seems to me that the ones I like best are the ones that cost the most money. I always compare prices and I never purchase unless the item is on sale.
  19. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    This is one of the tents I liked at Cabela's, but it is $349.00 at the moment. Nice tent though.

    Cabela's Outback Lodge Tent – 8' x 8'
    Quite possibly the simplest design among quality tents today. Camping with the Outback Lodge ends the hassle of fighting with cumbersome pole sets. Setting up this 4-person Outback Lodge tent is as simple as (1) staking out the corners, (2) raising the single center pole and four internal corner poles, then (3) securing the guy lines. That's it; camp is made. You can even leave the center pole at home and simply hang the center peak of the tent from a limb for a lightweight spike camp. Walls are constructed of 190T nylon taffeta treated with a 1,500mm polyurethane waterproof-rated coating. The long-wearing floor is constructed of 210-denier oxford nylon. Double-pull zip-close door with zippered No-See-Um mesh panel. Three No-See-Um mesh windows, two new mesh-screen vents near the top and newly redesigned ventilation panels on the sidewalls reduce condensation. Plenty of headroom adds an extra measure of comfort. Stakes and stuff bag included. Optional floor liner for easy cleanup and extended floor life. Imported.
    Floor dimensions: 8' x 8'
  20. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I know the product well and one person can put it up very easily. They have other sizes too. If you are planning to purchase this tent get the foot [under neath tarp] ground cover. It is important to secure the tent using all the pegs. I believe it to be a good buy. The only complaint that I had was the the door zipper would often get stuck with the weather overlap. I simply fastened the weather strip down. It didn't interfere with keeping the rain out and I didn't have any problem. It is roomy and easily manages a cot; you certainly can stand up in it.
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