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What brand do you trust best for tents?

Discussion in 'Shelter' started by Esperahol, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Esperahol

    Esperahol Newbie

    I don't have a brand (because I believe in recycling), but I'm thinking of picking up some gear for my kid brother. What brands do you guys use and would you say they are very trustworthy? If possible it would be nice if you could give me some of your personal pros/cons for them.
  2. bigteeth96

    bigteeth96 Newbie


    Haha, just kidding. But I do shop at walmart because I am frugal. I don't care so much the brand, but what I make of it. Remember back then they didn't have stores to go to and have those tents to buy. They had the DIY mindset.
  3. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I don't trust any brand.

    My selection of a new tent is taken dead seriously because I have made a lot of expensive mistakes over the years listening to what the manufacture told me. I'm not talking about the $48.25 weekend special here, I'm talking about equipment that will stand up when the others fall down.

    So...for what it is worth here are the guidelines that I use...

    What am I going to use this for? A weekend, a week, some fun stuff or is it going to be an integral part of my essential equipment?

    Where am I going to use it? Do I plan to use it for hiking, bicycling, back packing? Am I using it for self or will I be sharing. A rule of thumb I have is if it says it is a one person tent - I automatically move to two. I have the impression that the manufactures use the "skinny man" rule.

    When I've got my rationale organized I go on line to the top suppliers and check out the wares.
    When I've found what I think will meet the need, I now go on line and read the consumer reports - not the ones that are provided by the company selling the product. Has a car company ever told us that their product just might be crap? [I don't know if I'm allowed to use that word.]

    Then after all that - I make my decision.

    Winter time is a good time to do all this to keep the campfire burning.


    This is a 9.5 x 9.5 four season Alaknak Tent which will withstand just about anything. This is one of the tents that I use for base camp.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
  4. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    Woah, that looks like it would be very roomy inside. Does that tent take you much longer to setup that a smaller, more typical recreational tent would?
  5. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I've replaced this tent with one that is a bit bigger and has no stove jack. It is a three season [and I tested it this past weekend].

    All my equipment can be managed by one person. So...you lay the tent out making sure that the door and screen are zippered up accept for the bottom, peg it down correctly, place the 5 foot steel poles into the slots, [there are 10] undo the door and screen, walk in gently with the centre pole [2.7 m - 9 feet], place in the exact middle, come out and place the canopy pole in the front ...and now you secure the guy lines and walla - it's done!

    My fastest time is 30 minutes but I usually take about 45 or so; I'm setting up base, so what's the hurry?

    What really takes the time is all the stuff that I have inside.

    Interested? - well there are floor coverings, a military cot with a three inch mattress with mattress cover. At the side of the bed is a shelved night table with appropriately built in light system [via battery] and a built lamp on top. There is a book case, a comfortable chair with back support and cover, coat rack, three inch thick dog bed on the right of the entrance, and one chandelier with four Light-a-lights generated by solar power. There is a catch rug just inside and one on the outside too to keep dirt out.

    Keep in mind that this is for a base camp and I have the luxury of staying in one place for awhile.

    My tripping equipment fits pretty much into one pack. The tent, a tad bigger than the back pack model, is usually separate and all my equipment is compact, practical, comfortable, sensible and frequently is multi functional.

    I'm I ready for the season or what?
  6. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    And then there is my grand daddy - I have only camped in this one a couple of times. I use it as an instructional tent should the weather be in climate. It is third largest of the four models [12x20 feet].

  7. weekender

    weekender Newbie

    I just use a Coleman brand. We don't really camp for long periods like more than 3 days on good weather, so a 3-person Coleman tent would be good enough for us. It is also easy to set up and not too heavy to carry when we go trekking and mountain climbing.
  8. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Really happy to see you on line weekender.

    I'm out for long periods of time and I strive for an excellent base camp that has the amenities that I want.

    I do have grab and go equipment that is ready on an instant notice. I use the same for canoeing too. :)
  9. Profit5500

    Profit5500 Explorer

    Nice to see a really good tent in one place. I never slept in a tent so it would be so new to do.
  10. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I've enjoyed tenting for years. The tent you see is really large and not one that I would normally buy - I use it for other purposes. When I'm attending large Scouting functions I use it as an activity tent.

    The two I'm currently using for any base camp is the Alaknak II and my T-pee.


    This is the Alaknak II [from the back] pitched at Camp Wendake on the shores of Lake Huron last week.
  11. Profit5500

    Profit5500 Explorer

    Cool man looks like the perfect spot for a base camp. I would definitely have a cooler with some ice cold Coca Cola at the ready. You have to have the water too.
  12. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I do...and a lot of other things too. Though, when I'm at Camp Wendake they supply all the food stuffs that I need, so much so that I tend to put on a few pounds. :(
  13. Profit5500

    Profit5500 Explorer

    What kind of food do you get at Camp Wendlake? Is it some good chicken or some burgers. I would be fine with the food being provided if its good enough to eat.
  14. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Actually it is a specialty camp for 90 campers who suffer from AIDS/HIV so the food it fabulous in every way - name it and we have served it. From a full turkey dinner, to steak, homemade meat pies, outdoor barbecues and everything in between. The row of drinks contains at least three juices, cold water, white and chocolate milk, different teas and coffees, and snacks and a dairy bar are available all the time. Yep...I put a few pounds on. :(

    BMWPOWER Moderator Staff Member

    northern dancer the tent master
  16. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    You are just jealous....:).

    BMWPOWER Moderator Staff Member

    how many people can you fit in it?
  18. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    I have three Alaknaks -
    ONE 9.5 x 9.5 four season - with military cots and stove - two people [and one dog]
    On the floor? - six people [without the stove]
    TWO 10. X 10 three season - with military cots - three [and one dog]
    On the floor? - six people
    THREE 12 X 20 four season - with military cots and stove - six [and one dog]
    On the floor? - twelve people - nice and comfy [without the stove]

    I also have two t-pees - the one is 18 x 18 and can fit a little community. :)
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014

    BMWPOWER Moderator Staff Member

    So when are you inviting me to your tent?
  20. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Interesting thought. :) The one that I use most is the three season - you can check it out by viewing Three Minutes and Forty-two Seconds thread located on the water section if you haven't already seen it.

    Sorry - it is listed as Canoe Country - Three Minutes and Forty-two Seconds.
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