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Old 08-23-2009, 11:11 AM
Location: California
11,436 posts, read 17,155,408 times
Reputation: 12500


I think 16 years ago even a cheap tent was probably better than they are now, I use a Walmart special but wouldn't want to caught in the rain, we don't really have that problem here I'm sure a person could use the seam seal to keep them from leaking but looking at mine I doubt it would seal without it, one of our friends uses a high quality tent and although the price was 4 times what I paid his tent is way more than 4 times the quality. I think it just depends on the weather in a persons region, here you don't have to worry so much about rain, a good sleeping pad or matress is probably more important.
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:54 PM
47,573 posts, read 60,658,925 times
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Originally Posted by BergenCountyJohnny View Post
I managed to buck that trend, although I'm going to say you're advice is right and my case was probably an anomaly...

About 15 years ago, my friends and I started doing a couple canoe camping trips a year, down the Delaware. I had no tent, and when I went to Camp-Mor the prices of the tents were higher than I expected. I asked my friends what they were buying. My one friend, Matt, who was well off and could afford the best tent easily, if he wanted, said, "I looked at expensive ones but I just bought the cheapest tent from [I can't remember where, some discount store]." I was shocked to hear it, and asked him if he went to a camping/outdoors store and talked to a "pro"; he said he did and they tried selling him an expensive tent but he didn't think it was worth it, and told me I'd be better off with a cheapie, like his.

So, I went off to Sears, and they had their standard, cheap, 7x7 tent on sale for $19.99. I bought it, then stopped off at Camp-Mor for seam sealer which my friend told me to invest in.

On our first trip, it rained at night, and I stayed dry. Since then, I made it through close to 10 more rain storms, and the tent held firm and stayed dry inside. Same with my friend's tent. I promised myself I wouldn't skimp if I had trouble with that tent in the rain. Granted, I haven't camped for several years now, but I never had to follow through on that promise because my cheapie tent held up like a champ. Initially, it was a matter of being much younger and trying to save money. Money wasn't an issue anymore years later, but there was just no justification to buy a more expensive tent until I suffered through a wet night, which never came.

Anyway, that's my experience... I would never recommend to someone that the cheap tents are as good as the expensive ones, but I don't think I could, in good conscience, tell anyone that the cheap tents are worthless or inadequate, either.

I usually don't sleep in a tent but often set one up next to the pop up to use as a storage/changing room and when it's rained, they stayed dry inside. They were cheap.
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:12 AM
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 24,835,555 times
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Default I love tents

I'm going tent camping in the Alps this weekend.

It's easy, you are actually outdoors and that's the whole idea for me. I wake up outside in the cool mountain air, make my breakfast and go on for the day.

There's nothing like climbing into the tent with a down sleeping bag and small lantern listening to the sounds of mountain animals.

I can look at the stars and be part of the world around me.
Backpacking is even better.
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Old 09-13-2009, 08:16 AM
Location: San Diego
35,230 posts, read 32,187,063 times
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We just got back from hunting in El Centro. Our intent was to tent camp but after the days were 115 and nights were so hot you couldn't sleep we ended up in a motel and cutting our visit short. I wish we'd have pulled the camper there so we could have had AC.
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Old 09-13-2009, 08:22 AM
Location: in the ground
375 posts, read 1,216,463 times
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We used to horse camp in Wyoming. Horses and two pack mules and wall tents - makes for a great summer/fall vacation. Once set up, you ride up and back without having to take the equipment everytime. We had cots for the adults and air mats for the kids. One year we set up 12' tipis and kept them up all year. I actually preferred the round tents - because Wyoming is very windy and they stood in place much better.
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Old 09-13-2009, 04:31 PM
Location: Where there is too much snow!
6,076 posts, read 11,018,959 times
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Originally Posted by gaduchman View Post
We used to horse camp in Wyoming. Horses and two pack mules and wall tents - makes for a great summer/fall vacation. Once set up, you ride up and back without having to take the equipment everytime. We had cots for the adults and air mats for the kids. One year we set up 12' tipis and kept them up all year. I actually preferred the round tents - because Wyoming is very windy and they stood in place much better.
Now that sounds like alot of down to earth fun to me .
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:45 AM
39,495 posts, read 40,814,531 times
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Originally Posted by desertsun41 View Post
My LP fridge can keep drinks cold forever, an ice chest can only do this for as long as the ice stays ice. A day and a half maybe?

Depends but if you do it right you can get a week out of it with decent chest, we used to do eight day canoe trip and have just enough cool to get through. One cooler was for food and we had another for beverages. The beverage cooler would be shot after 3 days but the food cooler lasted about the whole week.

You first need to freeze all your food, anything that goes in there should be frozen, the colder the better. When you're freezing it try and freeze it so you can pack stuff in there as tightly as possible. If you have steak, chicken or whatever take them out of the packaging and put them in zip lock bags and try to form a block with them. You'll also want to freeze one plastic gallon jug (2 if you have big enough cooler) and a few quarts. No cubed or loose ice to create water, it has to be in containers. Keep the cooler covered with a blanket at all times preferably one that is white. When you open lid do it quick and be sure you know exactly what you're going in there for. Occasionally repack the cooler to keep everything tightly packed into the bottom if necessary. If you have chicken or something else that spoils easy eat that first. Take out the quarts and use them for drinking water if they have completely melted.

That was good for two people 8 days in 85 degree weather in the beating sun most of the day. By eight days we usually have small chunk left in gallon jug or it would at least still be slightly cold. Did it more than once.

And all tents leak, RVs dont.
Mine doesn't but then again mine doesn't cost $50 bought at Wal Mart either. You can buy decent tents that will keep you dry but don't expect to buy one cheap. Proper setup is important. Funny story, I went camping with my GF and her friends and they had these new Coleman tents and we're in the is older "Community" tent me and my friends all used for family type stuff. Older tent, beat up but a really good tent with canvas roof, no rain fly. So she's bothering about these new tents and why don't I go get new fancy looking tent. It poured buckets that night and her friends all got flooded. I didn't hear a peep about getting new tent after that.
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:43 PM
Location: The Woods
16,960 posts, read 22,277,190 times
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I only tent camp. I neither see any need for all the luxuries and comforts of an RV or camper, nor do I have the money, nor do I go where they are allowed anyways. I've used an old military pup tent more than anything else, although I was given a large teepee style tent that's nice and lightweight but as yet untested in the winter; it's not the heavy canvas I'm used to using so I'm not entirely confident in it yet. I also got a small canvas wall tent but it's heavy and I don't like lugging it around unless there's a good reason to. I'd be fine with just a tarp to set up a shelter though. Where you need to be more concerned is your sleeping bag and pad. I've got a sleeping bag rated for arctic temps (warm even at 30 or more below) and a pad to put between me and the ground, more for insulation than padding. Don't skimp on your sleeping bag. I learned that the hard way years ago when I got the early stages of hypothermia one unexpectedly cold early summer night in a cheap, lightweight sleeping bag...it was raining (though I was dry in the tent) and getting a fire going took longer than usual. I warmed myself with my Coleman lantern (don't do that unless you have to) after dumping some of its fuel out to start the fire quicker than my usual methods. My good sleeping bag has kept me warm at 30 below in Northern Vermont and I believe it will do so at even lower temps.
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:55 PM
Location: Northern Maine
9,777 posts, read 14,959,939 times
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We have tented for over 60 years. We canoe camped every major river in Maine. It was great. We went to Virginia in August and tented there. We may tent again, but it's too hard for my wife now. We just bought a toy hauler and went to the Fryeburg Fair in Maine. We had a great time with neighbor RV folks who have been down the same road we travelled. We're still camping, just not out of a back pack any more.

We both ran sled dog teams, raced them and I was the first Registered Maine Guide to guide with a sled dog team. Have a great time folks, but don't disparage folks who have gone the RV route. Some of us have done it all and now our choices are limited.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:48 AM
Location: Somewhere out there...
3,662 posts, read 7,540,613 times
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Tents are HORRIBLE. We bought anew family size, 10 person tent this summer. Thought we would have a great summer camping. hahaha, LMAO.
We waterproofed it very well, it has 3 rooms, nice and big. fits 3 queen air mattress's with room to walk around. Thought this would be great.
Planned a trip to Mt. Rushmore, stayed at a nice campground. The temperatures were below normal this year.We went on June 28 and were going to stay through fourth of July. We wanted to see the fireworks over Mt. Rushmore.
We stayed at the same campground 15 years earlier at the end of July. That year it was hot, so we thought we would go earlier in the year so it would maybe be a little cooler.
OH YA, it was cool, it was almost FREEZING.
We slept in our van and even that was cold so we drove down into Rapid City to find a hotel room. There was baseball tournament in town. not one room was available, we checked at least 20 hotel/motels. So we slept in the van.
The next morning we packed up the tent and spent a few hours looking for a open room to rent. Not happening it was 4th of July week.
We managed to salvage part of our vacation on the way home, we stopped at Wall, SD and spent the night and checked out Wall Drug.
Wall drug is really a cool place, lots shops and figures to take your pictures with. There is a giant animated dinasaur, lots of stuff for kids, there is a restaurant with expensive but very tasty food. We spent about 4 hours checking everything out and taking pictures.
The next day went to the Corn palace and Sioux Falls. The falls were beautiful, the kids loved climbing on the rocks. There was also a neat courthouse museum and gorgeous older church.

We got home and I pouted for 2 days for having our vacation so short, till I decided that we were having our vacation somewhere warm.
We headed south to Kansas City, MO.

Why? I wanted adventure, and did we ever.
It rained all the way down. it stopped raining about half an hour before we got to our campsite and we thought this is good. We will get our tent up without rain.... again, hahaha LMAO.
Not only was it dark ,we got there late, and had to use the headlights to put up the tent.
It started to drizzle, I started laughing.
This can't be happening, are the Gods against us having a vacation.

My husband had just spread the tent out, now it started raining a little harder. One of the kids jumped out to help. They just got the tarp on when it started to pour.
We set up the air mattress's and everything was wet.

That night Kansas City had a record rainfall, we "slept' through a torrential downpour.
Our tent was blowing and whipping I could feel the mist coming through the windows. It wasn't cold, but it was really HUMID.
In the morning we found or tent flooded.

That was the FIRST and LAST day we slept in our tent
We did have a good vacation.
We decided to go for broke, literally.

We stayed one more night at the campground, upgraded to a cabin.
That was 4th of July, we went into town to see their fantastic display.
The next day we decided to head to Branson we stayed a night in a cabin at a campground that you could not have bonfires. So we checked out and spent few nights in a hotel. The place had a giant water park.

Next we headed down to Hot Springs Arkansas. It was very hot. Spent only one night in a cabin. Great pool and game room.
Next we came up through Tennessee to Memphis and saw Elvis's Mansion.

Next we spent the night in St. Louis and headed home the next day.

We took to the scenic route home, through corn country,we saw some very nice areas in our home state that we have never been to.

What started out as a Horrible vacation, turned out to be one of the best vacations I've ever had.
We went sight seeing all day in every town we were in and took hundreds of photos.
We went to the farmhouse, family home and museum of President Truman. The Clinton museum. We saw the house President Clinton grew up in.
We saw tons of great things.
I am now a fan of Roadtrips.
Loved it!!!
I'm currently planning a roadtrip for next summer!!!


Last edited by asitshouldbe; 10-14-2009 at 06:03 AM..
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