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Optimal Tent for an old guy or old guy + old gal

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Re: Optimal Tent for an old guy or old guy + old gal

Postby oldranger » Wed May 20, 2015 3:45 pm

John

The problem the ultralite expeds is that they tend to develop what I call "micro" leaks. Sometime in their use cycle they will start leaking extremely slowly. Usually I don't touch the ground by the end of the night but it bothers me because I like a super firm mattress and the closer to the ground the cooler the pad. On the other hand when functioning perfectly the 7 thickness is for me more comfortable than our temperpedic at home. If you are willing to tote the extra weight my wife and I both have the heaviest covered down mat 9lw and 7 Lw that we use for car camping and they have never had the problem of micro leaks. By the way the micro leaks are extremely difficult to find because they have to be under additional pressure with soapy water right over the spot at the right time to find. I have never found one in the field and only one of several at home. the rest were sent to Exped. on two separate occasions they have returned brand new pads to me. What works for you is totally dependent on your preferences. I need wide because I toss and turn a lot and find that these types of pads are too unstable unless they are really wide at the shoulders. No sure how the coffin shaped new pad will work out in the real world but it seemed stable on the floor of REI and if it doesn't work I'll just return it and go back to my Synmat 7 lw ul or my new Downmat 7ul lw that exped sent me to replace my old one that developed a defective valve. I haven't used any of the other brands since my first 20" wide big agnes insulated air core and my Stephenson which was way too thick and unstable.

Mike
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Re: Optimal Tent for an old guy or old guy + old gal

Postby whrdafamI? » Thu May 21, 2015 8:37 pm

John Harper wrote:I've used a cheap (under $30) hiker 1 tent from Sports Authority for several years now. It's a bit cramped, but has held up extremely well and only weighs 3 pounds. I'''ve also got the larger hiker 2 tent too, which is going on 8 years now as a car camp tent with no issues at all. That one only cost $21.

Just can't see the multi-hundred dollar expense for meager weight savings.

Oldranger; I'm looking at the Thermarest Xlite versus the Exped versus the BA IAC at REI. Have any pros or cons???

John



I used to think the same way. However as I get older carrying heavy stuff has for some reason lost it's appeal. What may seem meager to you adds up fast from my point of view.
Better to have it and not need it than it is to need it and not have it!

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Re: Optimal Tent for an old guy or old guy + old gal

Postby rlown » Thu May 21, 2015 8:48 pm

+1
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Re: Optimal Tent for an old guy or old guy + old gal

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu May 21, 2015 9:13 pm

I have never seen a cheap $30 tent that could withstand real above-timber mountain storms, particularly if the storms continue for days. All depends on the conditions that you are in. Below timber in sheltered spots, maybe OK. I have bought tents on "close outs" at less than half price, for about $100 but the quality of the tent is reflected in the retail value.

I am somewhat in agreement with not spending $$$ to save weight, if the savings is not significant. Of course, each person has a different definition of "significant". I currently carry a 2 pound 5 oz solo tent, all strings and stakes included. (After mosquitoes I use a 1 pound 8 oz bivy sack if the weather report is for fair conditions.) I could get a similar tent for half pound less, but until this one wears out, I save weight other ways. There are ways to reduce your pack weight a similar amount without spending a penny - a little less food, carry a little less water, water treatment tabs instead of a filter, delete the camp shoes, shave one ounce off all your stuff - it adds up! I am continually experimenting with leaving gear home. Lately I have ditched the rain pants for the Sierra trips and learning to live without camp shoes. If I have to wade, I simply deal with wet shoes.

Although if I had a rich uncle I would splurge on all the new fancy stuff! :D And when you get older, reducing pack weight is not even a choice - but a must if you want to keep backpacking.
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Re: Optimal Tent for an old guy or old guy + old gal

Postby John Harper » Fri May 22, 2015 9:41 am

Wandering Daisy wrote: I currently carry a 2 pound 5 oz solo tent, all strings and stakes included. (After mosquitoes I use a 1 pound 8 oz bivy sack if the weather report is for fair conditions.) I could get a similar tent for half pound less, but until this one wears out, I save weight other ways.


Which tents are you using?

John
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Re: Optimal Tent for an old guy or old guy + old gal

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri May 22, 2015 4:49 pm

I have had a love-hate relationship with all the shelters I have ever used. My current solo tent is the first edition of the TarpTent Moment. It is very good, especially in high winds. Main problems are condensation and the large space it takes to set up (90-inches long)- a problem in a lot of areas I go. Since I bought mine, it was revised to have two doors to solve the air flow problems. And it also comes in a double wall version (more weight, of course). Under ideal conditions it can be set up with 2 stakes, but most often I use 6 and backup the ends with extra ties onto rocks. Previously I had a MSR Micro-Zoid ($100 from Sport Chalet). 2 pounds 9 oz. It was a good weather-tight little double wall tent but so small that a normal sized person would have difficulty (hence on sale). I could not even sit up in it. It eventually wore out.

My husband and I also have three Mountain Hardware tents - 3-man Skyledge (when we take the dog), and the winter/mountaineering version of the 2-man Spire (the winter version of the Skyledge- fabric, not mesh inner tent), and an earlier 2-man model (cannot remember the name). All work well but are heavy 5-6 pounds. We are both hard on tents, so need something sturdy. And often camp above timber at high altitudes, thus mountaineering tents are more suitable.

Old Ranger - why do you not want to touch the inner tent walls? Our 2-man Spire has nearly vertical side walls and two large vestibules- when you touch the side wall you are well away from the fly so do not get wet. Its 48" width amazingly works quite well. The "not touch the wall" thing is applicable to single wall tents, where you do get damp when there is condensation. The only reason we went to a 3-man Skyledge was that our dog is a spoiled princess and insists on sleeping between us, not at the foot like a normal dog would.
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Re: Optimal Tent for an old guy or old guy + old gal

Postby oldranger » Fri May 22, 2015 5:19 pm

Daisy

No problem with touching the mesh. But some tent designs have the mesh touching the fly counteracting the benefits of the double wall. I also want to make sure that the fly is separated enough that is extremely unlikely that I will inadvertently press against the wet surface when conditions are such that condensation will occur, even in a double wall tent.

Mike
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Re: Optimal Tent for an old guy or old guy + old gal

Postby John Harper » Fri May 22, 2015 7:35 pm

Daisy,

What bivy sack do you recommend? I bought/used one last year and it worked for me, although I'm not particular. The REI Minimalist. Must be something more refined that keeps the mesh off your face? Very practical for summer IMO.

John
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Re: Optimal Tent for an old guy or old guy + old gal

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri May 22, 2015 9:31 pm

I use the OR basic bivy. It has several loops on the hood and foot. I stake the foot down, and tie the hood to my trekking poles. Kind of hard to explain. here is a photo. It is a bit awkward getting out but once in the bivy I usually stay put. Most people do not like bivy sacks; I only show this because you asked. I have done several 10-day trips in the Sierra with the bivy only. However, only after mosquito season. Unless it rains, I just leave my face out in the open. I like to watch the stars!

Image
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Re: Optimal Tent for an old guy or old guy + old gal

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri May 22, 2015 9:42 pm

As for recommendations, one-person tents are so light nowadays, that I would only use a basic bivy. By the time you add the hoops and stuff, the fancy bivy costs nearly as much as a tent and weighs nearly as much. There are two kinds- totally weatherproof, like mine, which weigh in at 1-1.5 pounds and some that are basically sleeping bag covers that weigh as little as 8 oz. I have never gotten wet in my bivy but a long storm can be very miserable in a bivy. You have to zip it up and lay like in a coffin for hours. ugh! My bivy is quite old - I really am not up on all that are available today. Now that I have the Tarptent, I use the bivy much less. I used it last fall for a 5-day trip in the Minarets.
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Re: Optimal Tent for an old guy or old guy + old gal

Postby oldranger » Sat May 23, 2015 7:52 am

Back in the 80s I used a park service provided Early Winters, first generation Gortex bivy called a Pocket Hotel, that I renamed "Pocket Coffin" I'm sure it weighed as much as my Flycreek1 UL but it was considerably lighter than my next lighter option, my own Moss Solus II (still my alltime favorite tent. A double wall 2 person tent that set up with 6 stakes total for both tent body and fly with no tie outs needed and with old materials still weighed in at 4.5 lbs. I considered having one custom made with new silnylon fabric and using my old pole but eventually decided not to because my need for a tent that size diminished as I grew older.) I digress! Back to the pocket coffin. I used it to get my 3 day patrol backpack weight down to 43 lbs. Everything was heavier back then plus I had to carry an NPS radio and a larger first aid kit + a copy of Medicine for mountaineering. So back then the weight I carried for 3 days was only slightly less than what I carry on a 2 week backpack today! Whoops I'm digressing again! Anyhow the point of my meandering story is I once traveled from Colby Lake over to Table Creek with the intention of heading up Table Creek and dropping into the upper Kern. As I passed Talus Lake the sky clouded up and it became clear I was going to get hit by a thunderstorm before I could reach my destination. I raced (I could do that then) down to the creek and up as far as I could before the storm began to unload. I set up my pocket coffin, put my trash bag over my pack and wormed my way into the bivy with my water bottle and my only reading material--medicine for mountaineering. At over 11,400 the precip came down hard and frozen, either as hail or graupel. I intermittently slept and read for the next 8 hours when finally nature called and I emerged from my cocoon to find a starlit white wonderland. I cooked up a quick dinner dinner then slithered back into my shelter. In all I spent 18 long hours in the bivy with only a brief break for dinner. I don't recall using the bivy again after that experience. As Daisy pointed out 1 person tents exist now and are quite light and for me the extra space and convenience of a tent offsets the few extra ounces saved with a bivy.

Mike
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Re: Optimal Tent for an old guy or old guy + old gal

Postby oldranger » Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:52 am

Received my new Big Sky evolution 1p 2door. Turns out it weighs 2 0z more than my big agnes Flycreek UL 1. But the side entries and slightly higher headroom will be appreciated. coupled with my new hyperlite exped pad my base weight will still be 4 oz lighter at a mere cost of too many dollars to mention.

Mike
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