Cabela's Alaskan Guide Model?

8:45 a.m. on June 3, 2002 (EDT)

I've got a question I'm hoping you guys can help me with.

My family's looking for a new tent - the old one is falling apart. We want something high quality that will be able to fit us and our stuff, and eventually our family (we intend to have kids in the near future, and do not want to buy another tent for a long time).

My husband's in love with the Cabela's Alaskan Guide Model tent - 6-person. In fact, we bought a used one yesterday (with a 30 day "trial" so we can still take it back). It does have everything we wanted in a tent - roomy, tall enough to stand up in, seemingly very waterproof (we always seem to camp in severe thunderstorms), vestibule, etc. We have the old model, so the ventilation's not quite as good as the new model, but seems adequate with the door and 2 windows.

But I'm afraid it's too much tent for us. As in, made for hunting trips to alaska, not car and canoe camping in the midwest.


Suggestions on something equally as weather-worthy that's not quite as fortress-like?

9:29 a.m. on June 3, 2002 (EDT)

I have the new model six man with aluminum poles. It is no lighter or more compact than the older model. I had to trade in the old model because the zipper on the main door wore out. This occurred after fewer than a dozen camping trips. You are likely to encounter the same limitation. The new model has a more robust zipper.

Its amazing how compact the tent was when new in the box. The actual packed volume is twice what it was on the shelf. In the factory they must vacuum seal the package. However weight and size is a minor issue when car camping. On canoe trips the weight is an issue only if you are going to portage for long distances or repeatedly. It now takes two canoes(but still just one tent) when my family goes to the boundary waters so one or two portages is the limit. I have wonderful memories of my children crawling around in the tent before they were old enough to walk. They loved it! My six year old daughter recently told someone her favorite family activity was camping. She first spent a night in the tent at two months of age.

When the weather confines you and your children to the tent for a day the size and security of the Cabela six man is a blessing. When camping with children you want a more reliable tent than when camping in Alaska with adults.

1:25 p.m. on June 3, 2002 (EDT)

Thanks for the input. Do you find the tent to be hotter inside than other tents?

4:44 p.m. on June 3, 2002 (EDT)

Sometimes in the boundary waters the tent is used primarily as a refuge from mosquitoes. This is usually happens when it is hot and still, the mosquito's favorite conditions. When set up with the fly the tent gets hot. Without the fly it is a little better, the vents on top help hot air escape, but still gets hot. The Alaska Guide model is no better or worse than any other tent, they all get hot in the sun with no wind. However if you add a little breeze to the situation the Cabela tent fares better than many tents. Three large windows plus the top vents works well. Again it will be cooler without the fly. At night I always put the fly on, its takes too much time to install the fly in the dark if it starts to rain.

All tent designs are compromises. There are tents that will ventilate better. They have whole walls of netting. This works great until a storm comes, then the properties that made the ventilating tent work well become liabilities. The Cabela tent is a good compromise. With no fly and everything open it ventilates acceptably. With the fly on and everything buttoned down tight it rides out a storm well.

Incidentally the reason I got the Alaska Guide tent was its predecessor, a Eureka Equinox tent came to a foul end. One spring day a strong tent snapped the plastic stakes holding the equinox and impaled it on a tree destroying it. That taught me to select a tent with a smaller 'sail' area for winds to catch. The Alaska Guide has no flat panels to act as sails.

3:12 p.m. on June 4, 2002 (EDT)


Thanks so much for the input. I dislike tents with the large mesh panels for their storm-worthiness and their cold-worthiness. It's nice to know you feel it's a good compromise.

Thanks again!

May 22, 2018
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