9:24 a.m. on February 6, 2011 (EST)
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I am recently retired and plan on extended camping periods. I live in the northeastern U.S. and plan on camping from May to the end of Sept.  I want to live in a tent for that extended period of time as my funds are limited.  I will have between 6 and 10 family members visit.  I want to spend about 400 dollars on a decent tent that will survive 2-3 years while I save up for a good "base camp" style tent.  any sugestions?  Before this while working I only camped for 3-4 weeks at a time and got by on the cheaper tents sold in chain stores.

11:31 a.m. on February 6, 2011 (EST)
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Well, no tent will stand being out in the sun for too long as the ultraviolet light will brake down the nylon and shink it. I tried it once living in a big cabinstyle tent in Jackson Hole for the summer from May to September with a friend. We never took it down and it stood in the same place facing south in a campground the whole time. It held up quite well till the later part of the summer. Evenually the zipper on the front door would not close because the nylon had shrank. We pinned a sheet over it for privacy.

One morning a big storm blew in around the beginning of September, it started immediately with a huge wind blast that blew the tent apart in seconds and then it started pouring rain. We had gotten out when the wind came up, and before we could salvage our gear the rain soakd everything.

Anyway, if you plan to live in it for many months, maybe an old fashioned canvas style tent would work better? Maybe like a hunters tent that has a sturdy wooden frame, a floor and a place for a woodstove like the ones they sell at Cabela's? Or maybe a Tipi. Either way there would be more head room and it would be more comfortable being able to have a woodfire inside? I have considered this for extended camping trips tho it has never been do-able because I dont have anyway to transport such a heavy tent to the basecamp site.

I have been a backpacker for 35 years and the way I generally go outdoors is to go deep into a wilderness area, set up a basecamp a few days from the closest roads and dayhiking tourists and stay in one place for at least 30 days while doing dayhikes out from camp like the spokes of a wheel. Then after 30 days I leave my camp, go back to the nearest town and resupply and go back, move my camp to another spot about 10 miles farther away and do the same thing all over again.

I would do this for 6-9 months from September to May, then return to doing summer work somewhere and go to a new location and start all over again. In the last 35 years I have spent more time in a tent and hiking than in a town and working.

For a base camp tent I use the big multiperson tents made for like climbing Mt Everest. My last basecamp tent was a North Face Mtn 25, before that I had a North Face VE25 tent for 27 years till a grizzly bear in Wyoming tore it up while I was away on a dayhike.

But even still if I were leaving my tent outside for extended periods of time, I would pick a spot with more shade than sun and even drape a tarp over it to protect the nylon from the sun.

Most any large family style tent would work, but if you can afford it the hanting camp tent I mentioned above would be best, maybe you could find a cheap old military tent to live in, like the ones they used in that TV show MASH? My brother-in-law used to be a big hunter/fisherman and would use old military tents to live in near his hunting/fishing grounds.

6:54 p.m. on February 8, 2011 (EST)
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+1 on the canvas wall type tent. You can get the military squad tents for a fairly decent price. When I was growing up we would use one for about three months during hunting season, 4-6 of us would live in it comfortably using cots, and a wood stove and a card table. So ample room for long term living conditions. We also used a pu tarp to make a nice little sheltered area that covered the area just in front of the tent for a little more room.

10:43 p.m. on February 9, 2011 (EST)
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5,239 forum posts

Here's an ad from the local Craigslist if you are interested?

GIANT TENT - Kelty by Ridgeline - 18' X 10' - $30 (Flagstaff)

Giant 18' X 10' tent . All zippers work, the fabric is in great shape, there is a bag of tent stakes, the rainfly is in great shape, all the poles are in good shape. Here's the catch: ONE TENT POLE is missing. It is the one that goes over the netting entryway vestibule thing. Find yourself a pole and save $150+ bucks. Email me with your phone number and I'll call you back asap.

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