tents for scout troop

9:08 p.m. on May 19, 2010 (EDT)
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Our troop is needing to purchase new tents for our scouts. We are looking for something atleast 8x10 and 6' at center to meet camp personal space requirements. We also want to find something that does NOT have the open screen tops and sides and is water-tight as it pretty much always rains on our outings. We also need to stay around $100.00 or less per tent price range. We are looking to purchase 13 tents if we can find a model that meets our needs. I realize that our price range puts many quality tents out of reach. We currently have Ozark Trail tents which have worked pretty well for several years but have screen sides and the rain fly barely covers the screen. These tents will be used for long term summer camp where many of the boys use cots and airmattresses so they need to be able to accomadate this with 2 boys per tent. Does anyone have any suggestions?

9:35 p.m. on May 19, 2010 (EDT)
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Till you mention the price I was going to suggest the Eureka Timberlines, they have a couple (maybe more) models. That was the tent of choice for us in Boy Scouts when I was in. They are very roomy.


The Eureka 4 tent is $199 tho. The is another model that is $150 but only a 2 man tent, the Eureka 4 is a 4 man tent and is 7 ft 2 in x 8 ft 7 inches.

For your price and size you may have to go to like Walmart or Target. Plus many of the tents they sell would be okay for just weekend camping.

Any big tent that is at least 6 feet tall and the 8x10 you mentioned are not going to be backpacking tents, but will be good for car camping.

We used to have large Jamboree tents that the Dad's and scoutmasters brought in our scout bus. But we could not have carried them!

I am sure some others here will make ther suggestions.

9:48 p.m. on May 19, 2010 (EDT)
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Hi scout mom; welcome to Trailspace!!

Unfortunately, unless you can find a steep sale or an outfitter still giving scout troop discounts, what you're looking for doesn't exist, assuming you want all 13 to match. I know Gander Mountain used to do scout discounts, but I don't know if they still do. If they do, that might be your best route, and even there you're going to pay somewhere around $150 for a watertight tent of that size...

11:25 p.m. on May 19, 2010 (EDT)
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Timberlines are popular with scout troops because they are sturdy, simple to set up and relatively inexpensive. A 4 person Timberline for 2 scouts may work space-wise.

I would find a way to get by until you can afford something decent and perhaps buy one tent at a time until you have what you need. In the long run you will be better off.

11:30 p.m. on May 19, 2010 (EDT)
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at that price point, your best bet would be places like Dick's Sports, or online/catalog vendors like Campmor or Amazon. Coleman Sundome 4 or Sundome 5, Eureka Tetragon 8, are in your size/price range. the coleman has six feet of head clearance, and it's available at a variety of websites for around $60 each. weighs around 10 pounds. the Eureka is at or close to $100 each and has five feet of head clearance. it weighs 8 1/2 pounds.

I used a Eureka 2 person tent for years; they make a solid product. without being familiar with these tents, I'm willing to bet the Eureka has a better rain fly and is a more stable design. I'm less familiar with Coleman tents, but i have had other coleman products (peak stove, for example) last for years. it's clear from the photos that the rain fly on the coleman sundome doesn't extend very far down the side of the tent.

4:22 a.m. on May 20, 2010 (EDT)
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When I was in scouts a summer camp I attended used a configuration known as a baker’s tent. It is probably the most affordable configuration for your intended used, but unfortunately $100 barely will buy a bug net the size you specify, let alone a tent that will take full time seasonal abuse. Most decent tents in the size spec you relate are $250 - $400. I would caution against caving in, and getting whatever meets your budget. I would also avoid buying several different models as the parts will end up getting mixed together, and then it will be a nightmare sorting things out, or trying to salvage parts from one tent to keep the others serviceable. You should also avoid large dome tents as they get hotter inside on sunny days than other configurations.

You get pretty much what you pay for when it comes to tents. Since relatively few small two man pup tents are within your price range, it is very probable a tent with room to stand in will end up falling apart, disappointing everyone involved. Maybe it’s time for some fund raisers. Ed

8:35 a.m. on May 20, 2010 (EDT)
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Many manufaturers give discounts to scouts directly. I know Kelty, Sierra Designs and Alps Mountaineering does. Send them an email from their web site and they can give you more info. Also if you register with Coleman as a Non-Profit they give a discount. I still think it will be dificult to get what you want for the money.

5:58 p.m. on May 20, 2010 (EDT)
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Ed has given you wise advice.

Goto www.scoutdirect.com. They are part of Alps Mountaineering and support scouting programs more than anyone I've seen. They have fantastic prices as well. Give them your specifications and they'll take care of you.

I will tell you that you could fit 2 scouts per tent long term with cots in smaller tents than 8'x10'. Cots afford a lot of storage space underneath and you could probably get by with and 8'x7' or 8'x8'. Alps has certain tents with thick Oxford floors that will handle long-term cot use very well. But $100 per is tough to do. Good luck and thanks for doing what you do for our youth!

3:21 p.m. on May 21, 2010 (EDT)
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Our troop has 8 Coleman Rangeview4 9x7's since 2008 and just bought 5 more Coleman Sundome4 9x7's last month, which appear to be the same exact tent except for a different color scheme. We've found them to be very durable and easy to setup with tent clips instead of sleeves. They meet your criteria with full nylon walls and roof. Only the window and door have mesh and they can be zipped up when it rains. The floor is a very durable and waterproof polyetheylene tarp-like material and the rainfly covers slightly more than half way down. Comes with a floor mat for muddy boots, and the included tent bag is a substantial roomy, zippered bag with handles instead of the usual nylon, drawstring 'pillow case' that barely fits the tent after it's been used the first time! It's actually roomy enough to also fit a 9x7 tarp that we bought for each tent as a ground cloth to further extend their longevity.

The tents technically sleep 4 but we also prefer to use them for 2. They are plenty roomy for two scouts WITH their backpacks and cots or air mattresses. They're too heavy to pass for backpacking tents but I have yet to see any lightweight backpacking tent that's durable enough to stand up to the year-round use and abuse that scouts can dish out.

Here in NJ, in the past two months they've been on sale at The Sports Authority (but not on their website) for around $49.99-59.99 from a list price of $79.99. Roomy, easy to use, inexpensive, and durable- perfect for every scout use except for high adventure backpacking trips where light weight is important.

Includes the standard 1 year Coleman warranty and you can also add a Sports Auth extended warranty for $5-10 more that seems to cover everything.

Yours In Scouting,

Harv M

A.S.M. Troop 223 East Brunswick, NJ

7:47 p.m. on May 23, 2010 (EDT)
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I want to thank everyone for their suggestions. We are looking for 8x10 as our BSA summer camp requires 40 square feet per scout. Our pack got a couple of good years out of the Coleman Sundomes we had as well. Unfortunately, the third year a storm broke poles on 5 of the 8 tents in use and pole replacement was nearly as much as purchasing new tents which is what they did. I am currently looking at the Gander Mountain Grizzly Den 8 as suggested by pillowthread. They are a little more money but I think do-able for us. I rather like the looks of them and most of the reviews I've seen are positive. My husband read several that mentioned the poles breaking easily so I was wondering if anyone else has used them?

I would appreciate any further thoughts/ideas on this question. We are really looking for car camping gear in this case as most of our scouts have their own personal back-packing tents so weight isn't an issue. While some of us(troop leaders) are willing to consider spending a little more per tent and buying a few each year, we have other leaders who are not. Sadly, they are correct in pointing out that some of our youth do not take good care of the equipment whether it costs $60 or $200.

8:47 p.m. on May 23, 2010 (EDT)
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I had a Coleman Mountaineer for ten years. It was before the Sundome. The fly did come down farther than the Sundome does. All I can say is that I was very happy with it. Coleman is a good low price tent company. They never seem to leak, and to me thats the most important feature of a tent. Have you looked at their other tents?

9:28 p.m. on May 23, 2010 (EDT)
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I also vote coleman, for the price and the amount of durability and quality you get from them you can't go wrong. Boys will be boys and will be rough on any tent regardless of price. I have had the same 8x10 coleman tent for probally 8 years with extremly heavy use during weekend summer trips, but mostly during fall and winter I live in it while hunting a few weeks at a time using cots. And I have never had a problem. For the 80$ I paid, i am impressed at the quality.

9:42 p.m. on May 23, 2010 (EDT)
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Our scout troop had good luck with Gander Mountain tents when I was a young kid--most of them went 5-6 years, and looked quite similar in pole design to the grizzly den 8 model Gander Mountain currently offers. I remember them being roomy, waterproof, livable, and able to take the sharp edges of army cots. With that being said, I don't know much else about their tents nowadays.

1:49 p.m. on May 24, 2010 (EDT)
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with national jamboree coming very-very soon, a lot of councils will have gear for sale that was used for the jamboree. have you checked with your council to see what they are doing with their gear when your local jamboree troops get back?

i'm not familiar with the coleman tents you refer to, but if a storm rolled in and broke several poles, that means either it was a doozy of a storm; or you had fiberglass poles. either of which would be bad. one scouter to another, i would recommend that you re-look at the budget and see if you can find a few more $$$ to buy tents with aluminum poles. you will be much-much happier with the stability and durability.

good luck and happy scouting


5:04 p.m. on May 24, 2010 (EDT)
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Hey Scout Mom, there were some very nice and inexpensive tents in the most recent edition of the catalog I get from BSA -- what's it called, "Scoutgear" or something like that? Anyway, official BSA catalog. Check it out.

(Asst. Scoutmaster, Troop 13, New Bern, NC:

Razzle Dazzle

Frizzle Frazzle

Not a Thread but Wool.

All together! All together!

That's the way we pull!

13 Riverside BSA!)

8:20 p.m. on May 24, 2010 (EDT)
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Yes, I have seen the catalog and noticed that the Green Peak fits our requirements. My concern was that I cannot find any views of the tent without the rainfly and the manufacturer is not listed. Have you seen one of them or know anyone who has purchased them?

8:49 p.m. on May 24, 2010 (EDT)
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..While some of us(troop leaders) are willing to consider spending a little more per tent and buying a few each year, we have other leaders who are not. Sadly, they are correct in pointing out that some of our youth do not take good care of the equipment whether it costs $60 or $200.

The Troop for which I was SM, had a policy of "you break it, you buy it, and that means the Scout, not the parents." This being Palo Alto, too many of the parents just flash their plastic. But when it is explained the reason for the policy, the parents go along - which still means it sometimes is from the Scout's allowance, rather than his earnings. Still, when the boy realizes that he or his parent is paying " HOW MUCH???", he does start showing some responsibility.

OTOH, Coleman and some other manufacturers use fiberglass poles, which as already pointed out by several posters, are far too easily broken. Aluminum may be more expensive (though not always), but it pays in the long run.

Yeah, I am familiar with that "40 square feet" rule for "fixed camps". But I see it ignored a lot for individual units, even at Council summer camps.

1:21 a.m. on May 25, 2010 (EDT)
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I remember going to a summer camp in NC as a kid, they had little cabins for us to stay in, 7 kids and a councilor to each small cabin.

There were 4 sets of bunk beds for us to sleep in and we were told to sleep head to toe with our bunk mate so we did not breath the same air the bunk mate had exhaled even though there was a screen door and vents in the cabin walls. The head to toe arrangement didn't do much for passed gas though since this originated from the middle, and it soon became a game for us as is the case with most boys on camping trips.

We were made to clean up the cabins every morning before breakfast, including sweeping & mopping the floors.

On the backpacking course we took at that camp we were given one tent per two campers among various other gear. Our parents had to sign an agreement that they would pay for any gear damaged by rough handling by us kids. My dad had already informed me if that happened I would work off the debt.

It's been a while, but I'm pretty sure we used Eureka Timberline tents.

9:16 a.m. on May 25, 2010 (EDT)
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an 8x10 tent with 6' ceiling for two teenagers? Three of my younger brothers, and a friend, and I all spent a weekend in a 7'x8' tent a couple weeks ago, and we felt like we were in a palace :)

4:48 p.m. on May 27, 2010 (EDT)
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Okay, does anyone have any experience with Chinook tents? They have a "Tornado 6" with aluminum poles and within our size range for about $200. I have also been looking at Alps mountaineering and they have one that looks good in a doable price but it has fiberglass poles. Any thoughts?

8:56 a.m. on May 29, 2010 (EDT)
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Scout mom, I don't know anyone with personal experience of the tent in the catalog. It looks good enough that I am thinking of buying one, that's about as much as I can say.

6:17 p.m. on June 25, 2010 (EDT)
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Well, after much research, shopping and returning 4 tents, we have purchased Coleman Sunlight Ridge tents for our scout troop. I purchased a Gander Mountain Grizzly Den 8 for my husband and myself. The Coleman's don't meet all the criteria we wanted but the majority of leaders felt they were the best for the money (and our use). We leave Sunday for our week at scout camp. I will put the results on gear reviews if we have adequate info at that time. Thanks for all of the thoughts on this subject!

6:28 a.m. on July 29, 2010 (EDT)
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7:59 a.m. on July 29, 2010 (EDT)
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The request was for servicable tents around the $100 mark. The Atlas is a little more than that...

8:18 a.m. on July 29, 2010 (EDT)
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Campmor gives scouts a 10% discount. Timberlines are what most troops seem to use. Part replaceability over the long run is the reason for that.

10:51 a.m. on July 30, 2010 (EDT)
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This is where a more costlier tent, like the Atlas, is worth its weight in gold:

Fairly light, but utterly rugged!


The tents technically sleep 4 but we also prefer to use them for 2. They are plenty roomy for two scouts WITH their backpacks and cots or air mattresses. They're too heavy to pass for backpacking tents but I have yet to see any lightweight backpacking tent that's durable enough to stand up to the year-round use and abuse that scouts can dish out.

12:19 p.m. on July 30, 2010 (EDT)
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aww come on, 16 times more isn't THAT much of a stretch ;)

9:01 a.m. on July 31, 2010 (EDT)
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Well, as it easily has room for eight scouts, with gear, one should maybe split the sum four ways, compared to a two kid tent?

Still, not quite in the same leage .-(!

9:16 p.m. on August 1, 2010 (EDT)
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I'm sorry, didn't even realize this discussion was still going! The atlas looks like a nice tent but even for 8 kids is WAY out of our price range. We used our Coleman Ridgeline tents for 6 nights at the end of June. Unusually, it didn't rain on us so I can't judge water tightness yet and won't know about longterm durability for some time but we were pleased with them so far. The boys were happy with the design and the easy set up. We had no issues with zippers or poles so that's a plus. They do have almost full screen ceilings which I am not a fan of but we'll see, maybe I will have to change my mind. We do have 3 canvas wall-tents for winter camps so these will be summer use only.

I bought myself a Gander Mountain Grizzly Den 8 which I really like so far. Again, no rain test yet and I do wish the floor was the old style tarp fabric. For some reason, many of the tents are now made with floors of the same fabric(a little heavier weight) as the walls. Since we're talking car camping tents here as opposed to back-packing, I'm not sure why the manufacturers are doing this. It doesn't seem nearly as waterproof or durable and bare feet stick to it. But, as I said, many are now made this way. After a few more uses, I will put my review on 'gear reviews'.

Our last troop tents were Ozark Trail tents from Walmart and we used them for 6-7 years. We figure if we get a couple of years from the Coleman's then maybe we can spend a bit more next time. Again, thanks for the in-put!

11:34 p.m. on August 1, 2010 (EDT)
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You had bare feet on the floor? Sister they are scouts. nekked women should not be part of the scouting experience.

10:27 p.m. on August 2, 2010 (EDT)
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Bare FEET, and they were my husbands!(?) Anyhow, youth membership would probably go up if 'nekked' women were a part of it!LOL

5:08 p.m. on August 8, 2010 (EDT)
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The Atlas is amazing, but quite pricey, even here where Hilleberg tents orginate! We used one of their tunnel tents for years, and before that the KEB was a legend, made by they guy who later started the firm Hilleberg, mr. Hilleberg himself! Nowadays his son is in charge, I think :-)!

6:18 p.m. on September 18, 2010 (EDT)
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If you havent already purchased tents yet, I would suggest the Chinook Aurora tent. It is a 3 person tent and it is very durable. They usually sell for around $70 or so each on Ebay. I saw a guy taht was selling them in lots of 10 or more for a good price. I also found a website that sells them for really cheap...here is the direct link to those tents on that site:


I purchased 10 Eureka tents from this guy for BSA and he gave me a good discount (on Eureka tents only though).

9:16 a.m. on September 19, 2010 (EDT)
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I rember the Baker tent all to well.....

9:46 p.m. on September 20, 2010 (EDT)
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We tried to get Chinook Tornado 6's but they were all out of stock when we were looking. Ended up with Coleman Ridgelines. The boys were happy with them but we didn't go through any bad weather. I will have to hold off on a review until that happens!

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