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Tent advice

Fist a little about me, I am a complete novice when it comes to camping, I have never spent a night in a tent, so I am clueless.  During June I cook at a camp for 11-13 year old kids.  There is a cooks cabin however it is reserved for the female kitchen staff.  We men either sleep in the boys cabins with campers or bring camp trailers.  I am not ready to buy a camper yet and do not relish the thought of sleeping in the cabins with the boys again.  They are good kids, but they are kids, they stay up late, I get up early.

Anyway I am looking for an easy to setup cabin style tent with room for a full size air mattress and my gear, that is well ventilated and able to withstand a South Carolina Thunderstorm, and easy to stow in the trunk of my car or backseat.   I will be living in it for a week at a time.

Thanx for any advice.

For those needs you should stay away from "backpacking" tents and look to tents made for car camping. Backpacking tents are designed to be small and light, you are going to want some living space and headroom, and it sounds like overall weight won't be an issue for you. There are many, many choices, I suggest going to an REI or other outdoor store and looking at tents, bend a salesperson's ear to give you input.

JR is correct.  We've had very good luck with Kelty and Eureka car camping g tents.  Try to avoid really cheap tents, as they leak in the rain....

And learn the tricks to picking out the best way to pit your tent...out of drainage areas, staked out tightly, covering the groundcloth completely, and with a small trench to re-direct and water on the ground...

Balzaccom has a great point- even the best tents will fail if you pitch them poorly, or have bad site selection, etc. On the flip side a lower cost (as long as it’s not a terribly constructed) tent will do just fine if you learn to protect it to minimize sun, wind, rain. If you are really concerned about it letting water in ask, or research, a tents Hh (hydrostatic head). It will give you an idea of the type of conditions it is designed to withstand in terms of water pressure (the higher the number the better in terms of water resistance). They will often give you a value for the floor and fly separately. 

Also a note to keep your eyes out for used deals. So long as it’s been stored, and cared for properly, many tents outlast the couple years people use them for. 

Coleman, and the brands mentioned by balzaccom are good brands.  If you are on a budget, consider buying used off E-Bay.  I prefer the "cabin" style tents.  They have vertical side walls, a roof sloping up from the left and right sides of the ten to a high point over the main entrance.  Get one with large, screened vent windows on the left and right side walls.  Cabin tents are ususally cooler than dome shaped tents or tents with sloping side walls. 

Standing water after a rain can be an issue, regardless of tent design.  If you are there for weeks or more consider devising a method to elevate the tent floor above the surrounding ground level, AND DON'T PLACE YOUR TENT IN A LOW SPOT WHERE WATER MAY COLLECT!  Some folks assemble a decking from 2X4s and plywood and place it under their tent to reduce water issues; I have also seen folks raise the ground level under under the tent with an earthen platform made of dirt excavated elsewhere, or bags of sand.  Most large tents will stand up well to a 25 mph wind, but all bets are off beyond that.  Base camp expedition tents fare better in winds, but they tend to be rather pricey.  If it gets real windy you may need to collapse your tent, else risk wind damage.    


cabin-tent03.jpgExample of a cabin tent.

Ed

And while the wind itself can certainly damage a tent, don’t overlook the wind breaking off tree limbs, tops, or even blowing over entire trees or standing deadwood onto the tent. 

From my limited experience, I really enjoy a tent I can stand up in. That is if I don't have to hike it in. Just makes it easier to change and move around. 

Not cabin-style, but I was looking at an American reviewing his Walmart teepee style, the Ozark Trail. I think he said it was $50. Teepee tents withstand the elements incredibly well and with a single pole are very easy to erect. You stake them out, you raise one pole.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZDj1Fi80Cs

Pixie Poo said:

Not cabin-style, but I was looking at an American reviewing his Walmart teepee style, the Ozark Trail. I think he said it was $50. Teepee tents withstand the elements incredibly well and with a single pole are very easy to erect. You stake them out, you raise one pole.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZDj1Fi80Cs

Ozark is known for its inferior products.  Teepees are an option but good teepees are not cheap.

Ed

Cannot give you an honest answer as to rain and wind. But I can tell you this. For the price I paid $121 this has all of the makings to be a great park model for extended stays. only used it 1 nite. Got it labor day sale

Ventilation will never be an issue. 
space to spare 
we slept 3 stocky guys in it and could have put 3 more and everyones gear. The 4 man version is a little shorter.

if you are 6ft 3in you can stand up in it.

front door and vestibule are just right for chairs and a sun shade. And if the weather turns zips right down.

wish I could give you more but haven’t had it long enough. what I will say is this it’s made by a reputable company and I’ve owned and used enough tents that this one was a no brainer at that price. and it appears reasonably well thought out.

in short it is worth you kicking the fenders on. My other choices were a Coleman which wasn’t as well designed $104 or a Kelty at $363 I think 

setup is gonna take a minute or two to figure out the 1st time , also buy those cheap Walmart stake that you can hammer in. They are about the only ones that will work at park campsites.  And that is the only place I’m gonna use a tent like this, extended stays at parks or family outings at a park. 

4A528CB3-BDA2-4191-B695-7D7F032924A4.jpg

1081A2B4-4EFF-4F35-99F9-DD131DB40EE3.jpg

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SC is warm and wet.  Look for good ventilation.  You probablly need to a tent with two layers or canvas that can breathe.  I would avoid a one layer coated nylon tent.  Make it big enough to stand up in.  I have lived in a tent for a month.  Furniture is your friend. 

whomeworry said:

Pixie Poo said:

Not cabin-style, but I was looking at an American reviewing his Walmart teepee style, the Ozark Trail. I think he said it was $50. Teepee tents withstand the elements incredibly well and with a single pole are very easy to erect. You stake them out, you raise one pole.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZDj1Fi80Cs

Ozark is known for its inferior products.  Teepees are an option but good teepees are not cheap.

Ed

It's $50 for a tent you can stand in. At that price I wouldn't feel heartbroken about patching it up, spraying UV or rain protection on, etc. I'd also be more willing to risk a cheap teepee than some other designs because it's such a simple design. To me the biggest downside (and explanation of the price) is it's single-skinned.

If you want to spend more, Naturehike on Aliexpres; 4-person teepee, a 3/4 inner double-walled sleeping area, awning, 2.4 meter centre point, $200.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32989520565.html

August 4, 2020
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