tents: your suggestions and stories please!

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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diane o'thirst
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Post by diane o'thirst » Thu May 31, 2007 4:05 pm

I just saw a NICE Ridgeway at Costco. 20x10x6.5', two rooms one of which can be made into a screen porch, a flap for electric cords, costing slightly less than the carport. Not as cool-looking as the Sudan Tent at Tent Market, but same price and slightly roomier. Bathtub-grade poly floor. And best of all, no tax no shipping, ya pays da money and ya walks out da door wit' it.

(Me <3 Oregon)
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premonut
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Post by premonut » Thu May 31, 2007 8:52 pm

Thanks for the info.... definately a help..... :shock:

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falk
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Post by falk » Thu May 31, 2007 9:22 pm

Can it be sealed, or does it have big mesh walls that let the dust in?

stew
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Post by stew » Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:22 am

Just to chip in mi $0.02, I bought a $50 Coleman dome tent at an outdoor store and together with four pieces of rebar, it withstood all the wind of 2006 (and we left late, so we got some strong winds once we were the last ones on our block). We'll see how it looks like after this year's Nowhere and BM.

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diane o'thirst
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Post by diane o'thirst » Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:57 am

falk wrote:Can it be sealed, or does it have big mesh walls that let the dust in?
The screen porch forechambre has walls that zip up (they claim for privacy). All the windows have zip-up covers. The E-port for electrical cords could be a liability but I'll be situating the tent under a carport, like Anti-M does. I'll have a fabric canopy tied into our camp's multi-purpose shelter (3 carports bridged with Aluminet).
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diane o'thirst
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Post by diane o'thirst » Sat Jun 02, 2007 2:05 am

Look what I just found on The Sportsman's Guide: a BIG tent (11x11x6.5') with its own built-in solar lighting.

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=341146
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RINGMASTER
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Post by RINGMASTER » Sat Jun 02, 2007 2:09 am

had a small 2 man eddie bauer tent last year as a playa virgin. used rebar stakes... everything held up fine when the neighbors carport went sailing away. only drawback was the dust. i didnt bother sealing it and paid for it (actually slept with the dust mask one night since i was inhaling playa!)

thinking of spending the money for a dome this year. anyone bought from this outfit before?

http://www.shelter-systems.com/playadomes.html

i may very well use my same tent again this year and just seal it up, but would still like the dome for relaxing with the community during the day

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diane o'thirst
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Post by diane o'thirst » Sat Jun 02, 2007 11:19 pm

I'm trading in good ol' Nephthys Navajo on a '99 F-150 this week, so I was shopping for truckbed tents. Found this:

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templ ... ite=netcon

Claims 6' headroom and since it's a truckbed tent, it's 6x8'. I know, not nearly big enough for me and the Werewolf. That's one consideration, but I'm still pretty impressed by the Ridgeway. More legroom, more headroom, just as aesthetic, fewer spondulicks.

Probably won't go for the Sportz, at least for the Burn.
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stellabee
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Tents!

Post by stellabee » Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:20 am

Awesome tent the Columbia Cougar Flats. Big, beautiful, easy to set up, and more than held it's own in last years's biggest wind blasts. $229.
Stellabee

ms dynomite
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tent zippers

Post by ms dynomite » Mon Jun 04, 2007 10:43 am

re: sticky or broken tent zippers...

White vinegar is your friend on the playa, it helps remove the alkali playa dust. I kept a little spray bottle with some vinegar and water and just sprayed down the zippers after the dust storms. The dust can cake up in there and cause zippers to stick or go off track. The vinegar helps remove the dust and is less messy than trying to use soap and water on your tent while on the playa. It dries quickly too. Don't force a zipper, try cleaning it first.

Plain candle wax works if a zipper is split (you zip it up but there's a section on the track that reopens) or the teeth won't align. It won't fully repair a split zipper, but it will get you through. Just rub a plain candle along both sides of the teeth. The wax helps the teeth grip and stick. You can keep a small candle in your cooler for this purpose. It works best on coil zippers.

ms dynomite
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choosing tents

Post by ms dynomite » Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:34 am

I've also heard good things about Springbar. I would expect any big box or discount brand to be good for 2-3 years at most, but sometimes you can't afford a big investment at the time so that works. I like to have "personal space" in a tent, but if you just want a sleeping area you can pack in 4-6 people in the dome tent I mention below. You can easily fit 6 with gear in the cabin tent I also mention. I know you're looking for a dome tent, but I've described the cabin too because there is a dome version of it that's very similar. Either by Coleman or Greatland, so it should be in your price range.

I have a 4-person L.L. Bean dome tent.
Unfortunately I can't find something like it on their site or elsewhere to give an example, but I thought I'd share the features I've found helpful. It's perfect for 2 people plus gear. It's like a palace for one person. It's survived 8 years of camping, festivals, several playa trips and several desert regionals. I've put it up by myself quite easily and quickly. I think I bought it for about $300.

The ceiling has a little mesh area for ventilation. The important feature about the tent: all the mesh windows zip close, something that seems hard to find now. There are 2 large mesh windows with zip-up covers to keep out dust. The door also has an inset mesh window with a zip-up cover. The mesh has been great to get some air circulation and let in a breeze when it's hot. I've never had a problem with dust when it's zipped up. It has a generous fly, which has helped for rain, some shade, and privacy.

The extras that make it great:
It has stash pockets under each window so each person has a place for stuff or trash. There is a hook on the ceiling, which is incredibly helpful. If your tent doesn't have one I suggest adding it. This is the perfect place to hang a lamp at night (overhead light works much better) or a battery fan. It also has little fabric loops at 4 corners, perfect for stringing guy rope through to make a laundry line or clip items like lights and fans to.


We've recently upgraded to a Greatland 8-person cabin tent with a divider that creates 2 rooms.
(see a picture here: http://i22.ebayimg.com/05/i/000/a0/44/4682_1_b.JPG )
We're keeping the dome tent for shorter trips or when we want to travel light. We used the cabin at our desert regional recently and it was such a welcome relief: I can't tell you how nice it is to finally be able to stand up in a tent, particularly when dressing. It's pretty easy to put up, but I think it's best done with two people due to the size. We got it at Target on sale for about $120. It lasted through several days of winds (20-40mph) and storms. It may not last as long as the L.L. Bean has, but as long as it's staked well and clamped it'll be a good tester for a couple of years.

It has a canopy on the fly to make a little "patio". This offers a shade area to sit under, particularly nice when waking up. It also kept the area underneath surprisingly dry through the evening rains. The room divider hooks into plastic loops at the front and back walls and at the ceiling to create two halves. Which means you can leave it off and have one huge mondo space if you want. It zips open/closed and has handy tie-backs so you can easily leave one or both sides open. Added benefit: you can run a guy rope through those loops if you need to hang wet clothes or other items. The ceiling loop gives a good place for a lamp.

The 2 sections mean we can have an air mattress and small items on one side, while keeping our gear on the other. Hopefully keeping dust away from the sleeping area and preventing us from having to go outside to a separate gear tent when we need somthing. We can also use the non-bed side to "entertain": it's nice to have a tent large enough that friends can duck in to escape the weather, without getting your sleeping area dusty. The best part is that there are 2 doors, one on each side. Which means no coming-and-going through the bed area.

the downsides:
The fly is rather short, it just covers the very top of the tent, and the guy rings on the fly are sparse IMO. As a result the fly kept blowing off one side during the higher winds. However, this was easily fixed by simply using a photo clamp (metal with orange rubber tips) on each side to hold the fly to the roof pole. No problems after that.

hope that helps. :)

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diane o'thirst
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Post by diane o'thirst » Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:20 pm

Well, I just went over to my local Shopko this morning and picked up a gem of a tent. Northcrest Outdoor cabin dome tent, 15x13x8.5'. See a picture here:

http://www.shoplocal.com/lid-2093205276 ... est-all.fp

I don't think this baby'd go anywhere in the wind, it was about 75 pounds. "Divided light picture window" screens, foyer, door awning. And I got the last one in the store!!!

Yeah, I got a tent. Had to, my old liftback tent didn't fit on the new vehicle. Me 'n Nothing-to-Prove will have a nice little red-roof cottage on the Playa, with roses over the door and wisteria in the window Image
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skygod
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Post by skygod » Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:33 am

wisteria smells so good!
"It will seem difficult in the beginning. But everything seems difficult in the beginning."- Musashi

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diane o'thirst
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Post by diane o'thirst » Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:13 pm

They said no live plants so it's going to be fake plants...but maybe I can pick up some wisteria oil for "that" effect...
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skygod
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Post by skygod » Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:15 am

diane o'thirst wrote:They said no live plants
I read that too, but I bet we will see a lot of them anyway.
"It will seem difficult in the beginning. But everything seems difficult in the beginning."- Musashi

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diane o'thirst
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Post by diane o'thirst » Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:15 pm

I'm bringing a fresh herb pot but I'm keeping it under shade inside the tent, and inside one of those tabletop greenhouses. It's a cheap way of making sure the babies stay nice and moist and the MOOP contained. Just zip open the front, snip a sprig, zip closed, twenty dollars of MOOP containment.

I've had campmates bring plants before. We brought an aloe vera plant in 2002. No MOOP, but the poor thing got preyed on right and left. Bringing a potted aspen or bamboo to the Playa...yeah, I can understand prohibiting that, but what about low-fallout plants like aloe, cactus and water lilies?
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