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Camping Gear - Looking for Advice
#1
Now that summer is fast approaching, Mandie and I where discussing what we needed as far as camping gear goes.   Last year we just borrowed a tent and pretty much called it good.  This year, we'd like to get a good tent and gear to make things a bit more enjoyable.  Especially since Jace was bit by the camping bug last year, we'll be wanting to get out more and more this year.

So, what's everyones thoughts on tents?   We aren't looking for something massive, but bigger than the 2 person we have now.  Maybe something a little easier to move around and get out of, with enough room for Mandie, Jace, and me.   We where thinking we'd just head to Canadian tire on this weekend and randomly pick out one.  But i'd like to get a good one, not sure if what Canadian tire carries is good enough or what.

We've already got a decent air mattress, and last time i checked it still held air.  And we have a couple of sleeping "ok" sleeping bags.   Out side of that, we just have a dual burner camp stove and some random trinkets.   We want to get a new lantern since our last one which we really liked broke (glass + offloading = LOL).

Anyways, what does everyone else use?  
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#2
When looking for a good tent you may want to look at key features. I searched for probably 5 months until I found what I was after. I wanted a dome tent with enough space for 2 adults and gear and possibly a child at some point so i decided on something 8x6 or 8x7. One thing to always watch when buying a tent is the floor space is never what it actually is. Always minus 1ft x 1ft from its actual labelled size. The floors curl up like a tub and you loose the space quickly.

Other key features i was after were a rain fly with vents, aluminum poles bigger then 7mm, clip pole attachments, good thickness flooring (anything 1000mm - 5000mm is ideal), lots of breathable space / ventilation, 2 doors with windows, pockets, vestibules, etc etc. I ended up buying the Mountainsmith Genesse 4 for $158.99 usd and free freight. 

http://mountainsmith.com/index.php/genesee-4.html

Tent
Matresses
Pillows
Coolers
Sleeping Bags
Lawn Chairs
Flashlights
Rubber Boots
Blankets
Stove
Roasting Sticks

In My Rubbermaid Container I have the following items:
Rain Gear (2 Jackets & Pants)
Paper Towels
Toilet Paper (in zipoc so doesnt get wet)
Paper Plates
Plastic Forks / Knives / Spoons
Garbage Bags (4)
Afterbite
Bug Spray
Sunscreen
Bungee Cords / Rope
Propane 
LED Lantern - D Batteries
Frying Pans (2)
Propane Torch
BBQ Lighter
Spatula
Tongs
Deck of Cards
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#3
Looking to upgrade as well. Currently I have a North Face tent, and with kids it didn't last very long. Most "Backpacking" tents have nylon floors and require some type of base foot print to be used in conjunction. Unless you wanna lay a "tarp" down prior to setting up perhaps consider something with a poly floor. Since weight isn't an issue not having to pack it in, a poly floor will stand up to a granite platform better and the kids constant in and out. Something free standing with a geodesic design and aluminum poles. I found that with larger taller tents (4-6 man) fibreglass poles didn't offer enough rigidity causing the tent to "sway" in heavy winds. Also a tent design that clips to the poles rather than a sleeve style allowing for quicker set up and take down in the event that you have to do it by myself is appealing also. A full rain fly is a must just in case. I'm thinking that maybe a base camp style tent might be the way to go. Brands like Coleman, Woods and Eureka make a plethora of "family" tents that fit this description and are reasonably priced. Brands like Mountain Hardware, North Face, MSR, Kelty etc. do offer some, but not as many with poly floors as they are geared more for the mountaineer/backpacker type and priced way more.
2013 Rubicon Unlimited

Tactical is Practical
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#4
(05-07-2015, 11:31 PM)jdam Wrote: Looking to upgrade as well. Currently I have a North Face tent, and with kids it didn't last very long. Most "Backpacking" tents have nylon floors and require some type of base foot print to be used in conjunction. Unless you wanna lay a "tarp" down prior to setting up perhaps consider something with a poly floor. Since weight isn't an issue not having to pack it in, a poly floor will stand up to a granite platform better and the kids constant in and out. Something free standing with a geodesic design and aluminum poles. I found that with larger taller tents (4-6 man) fibreglass poles didn't offer enough rigidity causing the tent to "sway" in heavy winds. Also a tent design that clips to the poles rather than a sleeve style allowing for quicker set up and take down in the event that you have to do it by myself is appealing also. A full rain fly is a must just in case. I'm thinking that maybe a base camp style tent might be the way to go. Brands like Coleman, Woods and Eureka make a plethora of "family" tents that fit this description and are reasonably priced. Brands like Mountain Hardware, North Face, MSR, Kelty etc. do offer some, but not as many with poly floors as they are geared more for the mountaineer/backpacker type and priced way more.

When I looked at those brands: North Face, Kelty, MSR, Eureka, etc... every tent was $330+ for the basecamp models. Here's a few I had looked at... keep in mind most of these have 2,3,4 person styles available. I visited backcountry.com for more tent info. http://www.backcountry.com/3-season-tents

North Face Kaiju
Kelty Trail Ridge
Eureka Taron
Alps Mountaineering Taurus
Alps Mountaineering Lynx
Big Agnus Jack Rabbit
Mountain Hardware Drifter
REI Camp Dome
REI Kingdom
REI Base Camp
Marmot Limelight
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#5
I have a North Face Mica, it's only a 2 person tent  Sad

For the price I should of bought a 4-5 person model but at the time i was looking for something light and compact.
2013 Rubicon Unlimited

Tactical is Practical
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#6
Wow, awesome stuff Glenn. I pretty much just copied and pasted your whole post into my Onenote so I know what to pickup and pack for May long. Big Grin

We definitely don't want to drop $500 on a tent. Like Jomar said, we don't need anything light weight. Strength, quality, longevity and room are more important than weight. I like the price point of your tent. Why dome over the cabin style? I'm thinking something slightly larger just so we can fit gear into it and be able to maneuver around in side the tent with out waking up Jace.

Really hoping we can find something local with out having to mail order. Since it would be great to get something before May Long. Didn't think the tent world was this massive and complex. Smile
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#7
We've been looking at this one sounds pretty good. Not quite as massive as we thought we wanted, but it fits all the features we need. Seems to be high quality.

http://mountainsmith.com/index.php/produ...-plus.html
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#8
(05-07-2015, 11:26 PM)GlennH Wrote: When looking for a good tent you may want to look at key features. I searched for probably 5 months until I found what I was after. I wanted a dome tent with enough space for 2 adults and gear and possibly a child at some point so i decided on something 8x6 or 8x7. One thing to always watch when buying a tent is the floor space is never what it actually is. Always minus 1ft x 1ft from its actual labelled size. The floors curl up like a tub and you loose the space quickly.

Other key features i was after were a rain fly with vents, aluminum poles bigger then 7mm, clip pole attachments, good thickness flooring (anything 1000mm - 5000mm is ideal), lots of breathable space / ventilation, 2 doors with windows, pockets, vestibules, etc etc. I ended up buying the Mountainsmith Genesse 4 for $158.99 usd and free freight. 

http://mountainsmith.com/index.php/genesee-4.html

Tent
Matresses
Pillows
Coolers
Sleeping Bags
Lawn Chairs
Flashlights
Rubber Boots
Blankets
Stove
Roasting Sticks

In My Rubbermaid Container I have the following items:
Rain Gear (2 Jackets & Pants)
Paper Towels
Toilet Paper (in zipoc so doesnt get wet)
Paper Plates
Plastic Forks / Knives / Spoons
Garbage Bags (4)
Afterbite
Bug Spray
Sunscreen
Bungee Cords / Rope
Propane 
LED Lantern - D Batteries
Frying Pans (2)
Propane Torch
BBQ Lighter
Spatula
Tongs
Deck of Cards
I love that you researched 5 months for a tent.  Lol really not even surprised but thanks for that G. Super helpful reply!
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#9
I like a dome tent because I mostly camp in Rennie on the rocks and there is not a lot of ground to put stakes into the ground to setup all the ez pull guidelines for the fly & vestibules. The dome can be just thrown down and gear can be placed inside to help hold it down. Also the rain fly on a dome is easier to setup in a pinch. 

The Conifer 5 tent says its 10x12 but its actually only 85ft sq which makes it actually only 10x8.5! The shape requires a 10x12 pad as its not a complete square tent. Also its american so it will be approx $450 cdn to your door. Things to watchout on.

My 8x7 tent ended up being 7x6 once all setup. So basically a 2.5 person tent. LOL
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#10
I prefer a full mesh tent with rainfly of possible. It's easier to make a hot weather tent warm with blankets/bags/clothes than make a hot tent cold with ice and a fan. Also, if rain is not forcasted you can sleep without the rainfly which lets some starlight in Smile

MEC has always done right by me. I've abused mine over the years and they have never charged me for repairs. If you like Chinook gear, Travis can bring it in for you at Realiant Action Limited. Actually he has lots of cool stuff he brings in for forest fire fighters, camps, and conservation.

Tip: NEVER buy a tent without setting it up at least once beforehand. Last thing you want is an annoying suprise, after dark, in a freak terenchal downpour.
"...because without pictures/videos, it didn't happen."
| Gary (plus Teresa and Jack) | RRJC Club Treasurer | 2013 JKUR in Rock Lobster |
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