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Old 09-02-06, 08:11 AM   #1
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Tent for touring only?

I am in need of a new tent. My wife and I plan on touring, at least some short trips in the future. Should I buy a nice tent for touring and use it for camping with friends? Or should I buy a cheap tent for regular camping and keep a nice tent exclusively for touring?

Any reason not to have just one tent?

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 09-02-06, 08:14 AM   #2
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dude, just buy nice stuff and use it. outdoor gear is not an investment, it is meant to get worn out.

go ahead, wear out a tent, i dare ya.

get a nice one, then maybe buy another nice one.

plenty of resons to have more than one. there are different kinds of tents for different types of camping, so a nice big car camping tent is nice to have, and so is a nice, ultralight but roomy bike camping tent for summer, and a stouter one for fall and winter, and a tiny tent for emergencys or summer overnighters.....and what if you want to do some winter expeditions in Greenland or Colorado?

i have at owned, used, sold and lost at least 15 tents over the years, and will probably own more in the future. i have probably six tents/ shelter systems in the closet right now!

buy quality. don't go cheap unluss you already are that way.

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Old 09-02-06, 08:25 AM   #3
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What kind of lifetime have you gotten out of most of your tents? Do you think lightweight touring tents to be any more fragile than a lower end heavier dome tent?

Thanks for the quick reply and encouragement. Maybe I'm just looking for a reason to buy a nicer tent and have an excuse to talk my wife in to touring sooner than later.
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Old 09-03-06, 09:12 AM   #4
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Get Two Tents

My opinion is that you should get two tents. For bike touring I want the lightest possible gear. I bought a Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight (off Ebay for $70). I can't stretch out in it like I'd like (I'm 6'4"), and sitting up can only be done in one area, but the thing weighs about half of the tent I previously toured with. That's good.

For car camping (or motorcycle camping) where weight isn't such an issue, the Clip Flashlight would drive me crazy - it's too small! So I have a Eureka Tetragon 9 (about $99 on Ebay) which is 9' by 9'. It's not tall enough to stand up in, but it's big enough that I can bring my chair inside and sit in comfort when it's raining or there are too many mosquitos outside.

If I'm camping with the family then I bring an even bigger tent - big enough for 5 or 6 and tall enough for me to stand up in the middle, but it weighs a ton!
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Old 09-03-06, 05:30 PM   #5
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Most people we met while cycling down the West Coast this summer were using a good quality backpacking tent for touring and seemed happy. Some bike touring tents have a larger vestibule as cyclists have more gear than a typical backpacker and may need more room to keep it undercover.

We bought our MSR Velo on eBay and love it. It's made specifically for cycle touring and the vestibule is actually large enough to fit two bikes inside.

Granted, it is no lightweight at 9lbs. But we spent the first month of our tour in near constant rain and we felt comfortable enough in the tent to forgo hotel rooms every night but one.
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Old 09-03-06, 06:54 PM   #6
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I would suggest a decent tent and use it for both. My standard tent for years for everything but backpacking was a Eureka Timberline 4 man. I paid $100 for it in 1978 and finally retired it about 4 years ago. Best money I ever spent. I did have the extra fly for mine that made a porch out the front. I like the looks of the MSR Velo, but wonder about the center height.

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Old 09-04-06, 01:22 PM   #7
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I just purchased an REI Camp Dome 2. It worked out great for some recent tours. It's very light, and it goes up easily. It took me about 3 minutes to erect it. This is important after a long tour.
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Old 09-04-06, 01:31 PM   #8
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I have a Eureka 2 man tent I bought in '96, 10 years old, and still as waterproof as the day I bought it(with some regular maintenance). Canada, Yosemite, Sequoia Nat. Forest, Grand Canyon, Joshaua Tree, all over Wisconsin, Death Valley...more to come, many more. buy quality. Use it for both.
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Old 09-04-06, 01:41 PM   #9
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"Going camping with friends" in North America usually means "driving to a campsite and setting up three huge tents for one family". I think if you're driving, your priority in a tent is space and comfort, while for biking weight is a critical consideration. So I think I'd have two different tents for those purposes: a big and somewhat cheapo tent for "casual camping" and a good-quality lightweight tent for warm weather touring.
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