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I am going to do some camping this summer and need a tent. Do I need a three season or four season tent? One person or two? Maybe wall mart will be ok?
 

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A three season tent will do just fine, unless you plan on camping on some exposed mountainous peaks.

You'd want at least a 2 man(barely adequate for 1 person), preferably a 3 man(little more 'elbow' space and height but bulkier), or if you are hauling a trailer,(or going solo and don't mind packing it on the passenger seat ortour box rack)a four man or larger for the ultimate in space/height.

Something with a fuller coverage rain flysheet will protect you more than one with a small 'umbrella' type of rainfly sheet.

To make it truly water repellent, expect to spend some time sealing the stitching on the fly sheet(unless taped) and the floor seams. I highly recommend using McNett Seam Grip to seal the seams. http://www.rei.com/product/603034

After applying, let dry for at least 5-8 hours and then 'dust' the seams with a light dusting of Talc/baby powder to prevent it from sticking to itself, or other parts of the tent.


Make sure it has some sort of ventilation, such as windows/doors with mesh. 2 doors are better than one, especially for 'cross ventilation'


As to where/what brand to buy, it depends on how much camping you plan on doing. Wally World would probably do fine for a couple weekends a year, or if you plan for lots of camping, in some serious conditions for a few years, look for a more reputable outdoors retailer, such as REI, EMS or if you have a local outdoor shop in your town, ask them for their thoughts/advice.

Most importantly, if you are 6' or taller, make sure you fit inthe tent when you are laying down in, without your feet/head touching any of the wall ends.

Dusty
 

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On a cross-country tour last summer to meet my brother in Illinois, we got caught in a summer thunderstorm just across the Mississippi somewhere in Wisconsin......

Man, talk about a deluge, it beat anything I've ever seen, including the Monsoon in Vietnam. The rain was pounding down and beating up from the pavement in sheets, making motorcycling not only unsafe, but unthinkable.

In a momentary lull, the rain let up just enough for us to see the KOA sign along the freeway. I turned off hoping that the Kampground might have a cabin...... they did, but they were all rented.

In a flash, we erected our 4-Person Eureka Timberline, threw some gear inside, and dashed for the Kampground Office, where we drank some coffee and watched the storm resume in all it's mind-boggling glory through the office windows......

"Is our stuff gonna get wet, " asked my unflappable mate, the Mighty Red.

"No doubt about it," I told her. "Look at the lakes forming out there!"

I wasn't particularly worried, figuring we could dry out our sleeping bags in the laundry driers.

When it finally did stop raining for a bit, we removed our boots and sloshed our way to our tent. I unzipped the door and peered inside. Unbelievable. Not a speck of moisture, not a drop of water anywhere! We ate some emergency food and snuggled up that night in our warm, dry sleeping bags listening to the rain drum down on our $150 tent. In the morning, we awoke to sunny skies and a campground steaming under the rays....... In retrospect, it was a great night!

Eureka Timberline 4-Person, $150, Campmor..............unbeatable value!
 

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Cousin Jack wrote:
On a cross-country tour last summer to meet my brother in Illinois, we got caught in a summer thunderstorm just across the Mississippi somewhere in Wisconsin......

Man, talk about a deluge, it beat anything I've ever seen, including the Monsoon in Vietnam. The rain was pounding down and beating up from the pavement in sheets, making motorcycling not only unsafe, but unthinkable.

In a momentary lull, the rain let up just enough for us to see the KOA sign along the freeway. I turned off hoping that the Kampground might have a cabin...... they did, but they were all rented.

In a flash, we erected our 4-Person Eureka Timberline, threw some gear inside, and dashed for the Kampground Office, where we drank some coffee and watched the storm resume in all it's mind-boggling glory through the office windows......

"Is our stuff gonna get wet, " asked my unflappable mate, the Mighty Red.

"No doubt about it," I told her. "Look at the lakes forming out there!"

I wasn't particularly worried, figuring we could dry out our sleeping bags in the laundry driers.

When it finally did stop raining for a bit, we removed our boots and sloshed our way to our tent. I unzipped the door and peered inside. Unbelievable. Not a speck of moisture, not a drop of water anywhere! We ate some emergency food and snuggled up that night in our warm, dry sleeping bags listening to the rain drum down on our $150 tent. In the morning, we awoke to sunny skies and a campground steaming under the rays....... In retrospect, it was a great night!

Eureka Timberline 4-Person, $150, Campmor..............unbeatable value!
I second that...I have a Eureka Timberlinetent that I bought in the mid 70's and I've used it alot! I have never had anything happen to it and it is as tight a tent as the day I bought it...mine is a two man tent but the 4 man and 2 man arethe same, one's just bigger. I Also have a Mountain Hardwear Muir trail 4 season tent that I use when I winter hike andcamp but the Eureka can't be beat for simplicity and ruggedness. Infact the 2 man tent is $99 at Campmor, the same price I paid for it in 1976...I don't know how they do it.
 

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We chose the 4-person because it fits into the top box of our 1500, both tent and poles, along with our two Wiggy sleeping bags mated together and stuffed loosely in a separate bag......... all together our top box junk is still under the 20lb recommended limit.

The Four-Person will also allow you to sit inside, on camp chairs, to play cards or read or wrestle around when the weather is totally unreasonable...... I can even stand up enough to put on my pants! And all of our gear -- helmets, stove, whatever, will fit inside out of the wet. I believe in getting the biggest tent you can carry!
 

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If you want a tent that is easy to erect... maybe something like this could do it for you

www.khyam.co.uk
 

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The 2 and 4 man Eureka Timberline series of tents have been usedfor years by Cubs and Scouts. Easy to erect, durable, fairly compact for packing, spaciousand cheap. Can't beat that for a tent! :clapper:
 

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Here's a couple of four person Eurekas on the North Shore of Lake Superior:
 

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I'm so glad I caught this thread before buying. I've been looking to take a trip out west (Colorado) hopefully this summer. I truely value all the suggestions on this great forum. Testimonials on products here, IMO, are completely "honest". Not just hand picked by the company/seller, just to tell you what they want you to hear.

Cousin Jack, I see from other threads you do a lot of travel on the bike. It would be interesting to seesome pics of your bike when it is all packed with your gear.

Anyone else for that matter, that might have pics. I don't have a trailer and really don'thave a need for one.
 

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We used a coleman 4 man tent. Just Sat. we where at mal-wart and found a 8 man on sale, so we bought that. However I pull a trailer so amount we pack is not that big of a deal :cool:
 

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Winger77 wrote:
I'm so glad I caught this thread before buying. I've been looking to take a trip out west (Colorado) hopefully this summer. I truely value all the suggestions on this great forum. Testimonials on products here, IMO, are completely "honest". Not just hand picked by the company/seller, just to tell you what they want you to hear.

Cousin Jack, I see from other threads you do a lot of travel on the bike. It would be interesting to seesome pics of your bike when it is all packed with your gear.

Anyone else for that matter, that might have pics. I don't have a trailer and really don'thave a need for one.
Do you mean like this, Winger? Or do you mean with the bags open so you can see the packing? I could do that, but the bike's still under its winter cover........remind me in a month!

Here's how we do it:

Top box --

Eureka Four-Person Timberline in stuff sack
Eureka Poles in stuff sack
Two Wiggy Light sleeping bags in one big stuff sack
Plastic tarp
Rand McNally Atlas

Rack on top box --

Two back rest camp chairs
Two Thermorest mattresses, or 12 volt Coleman air bed

Side Bags -- (each)

One half Winchester Model 12 shotgun
Various tools
One Flat clothing bag with 5 sets underwear, t-shirts and socks; one fleece
sweater, fleece pants; jeans; goretex jacket
One toiletry bag
One pair of camp shoes, shower sandals
One headlamp, one book

Firecreek Tank Bag --

One MSR Whisperlite stove, butane lighter, coffee singles
One cooking pot, lexan utensils
Two Plastic Dog Bowls (in lieu of plates, bowls)
Two cups, thermal
Plastic pot scrubber, small container of dishsoap
Mosquito repellant


Around neck -- one 35mm camera, one Panasonic digital camera

We wear cordura armored riding clothes, and have always found them waterproof enough.... we don't carry rain gear. In the pockets of our riding jackets are odds and ends: aspirin, sun cream, road snacks, etc. (Like I say, wait a month and we can show you how it all fits!)
 

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Best to get a decent tent - you don't have to spend $300 or up for a 3 person tent, but you can if you want to. When I go camping with the wife, we take the Bunkhouse camper. If I go alone I have a Northern Designs I got at Sam's Club for about $100.It's almost all mesh, and has a rain fly with a vestibule and a clear plastic window. They claim it sleeps 3, but those 3 better by very good friends. Works for 2 but is tight when gear is inside. I can stand on my knees in it and it is big enough for the stuff I take along when alone. If I had to get a different one I would get a single wall that didn't take a rain fly and that had clips to attach the poles instead of sleeves they go through. Much easier set up.

In 2001 at the Davis Rally in Iowa they had a monsoon. Rained for most of the rally, sometimes very hard. A guy that camps with our group forgot his tent at home in North Dakota, and went to Wally World Friday and got a "sleeps 4" cheap tent and one of those full size mattresses. Next morning he got up to 3" of water in the tent, even though it was closed up. Only reason he didn't get wet was the mattress was 8" tall. Looked at the label and commented "It must not rain in Korea." Luckily it was just a light rain on Saturday night, and leaking was minimal, but it still leaked. He donated it to the Boy Scouts when he left.
 

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I very gently mentioned this tent/camping thread to my wife . . . she just looked back at me blankly without saying a word. Oh well, at least she is now interested in riding with me.

Chuck
 

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The Lake wrote:
I very gently mentioned this tent/camping thread to my wife . . . she just looked back at me blankly without saying a word. Oh well, at least she is now interested in riding with me.

Chuck
My first wife did that a lot...... stared at me blankly!

Red loves to bike tour and bike camp!

:D:shock::D
 

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Predator wrote:
Jack, What do you do with a half of a shotgun?

??????

I don't know about you, but I hook it up to the other half in the other bag! Take it into the tent at night! Sleep better, me........

Can't help me during the ride, but most problems pop up at night..... And it's legal in all states. Can even take it up north if I declare it to our Canadian cousins. The thing ain't on their "prohibited list!"

Red and I have had two Bear "encounters." They ain't fuzzy and nice like they are on Disney. Big, scary buggers!
 

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HERE is what we use. Yep, it's big. We do usea trailer. We also sleep on cots, set up a chair inside, stow our gear under the cots and have room to dance if we want. The cots are necessary because with my arthritic hip, if I sleep on the ground, no way am I going to get up in the morning without help and I don't want to be in pain half the day while out for fun. As far as weatherproof, this thing is incredible. We camped first time with rain off and on for 3 days. Not a leak. We also were camped when there were some nasty thunderstorms and not a leak then either, I mean not a drop of water in the tent. There was also the wind you would expect with thunderstorms and had no problems with that either. It does come with the near worthless plastic pegs but I have not seen a tent with decent pegs in a long time, buy yourself some good ones no matter what tent you use.
 

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DougW wrote:
It does come with the near worthless plastic pegs but I have not seen a tent with decent pegs in a long time, buy yourself some good ones no matter what tent you use.
That is a MUST!! :cool:
 
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