Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Lightweight Backpacking Coolness

I love my Ozark Trail 4 person dome tent.

It kept me dry during 3 consecutive nights of mountain valley downpours on the front range of the rockies in 2003 with nary a leak. Easy to set up.... very nice.

I consider a 4 person tent a 2 peson tent, really. I like a little room. But for backcountry backpacking/camping, the lighter and smaller, the better. If I can't carry it with my daypack, I don't want to carry it. And this is too bulky, and also too heavy at 9 lbs.

But I saw a smaller version of it for kids at Walmart -- for $17.62 -- a far cry from the $90-$300 for lightweight flashlight tents, especially two person tents. This is 6'x5' - which would hold two people (under 6', of course) snugly, but dry-ly.

I took it out of its box and carrying case, and it weighs in at just about 3 lbs. The way it was packed it was too tall (long) for the daypack. The reason for that is -- the poles. I had thought about getting more end-sleeves and re-shock-cording the poles to make them shorter, but I think the poles will attach quite nicely to the outside of the daypack. They are not bulky at all. Then unrolled the tent, folded it in half, and rolled it back up. About the size of a football. Heh!

I'll seal the seams and silicon it. I think I just might have me a cheap packing tent. (note the sandal is to give an idea of scale)

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