View Full Version : Cheap Shelter

Two Tree
05-11-2014, 23:05
So I'm looking for pretty much the cheapest shelter that works alright and i can at least get one good season out of. I honestly don't mind carrying a extra weight or having a cramped space, as long as it can keep me consistently dry. I'm torn between just using tarps or buying a decent bivvy or low-end tent that might work better. Something like a eureka solitaire seems pretty decent to me, thoughts?

I'm severely cash-strapped at the moment, so I'd love for it to be under or around $100, but i could maybe go higher if it's really a great buy!

05-11-2014, 23:23
The Appy Trails Mark III tent may just fit your criteria -- http://appytrails.com/

They are above your $100 price but you might consider the Six Moon Designs Skyscape Scout -- http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/tents/SkyscapeScout.html. Or even the Eureka Spitfire 1 -- http://www.campmor.com/eureka-spitfire-tent-1.shtml. Its not difficult to find the Spitfire under $100.

Two Tree
05-11-2014, 23:35
have you used the appy much? I'm just wondering how it handles bad bugs/storms

05-12-2014, 00:20
I do not own a Mark III, but I put it in the same class as tarps as far as bug protection. On weather handling that has as much to do with site selection. It'll certainly protect you from falling rain and you'll certainly want to make yourself a ground sheet. But its an enclosed shelter under $100 for only 19 ounces


Honestly if it were myself looking for a tent with your criteria, I would come up with the extra $25 and get the SMD Skyscape Scout. You would get greater protection for only 34 ounces. Otherwise I would suggest tents from Lightheart Gear or Tarptent (two to three times your budget). The problem is that once you go below $100 is difficult to get a quality shelter that is also reasonably light weight.


I myself prefer to use a hammock and tarp rather than a tent

05-12-2014, 07:15
Blue tarp from Walmart. :)

05-12-2014, 07:35
Eureka Solitaire served me well for years. Got used to the cramped space.

05-12-2014, 09:28
The blue tarp from walmart is the cheapest solution. Get an 8x10 foot for best weather protection, and a $10 head net for bugs. Not the greatest solution, but works especially if you spend some time practicing how to put it up in various configurations.

If you want to save some weight, an 8x10 silnylon shelter weighs a LOT less and comes in under $100. Here is a cottage gear version (http://borahgear.com/tarps.html), and here is the Campmor version (http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___20069). You'll need a piece of plastic sheeting for a ground sheet and the headnet for bugs in the summer. (Hint: when wearing the headnet in your sleeping bag, wear a ball cap - the brim will keep the net off your face.)

The silnylon tarp will last for years with some basic care. If it were me I'd get the Borah tarp just because it looks better made (I am not a fan of the grommets in the Campmor tarp) plus it's only $5 more.

However, overall in your situation I have to agree with Tuckahoe that the Skyscape Scout is well worth the extra twenty five bucks, especially if you are already using trekking poles. It's going to be easier to set up, provide better storm protection, real bug protection, etc.

Good luck.

05-12-2014, 11:19
I've used a blue tarp from Walmart many times...$10 is the cheapest reliable shelter you're going to find unless you find something laying around for free. Its lighter than a tent and gives you more space than a tent. Of course there is no bug protection. You can also get a cheap tent at Walmart for $30. If you use it a lot you'll have to throw it out and buy a new one every year, but its still a cheaper option than many tents and about average weight. Dicks Sporting goods had the Eureka on sale for $59 when I was in there a couple weeks ago. That might be a mid priced bargain for you.