View Full Version : Just out of curiousity, for the past NOBO thru hikers who used tents......

09-26-2012, 18:06
How many times did you have to setup your tent in the rain?

09-26-2012, 18:15
I probably tented more than 100 nights, only stayed at shelters/huts half a dozen or so nights. Only set up in the rain three nights I can remember. Luckly for me, most of the hard rains came after I was set up. Tore down in the rain about the same number.

Don H
09-26-2012, 19:00
Maybe a dozen times.

09-26-2012, 19:59
Set it up while it was raining? Twice when I went northbound. In VA and in the Whites.

turtle fast
09-27-2012, 02:43
3-4 times, this is where you need to be really proficient on setting up quickly and getting up a fly right a way. Luckily we had encountered a hail storm with quarter sized hail and a severe thunderstorm after that lasted several hours AFTER we arrived at a shelter....probably one of a few times I was glad we had used a shelter instead of using a tent....it would of been soaked and who knows what that blanket of hail would of done to the tent.

09-27-2012, 06:47
I thru'ed in '09 which was a very wet year, but most of the time you could wait for a lull in the rain to set up. I used a hammock rather than a tent. One of the advantages is that with a hammock you can set the tarp up first then hang the hammock and sort out gear and stuff underneath the tarp, keeping everything dry.

Old Hiker
09-27-2012, 07:32
In my 500 mile attempt, 29 Feb - 18 May 2012, only once in a real rainstorm. I set up a few times when it was starting to sprinkle.

evyck da fleet
09-27-2012, 09:27
Under five. I usually waited in the shelter for a lull and then went outside to set up my tent. The one time there wasn't a lull a the other hikers in the shelter actually suggested I set up my tent in the shelter and then move it outside, which I did.

rusty bumper
09-27-2012, 10:00
I stayed in my tent around 140 nights. I'd guess that I set it up in the rain maybe 4 or 5 times, but I took it down in the rain probably 8 or 10 times. There were a few times when I ran down the trail to find a tent site while the thunder was booming all around me and I managed to get my tent up just in time!

09-27-2012, 10:56
Lots. I don't have an exact number, but lots. A couple times in really, really heavy downpours (which suuuuuuuuucked). I had a rainy year though (1998).

09-27-2012, 11:11
2009 was pretty rainy, and I slept in my tent in rain and downpours A LOT, but out of 69 nights in my tent I never had to set up in a downpour. I was a a flipflop hiker and during the southbound part of my journey in the fall I got lazy and used the shelters way more than the tent. If it was pouring and I got to a shelter and there was a spot, I would generally choose that over setting up my tent in the rain.

09-27-2012, 11:16
Only a handful. I preferred the shelter.

09-27-2012, 11:28
On this years thru about two dozen times, but at the same time 90% of my nights was spent in my tent i hardly ever used a shelter. But on my Thru in 06 i use the shelters 90% of the time mainly because i carried a tarp and their not to good in any type of weather. RED-DOG( Flip-Flop 96 & GA-ME 06 & GA-ME 2012 ).

max patch
09-27-2012, 12:03
Very, very few times. As previously mentioned, many times you can just wait for a break in the rain. Also, as previously mentioned, I also took down my tent more times in the rain than I did setting it up.

One thing that will skew your results is that many hikers who normally tent will sleep in a shelter if space is available when it is raining; i.e, if the shelter wasn't there then they would have set up in the rain.

09-27-2012, 12:11
Many times. I would often pitch the tent during an afternoon storm and take shelter for a break (snack, nap), rather than walk in the rain. My single wall silnylon tent makes that very easy, with a two-minute pitch and very little water retention. I do the same thing on Western hikes if I get caught above treeline during a lightning storm. On the AT, if a shelter were nearby, I'd take a break there but I would not sleep in it.

09-28-2012, 03:54
If you have a freestanding tent learn to set it up upside down, then just quickly flip it over and throw the fly on it...even in a downpour it won't get very wet at all. I always stayed in my tent and read a book until it stopped raining, so I never took my tent down in the rain.

09-28-2012, 15:59
During my thru-hike I setup my tent in the pouring rain maybe 10 times on nights where I used my tent (I'd estimate that I used my tent about 30% to 40% of the trail nights -- I tented more frequently as I got further north).

However, ...one thing -- my tent was the bathtub type and that was fantastically beneficial -- it rained much of the time in the middle of the night and no matter where I set my tent up the ground in the morning was soaking wet (Madge -- Your Soaking In It!). In some instances I had a river flowing underneath my tent when the rains came so hard the gov'nr declared the area where I was hiking that week an official Disaster Area.

I called Sears and ordered an Ark that very day. They mailed me a can of Sears Weatherbeater and wished me luck.


09-29-2012, 09:29
Always good to hear from DATTO. I found it amazing how much faster I could move when a storm was brewing. It is a good time to make it to a shelter.--Kinnickinic

09-29-2012, 11:14
I used a tent for about half my hike and a hammock for the other half. i only had about 4 cases where I had to setup in the rain. The tent was not that difficult, but I did experience some water getting in the tent. I used a bandana to dry the interior and was ok. The hammock was easier as I setup the tarp first and then the hammock. Fortunately, I did not have any cases where i had to break camp while it was raining.

09-30-2012, 17:48
I had great weather during my thru-hike this past year. Didn't have to set it up in the rain once!