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  1. #1
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    Default Let Me Pick the Brains of Some Experts! Tents??

    Dear Whiteblaze seasoned Vets,

    I'm a 21 year old semi-experienced hiker who is quitting his job to do a thru-hike beginning April 19th. To preface I have done about 600 miles hiking total in my lifetime and am slim and in good physical condition. I MUST either finish (or quit :/) by the end of August, so time is somewhat squeezed. Therefore, I'm trying to find a perfect balance of lightweight while still being comfortable/well supplied enough without getting injured.

    My question: Does anyone have some tent suggestions? Granted I know it's just opinions, but something thats well reviewed or has worked well for you. I DO NOT want to get an ultra-light tent ie a glorified tarp, I want something comfortable that will keep me dry, but will not exceed 5 pounds (tent i have now is almost 6). Lastly, what do you think of hammock sleeping? I did it for the first time over the summer for a week trip in the Nantahala area last year and it worked alright. With me hiking primarily in the summer months do you think I'll be comfortable enough?

    Sorry for the lengthy post but any other suggestions unrelated would be appreciated. I won't pretend to be clueless nor will I pretend to know it all I know theres a lot of wisdom I can glean from you guys. Thanks a lot!

  2. #2
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    Additional info: I'm about 150 lbs, and my pack generally sits between 33-37 pounds, I'd like to be closer to 30 or even upper 20's. I'm gonna put a cap of $175 on how much I'm willing to spend on my tent as well. Thanks again

  3. #3
    Registered User Juice's Avatar
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    You might want to search several websites for sales if you're limiting yourself to $175. REI, Mountain Hardware, Marmot, Big Agnes. All decent companies, good luck.
    Buy the ticket, you take the ride. - Hunter S. Thompson

  4. #4
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    Default

    eBay is your friend. New within your budget Eureka Backcountry I, Spitfire I. Used Big Agnes Seedhouse UL1, Fly Creek UL1. Tarptents if you plan to use trekking poles.

  5. #5
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    If you can find one on sale, the Big Agnes Copper Spur 1 weighs slightly over 3 lbs. The newer Copper Spur 1 UL weighs slightly less than 3 lbs, and both of these are "real" tents.

  6. #6
    Registered User ezNomad's Avatar
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    I have an REI T1 quarterdome which is about 3.5lbs, and I like it. I got it on sale for about $175 roughly but regular it $219. If you are above 6ft maybe too small though (not sure of exact length but seems to be around 7ft). Check the reviews on REI's site.

    http://www.rei.com/product/827783/re...r-dome-t1-tent

  7. #7
    Registered User turtle fast's Avatar
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    Looking at your weight you may want to share what you are carrying. It looks like you may have too much stuff or at least get some advice on paring the weight down inexpensively. It helps to get a separate set of eyes on your stuff to go over it. If it were me I would look at the Eureka Spitfire tent at roughly 3 pounds and $89.97 at Campmor not a bad deal. The tent is a trail staple and you will see a few on your journey. You could also look at the REI Passage 1 person tent at $119.00 which may as well fit the bill for you. Some advice without spending hundreds on specialized gear.

  8. #8
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    Unfortunately I'm flying solo until just outside Lynchberg, VA so sharing isn't an option. But yes, reducing weight is definitely important. I think the biggest thing is how much water I generally carry. I'll admit I'm one of those paranoid h20 people. So I've usually got 2-3 liters of water on me at all times. Thats where most all my extra weight is coming from I believe

  9. #9
    Registered User turtle fast's Avatar
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    What are you using for carrying the water?

  10. #10
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    2 liter camel pack and in the past i've used a combination of either 1 nalgene or two plastic water bottles

  11. #11

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    i have a big agnes seedhouse I SL that i would sell. THE only reason im thinking about selling it is becouse my doughter has started hiking w/me so i need a 2-3 person tent now.pm me if interested

  12. #12
    Hike smarter, not harder.
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    Although I ususally think Backpacker mag is full of crap, they had a nice review on an LL Bean tent unde 4# in their new advertisers reward issue. And I'll never understand why people think bing UL is automatically uncomfortable.
    Con men understand that their job is not to use facts to convince skeptics but to use words to help the gullible to believe what they want to believe - Thomas Sowell

  13. #13
    Registered User Tuckahoe's Avatar
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    I'd offer up the Lightheart Solo. Sure its a lightweight shelter, but I have found it a pretty sturdy tent and not just a glorified tarp. I find its got plenty of room too.
    igne et ferrum est potentas
    "In the beginning, all America was Virginia." -​William Byrd

  14. #14
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    +1 on the Lightheart Solo. However, it's out of his price range.

  15. #15

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    +1 on the LightHeart solo. This tent was put through the test of a fierce thunderstorm on Mt. Mitchell with rain, wind and hail for several hours. I stayed warm and dry and there was no damage to the tent. I have complete confidence in this tent. There is also plenty of room inside. I would describe this as a 1 1/2 person tent, all for a mere 27 ounces (I think).
    Some people take the straight and narrow. Others the road less traveled. I just cut through the woods.

  16. #16
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    I don't doubt the durability and light weight of the LightHeart (a good friend of mine did a good portion of the PCT with that tent) but with my budget and if light weight is truly the ultimate goal wouldn't I just be better suited using my hammock/tarp?

  17. #17

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    I don't know. I don't hang.
    Some people take the straight and narrow. Others the road less traveled. I just cut through the woods.

  18. #18
    Registered User Tuckahoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuppacabra View Post
    I don't doubt the durability and light weight of the LightHeart (a good friend of mine did a good portion of the PCT with that tent) but with my budget and if light weight is truly the ultimate goal wouldn't I just be better suited using my hammock/tarp?
    I dont hang either, and maybe the hammock folks will chime in. Though it has been my impression from what hangers have said, that by the time you have a tarp, hammock, and bedding, its weighs just the same as any tent set up.
    igne et ferrum est potentas
    "In the beginning, all America was Virginia." -​William Byrd

  19. #19
    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    I have a t1 I'll sell cheap if you want one of them. ezNomad is right, if your over 6' this tent is too small for you, I'm 6'2" and I have used it but it's too tight.

  20. #20
    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    The best buy for the money is a Eureka! Spitfire 1. It's a solo tent but until this year I used it for me and my 108 lb doberman to sleep in. It was definitely crowded but worked. The tent goes up quick and comes down fast and weighs 3lb, 2oz. You can probably find one for $80. You can find a better tent but I dont believe you can find better buy. I have a Big Agnes Emerald Mountain, a Tarptent DR, a Tarptent Notch, an REI Quarterdome, and a few others to compare to and I still enjoy using the old Eureka! Spitfire.

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