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      I'm sick of low tents and vestibules     
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tomo
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06/17/2020 10:17PM  
My copper spur ul is light and spacious, but I'm sick of the zipper vestibule catching, and I hate losing all the view when it rains. Have pondered making the switch to hammock, but I've never tried it so don't know how I'd actually sleep and the learning curve (and price curve) is daunting.

I think I've seen too many Bill Mason videos, because I've been enamored of the Baker/Campfire design. I want a porch, and a big mesh view. I want lightweight. I don't want to be totally without a view, unless it's a real beast of a rain.

The Backwoods bungalow seems like a more ultralight/modern take on the classic campfire, but I don't like the notion of a non-free standing tent. The big awning and huge door seem very appealing. (I'm aware of Leans, but am in the market for something for solo and with a floor.)

All of which to say I'm still on the lookout for a tent that truly meets my needs and checks my aesthetic boxes.
 
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ZaraSp00k
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06/18/2020 06:49AM  
you mention cost of a hammock
know that the hammock forum is dominated by hammock Nazi's , you don't have to spend much on a hammock.
I've been doing it longer and in just as remote, if not more so, than everybody in that forum, my setup cost me maybe $50 or so. When I first started doing it I spent maybe half that back in the late 80's early 90's. I've even used the setup in subzero weather.

As for a tent, I still use my Kelty, which is a self supporting popular design with double doors and vestibules, you can't stand in it, but you can kneel and sit upright. When it ain't rainin' remove the rain fly/vestibule or keep the vestibules open and enjoy the view. Spent $99 on it twenty years ago. Again, there are tent Nazi's who will insist spending more to save a couple ounces. Good for them.
 
06/18/2020 07:54AM  
MSR had a similar lean to design the Missing Link. Never very popular and out of production. Small single wall tents are notorious for condensation. CCS makes a Lean shelter, larger and taller that I used solo for many seasons, big enough to offset condensation collection and a floor-less design, which offers many advantages over such a design with a floor. The condensation can just run down the walls onto the ground. You can get patterns for so called campfire tents and DIY.
The cost of hammocks seem to be modular, or additions to the system. The hammock by itself is not expensive, you could use a tarp and sleep system you already have for a start.

I have often setup my solo tent under a tarp so I could keep the door open or even take the fly off.
I know there have been solo and 2 person tents made with extendable canopies, Just cannot remember them right now.

butthead
 
mschi772
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06/18/2020 08:11AM  
Why not just pitch a small tarp over your tent so that you don't have to close the rain fly and lose your view in the rain? For ultimate views with a tarp pitched over a tent, how about a tent like the Alps Zephyr? That's basically just a free-standing bug mesh with a floor when the rain fly is removed.

Regarding hammocks ... they don't need to be expensive. A quality hammock sleep system is no more expensive than a tent sleep system, and you can piece it together slowly over time starting with just a simple hammock. Most of the quality makers like SLD, Dutchware, Warbonnet, etc have basic hammocks that are as well-designed as their other hammocks and are extremely affordable because they omit all the bells and whistles. They are no more expensive than stuff like ENO and ENO knock-offs which pale in comparison quality and comfort-wise. Once you have one of those hammocks and have determined that you're comfortable with it, you can add a bug net and tarp later while using your existing pad and sleeping bag for insulation. Farther down the line, if you want less weight/bulk, and better comfort, you can slowly swap your bag and pad for quilts.
 
Savage Voyageur
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06/18/2020 08:16AM  
You really need a hammock. I’ve read your wants and needs and I really think it’s the best idea for you. I just get up in the morning, unzip the bug net and swing my legs out, just like your bed at home. There is plenty of room under my tarp for gear storage. I’m always high and dry, never had any problems with rain like tents have. I stand under my CCS tarp after getting out in the morning. With hammocks you can go as a beginner or expect. There is a learning curve. I suggest if you are serious to join our hammock forum here, or hammock forum online. Ask questions, maybe try out before you buy one. Hammocks are a game changer in the woods.
 
Tomcat
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06/18/2020 08:43AM  
 
06/18/2020 08:43AM  
 
06/18/2020 08:52AM  
ZaraSp00k: "you mention cost of a hammock
know that the hammock forum is dominated by hammock Nazi's , you don't have to spend much on a hammock.
I've been doing it longer and in just as remote, if not more so, than everybody in that forum, my setup cost me maybe $50 or so. When I first started doing it I spent maybe half that back in the late 80's early 90's. I've even used the setup in subzero weather.

I agree. I also have an inexpensive two person Byer of Maine Hammock, (I think it was about $30),a cheap off the rack one size fits all bug net for it, and an tarp.

I sleep like a baby in it, and I'm 6'2" and 260. I'm sure there are better set-ups than mine out there, but I'm content.

If I were you I'd try some entry level hammock gear, and test it out at home. Worst case if you're not in love with it and have a nice place to nap.
 
mschi772
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06/18/2020 08:56AM  
butthead: "Quick search and,
BA Copper Spur HV UL 1
Marmot Mantis
FLYTOP 3-4 Season 1-2-person Double Layer Backpacking Tent


butthead"


I assume that Mantis isn't free-standing, but there is something about it that I really like. I feel like that tent could be free-standing with some tweaking to the design, too.
 
Northwoodsman
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06/18/2020 09:02AM  
I have a Copper Spur 4, a CCS Lean 2, and a CCS Lean 3. The CS is really quick and easy to put up alone and it has a floor to keep you dry but it's short and I too get tired of crawling in and out. The Leans are great because you can walk in and out (almost upright) and offer a great view. Condensation is an issue when it's cool and humid. You need to use the floor and make sure you keep it above the sod cloth if it rains to divert water under it. All 3 options are extremely light. You would be amazed at how much room the Lean 1 offers you. The foot print is 5' x 11.5', it is 5' tall at the peak (door side) and weighs under 2.5 lbs. The floor doesn't add much weight at all. We fit 4 people and all of our gear in the Lean 3 and it's very comfortable. The weight savings allows us to bring chairs for everyone.
 
06/18/2020 09:03AM  
mschi772: "I assume that Mantis isn't free-standing, but there is something about it that I really like. I feel like that tent could be free-standing with some tweaking to the design, too."

Yeah not freestanding but it has a frame set, similar to Sierra Designs Clip.

butthead
 
Banksiana
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06/18/2020 09:07AM  
New Copper Spur allows pitching with a porch!
 
gravelroad
distinguished member (388)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/18/2020 09:33AM  
butthead: "MSR had a similar lean to design the Missing Link. Never very popular and out of production. Small single wall tents are notorious for condensation.
butthead"


"Ask the man who owns one." It meets all my requirements for three-season solo camping except it has a large footprint and needs to be staked at the corners and guylines, which makes it less than perfect for the BWCA. Never had a problem with condensation, as it vents extremely well from the low vent at the back out through the PORCH-LIKE view from the front door.

MSR Missing Link
 
Mad_Angler
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06/18/2020 10:03AM  
tomo: "...
(I'm aware of Leans, but am in the market for something for solo and with a floor.)
"


Why do you say that you need a floor?

I have a CCS Lean3 and a Kifaru tipi. Both of those do not have floors. It is actually quite liberating and refreshing to have a tent without a floor. There are definitely advantages to no floor. You can just walk in and out without taking your shoes off. You don't have to worry about spilling drinks or water spilling. Etc...

But... to be fair... floor can be nice in extremely wet areas. If there is a heavy downpour, you need to take special precautions to make sure that water doesn't enter your shelter and get your stuff wet.
 
06/18/2020 11:14AM  
gravelroad: "Ask the man who owns one." less than perfect for the BWCA. Never had a problem with condensation, as it vents extremely well from the low vent at the back out through the PORCH-LIKE view from the front door. "

I used a Lean 1+ for 10 years in the BWCA so yes I owned one of those. Never had a problem setting it up and never took extra poles. I also often just used a tarp and as vented as an open tarp is it still collected condensation. As long as the damp ran off to the ground no problem at all.

butthead
 
tomo
distinguished member (110)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/18/2020 11:43AM  
Great conversation!
A few thoughts/responses:
I should explore hammock camping. I've got a friend with a rig, so I could at least borrow it for a few nights, and seek other ways to try different set-ups. Thanks for the good reminders that it doesn't have to be an expensive undertaking.

I have and enjoy a lean 2, and have slept in it a few times, but for whatever reason I prefer a floor and full enclosure for sleeping (on my spring trip this year, I found a shocking number of wood ticks in my lean).

I've been intrigued by the Missing Link, which is no longer made. Good to hear from an owner who has one and likes it. I think the tent I linked to (single wall), has had issues with condensation, especially when weather forces a battening down of the hatches.

Thanks for other links--some of them look as though they would fit the bill. I have thought about pitching a tarp over the tent so I could keep the rainfly open.

Cool news about the new copper spur.

As I sit here and think about it, I think I'm probably best off pitching a tarp over my current tent, or exploring the world of hammocks. I'm not really that keen on buying another tent, but I can't get that Mason image out of my mind--sitting under the porch of his campfire tent, rain gently pattering down, a small fire going, mug of tea in hand, etc.

I was out solo a few weeks back and was stuck in the tent for half-a day (thunder and lightning, 41 degrees). I had my lean 2 with me but hadn't set it up the night before, and wasn't very inclined to do it in that moment...anyway, it reminded me how much I hate getting out of a wet, small vestibuled tent, and how much I miss looking around when confined to a tent (lean would have obviously helped) in the rain and in general.

Anyway, a few days ago I ordered a 10 x 12 CSS tarp, which I think I'll end up using more than the lean (bought the lean as a bug shelter for family trips), at least solo. But I am still vaguely pursuing the holy grail of comfort, view, storm-proof, etc. in a tent.


 
Savage Voyageur
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06/18/2020 12:50PM  
If you borrow your friends hammock have him show you how to lay flat on the diagonal, not like a banana. You just turn a bit and you can lay mostly flat.
 
4keys
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06/18/2020 10:42PM  
I too am hunting for that perfect tent. Just not a solo- I need one for 2 plus a dog.

One of my big issues with backpacking tents is this : while in the tent, having to crawl out to zip /unzip the fly. And the law height then leads me to touching the cold wet fly as I get out. And it just gets more annoying the older I get (arthritis issues).

I like the design of the CCS lean, but don't know if I could handle no floor. I'd be worried about bugs and maybe mice getting in. like into my sleeping bag especially if we stay in the same site for a few days. Yes, bugs in the BW are inevitable, but I like getting away from them when I sleep.



 
06/19/2020 06:26AM  
Savage Voyageur: "If you borrow your friends hammock have him show you how to lay flat on the diagonal, not like a banana. You just turn a bit and you can lay mostly flat. "

Agree. There's a big difference when sleeping in a "day" hammock like an Eno to a well built sleeping hammock like a Warbonnet. If it's not made to lay on a diagonal with room for your feet (like the Warbonnets) don't bother buying that type unless you want it for casual use.

I used a classic rope hammock in the 1980's and didn't lay on a diagonal. It was very painful in my lower back. Now, with my basic Warbonnet Blackbird I get the best sleep of the year and it's hard to want to get up in the morning. If you can borrow a friends and you like it, do yourself a favor and look at quality built dedicated sleeping hammocks. Warbonnet, Clark, Dutchware, etc.
 
Mad_Angler
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06/19/2020 07:57AM  
Another option to look at is Kifaru tipis. I have an 8 man for hunting trips. I take it to the BW on early spring trips without a lot of portaging.

The 8 man is a castle for 2 people, gear, and a dog. It has a strong metal center pole. So not only can you stand up in it, you have a pole to help you stand up.

I also have a kifaru wood stove that I bring along. That is really cool when it gets very cold and rainy. But I haven't really needed the stove in the BW.

It doesn't help give the original poster his views of the outdoors (or his floor). But it is a nice shelter to think about...
 
ZaraSp00k
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06/19/2020 08:22AM  
Savage Voyageur: "If you borrow your friends hammock have him show you how to lay flat on the diagonal, not like a banana. You just turn a bit and you can lay mostly flat. "

on the other hand, some people sleep perfectly fine without being diagonal

in addition, some hammocks you lay fairly flat as well, so no need to lay diagonal

you won't know until you try
 
06/19/2020 08:55AM  
The Backwoods Bungalow looked interesting, but I noticed it's only 6 1/2 feet long (78"). That's not really long enough even if walls are perfectly vertical, especially if there's condensation issue. It's wide enough, a little taller than average tent. Not sure how stable it would be in strong wind though.
 
06/22/2020 12:43PM  
4keys: "I too am hunting for that perfect tent. Just not a solo- I need one for 2 plus a dog.


One of my big issues with backpacking tents is this : while in the tent, having to crawl out to zip /unzip the fly. And the law height then leads me to touching the cold wet fly as I get out. And it just gets more annoying the older I get (arthritis issues).


I like the design of the CCS lean, but don't know if I could handle no floor. I'd be worried about bugs and maybe mice getting in. like into my sleeping bag especially if we stay in the same site for a few days. Yes, bugs in the BW are inevitable, but I like getting away from them when I sleep.



"


Yeah, I have a few tents with very deep vestibules. My solution was to tie a length of cord between the zippers, and pull the cord to open the fly. My Alps Extreme 3, the green cord.
Far a bugproof the Lean I used was never a problem. Staked tight to the ground there is a substantial "snow flap' on the bottom. I used a solo tent floor to keep my sleeping gear off the ground.

butthead
 
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