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   Group Forum: Solo Tripping
      Solo tent vs. 2 man tent ... what would you take?     

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01/20/2017 10:09PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
If you had a 1 man solo NON - freestanding tent
or
a 2 man free standing tent that weighed 2lbs. more, what would you bring?
Loop type trip. Is the extra space worth the weight?

 
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mr.barley
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01/20/2017 10:32PM  
I like my space especially if the weather goes south for an extended period.
 
01/21/2017 07:01AM  
Maybe, yes and no, sometimes, sometimes not. There are trade-offs.

Better answer - that's a question each person has to answer and even then it might vary from trip to trip.

I recently switched from the second option to the first as part of a mission to cut weight and bulk for longer solo trips that involve added food weight. Twelve days of food - even lightweight dehydrated food - adds up.

Yes, it was worth it, but Mr. Barley brings up a good point. I didn't have an extended period of bad weather and I didn't spend a lot of extra time in the tent. I do bring a tarp anyway, but . . .

I did not have any trouble with the non-freestanding aspect of it.

Smaller, lighter packs are easier to portage and easier to load/unload at difficult landings.

I'd take the lighter one, especially if it's a longer, tougher loop and the forecast isn't terrible. A short, easy loop, I'd think about it.
 
01/21/2017 07:53AM  
I take a 2 man tent but I have a 90 lb dog along. Without the dog I'd probably bring the 1 man if I had it so I could cut down on weight and space.

Jan used to tell me it wasn't really a solo with the dog along ;) I miss that dude :(
 
thinblueline
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01/21/2017 08:12AM  
A two man tent is a one man tent and a one man tent is no tent at all...so go with the two man.
 
Alan Gage
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01/21/2017 08:50AM  
Been debating the same thing as I currently don't have a traditional tent and will probably purchase one for next year.

I normally travel with my 30lb dog so that really tips the scales to a 2 man but, like others have mentioned, I think I'm willing to trade some weight and bulk for room to stretch out.

Last year I took a 42 day trip and it rained on 30 of those days. The last 2 weeks the weather was miserable and I spent multiple days stuck in the tent due to wind, rain, and cold when I would have rather been out paddling. I was using a CCS Lean 1 and came to appreciate all that extra space. There was plenty of room for me, the dog, and all my gear. I could lay out wet clothing inside to keep them from wetting out other gear and let them dry off a little. I could comfortably sit upright and could change my sitting/laying position however I wanted.

For canoe camping in the boreal forest during normal times of the year a lightweight 2 man tent isn't much of a size/weight penalty compared to a 1 man.

Alan
 
01/21/2017 09:54AM  
quote thinblueline: "A two man tent is a one man tent and a one man tent is no tent at all...so go with the two man."

My husbands words exactly.....but he is 2x my size.

 
01/21/2017 11:11AM  
On a bike trip or backpacking, the one man tent for sure. But on a canoe trip where you can afford to take more weight I would take the 2 man. It's appreciated on windblown days. Plus free standing is a plus
 
hobbydog
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01/21/2017 11:16AM  
Freestanding 2 man. Save some weight by leaving stakes at home. I love my Losi 2p. It also makes a good 2 person tent if needed.....can't do that with a solo.

 
bwcasolo
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01/21/2017 12:36PM  
the added weight is worth it imho, for the added room you have. add's a little comfort. enjoy.
 
01/21/2017 01:10PM  
Non free standing solo, save the weight and carry size every time.
I never bought into the 1 vs 2 person argument, to me it's how much floor space (how many sleeping bags fit). I only sleep in the tent so only need enough room for a s-bag and some clothes. Space? I'm camping, and outside with space all around. If I'm worried about being stuck in the rain I'd use a tarp in addition to a true solo tent. Other option is a Lean1+, hybrid of the 2 and very functional.

As you know though, I have a selection of options. I just like small carry/backpack impact and light weight.

butthead

 
quark2222
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01/21/2017 06:42PM  
2 man. The extra space to store your gear pack and spread out your stuff is priceless.

Tomster
 
01/21/2017 07:52PM  
I'd go 1-man if 2 lbs. really will make that much difference for you. Personally, I like the room of a 2 man and would cut weight in other areas. Any other things you could leave behind to keep the 2 man? Are you bringing a chair?

I owned a very small 1 man back in the 1980's and it was just claustophobic. Very difficult to change clothes inside (but I'm 6 ft.).

 
01/21/2017 08:14PM  
quote TomT: "I'd go 1-man if 2 lbs. really will make that much difference for you. Personally, I like the room of a 2 man and would cut weight in other areas. Any other things you could leave behind to keep the 2 man? Are you bringing a chair?


I owned a very small 1 man back in the 1980's and it was just claustophobic. Very difficult to change clothes inside (but I'm 6 ft.).


"


TomT- Probably no chair. Tarp yes. No dog.

Butthead--yes you have options, and not just in the tent category!

Hobbydog- I'm hopping not to have company! hahaha



 
01/21/2017 08:25PM  
I look at it this way: what is the relative value of extra space vs. the value of 2 lbs.

Others have already mentioned where they stand on the value of extra space - some value it (I am in this group) and others value it less. Length of trip, dogs, and weather forecast certainly play into this, and if you have both you can easily decide at the last minute. Having spent almost 3 days in my tent on a fall trip once, it was huge to have extra space. Some days/trips, its much less important.

So how valuable are 2 lbs for you on this particular trip? To answer, first thing about if you want to single portage or if double is fine (plenty of other threads on this). I'm happy double portaging - sort of like the walk back. I'm also just a fast portager so rarely feel like I'm losing much time. If you want to single carry, 2 lbs is a lot. If double, 2 lbs may not be, but it still depends on how heavy your load is and how confident you are in carrying it. If the larger tent takes your pack from 28 to 30 lbs, its probably worth the extra weight. If it takes you from 60 to 62, the smaller tent may be a good idea, as well as a review of your other gear.

One last thought: I'm looking for a new tent now for the upcoming season. As a person who (A) values extra space, (B) has an 80 lbs dog thats usually wet, (C) and seriously considering adding a second dog - I'm looking for a good, light 3 person tent for my solos!

 
Northwoodsman
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01/21/2017 09:39PM  
What are you two choices for tents? Perhaps you could even get a 2p that weighs less than the 1 person and have the best of both worlds. I have a Nemo Espri LE 2P with 3 vestibule options. I purchased it use from someone here because I liked the end entrance and vestibule options. I can adjust the weight by the vestibule I choose. Normally it weighs under 5 lbs. It looks like it's rated as a three person tent.
 
01/22/2017 09:05AM  
quote Jaywalker: "(C) and seriously considering adding a second dog - I'm looking for a good, light 3 person tent for my solos!

"


So you're going to be the 3rd wheel....... :)
 
01/22/2017 09:19AM  


One last thought: I'm looking for a new tent now for the upcoming season. As a person who (A) values extra space, (B) has an 80 lbs dog thats usually wet, (C) and seriously considering adding a second dog - I'm looking for a good, light 3 person tent for my solos!

"

May I suggest the REI Quarter Dome 3.
 
01/22/2017 09:22AM  
quote Jaywalker: "I look at it this way: what is the relative value of extra space vs. the value of 2 lbs.


Others have already mentioned where they stand on the value of extra space - some value it (I am in this group) and others value it less. Length of trip, dogs, and weather forecast certainly play into this, and if you have both you can easily decide at the last minute. Having spent almost 3 days in my tent on a fall trip once, it was huge to have extra space. Some days/trips, its much less important.


So how valuable are 2 lbs for you on this particular trip? To answer, first thing about if you want to single portage or if double is fine (plenty of other threads on this). I'm happy double portaging - sort of like the walk back. I'm also just a fast portager so rarely feel like I'm losing much time. If you want to single carry, 2 lbs is a lot. If double, 2 lbs may not be, but it still depends on how heavy your load is and how confident you are in carrying it. If the larger tent takes your pack from 28 to 30 lbs, its probably worth the extra weight. If it takes you from 60 to 62, the smaller tent may be a good idea, as well as a review of your other gear.

One last thought: I'm looking for a new tent now for the upcoming season. As a person who (A) values extra space, (B) has an 80 lbs dog thats usually wet, (C) and seriously considering adding a second dog - I'm looking for a good, light 3 person tent for my solos!

"


May I suggest the REI Quarter Dome 3

Quarter Dome 3
 
01/22/2017 09:43AM  
This summer I am going to use a Lean +1. No need to bring a tarp with that setup, and the floor space is huge. You are welcome to borrow it if you are interested.
 
01/22/2017 10:42AM  
quote Frenchy19: "This summer I am going to use a Lean +1. No need to bring a tarp with that setup, and the floor space is huge. You are welcome to borrow it if you are interested. "

Thanks for the offer. If not for a trip maybe I'd use it for a few days around home. I've looked at the leans many times but just wasn't sure.....


I have a Spitfire solo and a Marmot Ajax2. I've used both on non BW trips. It may just come down to Eeny, meeny, miny, moe ..........

 
01/22/2017 12:35PM  
I'm a big fan of the Big Agnus Seedhouse SL2 . 2lb 15oz trail weight 3lb 16oz packed weight. It's light , The 2 person is more like a 1.5 person
 
GraniteCliffs
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01/22/2017 02:18PM  
I have always thought it depends on your canoeing habits. I travel most of each and every day and never base camp so spend limited time in camp. I always bring a 12 foot tarp to eat under, read under, etc. It is where I live even in the rain. The only thing I do in a tent is sleep for 8 hours, would rather be sitting outside. As a result I bring a solo tent.
 
01/22/2017 03:19PM  
Then there's the sleeping hammock .... It's definitely my preference when solo without my dog.

The system is basically syl nylon tarp, hammock w/bugnet, underquilt and sleeping bag that doubles as a top quilt. Many advantages and your tarp does double duty. So, if you have an extra $350 burning a hole in your pocket maybe it's for you.

 
01/22/2017 03:42PM  
Done it both ways,. My 2 man weighs within oz of 1 man,. But I would take the one man and when you get home. You'll know the answer, as to whether the weight difference was Worth it
 
01/22/2017 06:21PM  
To me the factor here is freestanding vs non freestanding. For the BWCA I'd go freestanding.

I personally use a freestanding one man tent. It's plenty of room for me and my clothes.
It has a small vestibule for my shoes. All other gear goes under my tarp.
 
FOG51
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01/22/2017 07:38PM  
Kendra I'm looking at the same problem as you. 1 man vs 2 man. The 2 man tent is almost a full pound heavier and close to $75 more and a slightly larger tent bag. The decideing factor for me is the size of the 2 man tent, total size [width] is 110 inches vs 80 inched for the 1 man tent, lengths are pretty close both tents. If your going to the BWCA the tent pads are big enough for both tents.....but up where I go in Ontario I have 2 choices when it's time to find a campsite either an old fishing camp or plain old bush camp. A couple of the lakes I go into have no fishing camps so you simply find a spot, clear out a spot big enough for the tent and call it home, since I try and not to leave any more trace than I have to [and I'm sort of lazy] the smaller the spot the better. I don't know anything about a non-free standing tent. I did think about one of Dans Leans but they are really long and I doubt they would work that well for me, but Frenchy19 offered to lend you his and it might be worth trying. I always take one of Dans tarps along, tents are for sleeping not for hanging around in. FRED
 
gkimball
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01/22/2017 08:07PM  
I have used both types of tents and have settled on the 2 person tent. Just a lot more comfortable and pleasant. The 1 person tent was too small to get any gear inside and I felt cramped.

To compensate for the extra weight of the 2-person tent I have shifted to lighter gear items. A super light weight sleeping bag (down, 1.5 lb) and pad (12 oz, I think), alcohol stove, titanium cookware, lighter binoculars, etc. So now my pack is actually lighter than it was and I still have the bigger tent.

Alcohol stive with titanium cookware
Gunnison2 tent
Sierra Designs one person tent. A good tent but a little small.
 
BlueSkiesWI
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01/23/2017 10:59AM  
I prefer the 2 man as well. Being able to have the morning clothes next to you in the tent rather than stuffed in a bag is a lot nicer on the cold mornings. You don't have to spend extra time out of the warm bag searching for clothes!
 
01/23/2017 11:55AM  
quote Kendra: "quote thinblueline: "A two man tent is a one man tent and a one man tent is no tent at all...so go with the two man."


My husbands words exactly.....but he is 2x my size.


"


I'd say he's correct as well although I have an ALPS solo tent as well as a two-person ALPS tent as well. The solo is very narrow but I can snug in there with my bag, pad and a couple of clothes bags. It weighs in at about 3lbs 6oz with graphite poles. The double is more roomy but tops out just shy of 5 lbs.

When I want to cut weight for my trip, I use the solo tent but I miss the space of my double!
 
Minnesotian
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01/23/2017 11:57AM  

For backpacking whether solo or with 1 person, I bring my lightest tent, which is a Tarptent Stratospire 2. I want to get a lightweight solo tent eventually.

For canoeing whether solo or with 1 person, I have many more options. Normally I bring my REI Quarterdome 2 person tent. So much room in there and it is freestanding, which I prefer. It is heavier, but that doesn't matter to me as much as room on a canoe trip.
 
bwcasolo
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01/23/2017 05:26PM  
in a really rainy period, a larger tent for me has come in handy. it gives u the room to stretch out, and just be comfortable. a few extra pounds, no biggy.
i have since moved to hammocks, but more room in a tent is comfort.
 
ZaraSp00k
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01/23/2017 05:34PM  
quote thinblueline: "A two man tent is a one man tent and a one man tent is no tent at all...so go with the two man."

words of wisdom

when I REALLY want to save weight, I go with hammock and tarp, by far less weight (at least mine) than any one man tent
 
ZaraSp00k
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01/23/2017 05:37PM  
quote Bannock: "To me the factor here is freestanding vs non freestanding. For the BWCA I'd go freestanding.


"


more words of wisdom
 
01/23/2017 06:01PM  
Freestanding? The Spitfire needs 2 stakes to stand, the Ajax needs 2 stakes to hold out the vestibules. I understand the types (tunnel and dome) and used both. Either would work fine. Both need to be staked for full use.

butthead
 
01/23/2017 09:11PM  
quote butthead: "Freestanding? The Spitfire needs 2 stakes to stand, the Ajax needs 2 stakes to hold out the vestibules. I understand the types (tunnel and dome) and used both. Either would work fine. Both need to be staked for full use.


butthead"


You are correct. For full use...need stakes. What was the tent you had at the 4th of July campout?

 
01/23/2017 10:04PM  
 
01/24/2017 06:44AM  
quote butthead: "
Big Sky International Chinook
butthead"


I just choked on my coffee when I saw the price of this. Holy moly, that must be some space age material there.

 
01/24/2017 08:55AM  
quote Kendra: "quote thinblueline: "A two man tent is a one man tent and a one man tent is no tent at all...so go with the two man."


My husbands words exactly.....but he is 2x my size.

Yep
"
 
01/24/2017 09:00AM  
quote TomT: "quote butthead: "
Big Sky International Chinook
butthead"



I just choked on my coffee when I saw the price of this. Holy moly, that must be some space age material there.


"


That looks very similar to the dimensions of my ALPS solo tent. I'm sure that this one is lighter than mine though!
 
01/24/2017 09:18AM  
"I just choked on my coffee when I saw the price of this. Holy moly, that must be some space age material there."

Yes it is, but I looked long and hard for specific specs (freestanding, 4 season use, 2 door, solo, under 4lbs max, on my scales), and compared a LOT of brands and styles, essentially all major brands and many cottage makes.
Chinook Solo review

butthead
 
Minnesotian
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01/24/2017 11:29AM  
quote ZaraSp00k:
when I REALLY want to save weight, I go with hammock and tarp, by far less weight (at least mine) than any one man tent"


That, just like everything, is debatable

I am curious what your setup is because I have been kicking around the idea of getting a hammock, especially if I want to do more PMA trips.
 
01/24/2017 03:05PM  
I think hammocks are great and if you like sleeping and using one all the better. But almost every time the topic comes up someone has to say "lighter and easier to pack than a solo tent". REI alone lists 23 solo tents @ 3 pounds or less. And some seriously lighter solo tents are available as are hammocks. Weight is "debatable" for sure.

butthead
 
HappyHuskies
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01/24/2017 04:35PM  
I haven't used a tandem tent on on a solo trip for years. Nothing wrong with a tandem tent, just a matter of where your priorities are. I generally look for light weight over a little extra comfort and space. Just my choice, nothing wrong with going with more comfort and more space.

 
01/24/2017 06:10PM  
quote Jaywalker: "I look at it this way: what is the relative value of extra space vs. the value of 2 lbs.

One last thought: I'm looking for a new tent now for the upcoming season. As a person who (A) values extra space, (B) has an 80 lbs dog thats usually wet, (C) and seriously considering adding a second dog - I'm looking for a good, light 3 person tent for my solos!

"


Jaywalker,

I solo and double portage with a 80 dog. I can do a weeks solo with gear including food under 40#'s.
I like my Marmot Limelight 3P and took it on my last one week solo in the BW.
I bought this tent with the assumption that it could hold our 2 large dogs and wife,
"My wife is not large" ;-)
I haven't tried it out to see if it could hold us all, (Because I transferred to AK) but I believe it could with the 2 vestibules available to store our gear.
My wife and I have slept comfortably in a 2p Eureka Timberline tent with two 70-80 pound dogs inside. this tent has no vestibule, so I am guessing you could get away with the Marmot Limelight 2P tent.
Check it out.
 
yellowcanoe
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01/24/2017 06:54PM  
I take it neither wife nor dogs move around much

We've had a Marmot Limelight 3P for some time and it is just right with two of us and a 70 lb wet Golden Retreiver. For me adding one dog would be too much.

Admittedly our Golden took as much space as she could on top of the poofiest sleeping bag.

Preferences are for solo trips: In May. the smallest tent.. That would be a one person.. Less volume to heat up.

In the rains of August.. a two person tent.
 
01/24/2017 08:53PM  
Yellowcanoe,

Correct, the dogs do not move around much at all, and my wife's 80# puppy nearly sleeps on top of her, maybe that is why we get along with the 3P and even the 2P Eureka.
 
GoSpursGo
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01/26/2017 08:56AM  
at 6'3 220, regular solo tents are already tight for me. Consider the 70lb dog and there's no change we'd fit in a solo. So for me and my circumstances its gotta be the 2 man.
 
01/26/2017 09:30AM  
2 Man for me
 
01/26/2017 12:10PM  

quote TomT: "I'd go 1-man if 2 lbs. really will make that much difference for you. Personally, I like the room of a 2 man and would cut weight in other areas. Any other things you could leave behind to keep the 2 man? Are you bringing a chair?

I owned a very small 1 man back in the 1980's and it was just claustrophobic. Very difficult to change clothes inside (but I'm 6 ft.). "


I agree with Tom T.

My tent of choice for solo canoe tripping is The North Face 23 two person tent pictured below. This has been my solo tent of choice for almost twenty-years. Of course with the weight of 5 lbs. 4 oz. and a packed size of 6 x 23 inches, it's not the smallest or lightest. That being said, I love the extra room to sprawl out, stow extra gear, or to have additional space if I take my 90-pound Golden Retriever.

Like TomT., I had a small one-person tent, but it was just too small. I purchased a REI Chrysalis from the REI Outlet dirt cheap several years ago, (link and images below). At 6' 4" and 200lbs., the REI Chrysalis is just to small for me. If I didn't take my Golden, I could probably get by with the Chrysalis, especially now that I pack along a 9x9 NEMO bugout shelter.

For the difference in weight, I'd rather use my Tadpole 23 two-person tent though. At 3.5 pounds, I personally don't find the weight savings of less than two-pounds significant enough to use the REI Chrysalis vs. The North Face Tadpole 23. Then again, I have never been accessed of being a minimalist or even being overly concerned with saving weight, within reason of course.

I've tried several different "jungle" hammocks, (i.e., screened hammock sleep systems with rainflys), but they're just not for me.

Hans Solo

REI Co-op Chrysalis UL Tent

 
ZaraSp00k
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01/26/2017 01:57PM  
quote butthead: "I think hammocks are great and if you like sleeping and using one all the better. But almost every time the topic comes up someone has to say "lighter and easier to pack than a solo tent". REI alone lists 23 solo tents @ 3 pounds or less. And some seriously lighter solo tents are available as are hammocks. Weight is "debatable" for sure.


butthead"


all true, however, a hammock costs less (although some here seem able to spend a lot on a hammock setup) and has multiple uses, a solo tent is basically a cocoon, so when you add together the weight advantage, the cost, the multi use .... it's either a 2 person tent for the extra room or a hammock for me

in reality since my hammock setup is so light and takes little space, I almost always bring both
 
01/27/2017 10:41PM  
Lots to think about...thanks for your thoughts. I'm sure my final decision will depend on weather and portage lengths. I'm not ready for another new tent just yet so.......we'll see.

 
01/30/2017 05:57PM  
I have always used a two-man tent. I like the extra space for my gear pack and when the weather is extremely bad. I spent an entire day in my tent because it was raining so hard and the wind was so strong my tarp was no use. It was nice to be able to sit up and read.
 
DanCooke
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01/30/2017 06:47PM  
more space - more better
 
02/02/2017 08:10PM  
quote Kendra: " It may just come down to Eeny, meeny, miny, moe ..........


"




Hey, my three brothers were eeny, meeny, and miny... me? My mom didn't want no moe.

Go with the solo tent if your comfortable in it. But bring a good tarp/ rainfly. I'd be a good nephew and lend you one if you don't have one. 1.1oz sil nylon tarp... 10x10 or 12.
 
02/02/2017 08:51PM  


As with Ben, big open porch, cozy little bedroom!

butthead
 
OldFingers57
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02/03/2017 12:19PM  
I have gone with a 2 man tent over a 1 man. I was looking at Big Agnes Copper Spur tents and went with the 2 man over the One man. The one man was just too narrow for me. I like to have a bit of room for clothing and other items in the tent with me.
 
GraniteCliffs
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02/04/2017 11:00AM  
quote OldFingers57: "I have gone with a 2 man tent over a 1 man. I was looking at Big Agnes Copper Spur tents and went with the 2 man over the One man. The one man was just too narrow for me. I like to have a bit of room for clothing and other items in the tent with me. "
duplicate post
 
GraniteCliffs
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02/04/2017 11:03AM  
quote butthead: "


As with Ben, big open porch, cozy little bedroom!


butthead"

Now that is the kind of set up I like and use! Especially at night if it is raining and I have to get up at least once, as usual. I love being able to get up without getting wet. And to live under the tarp but simply step into the tent when it is time to sleep.
 
02/08/2017 12:36PM  
Depends on the trip, if I'm going on a longer solo I like the 2 man tent, nice having the extra room on long trips, if it's a shorter trip I'll take 1 of my 3 solo tents.
 
02/08/2017 08:59PM  
I have always used a 2 man on solo trips. Not always to the BW, but no matter what, I liked having a little extra room to move around in.

Enjoy, no matter what!

Brandon
 
sueb2b
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02/16/2017 10:14PM  
The one solo trip I did I went with hammock/tarp/underquilt/sleeping bag. I brought a second tarp along in case I needed a kitchen tarp or covered sleeping area, but didn't need it.
 
03/04/2017 01:51PM  
quote Kendra: "quote thinblueline: "A two man tent is a one man tent and a one man tent is no tent at all...so go with the two man."


My husbands words exactly.....but he is 2x my size.


"




Only until you flex your muscles incredible Kendra.
 
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