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COLEMAN SUNDOME 3
My go to for warm summer camping is a 7×7 3 person Coleman sundome tent. This tent is the perfect size for a twin air mattress, leaving plenty of room for a backpack, day pack, and extras.
Coleman tents are affordable and easy to source if you need a tent in a hurry. On sale these tents can be found for around $40. This tent comes with 3 poles, 2 for the dome and one for the fly. Quick, easy set up in 10 minutes or less.
A downside to this tent is that it does not have a full rain fly, and that can be problematic. When it rains, water and mud can splash up the sides and over the bathtub floor seam. These tents can also leak in the corners when the rain is heavy.
I also find this tent cold when used in cooler weather. This won’t bother most people unless they sleep cold like I do.
Overall this is my new go-to for summer solo or weekends when I want space to spread outand relax.
Once you’re done, jump on over to Mt. Madonna and book your site for the weekend.
Purchased in 2018 from Amazon. Keep an eye out for sales at big box retailers.
BIG AGNES SEEDHOUSE 2
The Big Agnes Seedhouse 2 is my most versatile tent. It is a 3 season, 2 wall tent. It has performed beautifully in all kinds of weather.
First time I used it, we had torrential rain for six hours and it stayed bone dry inside. This tent has gone snow camping and performed brilliantly. When guyed out correctly, this tent also performs well in strong winds. I always sleep warm and cozy in this tent.
It is rated as a 2 person tent, but I think they mean one on top of the other. This is not a roomy tent. It tapers toward the back which doesn’t leave a lot of room for a pack or gear. There is a vestibule to leave a pack and gear in if needed. A good pack cover helps here.
This tent is fairly lightweight at around 3.5lb, but not a super light backpacking tent. It has 2 poles. The main double wishbone pole snaps together. The smaller pole attaches across the top to make more headroom and support the fly. This tent pitches in 10 minutes or less.
Big Agnes gear can be spendy. Backcountry is a great site to source closeout camping items.
I picked up this tent in 2015 for $230. Full retail at that time was over $325.
MARMOT EOS 1
The Marmot EOS 1 is a true backpacking tent at around 3lb. It is teeny, tiny. I am 5’8” and can’t sit up fully inside it. It is the perfect length for me though. I sleep well in this tent.
This is a quick pitch tent. A single double wishbone pole system has this tent up in under 10 minutes. The vestibule can just fit a pack. Inside the tent you may have a few inches above your head to place items you need. Other than that this is a very snug fit.
You soon develop a system for dealing with such a small space. I get dressed half in the tent, half in the vestibule. I have not had this tent out in wet weather, I am not sure I could keep dry. The fly does not reach the ground, rain and snow could get in underneath.
For solo backpacking, this tent works beautifully for me.
This tent was purchased at REI garage sale in 2016 for $120. Retail at the time was close to $300. The new version of this tent current sells for $269 new.
OLD SCHOOL – SUMMER CAMP
And here we have the ultimate in glamping for the Scout parent. A military style canvas 10×10 or 12×12 on a platform. Pitched across from an 80 acre lake. This is home for a week in July, I look forward to this each year.
Home away from home. All that room is luxurious. Throw in an air mattress, pillows from home, and a good book.
This is luxury!
Whenever possible the boys set up a hammock city. While in camp they all hang around, take turns, practice Darwin award stunts, and otherwise act like a pack of boys at summer camp.
The boys take their sleeping pads and bags and happily sleep in their hammocks. I have never tried to sleep in a hammock, not sure that my old bones would cope with it. But it is a hoot watching the boys in theirs.
I purchased a hammock with straps on Amazon in 2018.
A lot of tent manufacturers make footprints for their tents. These fit exactly under the bottom of the tent. They have eyelets and straps to attach poles and the fly. This is especially useful if your tent has a quick pitch option, which means you pitch only the pole and fly over the footprint. Price for footprints varies.
Purchased in 2015 from Amazon.
A light 5×7 nylon tarp is perfect to put under your tent. They fold up to a very small size and can be tucked into a pack pocket. A tarp protects the floor of the tent and adds a layer of insulation from cold and damp ground. Make sure to tuck the edges of the tarp underneath the base of the tent or you will get leaks.
Amazon has 5×7 nylon tarps in several colors and styles.
For the weight conscious, a sheet of Tyvek house wrap cut down to fit the shape of the bottom of the tent works great. Most big box home improvement stores have Tyvek.