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Thread: Looking for a canoe camping tent

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    Scout Awasos's Avatar
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    Default Looking for a canoe camping tent

    Last few years I have been canoe camping with a simple tarp or a Kelty Gunnerson 2.1. Planning for this summer when the ice goes out.... I was looking for something more on the lines of a Bill Mason Campfire tent, found several and have been waffling on those when I found these.

    http://www.competitiveedgeproducts.c...l.aspx?ID=1148.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gprMzIoG4bU

    I know they are not the same but seem to have some of the same attributes and are more modern and unique. Thoughts??

    6098.jpg

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    Scout Murat V's Avatar
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    Checked out the web specs...it's really heavy at 54.5 lbs! Can I ask if you canoe camp with the family or solo? Lots of portages on your routes? Might be worth it for a large group for a standard paddle only base camp but pretty punishing weight wise if you are hauling it alone. I'll be the first to admit that I'm below average strength for my size and this rig would be too heavy for me to slog around the backcountry.

    Don't know if you've seen the CCS Lean shelters by Cooke Custom Sewing? Seems lots of folks use these out in the Boundary Waters area. It's a modern, very light weight version of the baker tent in silnylon. Not as fire retardant or traditional as canvas of course, but this might be an idea for a lighter weight option. More pics in action over at the bwca.com forums if you search for "CCS Lean". Here's a specific thread about the Lean 2

    Bill Mason was a smaller guy but he could really carry huge loads on the portage trail so almost anything is possible gear wise as long as you're willing to carry it on your back on the portage trail.

    If you do end up getting this, I'm sure all of us on the forum would like to see it in action.

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    Scout Supporter Boreal Boy's Avatar
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    I agree with Murat, That's heavy but, I love those Bill mason canvas tents.
    If weight is an issue and you go solo then you might just want to go with a North West Woodsman tarp tent. This is my home made version of one and it can be set up a bunch of ways. In this set up if you were to widen the front pegs it lowers the top a bit and widens nicely.

    I didnt have to tie the tarp off to the tree behind, just did it to maximize space.
    Last edited by Boreal Boy; 01-16-2013 at 02:19 AM.
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    someone's gotta say it... hammock if you canoe solo. can pull over anywhere to set up camp, even rocky, swampy, or cypress-knee-ridden ground. if two, it's hard to beat the NWWoodsman-style tarp (except for the lack of mosquito protection.

    i personally go as light as possible even when not having to portage.

    If the girl in the video comes with the tent, i'd go with that. otherwise, no... that thing looks huge, heavy, and as soon as you start talking about frame and "steel spring rods", you now have a critical part. if it gets lost or damaged, you're screwed. I prefer simple things i can repair with needle and thread, like a tarp.

    just my two cents, ymmv.
    "Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you." John Muir

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    I have that tent. I think it is the ULTIMATE car camping tent. It is heavy though. If the campsites on a canoe trip could support the tents footprint I would definitely bring it.

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    Here are some good tents with a little more of a "classic camping" feel to them, some around the same price range:

    http://www.cowboycamp.net/

    And a Lavvu or tentipi would allow you to have a stove or campfire inside the tent on those cold nights, but they're more pricey:

    http://www.raymears.com/Bushcraft_Pr...son-Tipi-Tent/

    http://www.tentipi.com/

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    Awasos,

    I too was once enamored of the camping aesthetic of Bill Mason and his baker-style tents, canvas packs, etc, but those tents have several downsides that I think make them a poor choice compared the use of a modern self-standing dome tent & tarp combination.

    First, they are invariably very heavy and very large, taking up a huge volumes of your pack and that makes for needless strain and effort and sweat on the portages. You will either have to bring less gear because you can fit less in your pack, or bring another pack.

    Second, if you bring poles, then they are really cumbersome. You can cut your own poles, but this uses up a lot of time and energy when you arrive at camp, and if the weather is bad or darkness is falling when you choose a spot to camp, you donít want to be looking around in the woods for straight poles of the right diameter and length, cutting them, limbing them, then lashing them together, guying them out, etc. That is a huge and impractical pain when youíre hot and tired after a day of paddling and portaging. Itís also important to keep in mind that if you are going to be camping in parks, cutting live trees is prohibited, and finding deadwood of the right size that isnít weakened by rot is another chore.

    Third, in storms, they suck. Unlike the smaller, lighter, self-standing tents which are domed and use curved poles, a tent with 3 vertical walls gets buffeted hard by winds. You will need vastly more lines to guy it out securely. And the rustling and flapping noise is tiresome. Dome tents hold up well in wind, have a lower profile, don't make as much noise, and are easier to secure. They also have a smaller footprint than a tent that has an awning.

    After many years of canoe-tripping, I have found that the modern bomb-proof tents are a better choice. Remember, you donít live in your tent. You sleep in it. It's just a doghouse. You live under your tarp. Beneath your trap is where you cook, eat, relax, enjoy the view, and practice your bushcraft skills. And since youíre not sleeping under your tarp, it needn't be on a perfectly level or flat spot; you can locate your tarp somewhere that has a nice view, and pitch your tent in whatever small, level, flat spot you can find. With a baker tent, your view and camping location will be dictated by wherever you can find a level and flat footprint, and that might not be the choice place to spend your day. I've seen people pitch their large tents in spots that made no sense (in the midst standing dead trees and widow-makers, in swampy low-lying areas, just because those were the only spots where there was a level and flat ground large enough to accommodate their tent and awning setup.

    A tarp is lighter, more versatile, and if you use a bug mesh under it (Iíd recommend the Parawing VCS by Eureka for this) you will be fine in any storm, even in buggy conditions, and can even have your fire under it, sip your coffee, read, and enjoy the storm and how the woods look when the storm is raging.


    If youíre going solo-tripping, the baker-style tent is almost comically impractical compared to a modern dome tent and tarp combination. The only better choice (arguably) is a hammock setup, but thatís not for everyone.

    Hope this helps,
    - Martin

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    I too camp on paddling trips. The hammock system has proven to be worth it's weight in gold. It's can be put up on most any terrain as long as their are trees. It is light and takes up very little space. Nothing is going to be perfect, but it fits my needs.

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    I am really liking my Baker/Whelan tent tarp . It is warm , light(7 pounds )and I can put it up in about 15 minutes .
    The one problem is the color . Id prefer a coffee or tan color .

    The other problem is replicateing it . I bought the material at an Amish dry goods store on closeout .
    It was called Amish raingear material .
    " what's it made of " I asked . " raingear material " the old lady says .


    Im thinking now its some kind of polyester / cotton blend impregnated with silicone . After sewing you have a little pile of white dust where the needle penetrated that looks like silicone .










    The finished product stuffs into this little day pack easily and weighs about 7 pounds .
    " Don't take life too seriously , nobody gets out alive anyway "
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    Bushmaster Supporter riverjoe's Avatar
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    My tarp is built out of a light canvass material and I use the term "liight" loosely . It was 108 inches by 10 feet and weighed 5 pounds .
    To use it for my tent I needed to add another 54 inches in width and two wings which I will describe later . Here it is doubled over with the wings sewn on .
    Small referance person is 3 feet tall .

    " Don't take life too seriously , nobody gets out alive anyway "
    Sydney Harris

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