Looking for a canoe camping tent

Discussion in 'Shelter' started by Awasos, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. Awasos

    Awasos Scout

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    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.com/detail.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
     
  2. Murat V

    Murat V Scout

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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.
     
  3. Boreal Boy

    Boreal Boy Supporter Supporter

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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.
    [​IMG]
    I didnt have to tie the tarp off to the tree behind, just did it to maximize space.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  4. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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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.
     
  5. cimarron8889

    cimarron8889 Tracker

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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.
     
  6. Aonarach1

    Aonarach1 Scout

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  7. PineMartyn

    PineMartyn Scout

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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 don’t 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 you’re hot and tired after a day of paddling and portaging. It’s 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 isn’t 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 don’t 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 you’re 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 (I’d 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.
    [​IMG]

    If you’re 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 that’s not for everyone.

    Hope this helps,
    - Martin
     
  8. MightyTygart

    MightyTygart Scout

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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.
     
  9. riverjoe

    riverjoe Supporter Supporter

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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 .

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The finished product stuffs into this little day pack easily and weighs about 7 pounds .
    [​IMG]
     
  10. riverjoe

    riverjoe Supporter Supporter

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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 .

    [​IMG]
     
  11. riverjoe

    riverjoe Supporter Supporter

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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 .

    [​IMG]


    Here it is rigged for winter . I use my poncho(not shown) made from the same material as the door .

    Little stove made out of two stock pots . Im pretty pleased with it . I can use it almost as a fireplace too once draft is established .

    [​IMG]

    Took the poncho up to the house to sew on two more tabs to use it with the welders blanket .

    [​IMG]

    Interesting ,today I sat a couple of little logs on top the burner to dry them out and got distracted . A few moments later they were on fire but hey I did'nt care they were surrounded by the welders blanket .
     
  12. Woro90

    Woro90 Scout

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    I'm with PineMartyn on the sleeping and living areas. A tent is not a house. It's meant for sleeping, and you don't care about the view or the headroom when you are sleeping. Smaller tent requires smaller patch of suitable ground, keeps you warmer when the sky is clear, allows you to carry more of other things, requires less effort to put up and is much more resistant to wind. When you want to cook, view the surrounding scenery or whatever, set up a tarp and put something to sit on under it. It can be on much less even ground than is required for sleeping and your sleeping gear won't get in your way. Also, when camping with other people, it marks three zones: Public, which is all the ground around; Non-public, which is under the tarp, where you don't mind meeeting others but it's your territory; and Private, which is your tent, and nobody else has the right to look inside. Or maybe I'm just too obsessed with zonation in architecture:33:
     
  13. firemedic

    firemedic Scout

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    like the others said if you solo, then try the hammock and a tarp.

    I have a warbonnet Black bird 1.7 DBL it weigh about 37 oz and my Tarp is a Kelty Noah's 12 that is about 32 oz weight wise, and both are the size of a football loaded up.
     
  14. Ewker

    Ewker Tracker

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    ever look into using a hammock instead?
     
  15. DanTN

    DanTN Tracker

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    Seems like hammocks are the consensus. I have a Kodiak/ springbar-type tent and I LOVE it for truck camping. Ihave the larger size one. Every time I have used it, it rained. Sometmes for days. But I have never been wet in this tent. The heaviest part of this tent is the floor, whch s made from the same material as truck tarps. It does take up a bit of space packed and is heavy, and it ABSOLUTELY must be firmly staked as it relies on wall tension to stay erect. I would not reccomend this for canoeing.
     
  16. Awasos

    Awasos Scout

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    Great advise, I like the hammock in the summer but tougher here in Maine 9 mos of the year.
     

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