New to camping and need advice on a backpacking tent

Fightintitan

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Mar 1, 2014
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Just joined the site and did a quick search but figured if let you guys know my circumstance so you can help me find the best tent for my needs. My wife and I are looking to do part of the Appalachian trail sometime in June. I'm looking at 3 or 4 person tents. It will be me, the mrs. , our 1 year old son and a dog. I've been looking at tents for a little while and the only one I found that it's relatively light is the big Agnes fly creek ul4. If money wasn't a factor I would of already bought this tent. But wanted to see what other options are out there. I'd like to stay under 7-8 lbs for the tent. Any recommendations for me to look at?


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Nick

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The Fly Creek would not be ideal for multiple people, in my opinion, because of the front entry. Check out the Copper Spur instead. Still extremely light but it has dual vestibules and doors which are incredibly valuable when you are sharing a tent. It makes it feel way bigger too because of that extra vestibule space.
 

HomerJ

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Jan 19, 2012
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I agree with @Nick. I first bought the Fly Creek and ended up hating the head entry. I sold it and bought the Copper Spur as it's a side entry!
 

Fightintitan

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Mar 1, 2014
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Know anything about the black diamond vista? It comes in about a pound heavier but looks decent and I can get a really good price on one through a buddy. And it looks like their customer service is top notch


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Riggs

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Jan 31, 2014
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Don't know that Black Diamond, but it's a good co. if you can get a good deal. We have a Copper Spur as well, and like it. Also have an REI tent I like that's a little heavier but very similar, quarter dome T2 plus. The thing about the light weight tents is it's not magical how they get light. The fabric gets thinner, zippers tinier. With a dog and 1 year old you'd have to be a tad careful. Our kids always made me nervous in tents when they were little - they weren't exactly gentle, haha. Zippers on these seem pretty fragile.

PS. One thing I'll add is when going with a 1 yr. old, diapers were a real hassle for us. I tried cloth, but he was a productive little guy, and I spent a LOT of time cleaning. Plus adding about 25 lbs to the load made it tougher. After one trip, we waited a few years.
 
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Fightintitan

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Mar 1, 2014
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Thanks guys. Riggs, I did take that into consideration. I looked into biodegradable diapers which are one option. From what I read people just dig a hole a burry them. Either way I will not be carrying dirty diapers. That's why I'm getting a pack for the dog. I can def see how it could be a PITA though


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Nick

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I just gotta say, burying a whole diaper sounds like a pretty bad idea. If that's the way people are doing it, I sure wish they would stop. Packing it out is not that bad. Burying some TP and poop is one thing, all that plastic and stuff on the other hand... :confused: Those things are going to be there for a long, long time.
 

Fightintitan

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Mar 1, 2014
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Yeah I was kind of thinking the same thing myself to be honest. The more I think about it the better it sounds to just let the dog carry them. He owes me anyway after ruining to leather sofas.


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Riggs

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I'd never want to discourage anybody from getting kids out in the woods. But I'd agree, no matter how biodegradable, animals will dig up any of that stuff. What a disgusting mess. I still can't believe how often I see TP just left on the ground. I do think there's ways to make it work, like you said, maybe having the dog carry them. When I did it with cloth, I'd dig a hole, and carry pans of water away from the creek to wash them. 6 times a day was average for him though, so it got to be a lot. But most kids aren't that frequent!

Here's my philosophical take on babies/kids in the outdoors. I've been a stay at home dad for 16 years. The biggest thing I learned from my kids when they were little was to scale back my ambitions to their level. I love reading about the great adventures on this site, have experienced a ton in the past and am really looking forward to a lot of them in the future. But when kids are young, they have this amazing passion for all the little details. What is a tiny trip to adults is an expedition to them. Camping next to a creek, a few hundred yards off a trailhead, or maybe staying in a cabin in the woods, they can show you swirls in the water, the fun of watching sticks thrown in racing down the creek. I remember our youngest at about 1 sitting in a meadow of grass, picking up flowers and seed pods and intently looking at them, touching, smelling for the longest time. Picking your way through some dense trees, building a little fort of sticks, throwing rocks in the water all can be an experience right up there with an Everest expedition if you see it through their eyes. It's a pretty amazing experience, and one that disappears pretty quickly. Then as they get older, they might just be up for longer expeditions every year.
 

Laura

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Oct 1, 2012
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I'd never want to discourage anybody from getting kids out in the woods. But I'd agree, no matter how biodegradable, animals will dig up any of that stuff. What a disgusting mess. I still can't believe how often I see TP just left on the ground. I do think there's ways to make it work, like you said, maybe having the dog carry them. When I did it with cloth, I'd dig a hole, and carry pans of water away from the creek to wash them. 6 times a day was average for him though, so it got to be a lot. But most kids aren't that frequent!

Here's my philosophical take on babies/kids in the outdoors. I've been a stay at home dad for 16 years. The biggest thing I learned from my kids when they were little was to scale back my ambitions to their level. I love reading about the great adventures on this site, have experienced a ton in the past and am really looking forward to a lot of them in the future. But when kids are young, they have this amazing passion for all the little details. What is a tiny trip to adults is an expedition to them. Camping next to a creek, a few hundred yards off a trailhead, or maybe staying in a cabin in the woods, they can show you swirls in the water, the fun of watching sticks thrown in racing down the creek. I remember our youngest at about 1 sitting in a meadow of grass, picking up flowers and seed pods and intently looking at them, touching, smelling for the longest time. Picking your way through some dense trees, building a little fort of sticks, throwing rocks in the water all can be an experience right up there with an Everest expedition if you see it through their eyes. It's a pretty amazing experience, and one that disappears pretty quickly. Then as they get older, they might just be up for longer expeditions every year.

Your kids are lucky to have a dad like you!
 

Riggs

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Jan 31, 2014
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Thanks Laura, that made my day. :D It's funny, we had this spot we went to a lot with the boys when they were younger that we called Rock City. The little rock spires were just 1 - 2 feet tall, and only a half mile to hike there. I tell adults about this cool spot we go to, now when we get there it's kind of ho-hum. But I was really into it when the kids were, they got me to look closer.

Anyway, hope the original poster has a blast with his kiddo no matter what the adventure, backpacking or ???
 

Laura

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Oct 1, 2012
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Thanks Laura, that made my day. :D It's funny, we had this spot we went to a lot with the boys when they were younger that we called Rock City. The little rock spires were just 1 - 2 feet tall, and only a half mile to hike there. I tell adults about this cool spot we go to, now when we get there it's kind of ho-hum. But I was really into it when the kids were, they got me to look closer.

Anyway, hope the original poster has a blast with his kiddo no matter what the adventure, backpacking or ???

Glad I could make your day! Your post was really touching, and yes, your kids are lucky and hopefully they will grow into the same kind of dads as well. It also made me think; I'm taking my two nieces (12 and 15) on their first outdoor trip and we'll be camping, horseback riding, canyoneering, and maybe volunteering at Best Friends. I was worried the trip wouldn't be fun enough but you reminded me to see it through their eyes.
 

TannerT

Hike Hard, Tread Lightly
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May 15, 2013
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@Riggs you are the man. My wife and I have a goal to provide outdoor experiences like you've mentioned. We have a 10 month old and plan to float labyrinth canyon for her first birthday. Reading your philosophical take on kiddos in the outdoors makes me excited for the future and has reminded me to see it through their eyes. Thank you!
 

Riggs

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Jan 31, 2014
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@Laura, that's the age of our boys now. Course you have to look at a screen to see through their eyes at that age, hehe. That sounds like a good plan, they'll love it. My boys loved exploring Blue John Canyon, and all the cracks around The Dollhouse in the Maze. Mountain biking is another good one for that age. Our oldest biked the long rough road to the Dollhouse all the way at age 13 and loved it. I still can't help turning into a kid again mtn. biking. I hope you're right, that my kids continue with this stuff. I got mine from living in Nat'l Parks as a kid with my Dad the ranger.

Thanks @TannerT , and you're welcome, hope it goes great. Yeah, it's a cool adventure being a parent, not always easy though! That sounds like a great trip for her, I want to take my kids on that. It's been a long time since I have. And if it gets harder to do longer trips like that, there's always all the cool little stuff.
 

TannerT

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@Riggs I'll definitely be viewing it through her eyes. Hers are actually open and mine have grown too narrowed. I guess that's part of aging as well.
 

JackBurns

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May 14, 2013
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Here is another tent Question.
Does anyone have any experience with the Stoic Templum 2.1 tent? It's a little heavier than other tents but is on sale right now for under $100 which fits my budget.
Any advice before I pull the trigger?
 

Eric Christensen

Let the Wookie go hiking
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Aug 9, 2013
Messages
33
I know that I am probably the odd man out, and I have a goal to upgrade my tent asap, but right now my gear has to be cheap. It sounds like this is your first attempt at hiking with your family and money is an issue, so my advice is to find a cheaper tent to start with, decide what features are most important and upgrade after a few trial runs. I am going to be doing trial runs this year for the first time with my two boys and I found a tent that seems pretty decent, and the price was what I liked the best, only $20, new, not used! I know it is not the 2 lb. super nice tents that I would like, but for a trial, it is great, only about 3 or 4 lbs. If my boys do not like backpacking, well I can look into nicer one man tents for my trips and I am not out the $400 I would like to spend for a nice tent for the 3 of us. I also had a $40 2 man tent that I bought from the same place when I was a scout and it survived 4 years of scouting trips, so this might be the same.

If you know the Ogden area at all, I bought my tent at Smith and Edwards, love that store! It is not the best tent in the world, but it looks good to start out with and easy to upgrade later and not feel bad about the money I spent on our first hiking tent.

Good luck with the kids, I am looking forward to fun with my kids this year too!
 

Fightintitan

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Mar 1, 2014
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Well I purchased a tent and got to use it for the first time this weekend on a 3 night trip at raystown lake. I ended up spending a little more then I wanted to but I feel I got a tent that will fulfill my needs for many years to come. I ended up going with the tarptent hogback. All the guys I was camping with loved it. And I loved it. I was set up in half the time as the other guys with traditional two man tents. It weighs 4 lbs. and the materials they used to make the tent seem like a great quality. It rained a couple different times and there was not a drop inside of the tent. If you are thinking about purchasing a tent from tarptent don't hesitate. It was a very pleasant experience.


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Fightintitan

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Mar 1, 2014
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Grey one on the left.


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