Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Choosing a tent.

I’ve always affiliate tents with adventure especially with my family. My mom and dad just loved the sierras and they loved being spontaneous packing up the old VW and away we would go up to Sequoia or Yosemite and Tuolumne Meadows. We would normally leave on a Friday evening and drive through the night arriving at our destination no later than 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. I would always be so excited. Click on pictures to enlarge.

I loved the smell of the outdoors, the pines and the redwoods, the sounds of the river, the wind in the trees and the thought of the adventures to come, and the anticipation of the unknown. But before any real adventuring could begin we had to set up camp, which was usually a lesson in patience. Setting up the big old canvas army tent with one pole in the middle and one pole for each corner was the first thing on the agenda. I’m almost certain this was the ugliest tent I have ever seen but it kept us out of the wind and rain. The next year my dad bought our first external frame tent a Coleman 9 by 12. My mom, reading the directions would be telling dad which pole goes were. It seemed like my dad needed an extra pair of hands to keep the right side from falling while he worked on the left side. It also seemed like some kind of funny balancing act was going on; but when the tent was finally standing we could all see what a huge improvement it was. I was around 10 when my dad gave me my first tent; a little two man Coleman and then 2 years later I had my first dome tent and through the years I just kept upgrading as tents evolved so did I. Now tents are ultra light durable weather resistant shelters built to withstand the most hostile of environments.

When I decided to hike the PCT I knew I would want a new tent so I started doing a little research looking at many different tents searching for the one that would best suit my needs; light and sturdy with a simple design. Here are some of the tents I researched. I feel any one of these tents would work very well on the PCT. Their easy construction and basic design make them quick to pitch in any sort of weather.

I have chosen the REI Quarter Dome UL.
The Quarter Dome UL has adequate headroom and is a great free standing two pole Design. The Quarter Dome also has two entrances and good cross ventilation. It takes me 5min. to pitch this tent with the rain fly and at a little over $200. I feel it was the best bang for the buck. The best advice I can give you for choosing a tent is to have fun and pick the one that makes you happy.

Thanks for reading