SoloTent Advice

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penelope
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:27 pm

SoloTent Advice

Post by penelope » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:15 pm

I paddle an Avocet and like expeditioning in Scotland and Wales. The holds aren't as big as some boats so I'm looking for a solo, freestanding tent. I'd like a bit of head room so I can at least sit up. Up till now I've used a two man MSR Dragonfly or a borrowed Terra Nova Solar. They're both good tents but I don't like borrowing too much, the Dragonfly takes up a bit too much hold and has a big footprint and the Solar is a single pole design which is a problem on beaches where you can't use pegs. So has anyone any suggestions?

Fozzy
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:05 pm
Location: Somerset

Re: SoloTent Advice

Post by Fozzy » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:51 pm

If you're not backpacking it as well how about the Vango Mirage 200. Weighs 3kg 3 pole semi geodesic self standing. I've just led a school group trekking in Peru for a month and they used these without any issues at all. oem pegs are rubbish but that's easy to sort. Costs about £110

Rainshine
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:47 am

Re: SoloTent Advice

Post by Rainshine » Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:15 am

I can't recommend my Decathlon tent highly enough for sea kayaking. I can't quite believe it - I've always been a believer that you need to pay a lot for a good tent and buy a well known brand but this tent has exceeded all my expectations. Its a QUECHUA QUICKHIKER ULTRALIGHT 2. Its a single pole, 2 man tent and the inner and outer erect together so ideal for getting it up fast when its pissing down or you are being eaten alive by midges.

It costs only £109, weighs 1.96kg, packs up into a tiny bag and there's plenty of room for 1 person plus kit. I searched endlessly for the lightest tent I could find that packed into the smallest size bag but wasn't going to cost £500-700. I paddle a Nordkapp LV so its not the biggest boat for carrying gear. I wasn't willing to pay a fortune for a tent that is spending time in a sea kayak. Its withstood the Scottish weather and is very quick to erect/take down and pack.

Have a look at the videos on their website - they show you how it goes up and pitches.

ruralweb
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:14 pm

Re: SoloTent Advice

Post by ruralweb » Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:01 am

MSR Hubba NX - weighs 1.1Kg packs very small and is big enough for me to sit up on and I'm 6ft 6

https://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk ... tent-p2402
Mal

ian johnston
Posts: 658
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 7:36 pm
Location: Aberdeenshire

Re: SoloTent Advice

Post by ian johnston » Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:21 pm

Hi Penelope,

I've suggested what I and others use further down this reply, but if I was to offer some advice it would be to concentrate on the practicality and reliability of a tent rather than the space it takes up in your boat. Look for something semi-geodesic or geodesic initially, these will pitch in more situations than single pole ultralight designs, though make take a few minutes longer to put up. good airflow and good midge nets are essential, as you'll already know.

Consider how you'll use it - a small tent with almost no room to bring kit inside in poor weather will be just somewhere to sleep - if you have a bit more space to sit up, move around, get changed etc then the tent will be much more comfortable if you decide to remain onshore for a day or two due to weather etc.

In terms of a tent taking up space - here's how I've found packing my own tent works quite well: separate the inner, fly and poles. The inner stays with the pegs in the tent bag and is pushed down one side of the sheg box with the poles in their bag the same side. The fly is rolled up and goes down the other side of the skeg box. This takes up very little of the volume of the hatch as the parts seem to "fit" quite well into that space.

I use a Terra Nova Voyager for both sea kayaking and for backpacking. Not the lightest or cheapest but one of the strongest and most practical geodesic tents around and I've used it in all weathers on mountains and the coast for many years.. I paddle with two people who use Hilleberg Akto tents for sea kayaking - lighter, but smaller and again not cheap but very good.

Kind Regards

Ian

ruralweb
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:14 pm

Re: SoloTent Advice

Post by ruralweb » Fri Sep 09, 2016 6:56 pm

Consider your tent as your bedroom ie your only in it to sleep - if you do this you can go small. Then you will have space for a shelter which will allow you to sit outside in comfort - look at Easton shelters and helinox chairs if you combine these with a light weight tent you will have a versatile package that weighs the same or less than a bigger tent. Small tents these days are much stronger than they used to be - I've used my Hubba NX in winter snow with 60mph winds in the lakes.

We camp all year round in Scotland and the prospect of being in a tent hiding from the rain for the hours of darkness is horrific. Much better sat under a shelter in comfort with a fire to keep warm :)
Mal

ian johnston
Posts: 658
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 7:36 pm
Location: Aberdeenshire

Re: SoloTent Advice

Post by ian johnston » Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:34 pm

Hi Mal,

In some ways our approach is very similar, but in some ways a bit different. Like you, I'm camping four seasons - over 50 nights in my tent over the last 12 months in conditions ranging from perfect spring/autumn evenings to midge hell to -15 celsius to gales high in the Cairngorms. A look through my blog will show that I like sitting in a Helinox chair around a fire rather a lot! :o) I've used tarps and find them useful, but sometimes a bit of a faff.

Conditions and location aren't always what I'd choose for myself when wild camping and when the weather is really foul, having that wee bit of extra space is well worth a small weight penalty for me; the space to sit comfortably, to cook in the porch, to read and write up notes etc is just a bit easier in a tent like a Voyager. I had a Laser some years ago but got rid of it as it just felt a bit like a nylon coffin and quite restrictive. Enjoying rather than enduring is I guess how I'd put it.

Mind you, we're pretty blessed these days - I well remember some epic backpacking trips in the 70's with a full-bhuna Vango F10.... jings but that was heavy!

Kind Regards

Ian

ruralweb
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:14 pm

Re: SoloTent Advice

Post by ruralweb » Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:01 pm

Hi Ian - I agree tarps are useless IMO - after many years looking I found the Easton shelter which is really half a geodesic tent that can withstand almost anything. It takes about 1 minute to put up and is perfect for two people - they do a smaller version which I take when I'm on my own paddle touring. Like you the days of suffering are well and truly history IMO. http://youtu.be/9G9dWRPvY4s

I've had a whole host of tents over the years and I've recently applied the less is more principle to all my kit and now my kayak and camping kit weighs just 25kg.
Mal

penelope
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:27 pm

Re: SoloTent Advice

Post by penelope » Sat Sep 10, 2016 5:31 am

Some very good ideas coming in based on loads of experience. Single pole tents are out for me having camped on pebble beaches where no pegs will hold, Yes..u can use boulders but a two pole freestanding tent does better. I like the ideas for packing into holds -I'll be trying that -and notice that Helinox chairs, tarps and Voyager keep coming up. Oh! is my shopping list getting longer?Is my boat getting fuller? Please keep your ideas coming. Thank you.

Rainshine
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:47 am

Re: SoloTent Advice

Post by Rainshine » Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:47 am

Ah, the Vango F10 of yesteryear - I remember it well!!! You certainly couldn't fault its chunky sturdiness!! And such a cheery shade of orange - till it faded! I even remember hiring F10s when I was a broke student - it always rained.

I hear what folk are saying about geodesic tents - I've got a fancy one of those as well but its a PITA to deal with so you guys are welcome to them!! I'm sticking with my single pole, lightweight yet indestructible job for kayaking. I've tried a 2 hoop tunnel design too - that was awful - never again - it was torture to pitch and impossible to stop the rain collecting on the tent between the hoops. I do think a lot of the tent thing is personal preference and it depends how much discomfort you are prepared to put up with if you can't get some cover to cook and do other chores when its peeing down.

seawolf856
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:29 pm

Re: SoloTent Advice

Post by seawolf856 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:25 pm

Terra nova southern cross. Free standing, ultra light and very small pack size. Not cheap but ticks all the boxes for sea kayak camping

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