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Tents for touring

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by ukdodger, 14 Mar 2008.

  1. ukdodger

    ukdodger New Member

    Location:
    Surrey
    Does anyone have any advice on what sort of tent to buy for touring alone. Previously I've stayed in B&B's now I fancy a bit more freedom. Any advice about tenting/touring is welcome. Thanks

    RD
     
  2. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK
    I guess it depends on whether you want to move on everyday, or have a base or whatever. Lightness and ease of pitching are probably paramount. I have two tents. A pretty hefty Colman one which I think would be too much for carrying on a bike very far, but has a bit porch you could put your bike in, and a smaller lighter one I got second hand from a friend, who originally got it in Argos. It's served me well for holidys where I've been based somewhere, and is pretty easy to put up, but I've not used it in a daily moving on situation. I suppose it's a case of get the best and lightest you can afford - but some cheaper tents can do you quite well. Especially if you're testing out whether you are going to like camping, you might decide it's not for you after all, and have wasted a big wodge of money.

    Otherwise, learn to pack as light as you can. An don't underestimate the value of a pillow of some sort (squashable or inflatable). I always end up forgetting to take one and stuffing all my clothes under my head, and it's not the same...
     
  3. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    not up to speed on tents these days but I saw one once that packed very small and light, it was a dome one for a single person help with collapsible poles, very light
     
  4. 4F

    4F Active member of Helmets Are Sh*t Lobby

    Location:
    Suffolk.
    Have a look in the "Touring and Expedition" on here. Theres is a good link in there about light and easy to put up tents
     
  5. Tents for touring - aha !

    Well theres a mryiad of them - loads of different manufacturers.

    Do you want a 1 , 2 or 3 man tent ? Will it be used at high altitude ? Whats your budget ? Do you want durability over lightness or vice versa ?

    I personally have a Salewa Bergen 2 man tent which me and the misses have done several European tours with. Its not designed for very high altitude but is ok for the campsites wwe have used on France and Italy. Has double twin opening either side with good storage space. And has withstood some monsterous Alpine downpours. Not a bad weight at 2.5Kg either. My model is a few years old now - not sure if the current model has same features as mine.

    Have a look at the new twin opening Terra Nova Solar 2. Very lightweight but quite pricey, altho TN stuff is top quality.

    There's also Macpac, Hilliberg(expensive but good quality).

    Have a look at the Field & Trek or Cotswold camping website or visit thier shops - they'll have (i hope !) knowledgeable staff who should be able to help you further.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    ukdodger

    ukdodger New Member

    Location:
    Surrey
    Thanks Fatfella. I did and there was.

    Cheers
    RD
     
  7. OP
    OP
    ukdodger

    ukdodger New Member

    Location:
    Surrey
    Thanks Arch. Good advice. How do these self inflating matresses work, are they any good?
     
  8. OP
    OP
    ukdodger

    ukdodger New Member

    Location:
    Surrey
    Thanks Itis. I'm touring alone and frankly right now I dont know what's more importent, durabilty or lightness never having done camping/cycling before. All I know right now is I hate getting wet inside a tent and as I'm pushing sixty five comfort is becoming importent also it would be useful to have a covered area to store stuff and maybe even brew up in. Looking at the links tents certainly vary a lot in price dont they. Since they look largly the same I wonder where the price goes. Cheers

    Roger
     
  9. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    If it's just you (or a VERY close friend) then the Decathlon Ultra light T2 Quesa is a good cheap lightweight tent...I use it.
     
  10. Chris James

    Chris James Über Member

    Location:
    Huddersfield
    The price goes on materials and design. Just like on bikes, and just like on bikes it obeys the law of diminishing returns.

    For my two pennnorth:

    - First of all avoid any single skin tents as you WILL suffer from condensation in UK conditions.

    - Consider what sort of use you will put the tent to. Will you be camping exclusively on lowland campsites or are you hoping to go wild camping in winter on Scottish mountains? The latter will obviously require a more robust tent - possibly with a different design (eg semi geodesic tents are often self supporting and can be weighed down by boulders etc if necessary whereas tunnel tents usually need to be well pitched as their strength comes from the guys)

    - Look how close the flysheet is to the ground when the tent is pitched. The closer it is then the tent should shed high winds well, but it may suffer more from condenstaion as you need to get air in between the fly and inner to combat that (flysheets have vents for this reason but they do not always work brilliantly)

    - Always go for a tent that has alloy (preferably Easton alloy) poles as they are far stronger than cheap fibreglass ones

    - For year round use a two layer door that can be zipped back to just an anti midge net in summer but zipped to for winter can work well.

    - Very light tents are often light at the expense of thick fabrics - especiually the groundsheet. Thin groundsheets are more prone to puncture, and it is always a good idea to buy or make a groundsheet protector in any case.

    - How tall are you? You may find yourself stuck in a tent for some time and if you are over six foot then lots of tents will only allow you to sit hunched up and you will not have much room to sleep full length.

    - Get a tent with a decent sized porch. That way you have room for wet gear and can (carefully) brew up under the porch if it is hammering down.

    - Tunnel tents tent to be lighter and give more available space that the equivalent sized geodesic.

    An earlier question asked about self inflating mats. They work very well, even the cheap thin models. They work by them inflating themselves when you unscrew the valve. You can add a couple of puffs to make sure you get a good fill. You then expel the air in the morning, seal the valve and roll it up.
     
  11. Chris James

    Chris James Über Member

    Location:
    Huddersfield
    oh, fogot to say. A 'one man' tent is VERY snug for one man! Two man allows you to bring some clobber into the tent with you. Three man is good for two etc.