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Topic: freestand or not to freestand, your shelter< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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GottaGamble Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2013, 2:05 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have always had/used a freestanding tent. I was considering trying a tarp with inner net set up...or a newer lighter weight freestanding tent. The difference in weight for what I am between would be about 12 ounces. I have cut weight in many places and which ever one I choose will cut either 1 lb. 5 ounces or 2 lbs. 1 ounce...depending which way I go. My gear and pack weight are right where I want/ need them to be..so I'm not worried about 12 ounce difference in a new shelter, either way I'm loseing at least another pound.  I think I like free standing because more options for pitching.  

     What do u prefer? Freestanding or no?


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2013, 2:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've always used freestanding tents (aside from when I use just a tarp) and think I always will. The weight savings just isn't the potential limitation, in my opinion.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2013, 3:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

After playing with both styles, I don't care either way. I always stake out my tent using the guy-outs unless it is mid-summer. I use tents stake on the main body of a free-standing tent all the time. So...even with a free standing tent, I still end up using tent stakes.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2013, 3:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(markweth @ Feb. 27 2013, 2:46 pm)
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I've always used freestanding tents (aside from when I use just a tarp) and think I always will. The weight savings just isn't the potential limitation, in my opinion.

Tried to edit this, but couldn't for some reason . . .

I meant to say the weight savings isn't worth the potential limitations in regard to pitching options.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2013, 4:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Most "free standing" designated tents still have to be guyed out for vestibules, rain flaps, bathtub floors, etc - very few are totally free of any stakes.

Probably a syntax dilemma.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2013, 5:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've thought about using a tarp w/my Bugbivy...but the extra futzing set up wise really wasn't worth it to me after thinking it through.

So I've stayed w/more traditional shelters.  Adirondack camping spells tons of buggies...I can't shake the feeling I need a full on tent

My go to is the SD Vaporlight 2 which weighs in for me at 3 lbs 4 oz.  Not ultralight relatively speaking but my HalfDome weighed more as does my Hubba Hubba

On the other hand, I picked up a silnylon footprint at LL Bean the other day...it is 6' x 8'.  It was $12 so i may give the tarp/bug bivy a test this spring in the yard.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2013, 5:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If I am on rock (high Sierra), sand, or snow I prefer freestanding. In most of MN where it is all good dirt I don't mind a non-freestanding tent at all.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2013, 6:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

yeah, Looks like Im sticking with free standing. Marskor..regarding having to stake out most free standing tents..while yes, this is true..exspecialy for the rain flies, however in a pinch they can (at least mine can), be pitched with out having to stake it down. I love my Mountain Hardwear Helion 2 tent and I am looking at the new Mountain Hardwear SuperMega UL2.  This would shave about 1 pound out of my pack, bringing it to roughly 12 pounds base..minus food/water. The Helion 2 would obviously become a loner..also as my kids get older they can carry/use the Helion for themselves...thus cutting my packweight even more when I am out with them since I wont need to carry the Copper Spur ul3 or SD lightning XT4.  For me this all makes sense.

I love the bathtub floor and I love that I can pitch the tent and not pull the rainfly over it if its nice out..keeping the bugs and critters at bay while feeling like I am "cowboy" camping.  It sets up very quickly. If needed, I can pitch it in a shelter. It is a palace for myself and ok if I needed to get someone else in with me. I love the vestibule area..just because. The weight is just fine for me..the SuperMega claims to be 2 lbs 7 ounces..we will see.  My Helion was "bomb" proof so I am suspecting that the SuperMega will be also. I love the color..blends in for stealth camping and doesnt stick out like it it doesnt belong there....






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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2013, 7:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GottaGamble @ Feb. 27 2013, 6:54 pm)
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Marskor..regarding having to stake out most free standing tents..while yes, this is true..exspecialy for the rain flies, however in a pinch they can (at least mine can), be pitched with out having to stake it down.

Sure, you can...
but when 50+ mph winds hit your "non-staked-down" kite, er... I mean tent.

Free stand that.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2013, 7:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've had both and most of the time, non-freestanding is just fine.  But there were a few times -- such as very sandy desert camping and with the winds howling like mad all through the night -- that I was glad for freestanding.  Multiple stakes were yanked out -- my body weight was the only factor stopping my tent from flying off entirely -- but at least freestanding meant the tent didn't collapse.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2013, 7:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Where I mostly hike - Ontario Shield - camping locations are almost always somewhat protected from winds in places with soils suitable for staking and plenty of trees around to secure lines. So a non-free-standing tent would probably work just fine. But that being said, I've never really played with a non-freestanding tent and am quite happy with the weight of my BA Seedhouse SL3 split between 2 guys.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2013, 7:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've never used a freestanding tent for backpacking.  I've camped on slickrock without problems.  My car camping tent is freestanding.  I find it a tiny bit more convenient, but not enough to get excited about.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2013, 9:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Some freestanding tents aren't really freestanding due to the tension on the poles that deforms the shape of the tent, drawing it inward instead of pushing it outward the way it's supposed to be. The Mountain Hardwear Raven has that problem.

The least number of stakes I know of is two, on the REI Camp Dome, which is actually freestanding.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2013, 9:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I always use a freestanding.
I once had to hunker down in some softish dirt during a massive freak storm in a non freestanding tent, and a few of the stakes pulled out (despite being groundhogs, and nearly completely buried) and the tent started flopping around. Had to get out and fix it.
Freestanding tents, to me, just seem more reliable.
With some of the ultralight freestanding (or nearly freestanding) tents out there, it just doesn't make much sense to me to not have a full frame.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2013, 6:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(treelinebackpacker @ Feb. 27 2013, 8:19 pm)
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With some of the ultralight freestanding (or nearly freestanding) tents out there, it just doesn't make much sense to me to not have a full frame.

http://www.tarptent.com/sublite.html

Know of any under 20 oz?


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2013, 12:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GottaGamble @ Feb. 27 2013, 2:05 pm)
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     What do u prefer? Freestanding or no?

I don't think I think in terms of freestanding vs non-freestanding anymore but, rather, tents with dedicated tent poles vs shelters that rely on trekking poles.  A secondary distinction is whether it's fully enclosed or not.

I use freestanding tents for car-camping and, yeah, they're easy to set up and use.  If I'm camping at the trailhead, I'll throw my Hubba Hubba in the car just for that night.  But, for me, the benefit of a 1.5lb fully enclosed shelter (or a mere 2lb for a two-person shelter) outweighs the convenience of a freestanding tent.  And for mosquito-free hiking, it's hard for me to justify anything more than a tarp.

So, in terms of preference, it's not that I prefer non-freestanding tents per se; I prefer less weight over freestanding.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2013, 4:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I was seriously leaning towards a tarp...but for me, if its not raining, then why even bother pitching a tarp???? The inner net would have been nice...and the weight of the setup I was looking at was impressive. Then came the Mountain Hardwear SuperMega UL 2.  Like I said, its a 12 ounce difference.  And it was $240 cheaper then the Duomid/ inner net that I was leaning on...12 ounces to me is not a big deal when my base packweight is hovering around 12 pounds.  My body weight is 230 lbs.  12 ounces will not be noticed in this case. Perhaps if my packweight was much higher, then yes..ounces = pounds...and to shave 12 ounces would be great.  I'm just not sold on tarps I guess.  I love my tent and the options it gives me.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2013, 5:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GottaGamble @ Feb. 28 2013, 4:45 pm)
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I was seriously leaning towards a tarp...but for me, if its not raining, then why even bother pitching a tarp????

Exactly.  I take a tarp when I expect to cowboy camp as much as possible, which usually means that it remains in my pack most of the trip.  Same for rain gear in dry conditions.  I'd just as soon not waste anymore weight on it than I absolutely have to.

That said, I've set a tarp on a chilly nights to create a wind block or on a hot afternoons for shade when there was none nearby.

What I haven't done is try to expand it into a tarp "system" by adding an inner.  I tried the tarp+inner combo with a GoLite ShangriLa and didn't like it.  I found it hard to set up and difficult to consistently keep both layers taut.  Up until very recently, my tarps were all MYOG silnylon ones that I made, so I could afford to have both a tarp and a different enclosed tent.  Going that route has worked much better for me than trying to come up with a single expensive solution for all conditions.

When I want/need an enclosed tent, I prefer the single-wall tarptents.  I have a Lightheart Solo and a Tarptent Squall, both picked up used, that I really like.  Also have a Contrail for when I bring my dog.

I did recently buy an MLD cuben Trailstar, which is a pentagon tarp.  I can't say that I need it and certainly can't justify the price...  but my teenage son and I backpack in the Grand Canyon every year and I just decided that I wanted a really roomy comfortable tarp if it rains and still have something below a pound.  I only have him for a couple of more years, so I decided it was worth the splurge.  Mom's preorgative.  :)


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