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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 8/28/2010 11:39:14 AM EDT
I am looking for a backpack tent for a family of four for my BoB. Trying to find one that sleeps 4 and is reasonable weight is frustrating. Advice from the Hive appreciated.
Link Posted: 8/28/2010 11:49:31 AM EDT
That is not going to be easy. I think first you need to look at what type of season rating you want. In VA, I think you could get away with a 3 or 3+ season tent. Know that in heavy snow or sustained high winds you will be in trouble.

The REI Half Dome is a 4 person, 3-season tent packed at 7lb 10oz. That's not too bad and the quality of there tents is usually pretty good.

Personally, I would go Mountain Hardware or some premium quality brand if you expect to live out of one of these long term. I don't think a BOB situation would call for that. Eventually, hopefully, you would be able to settle in somewhere and inhabit an existing building of construct a more permanent shelter.

Link Posted: 8/28/2010 12:34:54 PM EDT
Keep and eye out on Steep and Cheap, I have seen a few Mountain Hardwear tents (and some other brands) pop up from time to time for 60% off.

Also maybe have the S.O. or an older child carry a tarp. Good back up, faster to set up.
Link Posted: 8/28/2010 2:13:10 PM EDT
How about getting it done with two smaller tents? Might give you more overall room and you can spread some of the load to momma or one of the kids..... Just a thought...
Link Posted: 8/28/2010 2:39:11 PM EDT
This is for a BOB and not for long term. In that case would go for a partially above ground shelter once we are safe.

Oldest is 4 so right now just getting her to walk for a significant distance will be hard. We have done some trail hikes but only a few miles. SO's BOB will be more of the backup shelter (tarp) and mylar blankets. Just loading out two BOB's for two adults and two kids is hard. I will try those sites and look for a cheaper then REI tent but if that what it takes then so be it.

Link Posted: 8/28/2010 3:20:23 PM EDT
tarps and wool blankets with some rope.

if it is a 3 day hike to BOL.

You need something reusable and wool blankets keep heat in when wet. Wool blankets can keep everyone warm while walking. tents cannot do that.

You can hike/walk/run for 10 hours, you will sleep in anything.

besides, its just 3 days or so.

Link Posted: 8/28/2010 7:51:23 PM EDT
Interesting - we just wrestled with the same question this evening.

Given that you have a family of 4 (as do we), you should have two grown adults - hence two full BOB's. We decided that each BOB was going to have to carry some different components. In our case, my pack will hump a Coleman 4 person tent (nothing special or exotic, just what we had as a spare). Wife's pack will take slightly more kid's clothing as a result. Our old tent probably weighs about 10 lbs or so. However, it is a solid tent, and worth hoofing if the wx turned foul. We are also trying to balance economy with preparedness. Sure, something lighter and better is out there, but we also want to be careful with how much we are spending for something we hope to never use. Even a fairly minimal BOB can get expensive, I'm finding! Regardless of the negatives, just having a decent BOB puts us well ahead of the curve.
Link Posted: 8/28/2010 10:45:22 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/29/2010 5:51:10 PM EDT
I wish I had a BOL within three days hike. I am checking out all the summer sales etc etc. I found a 3+ season Zeta 4 for $209 so might go that way. 8lbs packed up. My wifes BOL is lighter as she will be predominant kid duty, i.e. at some point Thing 1 or 2 will need want to be carried. In her's are two poncho lines, 4 mylar blankets and a tarp. Very basic but works.

Also because of weight I am using more of the Coast Guard ration bars and peanut butter, again because of weight. Packed other foods but it is the walk and eat food. Talking my daughter camping for a weekend and try them as well as other foods. My son eat ANYTHING.
Link Posted: 8/29/2010 10:04:12 PM EDT
If you've never eaten those coast guard ration bars, better start tasting them - I tried a 3 day experiment eating only those Daterex bars and water and let me tell you, doing moderate outdoor/indoor work, I was extremely hungry that next morning AND didn't even want to take the test any more because of the horrible after taste it gave me. Those USCG rations are designed for someone to eat and get by with the minimum calories required to survive by sitting on their butt and doing nothing. By hiking to a BOL - you'll be expending twice as many calories as those bars and peanut butter will provide you.

Now, you might want to look into one of those game carts hunters use to transport game from the field. That will lighten your carry load, goes over a lot of bad terrain and you can 'carry' lighter evasion/escape bags. It also can double as a way to carry your children when they get tired.

As to shelter, if a good tent isn't available, utilizing several lighter tarps, para cord and some imagination is sometimes better then a tent - may even look into a smaller tent for the kids to be kept in and having the adults use a hammock/tarp set up. If you're truely bugging out, one person will always be on watch, so a hammock/tarp for the one adult sleeping next to the small dome with children in it might be a decent option.
Link Posted: 8/30/2010 8:35:10 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/30/2010 10:08:57 AM EDT
If money is not an issue, I'd recommend a Kifaru Tipi. If the weather gets cold you can add a stove for warmth and cooking.

Made in the USA.
Link Posted: 8/30/2010 12:34:21 PM EDT
TONTO, thanks for the game cart idea. That rocks! Will look for a used one and check some out at different stores. I am planning on a 4 person tent but I would use a bivy for myself or wife as we do security...I want to go four person because A. Expect more people and B. Don't want to buy another tent for awhile.

I am planning a fam weekend in the Shenandoah to test and try gear, food and just get the lil ones (and SO) acclimated to camping. Buy it, try it and modify it....till it works.
Link Posted: 8/30/2010 11:21:17 PM EDT
How about the Hogback? Just over 4lbs and sleeps four...
Link Posted: 8/31/2010 2:28:50 AM EDT
Have you thought about maybe 2, two men tents.
You did not say how old everyone was.
If the children are bigger,
they can carry some, if not all of their own tent, (small one man tent).
Adults can carry two men tents.
When it says two men, it does not mean comfortable. Or room for gear!
Good luck......let us know what you decide.

Link Posted: 8/31/2010 4:32:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/31/2010 4:34:18 AM EDT by TxRabbitBane]
IMO (worth what you paid for it), big family tents are too much of a PITA to pack and carry to be practical backpacking tents. You have to be able to break them up into different people's packs, etc. They're great for "truck camping", however. I think you'd be better off with a couple of 2-man (or 3-man, which are more comfortable for 2 people) backpacking tents. A good one is in the 5lb range (or less). One in your pack, one in your wife's pack, room for 4. Then you pray for the day when your kids can sleep in one and you and the mrs can sleep in the other.
Link Posted: 8/31/2010 5:56:44 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/31/2010 5:34:43 PM EDT
Waldo, humping anywhere with two kids will be a Big Suck, but I live outside of DC so I have to assume at some pont roads will get clogged, EMP etc etc...so trying to make a BOB (or INCH or whatever acronym works) rucks for wifey and self.

THE Kifaru looks AWESOME but $$$ for right now, so maybe two used 2 man tents and make that a Santa wishlist item.

Thanks everyone for your input!!!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 4:08:42 AM EDT
personally had a single person tent only a few pounds maybe 15inchs by 4 inchs....pretty small think i paid 50$ for it will have to go back and look at the name
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 12:32:35 PM EDT
Why not think about 2 smaller tents.
there are lots of good light 2-3 man tents. Plus you have redundancy.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 8:45:22 PM EDT
If I knew how to do it, I'd have a modular tent designed like spokes. A center vestible where you can attach small one person bivy's. I've seen the design done large, but I'm thinking something like a small 4 or 5 sided dome with zipper flaps to attach the bivy. And if you didn't want to set up the hub, you could pitch your individual bivy. I wonder if it's something that the TarpTent folks would be interested in building?
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 11:07:11 AM EDT
Is there going to be only one bag? If possible I'd suggest spliting the load, just as you would do if you camping. A 7 to 10 pond family tent would be more manageable if, say, someone carried the tent and someone carried the Rain fly. Even more manageable if you could split it up even more.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 12:32:48 PM EDT
Moonbow Designs

Now this looks interesting.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 8:55:59 PM EDT
THAT DOES LOOK NICE SHADOW! Will send an email and quote 4 man.
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