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#149390 - 04/19/11 01:12 PM Re: Another newbie with questions [Re: lori]
BrianLe Offline

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
"Cons? some people think they're flimsy"

It's not flimsy; I've carried a Contrail for a lot of miles on some long backpacking trips, and it's still in fine shape. Like any but the more heavy bullet-proof gear, you have to take some reasonable care. Perhaps the folks that think the Contrail is flimsy yearn for the days of packing in canvas tents on mule back or something ?

Condensation depends more or less on the conditions you hike in, but also on site selection, as well as just general expectations. In WA state where I live, occasionally I wake in the middle of the night and use a little micropore towel section to wipe the inside of the tent. In a drier climate, no worries. If you live in a climate or tend to hike in conditions where condensation is more of an issue, you might consider instead a Lightheart Solo.

As far as I can tell, the reason that such lighter tents aren't more common is just that they're not very well known. (?)
Brian Lewis

#149393 - 04/19/11 02:19 PM Re: Another newbie with questions [Re: BrianLe]
Glenn Offline

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Although I didn't end up choosing it as my go-to tent, my limited experience with a TarpTent Rainbow did not, in any way, give me the impression that it was flimsy. It was well-constructed, and the fabrics seemed as durable as those in any other lightweight tent, including the Carbon Reflex I came to prefer.

The only concern I'd have about the Rainbow is one that I also have about the CR1: since there is only one arched pole supporting the structure, with stakes providing the rest of the support, I'm not sure how stable the tent would be in high winds (as opposed to a plain-vanilla dome tent, with 2 poles crossing at the high point.) And I'll readily admit that this is a concern only because I've never had any experience with a single pole tent in high winds. Properly guyed out, from the additional tie-out points on the Rainbow and CR1, they may very well both ride out a 30 or 40 mile an hour wind; I just don't have any way of knowing. (I'm not going to seek out such winds merely to satisfy my curiosity, either!)

#149396 - 04/19/11 03:12 PM Re: Another newbie with questions [Re: BrianLe]
lori Offline

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I think the "less durable/flimsy" thinking comes from the same sort of thinking that leads people to look at the hammock and say they are safer in a tent, regardless of the fact that it's the same materials. Using the Sublite gives me almost the same degree of attention as using the hammock. "You sleep in this thing? It's too light!" As if a polyurethane coating and heavier nylon makes a difference.

Tarping on the ground, with my silnylon tarp that I use with the hammock, also gets me raised eyebrows. It doesn't make sense to me, nylon is nylon, the hypothetical moose/bear/axe murderer will have no trouble going through one or ten sheets of it, so WTF irrational people, get over the not-a-double-wall-tent thing already. (Which is not directed at anyone posting here, btw, just the folks who walk into my campsite staring. "Y'ALL GONNA BE COLD IN THAT THING!" Uh, no.)

Clearly it has taken me too long to get cross country mojo going!
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

#149429 - 04/20/11 12:48 PM Re: Another newbie with questions [Re: dragonictigeron]
OldScout Offline

Registered: 03/17/03
Posts: 501
Loc: Puget Sound, Washington
There's a used TarpTent for sale for $80.00 right now in the "for sale" section on this site.

#149634 - 04/26/11 10:08 PM Re: Another newbie with questions [Re: dragonictigeron]
dragonictigeron Offline

Registered: 04/16/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Illinois
So today thanks to the generosity of a fellow backpacker I am now the proud owner of a Hubba tent, superfly stove, sleeping pad and a few random cooking pans. So I am really excited and a step closer to my backpacking trip.

I am planning a camping excursion in my back yard to check out the gear.

#150108 - 05/09/11 03:23 PM Re: Another newbie with questions [Re: dragonictigeron]
BarryP Offline

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
Sorry for the late response.
Iíve backpacked portions of the River to River trail a few times. Itís easy to resupply about every 3-4 days. A start of my gear list I took can be found at:
except I didnít take the coat. I just took a light umbrella (which I used a lot) and $1 rain poncho (which I used a lot) which I had to replace about every 7th day of use. I usually go in the spring or fall when itís a little cooler.

Some random tips for that trail:
1. Get a nice map and GPS. You will notice sometimes the trails do not match the map. Sometimes you will get off on a side trail. If you feel lost, do a GPS check to see where you are on the map. Typically, youíll run into forks that arenít on the map. My luck always took the wrong fork. i.e., I get lost every time Iím on that trail. So I loved my GPS (a cheap $99 unit).

2. ď I am planning a couple backpacking trips with my father this July and August.Ē To me thatís the harshest time of year. Because of humidity and heat, expect heat indexes at 100F +. It will be hard to sleep. As the sun sets, the temps will fall from 98F down to a freezing 92F. And you just lay there with sweat rolling down your face. But itís doable.

3. There will be ticks every 6Ē of your trip. Lay your pack down and immediately a tick will be crawling up it. Spray your pack, clothes, underwear, socks, shoes and hat with Permanone. This has the chemical permethrin that kills ticks on contact and is totally benign to your sweating skin. Read the directions. Donít substitute for cheaper permethrin from the pet stores; It just wonít stick to your clothes.

4. Use a filter for water. For some reason, when I needed to fill up, I only found brown, rotting ponds. But my First Need filter turned that into clear clean water.

5. Several miles of the trail are completely ripped to shreds because of horses. I donít complain. Theyíre the ones that have to pay to use the trail; not you. But watch out for A LOT OF MANURE. Even though youíll be careful, plan on stepping in it.

6. For those hot humid days, practically every footwear will give you blisters except for sandals with socks. The socks keep the sweat wicked out from the bottom of your feet and everywhere the strap touches. I hike everywhere in socks and sandals except on extremely cold days. One of these times Iíll be able to handle the 0F weather like Joe does:
The big advantage of sandals is they can be cleaned off at every stream and they dry fast. My Tevas have extremely better gripping power on wet sloping granite than any vibram footwear.

7. I bought this book from John and met him It was a great help and made it exciting to see the same landmarks he did.

8. When you talk to your local outfitters, they are not usually well versed in light weight backpacking (silnylon, cuben fiber, alcohol stoves, etc.,). Unbeknownst to them there is another world of backpacking which allows you to carry less so that you will be safer and see more.

Amidst all the trials, the scenery is gorgeous and thatís why I kept coming back to that trail.

Have fun backpacking,
The mountains were made for Teva sandals.

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