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#188783 - 01/28/15 03:05 PM Vestibule or inside the tent?
dylansdad77 Offline

Registered: 03/12/14
Posts: 158
Loc: New Jersey
Just curious to see if you prefer to store your pack/boots etc. inside the tent with you or if you purchased a tent with a vestibule specifically for that purpose. Which do you prefer and why?
Did you know that 83.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot?

#188784 - 01/28/15 03:09 PM Re: Vestibule or inside the tent? [Re: dylansdad77]
4evrplan Offline

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 784
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I definitely prefer to keep my stuff in the vestibule to keep the tent cleaner. Before I got a tent with a vestibule, I hated how quickly it got muddy and sandy, especially with the kids. My tent still gets sandy, but less so. In the spirit of full disclosure, I should mention this experience was all car camping. My one night out backpacking (two if you count car camping the first night) was done with a tarp.
Hiking is the ultimate realization that the journey is more important than the destination.

#188785 - 01/28/15 03:20 PM Re: Vestibule or inside the tent? [Re: dylansdad77]
Rick_D Offline

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2818
Loc: NorCal
None of my tents has a big enough vestibule for packs, but somewhere to shelter the footwear is still very welcome.

Tarp shelters and teepees are often roomy enough to drag everything inside and since they're floorless, there's no floor to get messy. That said I prefer to hang my pack outside unless rain is due and just bring what I need inside.


#188787 - 01/28/15 03:41 PM Re: Vestibule or inside the tent? [Re: dylansdad77]
Pika Online   content

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1789
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I use my pack as part of my sleeping insulation layer, under my legs. My sleeping pad is torso length. My shoes or boots form part of my pillow so I clean them as well as possible before they come in the tent. If they are wet and muddy then they stay in the minimal vestibule of my tent. Since the vestibule is in front of the entrance, I prefer to keep it clear in case of a nighttime call of nature. My tent is a BA Fly Creek or a Gatewood Cape. The Gatewood has a more useable vestibule. Both tents have enough room for all gear except my bear canister and I stow all my gear indoors.
May I walk in beauty.

#188789 - 01/28/15 04:40 PM Re: Vestibule or inside the tent? [Re: Pika]
AdventureMyk Offline

Registered: 06/16/14
Posts: 127
Loc: Knoxville, TN
I have two tents with big vestibules (the Big Agnes Slater 3 could practically house a family of bears in the vestibule alone!). I notice that I leave my shoes/boots in the vestibule area and we cook under it if the weather is foul. Beyond that, we keep most stuff inside where it stays bug-free and dry. We haven't had any problem with gear inside bringing extra mess, we just keep the gear and such clean.

When hammock camping it's easiest to just stretch another hammock (my old Eno comes in handy) and put the gear under it so it stays dry. The tarp acts like a vestibule for the whole shebang.

#188793 - 01/28/15 04:57 PM Re: Vestibule or inside the tent? [Re: AdventureMyk]
tramp Offline

Registered: 01/24/12
Posts: 82
Loc: WV
I camp solo but use a 2 person tent (Marmot Area51) for that very reason. If it's really nasty muddy the boots stay in the vestibule.

Edited by tramp (01/28/15 04:58 PM)

#188794 - 01/28/15 05:00 PM Re: Vestibule or inside the tent? [Re: dylansdad77]
OregonMouse Offline

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6644
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
My pack is my pillow at night. I also prefer unpacking and packing it inside the tent when it's raining. That keeps everything dry. Once everything is packed, I put a pack cover on the pack and stick it outside while I take down my tent, which is stowed in one of the outside pack pockets.

Most of the time I either don't deploy the vestibule or only partially deploy it (for better ventilation, less condensation), unless there's "horizontal rain" outside. I therefore leave shoes outside only if it's good weather.

I generally take a kitchen trash bag (which has other uses) along to put under my shoes if they are muddy.

Edited by OregonMouse (01/28/15 05:00 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#188798 - 01/28/15 06:02 PM Re: Vestibule or inside the tent? [Re: Pika]
Glenn Roberts Offline

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1703
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I do virtually the same thing. Lately, though, I've taken to using a full-length (66" - I'm not all that tall) neoair sleeping pad, and an empty pack is simply not thick enough to elevate my lower legs even with the pad. (Occasionally, if I'm forced to pitch my tent with a noticeable downhill cant, I put the pack under the low end of the pad to level it a bit.

Mostly, though, I now use the pack, stored cross-wise in the tent, under my head as part of my pillow; my shoes (formerly part of my pillow) store one behind the other, toward the foot, on the door side of my tent.

My current tent of choice is the MSR Carbon Reflex 1 (or maybe the Big Agnes Copper Spur - what day is this? smile )

The thing that does the most to make it possible to put everything inside the tent is that there isn't very much "everything" to put inside. Minimizing the amount of stuff you carry maximizes the livability of your tent.

#188800 - 01/28/15 06:24 PM Re: Vestibule or inside the tent? [Re: dylansdad77]
aimless Offline

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3027
Loc: Portland, OR
I normally do not keep my pack in the vestibule. I normally bring most of my spare clothes and gear into the tent with me, though not inside the pack. Instead I put the pack inside its waterproof pack liner and lean it against a handy tree or rock a short distance away from the tent. I have been known to bring the pack into the vestibule when I suspect I will need to break camp in the rain the next morning.

My trail runners are normally stashed in the vestibule at night. From time to time I get nervous that a salt-starved critter will boldly come into the vestibule to chew on them, so whenever that anxiety arises I will bring them into the tent. This occurs entirely randomly as far as I can tell. I don't claim to have an accurate sixth sense of when an especially bold salt-starved critter is lurking nearby.

#188801 - 01/28/15 08:00 PM Re: Vestibule or inside the tent? [Re: tramp]
AdventureMyk Offline

Registered: 06/16/14
Posts: 127
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Originally Posted By tramp
I camp solo but use a 2 person tent (Marmot Area51) for that very reason. If it's really nasty muddy the boots stay in the vestibule.

Same reason I went with the Slater 3+ and the Optic 3.5 for 2 people. The trade off in size/weight is negligible but the extra roominess when you are crashing for a few days is awesome!

#188802 - 01/28/15 08:21 PM Re: Vestibule or inside the tent? [Re: aimless]
bluefish Offline

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 679
I was on Panther Mt. in the Catskills with a friend when he had his boots well shredded by a porcupine. Mine remained unscathed in the vestibule, while his , just a few feet out, were gnawed beyond saving. Fortunately, duct tape and the remnants were enough to get us down the trail and out. Shoes in the vestibule, but our packs are usually outside with pack covers on. There's very little in them after camp is set up. We are using a BA Fly Creek 2, which I keep thinking we'll add a larger vestibule to. I do like its light weight.....

#188824 - 01/30/15 12:24 PM Re: Vestibule or inside the tent? [Re: dylansdad77]
finallyME Offline

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I generally use a floorless tent with a plastic sheet for the floor. If my shoes are really dirty, then I just remove some of the floor for a spot for shoes. The pack goes inside on the plastic. This is the same for hammock camping, everything goes on a plastic sheet under the hammock. When I did use a tent with a floor, it had a vestibule, and boots went there, pack inside.
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

#188842 - 01/31/15 05:08 PM Re: Vestibule or inside the tent? [Re: dylansdad77]
OregonMouse Offline

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6644
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
As you can see, we're all over the place with individual preferences! You may just have to try different scenarios and then decide which you prefer.

I forgot to mention that due to old age etc., I normally have to make several trips outside the tent during the night--a good reason for not having anything stored in the vestibule that I might trip over in the dark. One argument for side-opening tents is that, with many of them, you have more vestibule space that doesn't block the doorway. The year I had a Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo tent (which I sold because it was too tight a fit for both me and 75-lb dog), I definitely had to use the vestibule for my shoes and the dog's pack. Unfortunately, deploying even the half of the vestibule that wasn't in front of the door on dewy or frosty nights meant increased condensation inside (I swear the dog exhaled as much moisture as I did!).

I wouldn't get a tent without a vestibule, because it's great to have some kind of "porch" for wet weather. That's where I shed my dripping rain gear when entering the tent. The best kind, IMHO, gives you the option of leaving it part-way open for ventilation when it's raining but not blowing hard.

Edited by OregonMouse (01/31/15 05:11 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#188967 - 02/07/15 10:41 PM Re: Vestibule or inside the tent? [Re: dylansdad77]
bobito9 Offline

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 400
After a bad experience of having all my socks stolen and my boots gnawed upon by salt-crazed deer, I always keep them in the vestibule. I figure nothing is more essential for getting me out of the wilderness than my footware. My pack I leave out, generally inside a garbage bag, though I do worry about having it chewed up (once a bear took a bite out of the hip belt padding). Of course nothing is necessarily safe even in a vestibule: a kea (a type of parrot in New Zealand) tried to drag my boot out my vestibule, with me watching only 18 inches away.

#188969 - 02/08/15 12:04 AM Re: Vestibule or inside the tent? [Re: dylansdad77]
wandering_daisy Offline

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2837
Loc: California
Everything that does not smell of food goes inside the tent. Only totally soaked clothing go in the vestibule. I also use my pack as a pillow. I am short so have plenty of length inside the tent that I put shoes at the foot end. I use knee high gaiters and use these to put the shoes on so the tent floor does not get muddy. I would never put shoes outside. Too many little critters that like to chew on things that have salt. Same with pack. Shoulder straps will always be salty. I put my stove and cook pots in the vestibule, but bear can with all food goes outside. I am paranoid about leaking water bottles, so all water bottles stay outside.

When I camp in my bivy sack, my pack and shoes also go inside the bivy as a pillow. It helps to be a small person (and have a small pack). All tents and shelters are over-sized for my needs. I always have plenty of space, even in a solo tent.

Like OM, I still want a vestibule, even if I put nothing under it, so that I have a dry awning and can leave the door open when it rains, for ventilation.

#189021 - 02/11/15 01:31 AM Re: Vestibule or inside the tent? [Re: wandering_daisy]
ndwoods Offline

Registered: 01/26/02
Posts: 572
Loc: Santa Cruz CA, Sierra Hiker
Ditto my pack is part of my sleeping pad...goes under the feet. And my vestibule is tiny...but big enuf for my boots.
_________________________ and

#192186 - 10/07/15 02:06 PM Re: Vestibule or inside the tent? [Re: dylansdad77]
la_picker Offline

Registered: 10/07/15
Posts: 5
Loc: Louisiana
I'm always paranoid that I'll bet creepy crawlies in my boots, so unless they're really muddy and nasty they come inside.

#192191 - 10/08/15 02:32 AM Re: Vestibule or inside the tent? [Re: la_picker]
The Doctor Offline

Registered: 10/08/15
Posts: 3
Ditto, in the tent! I met a guy on the AT about a decade ago...had a centipede in his boot and didn't find out until after he put it on. His whole foot turned black and it took him off the trail for weeks. (Made for a good trail name: Mr. Deeds)


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