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Camping Gear (Tents)

I have been asked by many to post about recommendations on camping gear. The first go round with camping in Alaska, I wasn’t really sure what I needed and I purchased the cheapest gear I could find. I had many donations from my friends on Facebook to get the ball rolling when I realized I wasn’t getting good enough gear. I had used what I still had in my possession like a down comforter and a blanket of my grandmothers. I had pillows, around 3 of them that I took because I love feeling like I’m sleeping in a cloud. I use them for support for my back as I am a side sleeper so I would tuck the pillow behind my low back. Other than that, I had to buy everything from scratch. Below are the tents I used, just keep in mind that I couldn’t afford a nicer tent. This is my product reviews from the cheaper models.



I had already been traveling for many days and couldn’t find a tent anywhere. I was in Illinois, when I located one. The previous weekend was Father’s Day, and this was during Covid, so I believe it was the only way people had an outlet to do something in which they felt was safe. This tent by far was not the top of the line. I was surprised that it held up as good as it did. By the end of the 3 months camping I had to trash it. The frame poles began to splinter making it very difficult to set up. I had pieces of what seemed like fiberglass creating problems when it would enter my fingers and irritating them. Also it had frayed so much that when I tried to fit the shredded end into the metal connector piece, it would be wider making it more difficult to slip into.


I would not recommend this tent for long term. However, I did get the $60 worth from it. I would not use in colder climates and I was in Alaska when it was in the summer and fall time. It did seem to hold up to the high winds. Rain would go through the tent creating a ton of moisture build up. I had sprayed sealant on the tent to prevent this. But it was so thin, it didn’t work. I also have a bad back, and I found that when I used a blow up mattress, it would push the sides out of the tent, making the top lower to the ground. It was very difficult maneuvering from a supine, to a sitting and to the standing position. I had swollen knees as well from physically over exerting myself. So, getting up from a sitting position, I had to pull on the framework of the door. It worked but with a lot of effort and balance from my body. That was even difficult as I’m always dehydrated being in the elements for even a short amount of time. Once I was able to get 3/4’s of the way up to stand, I had to contort head out the door as well as the rest of my body. I can’t say having this model of a tent helped any of my physical issues. Unfortunately, I have to lay down for long periods at times for my back. Even traveling solo, it was way too cramped.


I also like to keep gear in the tent, backpack, small working collapsible computer table to just sit on my legs. Without support for my back, it created more pain and discomfort so I would try to work out of the back seat of my car.


I would never buy a two person tent for one person. There is no way two people could have fit inside comfortably. Now, to stay warm you would be close enough, but for the most part I travel solo unless I’m with my kids.


My preference would be a tent I could easily stand it and have a chair inside of it as well as having comfort items, like water, lap table, computer essentials, rechargers, etc. Also,


 

Because I learned from my first visit in Alaska and had tossed the previous tent, I was on a quest to find a better one. I visited Cabela’s in Anchorage, Alaska, as they usually have a larger variety. I knew I needed a larger tent that would offer more room from the ceiling height to the width and length. I decided on the Coleman Dark Room 6 person tent. (which equates to about a 3 person tent comfortably) I was happier with this choice as it was more durable and didn’t leak when it rained. I did spray it a couple times with the sealant. There was a situation that came up with high winds when I was camping in Denali. I have a video I will add at the bottom. I was shocked at how well this tent held up. I honestly felt as if I were going to blow off the mountainside. I was expecting problems, but I didn’t have any. One thing I did notice the more I used this tent was the poles started to have a curvature. It wasn’t a problem at first, but later I noticed the poles on one of them began to split. It wasn’t in little pieces like the first tent, it was split down the middle. I currently have this tent, but I’m not sure how much more it can take. All in all, I had three months usage with the first tent and only two months use with this one so far. I believe it is not going to last as long as the 1st reviewed tent. But, one thing I do not like while camping is getting wet as it rains. This one was for sure a drier option was good. The zipper also would get caught when opening. That was a little frustrating.


 









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