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Thread: Tents for river camping

  1. #1
    Member wjackson's Avatar
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    Question Tents for river camping

    Just wondering what type and brand of tents evryone is using on the rivers. I've been searching other forums on here and it seems like most of the threads are geared more to smaller backpack type tents. I was wondering if any one is using larger tents for float hunts/camping and what brands. I have a couple coleman family type tents but i'm looking for something better, different. Possibly the Cabelas AK Guide model 6 man . Any thoughts, comments.

    Thanks , William

  2. #2
    Member Queen of Kings's Avatar
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    Default Tents

    I believe that would be good choice. I used a Cabelas AK Guide model 8 man for our float last year in the Ivashak. We had 4 people and gear bags with room left over. It was nice to have the room and space for a week. A little heavy at 40# though

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    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
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    Default

    I also use the Cabelas AK Guide model 4 man tent.
    Just depends on what your needs are and how many people are going to be in it ??
    Most of the time for me it is two and the 4 man has pleanty of room.

    RR
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  4. #4

    Default I like the XPG

    The Alaska Guide Tent is nice but fussy to put up, fine if you have help but I do not always have help on the river. I like the Cabela's XPG 4 person tent. It has plenty of room for two and two decent sized vestibules. I like a 4 season for river trips because wind is often an issue on river trips and in the lower 48 so are sandstorms. Hard driven sand will go through anything. You can really secure the XPG to the ground or to rocks and it stays put.

    Lori

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I spent a weekend in a borrowed Cabelas AK Guide model 8 man once when the motorhome broke. Fit 3 queen sz air mattresses and just a little gear. Its getting to the top of my list of items to purchase.

  6. #6

    Default heated tent

    last fall I bought a Kifaru tipi. It is a 8 man 12 x 15 ft tipi with a wood stove. Total weight with the stove is 13.2 lbs. The price is rediculous but the Idea of waking up to warm dry clothes after a day of rowing in the rain......priceless

  7. #7
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Different Opinion on the Cabela's Guide Model

    William,

    This one is a hot potato here at times, and if you've looked through the archives I'm sure you've seen that.

    Although I have used the Cabela's "Alaska Guide Model" tent in the past, I don't generally recommend it. There are much better choices out there in a four-season tent. I could spell out all the reasons, but I've already written a LOT about this in the past. Maybe one day I'll write it all out again, but it's running up on midnight now, and I have to be up at 5am. BTW, I use "Alaska Guide Model" in quotes, because I see that label applied to a lot of gear, but I don't see a lot of Alaska Guides using it.

    One of the first decisions you have to make with a tent is whether you must have something you can stand up in or not. If you insist on a larger tent that you can stand up in, you are automatically limiting yourself in terms of where you will hunt. Open tundra areas commonly found in the Arctic and Western Alaska will not tolerate any structure with high sidewalls for long. You will get a few folks here who disagree with that assessment, but I maintain that many of these folks have not really been in serious weather with a tent like that. Still, if you can park the tent in the brush or use terrain features to shield your tent, you can camp in quite a few places with a taller tent. The two I would recommend are the Barney's Bombshelter and the Arctic Oven by Alaska Tent and Tarp. I also use the Eureka Timberline Outfitter Six in these situations.

    If you want a tent with a much broader application, have a look at a sturdy four-season mountaineering tent such as those made by Terra Nova. I know some folks really love the Kifaru tipi, but I prefer a tent with an actual floor to sleeping on the wet ground and dirt, and I like my mosquito netting, which you don't get with the Tipi. Again, I suspect that most of the Tipi fans have not spent a lot of time in one during warmer weather when the bugs are really out in force. I could be wrong though. I can tell you that when you think it's raining outside and you take a peek and discover that the lee side of your tent is black with mosquitoes (this is not an exaggeration), brother, that's when you're mighty glad to have some netting between you and them!

    Plan on spending $500 or more for a good tent that will last you many years. Plan on paying much more than that over the years, in $350 installments as you replace cheaper tents every few years.

    Hope it helps! It's been my observation that most folks vote with their wallet on this one. Well, if that's you, and you're gonna go with the Cabela's tent, at least get the one with aluminum poles. It's stronger and you won't be treated to a handful of fiberglass splinters when the poles shatter in high winds.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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  8. #8
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    Default

    I confess to being one of those guys that vote with their wallets far too often, and for the most part, I agree that it's not the best idea in the long run. However I did buy a $150, 3 man tent at Costco years ago that I still use and like. I did have to sew in a new zipper for it last year though. Mine has 5 aluminum poles and a good full coverage fly. So, you can sometimes get good deals even when being cheap.

    But my advice is to buy something that sets up & down fairly easy. Far too many times I've come into a campsite, tired from a too long day, and had to set up some tent that is miserable to errect. If you are doing a leisurely float with layover days sprinkled through it, or doing a hunting trip where you float to the multi-day hunting site, it's not a problem; but if you're moving every day and setting up every night, get one that goes up quick. And make sure it can be done with just one person.

    I also like a three man tent for just one person. If I have to share with anyone bigger than my grandson, I want a bigger tent. So, call me a tent hog.

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    Member wjackson's Avatar
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    Default another tent

    Thanks for all the good advice and input. It helps to have different ideas and opinions. It seems as with all other outdoor gear there is a lot of personal preference that goes into gear purchasing, guess thats why all the different manufactures.

    I made a cannon ball trip to the big city and happened into Sportsmans and saw a Eureka tent that caught my eye. I think it was called the Alaska Arctic Extreme. Full coverage rain fly, with vestibule. 10x10 5 person. Lots of guy line tie down points. Aluminum poles, and good size roof vents. No weight listing though. 589.00 I think. Has anyone seen this tent , what do you think? I didn't find it on anyones website to look up the rest of the specs.

    Thanks
    William

  10. #10

    Default Check out barneys bombshelters

    you should check out barneys sports chalet in anch, i see their 8x8s are listing on line for under 700 bucks. at only 23 pounds.From what ive been reading from various guides these tents should do the job. I have a north face mountain 25 and it is great for backpacking trips.I cant afford to hunt any more so i dont need a drop camp tent, but if i did i would seriously check out the bombshelter tent by barney.

  11. #11
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Timberline 6 man

    All great post with Great information.

    FYI in case anyone cares we switched over to the Timberline Outfitter Tents a couple of years back.

    I have used just about everything from A-Z and in between. Bang for your buck get the Eureka Timberline Outfitter Six as stated by Mike. You will not have to worry about set up, warranty, space and or cost. Great tent at a great price.

    Just my 28 cents worth.

    :-)

    Tight Lines and Great Rafting.

  12. #12
    Member wjackson's Avatar
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    Default

    When I went to Anch. I was in a darn big hurry and I tried to find Barney's but had to give up due to time. I fully plan on checkin out those bomb shelters before I buy another tent.

    Thanks
    William

  13. #13
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    William,

    Plan on spending $500 or more for a good tent that will last you many years. Plan on paying much more than that over the years, in $350 installments as you replace cheaper tents every few years.
    Would you mind clearing this up a bit. The 8 person AK guide model w/alum poles is Reg $570. Sounds like you don't favor the Cabelas tent but it meets your expense requirement. Are you referring to a 4 person tent @ $500+ or ?
    I hope one day I don't have to vote with my wallet
    I see aluminum poles are prefered, how strong of winds before fiberglass poles break?

  14. #14
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default the timberline

    william, I have 2 of the 6 man cabela guide models, and they are great tents, but for certain type trips. I don't use them anymore on my float trips. I switched also over to the Timberline 6 , and the 4 a few years back. When it comes to hunt and fish float trips where you set up and take down about every day, you don't want to mess with setting up your tent, and if the weather is wet, time is more wetter tent.
    The Timberline can handle wind really well. I have had it over near the coast of bristol bay in some really strong winds and it does great. It has those strong Aluminum poles that are easy to set up and take down. 4 leg poles, and the ridge pole, with a little extra pole that extends the ridge line a few feet. They are not the most expensive tent, but great quality.
    They are not noisy tents either. Some tents in wind are really noisy, and keep you awake thinking the storm is worse than it is..
    My vote is the 4 or 6 Timberline.
    They may have a cheaper version of this model, so make sure it is the best quality one if you decide on it.
    Also William, I know you live on the Kenai, so if you want to try out the cabela's guide model, or the Timberline, you are welcome to give them a try. just give me a call.
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  15. #15
    Member wjackson's Avatar
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    Default Eureka Timberline

    Hey Blue Moose-

    Thanks for the input about the Eureka Timberline. They are high on my list. When I was a kid in Boy Scouts (20 some years ago) I had a 2 man version of the timberline and it managed to hold together thru sheer abuse and neglect untill just a few years ago . What a tough little tent. If the 6 man holds up that well its gotta be a good one.

    thanks william

  16. #16
    Member wjackson's Avatar
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    Thumbs up right on max

    Max -

    Thanks for the advice, I have been talkin to Eric and he thinks we need a guide model 6 or 8 man but Im not sure. Ive been wanting to look at one mabey I'll take ya up on your offer. Also its about time to build a frame for my KD16. do you have the tubing and fittings? I need to get going on all that soon I guess.

    Are those Timberline tents fairly roomy inside? I'd still like to be able to use it for family camping as well.

    Thanks William

  17. #17
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default Yep

    Yep and yep.
    Roomy inside and you can stand up.
    and yep, I have the knuckles and stuff for the frame.
    you are welcome to try them both out this summer and pick your poison.
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  18. #18
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Clarification on tent pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by AKBighorn View Post
    Would you mind clearing this up a bit. The 8 person AK guide model w/alum poles is Reg $570. Sounds like you don't favor the Cabelas tent but it meets your expense requirement. Are you referring to a 4 person tent @ $500+ or ?
    I hope one day I don't have to vote with my wallet
    I see aluminum poles are prefered, how strong of winds before fiberglass poles break?
    Bighorn,

    Thanks for the question; I should have clarified what I was saying.

    Earlier I said that you really need two tents for Alaska hunting; a four-season, low profile mountaineering tent for the open country, and a larger tent for timbered country or in places where you can park it out of the wind. My price parameter was targeted at the smaller tent. I should say that prices have changed, and I would expect to pay closer to $600 for a good quality mountaineering tent, and close to $1000 for a good larger sized tent such as the Bombshelter or the Arctic Oven (my top two choices).

    Also, I should mention that I would not recommend the Eureka Timberline Outfitter Six in open areas. I have used this tent for many years and it has served me well all over Alaska, however it is not a top performer in the wind, in my opinion (no ill intentions toward anyone with a different view). In my view, it really doesn't matter what tent you try to use in high winds- ANYTHING with high sides will be a problem at some point. It's just an issue of aerodynamics. The only large tent I ever saw that seemed to do well in the open in high winds was a custom tent made by Terra Nova (Wild Country), for the movie "Vertical Limit" or maybe "K2", I can't remember which. But it was the main base camp tent, and quite a structure. But it was nailed down tight. The key is to have a lot of tiedowns and good support structure. If the tent is cheaply-made, the gussets that secure the tiedown cords to the tent body will rip out, and then you're toast. This is why I suggest spending a lot of money on a good tent. It's not the money- it's that quality isn't cheap.

    Folks, we're not talking about a cheap fishing rod here. If the rod breaks you can find a stick. The rod is sort of optional in a survival situation. But if your rainfly rips out, you could be in a survival situation. I want to be clear that we're not spending money for extra comfort ; we're spending money on something that, if things really go wrong on you, will keep you alive. Naturally there are a lot of other factors when it comes to survival, but a good secure shelter is close to the top of the list. You can have a survivor mentality, a positive outlook, and a whole bag of tricks for surviving in the wilderness, but a good shelter can even keep a greenhorn alive in many cases. Yes, we're talking worst-case scenario here, because we really never know when those circumstances might appear. You can go to bed at night under a clear sky and wake up to two feet of snow. You can have a warm sunny day and wake up at 2am with 60mph winds and horizontal rain. You have to be ready for anything, because Alaska offers it all, in Super-Size portions.

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  19. #19

    Default

    Although I am not a guide, nor do I do float trips I am an avid camper. I enjoy reading these boards very much. And after reading this decided to do some research.

    I would believe that if you are doing a float trip and wanted to set up and break down tents quickly something like the Airzone Tents would be of interest. Assuming it could stand up to your use. Just curious as to what you folks think.

    OP1

  20. #20
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the info. Mike. Can you give me some kind of comparison for the glass vs alum. poles as far as maybe what to expect from each in the wind?

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