Tent for 3, or individual?

Questions about equipment and supplies to bring on a trip (including reviews).

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pyrowaves
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Tent for 3, or individual?

Post by pyrowaves » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:17 am

Doing a trip at the end of June with 2 other friends.

We don't have a tent yet, and planned on a single tent for all of us, but distributing our loads so we're evened out.

I've been considering individual tents. My biggest concern is weather and where to put our packs. If we have one tent, and its bad weather we might be stuck with packs and people in a tent, so we'd either be cramped or have a larger heavier tent.

Doe anyone have any input, how have you done it in the past?

With our route, there is the possibility of some shelters on our trip, but I don't want to rely on that.

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Montana
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Re: Tent for 3, or individual?

Post by Montana » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:45 am

We used a tent last summer and supplemented it with a tarp. We used the tarp to cover gear or a picnic table in the rain. That might save you from buying (and carrying!) extra tents.


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Re: Tent for 3, or individual?

Post by pyrowaves » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:06 am

Thanks! For some reason I didn't even think about a tarp to cover gear.... I guess I wasn't thinking. It is a great idea to prevent cramped living quarters or multiple tents...

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Re: Tent for 3, or individual?

Post by Ingo » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:47 am

I think it depends mostly on what you and your friends have or want in their gear closets. But I'd probably go with one 4 person--assuming you all get along :D . If you're stuck in the rain it's also easier to play cards in something larger than a 1-2 person tent--especially for 3 people!

On tarps, I made one out of plastic window covering (polycro) last year and it worked great. It's remarkably light and strong (for it's wgt). I got fancy and taped the edges and added nylon washers for grommets--but if you're just covering packs you wouldn't need to do a thing and only add an ounce or two. It also works great as a groundcloth. It doesn't last forever, but good for multiple trips and easy to replace.

If you're looking at buying: weight wise you can get get a 4 person tent in the 5-6 lb range for $600 +/- or in the 7 lb range for around $300. I think Kelty has the best cost to weight ratios in larger backpacking tents.
79: worked RH, 01: BI-DB-RH, 02: MC-LR-WL-CH, 05: MI-CI-MB-DF-RH-TM-RH, 09: MC-BI-DN-RH, 11: WC-HC-WC, 12: MC-CB-HL-TH, 14: BI-ML-CI-CH-MB, 16: RH-CI-TI-RH, 17: WI-IM-SB-FL-WC, 18: MC-PC-BI-DB-RH-DF

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Re: Tent for 3, or individual?

Post by thesneakymonkey » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:57 pm

If you guys are relatively close to one another (friendship or family) then I would think a 4 man tent would be fine but cramped. I am trying to picture 3 people getting dressed inside while its pouring outside. I think my husband and I are cramped enough in a 3man tent. The nice thing is that you could split the weight of the shelter if you had just one. I personally would probably have my own shelter if I was going with friends (vs my husband) and I definitely second the tarp idea. Tarps can be super useful on wet trips. You dont need a huge heavy one just something simple to make dinner under or to spread out at camp or to store gear at night that doesn't need to be in the tent but shouldn't get wet.


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Re: Tent for 3, or individual?

Post by JerryB » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:12 pm

Money can certainly play into this, as well as the likelihood the equipment will get future use. If neither of those is an overriding factor, my preference would be two two-person tents. You would have plenty of space and future flexibility for trips with fewer than three people. I have used a two person tent on solo trips, but that is not reasonable if all you have is a three or four person tent. Otherwise, an extra tarp is a great solution too. Always good to have a dry area for cooking, if nothing else.


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Re: Tent for 3, or individual?

Post by pyrowaves » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:49 am

I agree with the tarp idea. We are all friends and don't mind being cramped if its just sleeping. I worry about rain and if we have to spend longer periods in there.

I'm leaning toward a 4 person, or everyone for themselves. Cost is definitely a factor as well. Either way we run it we'd have to buy at least one. I think we have two single/2 person tents between us, but no 4 person, or not enough for each of us to have our own. The other problem with individuals is if it rains we don't have one shelter we can use, unless we can set the tarp up... I've heard some great ideas from you guys I can propose to the group.

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Re: Tent for 3, or individual?

Post by fonixmunkee » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:28 pm

I've done the three-people-in-a-three person tent dance before, and it's not fun or relaxing. Avoid doing this.

You can try making it work in a four-person tent, but I'm still wary. I can find too many things to make that situation undesirable for me.

After 13 trips to Isle Royale in a group of four life-long friends, we found that two tents with two people each is the magic recipe for a comfortable and enjoyable trip.

Oh yeah, and good on you for not relying on a shelter on your trip. Always bring a tent, and never expect a shelter. Then, when you get one, you'll be pleasantly surprised instead of massively hosed when one isn't available.

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Re: Tent for 3, or individual?

Post by Base654 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:33 am

I have been to the island with friends, couples and small groups. I personally like my own 2 person tent. I have a 3 person that I lend out that gives couples their own tent, but still has enough room for cards because none of my gear is in the tent. I made a big poncho out of parachute material (water proof) that has grommets and ties. It doubles a a small tarp for an outdoor area. I found that a 6 person tent works well for 4 people. mine has a covered alcove for packs. it does weigh 16 pounds though.

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Re: Tent for 3, or individual?

Post by thesneakymonkey » Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:04 pm

Base654 wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:33 am
it does weigh 16 pounds though.

:shock: nope!! haha not worth it

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Re: Tent for 3, or individual?

Post by hooky » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:45 am

Take a tarp and use it for a gear closet, sit the storm out, card playing station regardless of single tent or individual tents.

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Re: Tent for 3, or individual?

Post by pyrowaves » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:44 am

hooky wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:45 am
Take a tarp and use it for a gear closet, sit the storm out, card playing station regardless of single tent or individual tents.

Image
I like the look and shape of the one you have. do you have any details on it?

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Re: Tent for 3, or individual?

Post by hooky » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:09 am

It's a Kelty Noah's Tarp. I think that's the 9 foot model in that picture. For 3 people, the 12 footer might be a better option. There are others out there with that same design that are lighter, but those tarps have been around forever and that one of mine is probably 5 years old and still going strong. If you've ever used woot.com, you can catch them on sale there from time to time. There are tie outs that allow you to rig it different ways, but I always seem to do the "wing".

I bought a 16 footer for base camping and it's ginormous.
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Re: Tent for 3, or individual?

Post by pyrowaves » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:44 pm

Thanks, I like the wing look. This it probably a good option for us. I'll look into it.

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Re: Tent for 3, or individual?

Post by Ingo » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:09 pm

I'd also consider a sil-nylon one to save weight. A 10x10 could be set up similarly. I've been happy with mine I got here (most reasonable price I found at the time): https://www.shop.backpackingadventurege ... ltarps.htm. It replaced my Kelty that I've had for years and otherwise been happy with. I have the 12x12 it's way too big and heavy for backpacking, IMO. Although great for canoeing and car camping.
79: worked RH, 01: BI-DB-RH, 02: MC-LR-WL-CH, 05: MI-CI-MB-DF-RH-TM-RH, 09: MC-BI-DN-RH, 11: WC-HC-WC, 12: MC-CB-HL-TH, 14: BI-ML-CI-CH-MB, 16: RH-CI-TI-RH, 17: WI-IM-SB-FL-WC, 18: MC-PC-BI-DB-RH-DF

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