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(and other shelter options)

Not all tents are created equally, and as with the packs, there are enough options out there to make your head spin! I won’t go in depth over all the options that are out there, but I do highly recommend getting something designed specifically for backpacking.

I have admittedly not used very high end shelters. If you can afford it, get yourself something ultralight and made out of Dyneema, (super strong, super lightweight, and waterproof) such as the Zpacks Duplex. However, setups like this typically cost $600-$1000+ by the time you get it all together. If that is outside of your budget, (like it is mine) stay tuned for some more cost-effective options.

Now, although I would rather sleep in a hammock, I typically still use a tent when backpacking because, by the time I pack a full sleep system the tent is lighter. In order to have a full sleep system you need more than just a simple hammock. You need a hammock, hammock straps, bug net, rainfly, under quilt and top quilt. By simply packing a lightweight backpacking tent and sleeping bag you’ll save both weight and volume in your pack.

I would also recommend getting a slightly larger tent (1.5-2 person tent for an individual) or purchase a tent that has a vestibule because this will provide space to protect your gear from the elements. A vestibule also provides a place to cook when the weather is nasty. Just be careful not to set your tent on fire! I would also recommend seam sealing and waterproofing your tent for some added protection. Keep in mind that ventilation is your friend, without it you WILL have condensation, and you WILL get wet.

If I'm by myself, I use a River Country Products one-person trekking pole ultralight backpacking tent. At 6’1” I barely fit in it end to end, but it has a vestibule which provides a nice place for gear. It is about as cheap as you will find for a backpacking tent and I admittedly have not used it in bad weather. When Angela is with me, we use our Alps Mountaineering Lynx 2 person tent. Much nicer than the River Country, one but still reasonably priced. I like that it has good ventilation and an entry with vestibule on each side. It really works great for two people.


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