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Tent suggestions?

Old Jul 15th, 2006, 02:55 PM
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Tent suggestions?

We're looking for a tent for 2 adults and 2 children (ages 5 and 2). We're going to be car camping mostly in the Adirondacks of New York and Manine. We've looked into LL Bean and Eureka brands. Does anyone have one that they love?
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Old Jul 15th, 2006, 02:58 PM
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OOPS, make that MAINE!
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Old Jul 15th, 2006, 03:06 PM
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We are on our 4th Eureka. LOVE them. They are easy to put up and wear well. We had one tent that ripped after 2 years of use; when I called to ask if they could repair it (I would pay) they REPLACED it free; said they had some problems with the fabric used in that model. We have had timberlines and I think our current model is a willow something or other...we do favor a 6 man tent for 4 people...extra room for gear and on a rainy day it is nice to be in a bigger tent. Have fun with your kids! My "little campers" are now 18 and goes by too fast.
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Old Jul 15th, 2006, 03:17 PM
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I have a large family sized tent that I use 1-2x per summer that I got at Walmart. don't know the brand bit it was a pretty basic/noname brand and I've been perfectly happy with it.

A lot will depend on your usage.

If you plan to camp a LOT, then pay a little more for a top brand. If not, WalMart has a good selection.
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Old Jul 15th, 2006, 05:55 PM
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Everyone in our family has their own Eureka Timberline, plus we have a family Eureka tent that supposedly sleeps 5 but that's a stretch.

Like someone else mentioned, one of our zippers corroded and they repaired it for free.

We love our Eurekas and have used them many, many times for many, many years.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 03:35 AM
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You didn't ask but I highly recommend Chewonki campground in Wiscasset Maine. Really nice, small family campground, probably the nicest we've ever stayed in. Very grassy, but with some well shaded sites too. We noticed that some families with older children used small tents for the children.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 05:02 AM
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love my eureka, but don't be fooled and buy a tent that sleeps 3 to 4 or even 4 to 5 get a 6 person tent. i had other tents but the eureka holds up great in wet situations, is easy to put up and you can get attachements you might decide you want like a vestibule etc. i suggest you find the tent you like then go on line to (a discount outdoor store in NJ that has mailorder catalogue) and compare prices. they usually have very good prices.

don't go to the family tents, they are expensive and not what you are looking for, click on eureka backpacking tents they have some great prices on a 5 man tent and a 6 man tent.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 05:14 AM
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What justme said--buy bigger. It has been many years since we have camped but I see the Eurekas still win out. There is SO much more available now than when we first bought it.
Take a look at the ease with which it goes up also. I imagine the Eureka poles may be elastic loaded now which is great.
Don't forget a good ground cloth and fly too.
Camping with children is GREAT.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 05:58 AM
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Think ahead if you will be camping in the future. First, a tent tall enough to stand up in is a big plus if you get stuck in the rain and do something other than sleep in tent.

Agree that you want a 5-6 person tent.

When we camped, we started with one tent and then progressed to 2 - a smaller tent for 2 people to sleep in (either parents or kids) and a bigger one for the other 2 and the stuff.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 06:03 AM
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Agree to get a bigger tent for room for stuff.

Also agree that a second tent for kids - particularly the messy ones (the boys in our experience) helps with sanity. The kids like having their own small 2pp getaway.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 06:59 AM
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Be sure to pick up one of those screened in cabana things. It is SO buggy in the Adirondacks this year! Yikes, I just got back and was eaten alive.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 10:13 AM
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I agree that you should try to figure out how much camping you'll do and determine your tent from there. FWIW, like J62, our tent (2-person) is from Wal-Mart. We go car camping once or twice a summer, and it's lasted for over 10 years. I don't remember the brand, but I think it has "Sierra" in the name (not High Sierra though). We purchased a ground cloth after a very rainy trip in the Catskills.

Also, as justme22 said, Campmor is a great place to buy tents, sleeping bags, etc. If you're near northern NJ, their one "brick & mortar" store in Paramus is pretty cool to poke around in.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 10:22 AM
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We got a Coleman 9 X 10 at Costco. It said it sleeps 5, but I think 3 - 4 in that size is best. Next time I will try a Eureka.
Old Jul 16th, 2006, 11:42 AM
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When you buy your tent set it up in the backyard before your trip. It is nice to have a run-through in case you have to set up in rain or darkness at the campground.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 11:44 AM
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ITA with Birdie. We do the set up/ run through first in our backyard as well.
Old Jul 16th, 2006, 01:37 PM
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As far as practice setting it up - bring to mind a group camping trip many years ago. Couple setting up borrowed tent in next campsite while drinking beer - actually managed to set it up upside down, with opening near top.

Too drunk to figure out how to fix it and the others of us in group laughing too hard to help - they slept in it that way and fixed it in AM.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 02:59 PM
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Definitely set up the tent in the backyard. Heck, half the fun of summer is "camping out" in the backyard!
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 03:31 PM
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You may want to consider renting a time or two before buying. I think rentals are fairly cheap, and it would give you a chance to try out a couple different tents/styles to help you determine which features you like and want, and which are useless.
Old Jul 17th, 2006, 05:43 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Take a look into other outdoor oriented mail order places like Cabellas and Bass Pro Shops.

Yet another vote for a bigger tent, rarely is there something too big for a family of 4.

Over the course of several tents, I have become a big fan of domed tents with flys. My current model is spacious and never wet...I got mine at Gander Mountain.

Remember this: Putting up a tent will almost always cause heavy sweating coupled with a loss of patience. This will be followed in the next 12 hours by at least one rainstorm. Your tent is unlikely to be dry from this rain when it is time to pack up....gotta love camping!
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 07:24 AM
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Greenmtngirl --

Backpacker magazine's Internet site has a lively message board - rather like this one, only dedicated to all things camping and backpacking. There's a very informative section on gear. Go to:, then
click on the "Community" tab, then scroll down to "Forums," then "Gear" in the "Skills and Wisdom" section.

Best of luck!
Brookside is offline  
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