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BoneCollector's picture
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Location: Ohio woods
Joined: 02/01/2011
Posts: 284
Question concerning Tents & Packs

Help! Wasn't sure where to post this, but I wanted to get some feedback on tents that you guys use. I'm looking for a 3 season, or a 4 season. Sleep 2 plus gear. Also some pack info.

I can't see paying $500 for a Hilleberg that I'll use (hopefully) 1 week per year. However, I want it to last a few years prior to needing replaced. Obviously weight is an issue due to having to pack it into the area. Kelty has a nice 3 season model/7lb for about $180, but I don't see any reviews and the pics aren't selling it to me as a tough 3 season tent. Cabelas extreme 4 season tent looks very durable, but the weight is 10lb. I don't like that. What are you guys using that my fit my under $300 budget/3 season durable tent? I've been to several websites, but can't find anything else useful. The Cabelas model definately looks very durable quality-wise...

Also, does anyone have any feedback on the new Cabelas Extreme Alaskian outfitter pack? Weight is 7lb with an aluminum external frame and over 4700ci of room. Also has a bow/gun holder on the side, not down middle of back. I know everyone has there favorites, but looking for some good feedback on affordable, yet durable equipment. From all the packs I've read about, this one is hard to beat on weight/functionality/price. Paying for a big name doesn't make the trip any easier. I can't see dropping $500 on a kuiu pack or however it is spelled that I'll hopefully use 1x per year or maybe every other year.

Thanks for the feedback on these 2 items. Applause

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
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I have the Cabela's pack

My pack is now 14 years old and has seen some hard use here and there.  Seemed like a decent value at the time and has allowed me to put off that upgrade because there's just nothing wrong with it.

For tents, remember you're going to be hunting in September, and though snow is a possibility, chances are it won't be much.  That basic 3 season Kelty sounds good to me since it's only 7 pounds.  I have a 5 pound 8 oz Swiss Gear tent that I only bring for occasional spike outs.  It says it sleeps 2, but I'd contest that.  I think more importantly than saving a few pounds here is getting enough room either in the tent, the vestibule or packing a tarp that you string out to protect your stuff and some firewood from water.  You're also not going to be unloading your muzzleloader each day, and you'll want to keep that dry, but not want to sleep with it either.

 

 

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
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I agree completely.

I agree completely. Muzzleloader season is mostly trying to stay cool, and fighting bugs.

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4060
Rain

Still Hunter wrote:

I agree completely. Muzzleloader season is mostly trying to stay cool, and fighting bugs.

Except for last year when I think that I was starting to grow webs between my toes because of all the rain.  Then there was a few years ago when I awoke to 6" of nice wet snow. 

But it still beats sitting at home punching keys on the computer.  Thumbs up

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4060
I have been using a Cabela's

I have been using a Cabela's Alaskan pack and frame now for over 20 years with lots of elk and deer packed out in it, and I don't think that I'll upgrade to anything else.  I do have a second Alaskan frame that I picked up that does duty when I just need a pack frame and not the whole pack. 

As for tents that is another thing that I have that has lasted over 30 years now.  It is a Eureka who knows what.  It is faded and has a rip in the floor but it will sleep 2 of us and our gear with no problems but as the older that I get the less I feel like packing into a area to hunt like I did years ago.  One thing that you will find that is very handy to have on hand is a blue tarp that is large enough to go over your tent with tarp to spare.  It isn't that heavy and can be worth its weight in gold.  That and some para cord you can make the area like home sweet home. 

BoneCollector's picture
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Location: Ohio woods
Joined: 02/01/2011
Posts: 284
I agree on the tarp. Was

I agree on the tarp. Was already in my plan. They pack up nice when new, are light, and don't take up much room.

I am in need of a tent for ml this year, but next, it could be 1st rifle or who knows. I only want to buy one tent for all purposes that will last a few year.

Good feedback thus far. Thanks as aways guys.

I think I will go with the cabelas pack. Still researching tents... The kelty just does not look very wind resistant. But I do like the price and weight.

buckykm1's picture
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Location: Vicksburg, Mi
Joined: 11/24/2010
Posts: 360
MY Advise

My Advise is simple, buy a Wall Tent and be done with it, it doesn't take long when you start getting a little older, that, that pack in crap gets old in a hurry, so just buy a Wall Tent now, and hunt out of a base camp, in the long run, you will be saving money, because in a few years, your going to buy one anyway. Yes

Kevin

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Location: Colorado
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Posts: 920
That looks cold. Forget the

That looks cold. Forget the front door?   Big smile

buckykm1's picture
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Location: Vicksburg, Mi
Joined: 11/24/2010
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Propane

That is just the 10' awning out the front, the front door is closed.

Propane heater inside, it is toasty as can be Thumbs up

ElkGuideGregory's picture
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Springbar's, Wall Tents, and

Personal opinion and experience early sept. till mid-late sept. you could most likely get away with a springbar. Springbar tents are warm, tough, and water resistant. The only thing I don't like having is a woodstove. Nothing like drying your soaking wet clothes out for a couple hours in a tent that feels like a sauna. So after Oct. 1 woodstove is a necessity in my list.

As for packs I've only owned one and thats from cabelas. My horse is usually my pack. If your doing a backpack hunt get something with a frame to say the least. You can carry anything in your weight limit with one of those. Great survival tool! Hunting with horses I use something I can carry my license, knives, compass, small first aid kit, gps, water, and lunch. Saddle bags are worth their weight!

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Location: Midwest
Joined: 03/21/2009
Posts: 41
Packs and tents

 I have used several backpacks on our elk hunts including internal and external framed packs – all from Cabelas.  The external frame packs offer the most versatility as they can be used for many different tasks.  The internal frame packs are limited to whatever can fit in the pack bag, but they do work well for deboned meat and they snug up to your back nicely.  I prefer the external frame and most of the time I have a bag attached to the frame.  Cabelas has improved their packs over the years mostly in the amount of padding around the waist and shoulders.  We de-bone our meat, so the bag attached to the frame can help with holding the game bag full of meat. Otherwise you can tie the game bag onto the frame without using the bag, but it can try to shift once in awhile.  To serve as a pack in, pack out and game hauler – the external frame will be best.

 

In reading what you are looking for a tent, it will be difficult to find exactly what you need.  (but, it is a good opportunity to invent a new product).  There just is not a good selection for the pack-in hunter that may encounter some bad weather.  One option is to consider a base camp and then have a light weight pack in tent that you can take with you on daily trips – weather permitting.  And if that is not an option, I might suggest that you look at a tent that you could use only the fabric, and leave the poles at home. These tents will most likely be ones designed with a internal center pole. If you look at the Cabelas Outback Lodge tent, you could get a 10x10 (footprint) tent that weighs only 16 pounds, then eliminate the poles for an even lighter load.  Then, once in the woods, you can certainly find the downed trees that you need to replace the poles.  It uses one long center pole and four smaller corner poles. (I have one and it is a nice tent). The Outback Lodge does NOT have a stove jack.  

If you can take a heavier load the Alaknak tent is a great tent, but the fabric alone will weigh 31 pounds for their smallest tent – which is 12x12.  The made a smaller one (I think 9x9) years ago, and you may be able to find one used somewhere.  The Alaknak tent is a heavier duty tent and it too can use poles made from trees in the woods. (It has a long center pole and about 10 side poles).  It also has a stove jack.

 

Another option is the Montana Canvas “Relite Wedge Tent”.  I am not sure of the weight, but you can check their web site and view what they have.  Relite is a really light material that is very durable and works well for hunting - and it has a stove jack. A bit more expensive, but you usually get what you pay for.

 

 

I am sure there are other tents out there, but these should serve your many purposes and last for many years.

 

Otherwise, you could see if a local canvas shop could custom make something.

 

Good luck.

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