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Where is stuff for 4?

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Offline gotpaper1981

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Where is stuff for 4?
« on: August 20, 2009, 10:39:16 AM »
I've been looking around for some lite weight gear for our family. I'm hoping to trim weight on the tent, cook stuff, and sleeping bags so my hubby and I can carry the amount of water we will need on a trip to Big Bend. For 4 of us for 3 days would be 12 gallons of water weighing in at a whopping 96 pounds. I don't want to limit our trips to just places to resupply our water. I'm having difficulty finding tents and stuff for 4 people. Everything is for one, two, or three. I don't want to have to buy two sets just to have enough for all of us. Although I have thought of just using the freezer bag method and eliminate the need for anything but a cup and spoon. Then a pot to boil water, stove, and fuel. Then we are looking at the Coleman Hooligan 4 tent. It's large enough for us, just screen for hot times (which is a huge plus in the dessert), and the rain flap has a nice area to store packs or do cooking out of the rain. I don't know the weight of it, but I'm thinking we will have to split it up between the two of us, so we don't have one overwhelmed with the weight. Then finding the right sleeping bags for our boys is not an easy task. We want rated to a lower temp. I guess we can plan to sleep them between us so they can have some of our warmth. We need lite weight sleeping bags and pads that don't cost a fortune. Does anyone have some suggestions for these problems? I'm open to any and all help. I am not going to let this stand in the way of a wonderful experience with my boys. I'm not going to put it off either. The biggest problem is the weight of the amount of water we are going to have to carry. Am I figuring this right? How do people spend so many days in the desert, without reliable water sources, carrying that much water? Please help me figure this out. Thanks , Sara.

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: Where is stuff for 4?
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2009, 11:14:49 AM »
Sara,

Here's some thoughts that might help, in no particular order:

1) If you have time for research, start by becoming a member at Backpacking Light; IIRC it's $25 and the value you will receive is immeasurable. Spend a day (or many days!) reading through countless threads regarding tents, water treatment, sleeping bags, etc. If you have the time -- the answers you seek are there somewhere.

http://www.backpackinglight.com

2) Search BBC for threads on caching water. This is the solution to your 96lbs of water problem. Short version: if possible, plan your hikes so that you can cache water in advance. This may require an extra day spent just caching the water, but it'll be worth it -- it's insane to think about carrying 20+ pounds of water per person for the duration of your hike. It would greatly increase the chances of physical injury, and you probably wouldn't be able to fit it all in your packs anyway.

3) Search BBC for threads on "Sleeping without a Tent," etc. There are many lightweight ideas to consider, including tarps, or not using a tent at all.

4) You won't find anything really viable in a 4-person tent; whatever you do find will be strictly designed for car camping and will be ludicrously heavy. You should really plan on buying a couple of 2-person tents; these will pay for themselves over time with occasional use, and will be much lighter, and, due to the smaller footprints, will allow you more freedom in choosing sites.

5) Western Mountaineering is just one example of a good lightweight sleeping-bag manufacturer; they have a model called the Summerlite which is rated to 32-F and weighs less than 1.5 lbs. What sleeping system to purchase & bring is very dependent on when you're going though.

6) While you definitely have to have a wet-weather plan in place, I think you're over-emphasizing the need to "stay dry" in BiBe. Fwiw, in our last 40 or so days spent hiking in BiBe, it has not rained ONCE! So, you don't need huge tent vestibules, heavy rain gear, etc.

But -- definitely start at Backpacking Light -- all the answers are there. Just ignore the loonies dressed in Tyvek skirts carrying 5-lb loads for a multi-week trip...  :icon_rolleyes:
John & Tess

"...and I'll face each day with a smile, for the time that I've been given's such a little while..." - Arthur Lee

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Offline gotpaper1981

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Re: Where is stuff for 4?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2009, 11:28:54 AM »
THanks for the info. I understand it doesn't rain a lot in Big Bend, but that is not going to be our only destination. It is going to be where we take our first few trips, since it is close to home. However, after we work out the kinks in our trips, we plan to expand our horizons to other places. I just don't want to have to keep buying equipment just to travel in a different environment.

As far as tentless, I have a crazy idea of a snake curling up next to me just to stay warm. I know it's not likely, but the possibility is still there. For my peace of mind, and sleep, I need a tent. Please don't think I'm crazy for that one.

I never thought of two 2-person tents. That could actually work out. If we ever have an opportunity in the future to take a trip without the kiddos(camp, grandmoms?) we wouldn't be carrying around a huge tent with more than we need. Great idea.

I am definitely going to search on water caching. I was wondering how everyone could do a week long trip without carrying a ton of water or planning on a water source. It's not mentioned in a lot of trips.

Thanks for helping out!

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: Where is stuff for 4?
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2009, 11:36:57 AM »
A good tent to consider would be the Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight. Fairly light, adequate room for two normal-sized adults, very easy to set up...

http://www.sierradesigns.com/tents.tents.php

http://www.sierradesigns.com/tents.display.php?id=14
John & Tess

"...and I'll face each day with a smile, for the time that I've been given's such a little while..." - Arthur Lee

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Offline The Scorpion

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Re: Where is stuff for 4?
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2009, 07:13:38 PM »
a 2 person tent really means its a 1 person tent. unless you can both lay perfectly still all night long.

a 4 person tent would fit maybe 2 adult and a small child.

I have new 3 person tent I just used last week in the bend and it could only hold 2 people, but by my self it was plenty roomy.

I think the tent person capacity is based on people that are 4'11" and 95 lbs

James
everything is better with bacon!!!

http://jamesb.smugmug.com/BigBendNationalPark/

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Offline SA Bill

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Re: Where is stuff for 4?
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2009, 08:05:35 PM »
a 2 person tent really means its a 1 person tent. unless you can both lay perfectly still all night long.

a 4 person tent would fit maybe 2 adult and a small child.

I think the tent person capacity is based on people that are 4'11" and 95 lbs

James

Amen to all of the above James!

My solo backpacking tent is a "two person" Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 and it's just right for one person + a little gear. My base camp tent is a 3 person REI Taj. Just right for me and a bunch of stuff that shouldn't get wet if it rains.

gotpaper...two two-person tents is definitely the answer to your tent dilema. trtlrock has a good suggestion about the Clip Flashlight tent. I've had decent luck finding camping equipment at reasonable prices on eBay so if you're into eBay, keep looking there. Otherwise Campmor and Sierra Trading Post sometimes have deals on last years models.

Let us know what you end up with!
  Bill
Bill - In San Antonio

Growing old is mandatory.
Growing up is optional.

 


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