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best light 4 season tent for summer camping/advise for best ultra rustic camping within 12 hrs of detroit
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best light 4 season tent for summer camping/advise for best ultra rustic camping within 12 hrs of detroit on 06/14/2011 13:20:46 MDT Print View

I'm looking for a 4 season 2 person tent that isn't a sauna in the summer and doesn't way 10+ lbs... if I can't find that i'm looking for a ultra light 3 season 2 person that fits my size 6'3"...

I don't like mesh roofs, because if it rains and i don't have the fly on, i don't like to be soaked by a surprise rain... its nice for stars but camping aeround the great lakes means dealing with unpredictable whether and its nice to hear the rain before it soaks you at 3am...

I'd also like suggestions for people's favorite camping within 12 hrs of Detroit, MI. I am currently planning Isle Royale, which I love, but they have a no dog policy and I'd love to find somewhere where I can hike with the pup. I'm looking for primitive, back country camping... trails are fine, but no people or rarely people, I like living in the city, but when i need to get away, I mean away. Any suggestions?

Also I have to pick up a sleeping bag, would you get one just for summer (as i'm begaining to think goes for tents), or could you pick up a light weight 4 season for under 200$?

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: best light 4 season tent for summer camping/advise for best ultra rustic camping within 12 hrs of detroit on 06/14/2011 13:34:53 MDT Print View

Get a TarpTent Scarp 2. Only set up the outer when it's warm and bugs aren't a problem. If bugs are a problem, then hang the inner mesh tent. Get the optional solid inner for true 4th season use.

There's not really such a thing as a 4 season sleeping bag. Define the low temperature you expect, and then get a suitable sleeping bag.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
The porkies on 06/14/2011 14:52:25 MDT Print View

Ive been up to the porcupine mountains its not to bad an area as I recall some of the central lower areas can get a little boggy There is a guide book on the area written by Jim DuFresne entitled "Michigans porcupine mountains wilderness state park". Its been quite a while since I read the book but I distinctly remember DuFresne's book on Isle Royale being very conservative on the time it takes to get across the island we kept rerouting ourself as we had so much extra time and I carried 55 lbs + back then. Also I have never done it but there was a reveiw on the superiour hikeing trail on BPL. To your south there is the big south fork or cumberland gap area in southern kentucky A cool area but seemed to be alot of trash mostly by the river maybe from floods. Im sure there is alot more around you but these are places ive been through the years

Alanna M
(muledog19) - F

Locale: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
rustic camping within 12 hrs of detroit on 06/14/2011 16:19:33 MDT Print View

+1 on the Porkies and the Upper Peninsula in general.

The North Country Trail that cuts across the U.P. is very rustic. Not all the sections are complete, but the Peter Wolfe Chapter has the most complete trail. I think it goes from the Porkies to Canyon Falls (near Alberta which is near L'Anse) all on trail (no road walking). I'm often on the sections around the Baraga Plains, and have only seen other people out there once. The website isn't the most intuitive, but it does have a lot of information.

The Trapp Hills section has been highly recommended to me (Northeast of Bergland). I haven't been through there yet, but plan to hike it before the summer is out.

If you want to go off trail, the McCormick Tract is good. It has roughly 17,000 acres of wilderness with only two maintained trails.

Part of the NCT goes through the southern edge of the McCormick too. And the NCT connects the McCormick Tract and Craig Lake State Park, a very rustic state park with a lot of trails.

quote from site
Craig Lake State Park is the most remote state park in the system. Access into the park can be an adventure. Vehicles with high ground clearance are recommended. The park contains six full lakes and a variety of wildlife such as deer, black bear, beaver, loons and moose.

Hope that helps you at least get started!

Edited by muledog19 on 06/14/2011 16:20:20 MDT.

Edwin Morse
(slosteppin) - F
ultra rustic camping within 12 hrs of detroit on 06/15/2011 17:28:54 MDT Print View

If you could stand a shorter drive I would suggest two areas in the Lower Penninsula.
The North Country Trail also goes the length of the Manistee National Forest, roughly from Newago to Mesick. Many rustic campgrounds or camp anyplace over 200 feet from surface water. Many times backpacking I don't see another person for 2 or 3 days.

The Pigeon River Country State Forest northeast of Gaylord has the High Country Pathway (70 mile loop) with several rustic campgrounds as well as camp nearly anywhere.

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 06/15/2011 17:57:06 MDT Print View


Edited by rOg_w on 05/28/2012 14:48:02 MDT.

Nate Powell
(powell1nj) - F

Locale: North Carolina
re: tent/MI camping on 06/15/2011 19:59:37 MDT Print View


+1 on both the NCT in the Manistee National Forest, the High Country Pathway and the Porkies. I've done the NCT from Newaygo to Mesick and it's all really nice and generally secluded. The HCP is also great. For the HCP I'd recommend steering clear of the area around the Pigeon River Country Headquarters/Shingle Mills Pathway area as it gets the most traffic in my experience. I did a trip report on the HCP if you're interested. The Porkies can be busy but, as with any area, going during the week if you can swing it always helps.

Not sure if I would only look at 4-season shelters for the type of trip you're describing. I get the no-mesh ceiling thing, but you could probably find a lighter 3-season setup with a 'solid' ceiling. I've never used one, but I've always thought the Lunar Duo from Six Moon Designs looked like a great tent. Also, anything by TarpTent is of very high quality IMO. I've backpacked/extensive quite a bit in Michigan (both LP and UP) and I've never encountered weather that made me uncomfortable in these lighter style shelters (I use a Tarptent Contrail).

Just my two cents. Have a good trip wherever you end up going.

Mike Schmid
(untoastytoast) - F
places to go on 06/15/2011 20:29:57 MDT Print View

Smoky mountains are within 12 hours of metro detroit, that's where i'm going in about a week. I would also check this out:

Trap Hills NCT

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
Thanks on 06/16/2011 07:26:04 MDT Print View

Been looking for new places to explore in Michigan. The Trap Hills sound perfect. Thanks for the link.

Dean L
(AldoLeopold) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
Re: best light 4 season tent for summer camping/advise for best ultra rustic camping within 12 hrs of detroit on 03/10/2013 10:42:34 MDT Print View

I would suggest Hoist Lakes Quiet Area, about 3.5 hours N of Detroit near the town of Curran. Almost 10,000 acres, rolling hills, small lakes, dogs allowed, no motorized travel, no bikes. Dispersed camping also allowed with some restrictions.


Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Re: best light 4 season tent for summer camping/advise for best ultra rustic camping within 12 hrs of detroit on 03/10/2013 11:05:40 MDT Print View

I must check that place out as its two hours from me.

Daniel Fish

Locale: PDX
... on 03/10/2013 11:44:45 MDT Print View


Edited by on 06/12/2013 22:50:48 MDT.

Dean L
(AldoLeopold) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
Re: Re: Re: best light 4 season tent for summer camping/advise for best ultra rustic camping within 12 hrs of detroit on 03/10/2013 15:26:29 MDT Print View


It's a very nice area. I've day-hiked to fish and also skied there a few times.


Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
best light 4 season tent for summer camping/advise for best ultra rustic camping within 12 hrs of detroit on 03/10/2013 16:51:43 MDT Print View

so if you're tall this may not work.

I'm guessing that the OP is 6'3" tall

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Thanks Dean on 03/10/2013 16:53:31 MDT Print View

Hi Dean,

I will definitely check it out soon.



Michael C
(chinookhead) - F - M
pictured rocks on 03/10/2013 23:02:56 MDT Print View

In my opinion, one of the pettiest and most fun backpacking in your area is hiking the pictured rocks in the UP. I found the scenery to be nicer than the porkies. However, once you've been in "real" mountains like out west the porkies seem kinda bland to me.

In the Lower Peninsula, a nice backpack is the loop along the Big Manistee River. The high cliffs along the river are a nice sight for most of the way. Plus, it's good fishing.

Detroit was my old "stomping grounds".

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: pictured rocks on 03/11/2013 10:10:53 MDT Print View

I don't think dogs are allowed in Pictured Rocks.

Nordhouse Dunes off-season is nice for an overnight with the pooch.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Tarptent Scarp 2 on 03/11/2013 13:19:11 MDT Print View

Look at the Tarptent Scarp 2 with the "solid" ripstop optional inner tent body.

This is a great tent with room for two adults and a child up to perhaps age 10.

Get the optional crossing poles for "freestanding" capability and better wind resistance. 2 or 3 mil painter's plastic is good for a ground cloth that extends the width of the entrances beneath the floor. A full floor ground cloth is usually unnecessary.

Paul Wozniak

Locale: Midwest
best within 12 hours of detroit on 03/11/2013 17:00:41 MDT Print View

Dog friendly (I believe), more rustic than Isle Royale, easier to reach than IR, probably fewer people than IR. My favorite that fits the bill is the LaCloche Silhouette Trail near Killarney Ontario. Awesome trail. Prefer it to IR by a longshot.

Adam Sloan
(duelle) - F

Locale: Midwest
A few more on 03/13/2013 20:37:53 MDT Print View

It's about 11 hours (through Canada), but the High Peaks area of the Adirondacks is a wonderful place. I did a long weekend there last summer and I'm itching to go back again.

Another nice place is Lake Superior Provincial Park (in Canada, north of Sault Ste. Marie). Chalfant Cove (northern terminus of the coastal trail) was particularly remote.

Lastly, there is Pukaskwa National Park (again, Canada), which I haven't been to, but also has a trail running the coast of Lake Superior and from what I've heard, is less populated than Lake Superior Provincial Park.