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tents for scouts
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Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
tents for scouts on 02/15/2013 15:44:25 MST Print View

what are some good tents for scouts, and places to get them? I'm thinking 2 man, sub 4 pound, full mesh with floor. We need mosquito protection. Some of our tents now are 6 pound domes, better for car camping. The small scouts could really use a lighter tent. I'm thinking to not include a foot print, because is it heavy and we don't wear out tents at the floor, we break zippers or rip mesh.

Eric Johnson
(unimog) - MLife

Locale: Utah
Scout Tents on 02/15/2013 16:02:57 MST Print View

Alps Mountaineering. Their backpacking tents, several 2 person models are around 5 lbs and have a lifetime guarantee. They have a discount program for authorized scout troops to purchase. Send me a PM if you don't know about the program.

tents on 02/15/2013 16:44:57 MST Print View

Alps is good stuff. But it is heavy. Suited for car camping mostly IMO, not backpacking.

No shortage of decent quality 2P tents in the 4lb range.

I like silnylon mids, like Oware. Versatile and can be used with or without a net inner.
Not especially cheap, mind you. If cheap is the only goal.

But it doesnt get simpler or quicker to erect. Gets more complicated to erect the tent underneath if do it after the canopy, but it is possible. So it can be set up in rain if need be too.

A 9x9 mid and net inner with 30D floor, can sleep 4 scouts, and weigh about 0.75 lb per scout for backpacking if use trek poles to support.

It doesnt get any lighter, or pack any smaller. A 10x10 with slightly smaller inner underneath and offset to rear, can provide the same, with some covered area left for shoes and packs.

Edited by livingontheroad on 02/15/2013 16:46:31 MST.

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
Betalight and Betamid on 02/15/2013 17:25:17 MST Print View


Our troop has used Betamid and Betalights from Black Diamond as outer tent with a Beta Bug Tent as inner tent.
The Betamid is made from 30d urethane coated nylon and comes with taped seams. It weighs 36 oz. The Betalight is made from 30d SilNylon (you need to seal the seams) and weighs almost only half of the Betamid (19 oz). Both tents use the Beta Bug as an inner that weighs 29 oz - so the total is either 3 lbs or 4 lbs 11 oz. This setup allows our scouts to bring only the outer (Betamid or Betalight) with a polycryo groundsheet when there are no issues with bugs. Of course such a tent works only with trekking poles. Going to a 3 lbs double walled tent was big progress for our scouts. Having the opportunity to use it as a 19 oz tarp tent made it an even better experience.

Best Regards,


P.S.: Once the scouts got used to just bringing the outer tent, other tarp tent vendors became an option too. One example we use is the Silnylon Haven from Sixmoon Designs. It is the same material and roughly the same weight (18 oz) as the Beta Light. The inner net for it is only half the weight of the Beta Bug (14 oz), but it is made from 30d SilNylon instead of 70d as the Beta Bug. The opinions of the scouts about the Betalight and the Haven are split. Some prefer the clear demarkation line of the Betalight with the poles between them. Others prefer each having their own door with the Haven and no poles between them.

Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
Good ideas! on 02/17/2013 20:11:13 MST Print View

I'll do some checking on those and we'll try something new. So with the tents mentioned, you bring a ground cloth to fit the tent, or each scout bring their own sheet? These are non-floor tents I take it?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Good Ideas on 02/17/2013 20:24:59 MST Print View

I believe several of the tents mentioned (Betamid for example) are floorless if you don't use the inner bug net. I have not used the really big "mids" but I have a friend in Colorado who likes them very much for the wilderness program he runs. I ran into another group in Colorado that was also using them for teenagers.

Floorless tents can work just fine as long as scouts are aware of a minor detail. This might seem like it fits under the "Well duh" category but I'll post it anyway.

1. Ground clothes are not bathtube floors. If you are worried about water running under the tent put rocks or peices of wood under the uphill side of the ground cloth. That way any water that runs down into the ground cloth will go under it rather the on top of it.

2. Keep ground clothes UNDER the tarp. If the ground cloth sticks out from under the tarp it will collect all the water that runs off the tarp and channel it down to you. It may sound obvious but my friends had this happen.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Try REI on 02/17/2013 20:27:56 MST Print View

Are you anywhere near and REI? They have relatively light tents but they aren't cheap. BUT if you go to a garage sale you might snag some deals. I'd come up with a list of all the tents that would work from REI. Get several adults who are members and shop together.

Edited by Cameron on 02/17/2013 20:30:16 MST.

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
Ground cloth for tarp tent on 02/18/2013 07:49:00 MST Print View


We have done both. Black diamond offers a bathtub for the Betamid/Betalight.- called Beta Floor. It weighs 20 oz. one scout would carry the tent and the other carries the floor. Both would carry roughly the same weight with 19 and 20 oz each. Over time 2 individual polycryo ground sheets of 2 oz each have replaced the Beta Floor in most situations. They have the advantage of allowing easy cowboy camping when the scouts feel like it. The disadvantage is that they require more careful placement under the tarp tent to avoid water running from the tent onto the ground sheet.

Best Regards,


James Tisdale
(Jameyt) - M

Locale: PaNW
Hammocks as an alternative on 02/18/2013 14:48:59 MST Print View

We've got some of the heavy, bomb-proof Alps tents as Troop gear. Most of the Scouts have moved on to hammock camping as a lighter alternative. This proves effective about 8-9 months out of the year when it's warm enough that most of the guys can rig up a homemade underquilt or easily use a pad.

Michael Driscoll
(Hillhikerz) - F

Locale: Monterey Bay
scout tent and peace of mind... on 02/19/2013 00:09:10 MST Print View

I like the MSR Hubba Hubba 2P Tent... yes it is 300 with a coupon but is only to be used on backpacking trips and care needs to be taken with them... plus points good vent., great rain fly, 2lbs each, excellent rain protection... a good tent is a safety issue and gives peace of mind to the 2 deep leadership... yes there are other options, weight, price, ease of setup, life span, bugs and weather... the ? is what does your Troop need... where will you be going in the future, backpacking wise... Troop and scout age... Leadership and there experience level... my .02$...

PS:use ploycro for a footprint helps with tent life span, waterproofness, light & small...

Edited by Hillhikerz on 02/19/2013 00:16:51 MST.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Alps Zephyr 3 on 02/19/2013 15:03:13 MST Print View

We're using the Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 3 as our troop tents and this 5.5lb tent is "backpackable": it splits into three roughly equal components and will fit three Scouts. It's got two side doors, under significant vestibule alcoves and the inner body is mostly mesh. Like Alps stuff, they're beefier than my personal gear, but they will hold up. By adding another Scout to the tent equation, the weight becomes quite manageable. Using the Scout discount, they're very cost effective.

For car camping, we use the ALPS footprints, but we use thin painter's visqueen for backpacking (and toss 'em afterward if they're perforated). The footprint does allow the boys to set the tent with just the footprint, fly and poles if they want to. There ain't no way we're goin' to Mosquito Central without those inner tents, so thin plastic is the call for the High Sierra.

Dan Lee
(scoutbuff) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
LIGHTWEIGHT SHELTER FOR SCOUTS... on 03/07/2013 11:13:57 MST Print View

I haven't used them but have been intrigued by the Appy Trails shelters. My crew considered them for Philmont but opted to use what we already had (Alps Lynx 2s).

They are advertised as tents but many would call them shaped tarps. No floor, single wall but light and inexpensive. Check them out at, can be purchased through

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Lunar duo Outfitter on 03/08/2013 22:11:28 MST Print View

The six moon designs lunar duo outfitter might be a good option if your troop uses trekking poles. 3lb 9oz. They are pretty cheap at 160. Even with added poles you can stay under 4 lbs.

Jay Lash
(jjlash) - F

Locale: Eastern Iowa
Re: Lunar duo Outfitter on 03/17/2013 17:26:45 MDT Print View

I used a Lunar Duo at Philmont last year. I liked it with a couple of caveats - It takes some practice to set it up well and quickly. We only had rain one day and it was done by the time we got to camp so dont know how well it does in rain or wind. The only downside is that it is all one piece so you have to split the weight by shuffling something else to your hiking buddy.

John Seyerle
(seyerle) - MLife

Locale: Cincinnati, Ohio
Would you consider 4-person tents? on 04/21/2013 05:14:54 MDT Print View

If you are willing to go with 4 person tents, the Mountainsmith Genesee is 6#5oz for 4-5 kids (we fit my wife and I and our 10 and 7 year old kids with our dog and gear). You could probably cut half a pound off that by removing the door flaps and leaving just the screen doors. At $199 at BackcountryEdge (but maybe cheaper other places, they just have a good video of it) it's only $50 and 1.5 pounds per person.

Edited by seyerle on 04/21/2013 05:24:21 MDT.

Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
OR Night Haven 2 on 04/30/2013 09:53:45 MDT Print View

I looked at a friend's OR Night Haven 2, and it was very nice. The tent and stakes (no floor) were 2 lb 9 oz, would sleep two nicely. The floor is clip in (or out) and brings the weight to 3 lb 5 oz. The door has a mesh layer, and around the base of the fly is a 6" flap what would help keep the bugs out. You could put gear on it to weight it down. It sets up with hiking poles, and if one didn't have hiking poles some sticks could be cut to fit.

Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
Lunar duo on 04/30/2013 13:31:55 MDT Print View

I'm seeing the Lunar Duo for $310 on the Lunar site. Where do you get it for $160?



Locale: Western Michigan
SMD Lunar Duo on 04/30/2013 13:43:18 MDT Print View


Sarah Kuhn
(SCKuhn) - MLife

Locale: Mountainous Ohio
SMD Lunar Duo on 05/01/2013 09:26:48 MDT Print View

Bob -
It's available direct from SMD, see link below. It is a polyester version, not Silnylon.

I used the Explorer version in 2012 (the silnylon version). Amazing space for 2 people on a 'normal trip', exceptional space for 2 at Philmont considering that you don't take ANY of your gear into your tent.