Hunting Tent Decision

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors' started by Olympus, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. Olympus

    Olympus Grip Maker and FFL Dealer

    Oct 7, 2011
    Fellas I’m trying to come to a decision about what to do about a tent for deer season this year. My hunting property is about 40 minutes away from my house. The last two years, I’ve been driving back and forth each night. I don’t mind the driving, but that’s extra expense for fuel and wear and tear on my truck. The gravel road to my property is pretty dang rough. And apparently it’s disruptive to my wife and my little boy when I’m getting up and leaving super early each morning.

    So my wife says I need to camp out at the property a couple nights at a time to reduce all the coming and going at the house. I would be camping by myself, which I’m not opposed to doing, but I don’t want to be miserable. I want to be warm, dry, and comfortable. I don’t own a tent though. My wife suggested I get my father in laws tent, which is your typical Coleman style nylon tent. What I would consider a “summer” tent. I have no idea if it leaks and I have no idea if there’s even going to be any chance of rain during deer season either though.

    My other thought is whether I should just bite the bullet and buy a good quality canvas tent, like a Kodiak or something. They are about $500, but seem to get rave reviews. If I had a good quality tent, I could use it in the future for possible elk hunts or things like that. The wife is definitely not on board with buying a cheap camper, I’ve already tried that.

    So do I roll the dice with a free nylon Coleman type tent this year or should I spend a little money and get a high quality tent?
  2. Colorado Sonny

    Colorado Sonny Deo Volente Supporting Addict

    Sep 25, 2015
    Go with a high quality tent and invest in some sturdy stakes.


  3. Olympus

    Olympus Grip Maker and FFL Dealer

    Oct 7, 2011
    Yes, the Kodiak Flex Bow models are very easy for one person to set up.
  4. Dangerous Brian

    Dangerous Brian Pigtails and butter please...

    Dec 9, 2013
    40 minutes isn't much of a drive, and winter camping is for the birds.

    Exercise a better pimp hand :jawdrop:
    41 Charlie and UBOATDOC like this.
  5. Olympus

    Olympus Grip Maker and FFL Dealer

    Oct 7, 2011
    It’s 40 minutes twice day every day for 7 days. In my truck, that round trip costs $10/day just in fuel. 70 miles round trip, averaging 17.5mpg, with $2.50/gal gas. That’s not counting wear and tear on the vehicle. So for 7 days, that’s close to $100 in fuel and wear and tear on a vehicle.
    wcanterbury likes this.
  6. Scaramouche

    Scaramouche Student of the Columbian Exchange Supporting Addict

    Sep 15, 2015
    A real canvas tent is going to cost you more than $500 and a real canvas tent will allow you to put a wood burner in it so you have a real shelter that allows you to warm up and stay warm, this will add to the cost. A real canvas tent takes up space and requires maintenance before, during and after usage.

    If your going to go with nylon you need a double walled tent and insulate the entire floor with closed cell foam or Tyvek from your local home depot. What you sleep on matters and what you sleep in matters more.

    Then there's cooking & food storage and on and on.

    Titanium Goat makes nice lightweight roomy nylon tents and stoves that go with them but this level of sophistication costs real money.

    I could go on but don't have the energy, nor really have a clue your age, level of fitness, etc. But if you go with any tent purchase know a "2 man tent" for winter is a 1 man tent and a "3 man tent" is better.

    @limbkiller used to guide & was a wrangler on western hunts and no doubt has some well learned opinions on how to get comfortable in camp. Cause if you don't get a good nights sleep you aint going to have much fun hunting the next day.
  7. Mistman

    Mistman Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2015
    Sounds like you have a semi-permanent hunting 'camp'. If it were me I'd be looking at the classifieds for used canvas wall tent and set it up early in the season and just leave it. Put a wood stove in and your good to go.

    I had an old army wall tent w/the waterproofing treatment, it was a tank of a tent. I could set it up on my own as we built the poles so one guy could do it, with the stove you'd have to leave a flap open or you'd roast out.

    A good canvas wall tent will run into the $K's depending on size, used ones are about 1/4 of that if/when you can find them. Don't overlook one that might need a little repair, a good canvas upholsterer guy can make it like new for not a whole lot of $$. I hung mine in the barn to dry out one year and a dog thought it would be cool to shred a door flap into little strips, cost about $75 to get it replaced. At the time the repair guy estimated the value of the tent @ around $800 that was 20 years ago.
  8. Olympus

    Olympus Grip Maker and FFL Dealer

    Oct 7, 2011
    I don’t think I really need a wood stove. I’m in southeast Missouri. Coldest we got last deer season was 36 degrees overnight. Some years it gets in the mid 70s during deer season. I’ve got an inverted generator that I can run an electric heater or I’ve got a Mr Heater Buddy propane heater that is tent-safe.

    And a wall tent is definitely nice, but seems way overkill for one guy hunting by himself.
    wcanterbury likes this.
  9. livinthelife

    livinthelife Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2015
    Your pick-up has a bed don't it?

    Camper shell used...and a good bed roll, for high society.

    Good bed roll and a tarp with a couple of stakes in the bed for the common folk. :cigar:

    My son and I sleep in my suburban when we camp.
  10. Olympus

    Olympus Grip Maker and FFL Dealer

    Oct 7, 2011
    My truck has a 5.5” bed and I’m 6’2”. I have looked at this option and finding a used camper shell is hard enough and the ones I did find we’re all about $400-$500.

    They days of the long wheel base trucks with those cheap white camper shells are over.
    wcanterbury and livinthelife like this.
  11. azguy1911

    azguy1911 I'm done buying guns, I'm just a bystander now

    Oct 22, 2015
    I'd save the money, stay at home and use the drive for mediation and some quite time and ask yourself why the wife wants you out there because you "wake" her ;)
    41 Charlie, wcanterbury and nmbuzz like this.
  12. Olympus

    Olympus Grip Maker and FFL Dealer

    Oct 7, 2011
    I can see her point. We’re both very light sleepers and also have a 3 year old who is easily woken up. Wife says that once I get up and start getting ready to leave, she can’t fall back to sleep. And sometimes our little guy wakes up and is hard to put back to bed and then the wife is really awake and up for the day at like 4:30 and 5:00am.

    I’ve already done this for the last two years already. I know the grumpy bear I come home to each night after I’m done hunting. And it gets progressively worse after each day.
    Old Sea Dragon and wcanterbury like this.
  13. pscipio03

    pscipio03 Fun O' Meter on FULL

    Mar 11, 2013
    Look for a used GP Small US Army tent. Make sure it's authentic. It'll set you back $800 or so for a used one that's been treated. It'll have a built in hole for a wood burner in the roof.
    I'm not going to lie and say they are easy to set up. As a young Specialist I set up one solo and it took me a good 4.5 to 5 hours before I finally got it up. But, once up, they are the best you'll get for the money. We had a tornado pull through Leesville, LA (Fort Polk), and our GP Smalls and GP Mediums all remained standing. Granted, it wasn't a direct hit, but I volunteered to stay behind with the tents because we had some expensive gear stored there. That way everyone could evacuate quickly. I got the next day off assuming I wasn't killed.
    I found out the next day the winds were 70+MPH and while the tents flapped like the gums of a politician, they stood and took them.
    UBOATDOC, FWoo45 and wcanterbury like this.
  14. Grizz

    Grizz Well-Known Member

    Nov 6, 2016
    I see two options
    1) good canvas tent (I like Montana Canvas spike tents but there are many good manufactures)
    2) calculate the amount of money you spend on gas, etc... and tell your wife you spend "X" per year. The divide that number into the price of a camper and tell her it will pay for itself in so many trips
    wcanterbury likes this.
  15. Olympus

    Olympus Grip Maker and FFL Dealer

    Oct 7, 2011
    I’m afraid it would take a long time to pay for a camper. I’ll be generous and say it’s costing $100/year in fuel and wear and tear on my truck to make the week long commute each day. A tent will pay for itself much faster than it will for a camper at that rate.

    I’m thinking that if I can hunt with a tent for another 4 years, my son will be old enough to want to start going and then a camper might be an easier sell to the wife. But not right now, not for one guy hunting alone.

    There’s only so many things I can sell the wife on buying. It was hard enough to sell her on the idea that “we” needed a 100 acre hunting property. We’re two years into that purchase and trying to sell her on a camper purchase will likely cause an aneurism!
    FWoo45, wcanterbury and livinthelife like this.
  16. El Perdido

    El Perdido Fictional Western Sage

    Oct 3, 2011
    36 degrees requires a stove, coffee, bisquits, eggs, bacon, etc just on basic principle
    gps man, FWoo45 and wcanterbury like this.
  17. Olympus

    Olympus Grip Maker and FFL Dealer

    Oct 7, 2011
    I’ve got 3 classic Coleman camp stoves and planned on bringing two along for the eggs and bacon and toast. Not much of a coffee drinker.
    wcanterbury likes this.
  18. Yellowsupersport

    Yellowsupersport Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2015
    I’d take the freebie tent and try it out. Worst case it doesn’t work and then you reevaluate, but you’re not out of pocket on $$ and the wife is happy you tried out her suggestion.

    Hell, take the freebie, and spend $20 on water proofing spray. Use gorilla tape to seal any seams. Then set it up in your garden and give a hosepipe to your 3 year old. I’m sure he’ll be happy to be the “rain” to test it out.

    The big advantage you have is you have a fixed campsite. So no need for ultralight and expensive camping gear. And you can improve it incrementally. For example, where you sleep is only one aspect of having a comfortable and useful camp. I’d get a bench and table so you’re not squatting in the dirt when cooking or eating. Hang a cheap tarp to act as an awning to keep everything dry. Get a cot to sleep on...

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    gps man, FWoo45, wcanterbury and 2 others like this.
  19. john_anch_ak

    john_anch_ak Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Mar 7, 2017
    Back when I was still hunting we would use an Army surplus canvas tent with a nice wood stove constantly burning. Lots of room and heat when you want it. You will need someone to help set it up. Taking it down cab be done by one person but more help is better!
    wcanterbury and Scaramouche like this.
  20. Scaramouche

    Scaramouche Student of the Columbian Exchange Supporting Addict

    Sep 15, 2015
    One way you can turn this about is to redefine your 100 acre hunting property purchase into a family getaway pleasure dome. Meaning repurpose the land before and after hunting season as the family's own "Walden Pond" or "Erehwon", a place of repose and refreshment.

    With a solid marketing approach and sales delivery you might evoke in the family a newly discovered appreciation in the outdoors and the diversion found therein. This could further assist in the realization of a semi-permanent camp site used in other seasons and make the place, the idea, more palatable and comfortable to all concerned.

    If, on the other hand, your better half has an inherent avoidance to all things outdoors, disregard and seek the closest Embassy Suites as a token toward her patience and forbearance.
    john_anch_ak, gps man, FWoo45 and 3 others like this.

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