Thoughts on Tents
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Author:  Mr Mike [ Thu Jan 20, 2005 9:50 am ]
Post subject:  Thoughts on Tents

Over the years I have had several different types of tents used by our Pathfinder Club.

Any thoughts as to what the best tent for Pathfinders looks like :?: :?:

Mr. Mike

Author:  fish [ Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:54 pm ]
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We have often used one of two kinds of tents, 9x12 cabin tents and small two man dome tents.

Both have plus and minus points.
Cabin tents can sleep an entire unit and have room for a counselor, adult supervision in the tent can be useflu plus. Modern era of law suits around adult minor contact a minus.
Cabin tents are, if high quality, made of heavy duck canvas. much more durable, cleanable, and longer lasting than fly away nylon plus. Small dome tents take up very little room caomparatively and weigh less plus for them.

Cabin tents are harder to warm up without the aid of a heater (I do not allow such devices within Pf's tents), but are easier to clean up and dress in.

Both have a habit of breaking in below freezing weather but the dome tents more so.

There is a tent I have been wanting to try. An entity called summitcentral sells Polarshield tents on ebay and other auctions, have never seen them for retail sale. the 6 man 3 room tent is of interest to me. It has atwo tent with vestabule design. I wish I could put a picture here. I have been thinking for two years that I would buy one just to test it out, I think it will be more durable thatn most domes, and sleep an entire unit in most cases. Plus at auction they are relatively inexpensive.

Chris Fishell
Xtreme Youth Resources International

Author:  Mr Mike [ Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:34 pm ]
Post subject: 

We had a match set of 9X9 Coleman dome tents at one point with a tub bottom.
These tents had a "D" zipper that the younger Pathfinders broke in short order.
Lately we have been using 2 room Wenzel cabin tents. These tents have two sets of straight zippers that are holding up so far.
These tents also have a 10 year warranty. Have not had to test the warranty yet.
If one set of zippers gets messed up and a Camporee, we will tip tie it shut and use the other. At that point, we will see if the warranty works.

Mr. Mike

Author:  fish [ Thu Jan 20, 2005 2:51 pm ]
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Good Luck, I do think straight zippers are better.

The first Regional Camporee I took my son on he was 5 weeks old and still nursing. We (several senior staffers) stayed in a three room nylon 12x15 cabin tent. I like to froze to death, in fact I had to drive my wife and son to my parents home and leave them after the first night it was just too cold in there. I prefer shorter tents in nylon for this reason. My fellow leader Randy, has had at least two expensive personal tents ripped, burned or ruined by teen Pf's and TLT's from rough housing and lanterns. I wish a sturdy tent in canvas that was light existed, or even a ballistic nylon might work. I am liking the newer "tarp bottom" designs, like I think your dome tents were, at least they do not wear through the floors in a trip.

Chris Fishell
Xtreme Youth Resources International

Author:  Mr Mike [ Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

Our temperature problems have always been too hot.
Ventilation is important in the Louisiana climate.
I have spent more time on my sleeping bag than in it (I was in it at FOF).

We only allow flashlights in the tents. Never a Coleman lantern.

Mr. Mike

Author:  fish [ Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:20 pm ]
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The Arizona desert is fun that way, too hot during the day too cold at night. We never allow anything flamable in the tents. Turns out teens sometimes act like teens. Go figure.

Chris Fishell

Author:  pathfinders [ Fri Jan 21, 2005 12:28 am ]
Post subject: 

Wow, have any of you had any success with "tent rules" . . . . sounds like several members could use advise how to keep their tents from getting torn up by Pathfinders?!!! :idea:

Author:  fish [ Fri Jan 21, 2005 7:53 am ]
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Some success. Our club while growing up was 60-100 Pathfinders. While I was a deputy it was often 40-60 plus staff. So really Pathfinder to tent attrition has been low, I think. There was one year when the wind blew some of them (bags and all) across a lake during a camporee, lesson learned get better stakes (I was a pre-Pathfinder during that one). I like remebering those events, was a little frustrating at times though.

Chris Fishell

Author:  Mr Mike [ Fri Jan 21, 2005 8:55 am ]
Post subject: 

We have tent rules, but sometimes Pathfinders will be Pathfinders.

The only rule they don't mess with is the "boys in the girl's tents and girls in the boy's tents rule".
They know there will be an immediate trip to the house and they will never go camping with the group again.
We also remind them of this rule at the start of every campout.

I have had more trouble with sticky stuff like candy.
It can make a mess of the inside of a tent.
At times, the ants have helped enforce the no food in a tent rule.
We don't have anything larger than a raccoon to deal with as far as unwanted 4 legged friends.

Mr. Mike

Author:  dreamcatcher224 [ Fri Jan 21, 2005 10:01 am ]
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So far so good on our end of the camping regime. A good light source besides handheld flashlights are the stand-up battery lanterns that coleman sells. All they are is a big flashlight - but the middle raises up when you need to use it as a lantern and then compacts again when you need a trail light. It's really cool! Walmart sells them I think...

Author:  pathfinders [ Tue Jan 25, 2005 10:13 pm ]
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Here's a funny story:
On one Campout fondly labeled "Racoon Campout 1997" our club went camping on our annual spring campout.

We had all our food sealed in large rubbermaid containers, we thought, and had brought an old "cabin tent" to store these containers in.

In the middle of the night, I awoke VERY QUICKLY to what sounded like two bears growling and fighting IN THE CAMPSITE. Needless to say I frantically (and maybe foolishly if it had really been bears) began to make a lot of noise as I scrambled for shoes and a flashlight. I quickly stepped out of the tent and beamed 'em with my big flashlight. Luckily the "bears" were only coons, but they had been fighting over a pan of BROWNIES that a pathfinder had brought with them.

The funny thing is, the mom had made the brownies for the whole club, but the Pathfinder, not thinking, had simply placed them ON TOP of one of the rubbermaids in the "food tent." He figured we'd have them at Sabbath lunch.

Well, needless to say we didn't, but boy did it teach the kids a lesson about food in the tents, since the coons had CUT a hole in the back of the tent to get in to the feast, then had cut ANOTHER hole in the front of the tent to drag out their treasure :lol:

Great memory. . . NOW

Mark O'Ffill

Author:  Mr Mike [ Fri Jan 28, 2005 3:07 pm ]
Post subject: 

We had a group of racoons visit us on a Camporee near New Orleans.
Our stuff was put up, but the Pathfinders next to us lost most of their Little Debbie honey buns they were going to have for breakfast.

Bits and pieces of honey buns were tracked through our campsite as the racoons went back into the woods.

Mr. Mike

Author:  HPD25 [ Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:29 am ]
Post subject: 

Fish, I think you can buy the tents you were talking about through Cabellas or Bass Pro. I have seen the tents that are connected by a small zip in tunnel. I can look in my catalogs if you want phone numbers and item numbers. Both companies have websites.

Author:  bluescifiworm [ Tue Feb 08, 2005 8:41 am ]
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I have been using a Coleman tent for the past year or so. I took this same tent to Oshkosh with me. The wind was so strong, that I had a pole snap on me (one of the shock corded ones). I still have to get the money to replace it....

Author:  fish [ Tue Feb 08, 2005 1:42 pm ]
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HPD25 - I get catalogs from both of those, thank you. There are similar items available, unless the supplier has begun to expand his distribution that particular design and brand are not available (I am going to double check the latest one though). I think too, that the prices are sometimes better with his auctions than they would be at resale, except that shipping heavy items like sizeable tents is pricey.

Chris Fishell

Author:  HPD25 [ Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:12 pm ]
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Fish, your right about retail prices, the auction may be cheaper. If you would email me a picture, I can check some of my other catalogs.

Author:  Karen [ Fri Apr 22, 2005 10:06 pm ]
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I've found that there really isn't one tent that is best for Pathfinders. It really depends on the type of camping your club does. Also it's important to teach the Pathfinders the pros and cons of different tents in different situations. As a child I was in Pathfinders from the time I was old enough to join, but when I got to be an adult I really didn't have a clue as to what to look for in a tent. Of course it's really possible that there weren't very many options to teach back then.

I've found that buying from some of the good quality brands such as LL Bean and REI helps when needing repairs. I have one of each and there was a time that one pole broke and one of the short poles was lost in a wind storm. They replaced both at no cost.

A couple of years ago I put together some ideas of features that needed to be looked at when purchasing tents. It does not list specific tents since it depends on the type of camping each club or person does. Here's the URL.

One item that was left out was that when you are looking at the square footage for the tent there should be at least 20 sq. ft for each person and their gear. This is especially important when looking at tents that will be used for backpacking.

Author:  Simeon [ Thu May 19, 2005 9:22 am ]
Post subject: 

The tents our club uses right now are 8 man wenger tents i think came from costco. they are really nice because they have a screened in porch in the front. its good place to put bags and stuff if the tent gets crowded. also the door zips straight up the middle and then out at the bottoms so the front doors don't have any problems. we have had a little problems with the side doors how ever which are a D shape. luckily our club has never had much trouble with "tent rules". the only thiing we have had trouble with is kids being loud as they are falling asleep which i must admit i haven't really helped in that area.

Author:  Chelly [ Thu May 19, 2005 10:13 am ]
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We haven't done any backpacking so haven't been concerned with carrying weight or size, but our girls like to be able to stand up to dress, The boys arn't so picky. As director and organizer I like to have my own tent, and it is a large one so that I can keep resourses with me as well as having extra space for keeping supplies.

We have needed very few tent rules, but as earlier state the one that is always in force is no girls in the boys tents and no boys in the girls tents. We keep the kids busy enough, so that they have little time to be in the tent other than sleeping (or talking through the night) As long as I can't hear them, they can talk.

The largest group that we have taken camping was 12 kids and 4 staff, so pretty small groups for us. I have to say that camping was never my thing until about 2 years ago, and I've finally learned the joy.


Author:  Mr Mike [ Thu May 19, 2005 12:23 pm ]
Post subject: 

We have done a couple of backpack trips with our normal tents.
We divide up the tent so that four Pathfinders are carrying the pieces.
One has the tent, two carry the poles, one the rainfly. The biggest one gets the tent proper and the rest of the load is not too bad.
We will also distribute some of the load from the tent carrier to the others in the tent group if the weight does not work out right.
This way we can backpack without the extra expense of specialized tents.

Mr. Mike

Author:  MaderaPF [ Fri Jun 03, 2005 2:57 am ]
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We have geodesic dome tents. 9x9 "Four Man," or three comfortably, Wenger tents. The swiss army logo ones. They set up very quickly and easily, are very durable, and of course, from a respected name.

They have a front "mud mat" and two large doors with the top cover over them, two windows, and (what we like and use) are two "bags" that are built into the front sides of the tent. They are used for storing your muddy, grassy, and dirt tracked shoes from the outside of the tent, but are also accessible from the inside of the tent. This REALLY cuts down on grass, dirt, and mud inside tents. Less cleanup on Sunday when you're packing up. Small tents, about the width of a 3-liter, and about 2 feet long. Come with stakes, and their own carrying bag.

You can find them for around $45 - $65

Author:  Dasdream [ Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:54 pm ]
Post subject: 

on the topic of tents and all. I am new at this so bare with me. Who pays for these tents, the church, conference, or indivisual?

Author:  jomegat [ Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:45 pm ]
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The club generally pays for tents. Hopefully, the church sets aside some money for the club's operating budget, and that can be used for buying equipment. If not, the club may have to have a fundraiser.

Sometimes, an individual will buy a tent and donate it to the club. Other times an individual will loan a tent to a club.

Author:  fish [ Mon Dec 04, 2006 3:05 pm ]
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Remeber that you should never loan what you can not loose. Pathfinders, from time to time, ruin camping equipment. That being said you can solicit your church members for assistance in raising money or donating items they are willing to part with and take advantage of some of the good fundraising ideas on this site to help raise money for overall opperating expenses.

God Bless,

Chris Fishell
Xtreme Youth Resources International

Author:  Dasdream [ Wed Dec 06, 2006 2:19 pm ]
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yeah I never like borrowing things, because I am repsonsable for damages. I am told that the church should have some funds already for pathfinders, so hopefully they do, then again this won't be happening till about 5 months from now, hopefully by then we have enough money.

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