Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Tents

My friend Shawn has long endured the nickname "Girlscout," despite the fact that she is over 40. No matter what event she attends, she always comes prepared to provide for herself, her husband, her daughter -- and everybody else. If it's a pool party, she'll show up with three sets of water wings, five extra towels, and a couple of extra bathing suits for the girls. So when I heard that she was planning for an actual girl-scout-type activity -- a camping trip -- I couldn't help but chuckle. "Do they make tents with room for the kitchen sink?" I asked my husband Patrick. Shawn started packing weeks in advance for her two-week trip up the coast. They were going up to Portland and then stopping in the Sierras on the way down. "I can't wait to see the Redwoods!" she exclaimed. And suddenly, I couldn't wait, either. I had gone camping plenty of times as a kid, and had never taken my own little ones. But as I made my mental inventory of our own camping equipment, I was forcibly reminded that Patrick's idea of roughing it is going where there is no Wi-Fi for his laptop. We had sleeping bags, an old camp stove...but no tent.

"What kind of camping did you have in mind?" asked Matt at outdoors store REI (858-279-4400, locations in Encinitas, Chula Vista, and Kearny Mesa). "How many are going? Are you backpacking or family camping? Backpacking tents need to be lightweight, and floor plans are geared toward that; they're typically A-frames. When you're family camping, you generally use a dome tent."

Size? "An eight-person tent will sleep eight people if you have everybody lined up next to each other, body to body. You won't have room for your other camping stuff. So if you have two adults and two kids, I'd go with a six-person tent."

Style? "If you're beach camping, we have tents designed for less-aggressive wind. It will be a little higher, and it will have mesh on the top. But if you're going to Alaska, where it gets windy and really cold, you'll want a tent without mesh. Most four-season tents -- as opposed to three-season tents -- have no mesh. They can be good for really cold situations, but sometimes, what happens when you have no ventilation is that condensation builds up. That can create a drip, and if it makes you wet, that can make you even colder."

Materials? "Most tents are made from nylon or polyester; the polyester is more UV resistant. You want to lean more toward aluminum poles instead of fiberglass. Fiberglass is a lot more rigid than aluminum, and it can shatter really easily."

For my needs -- basic family camping -- Matt suggested the Hobitat ( $339 for a six-person, 83 square feet, top height of 6'4"). "It's got waterproof doors, four mesh windows, and a mesh top. If it rains, you can put the rain fly over the top. It's nice because it's really tall." Another possibility was the Base Camp ( $399 for a six-person, 87 square feet, top height of 6'1"). "It's a mountaineering tent -- the poles have seven points of crossing, which makes it really stable. It's got four mesh windows, and the fly covers the entire tent. There's also space in front called a vestibule -- it's covered, but it's not inside your tent. Your gear won't get wet, but it also won't get your tent dirty." Matt also recommended ground cloths that clipped on to the tent poles to help keep things comfortable.

Both tents, said Matt, required two people for assembly. As for maintenance: "Take down the poles from the middle, and keep the tent as clean as possible. Dirt in the poles and dirt on the material are what wear down your tent."

I called Girlscout to tell her what I'd found. But, of course, she was way ahead of me. "REI was a bit out of my price range. My husband and I have bought, assembled, taken down, and returned three different tents. The fourth one, we're keeping."

Shawn's husband Mike gave me the rundown: "You know Shawn. There are three of us camping, but she wants an eight-person tent. First, we went to Big Five. They had a large selection, maybe 20 tents to choose from. I found an 18'x10' rectangle [High-Tech eight-person tent, $149 ]. I liked the design, but one of the pole strings broke the first time we tried to put it up." Next stop: Sports Authority. "Most of their tents were pentagon-shaped. They looked really cool and had a lot of character. We bought one [Mountaineer eight-person tent, $149.99 , top height of 6'] and assembled it. But as you moved to the edge, you lost height. Shawn and I are tall, and so we couldn't stand up straight. Third stop was Target [Greatland eight-person tent, 14'x10', $99.49, top height of 7']. We bought it for the screened-in vestibule -- we thought we could sit in there and eat if it was buggy outside. But because of the way the sides of the tent slanted, the vestibule was too short for that. Finally, we found the perfect tent at Target [Eddie Bauer eight-person, two-room cabin tent, 14'x10', $195.99 , top height of 7']. I went back to the square shape for the height, and Eddie Bauer has a reputable name. It took two people to assemble, but once it was up, Shawn and I could walk the length of the tent without stooping. Plus, the center curtain divider would let us sleep in one half and set up a table in the other...along with all of our stuff. And we liked the louvered windows -- they let you regulate the light and airflow. And it was the easiest of all to disassemble -- I had it down and in the bag in ten minutes."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Jorge Hank's wealthy nephew heads for White House dinner

Tijuana billionaire's relative an AMLO invite
Next Article

San Diego's punk music, goodbye to Lennon

Reader writers tell favorite music

My friend Shawn has long endured the nickname "Girlscout," despite the fact that she is over 40. No matter what event she attends, she always comes prepared to provide for herself, her husband, her daughter -- and everybody else. If it's a pool party, she'll show up with three sets of water wings, five extra towels, and a couple of extra bathing suits for the girls. So when I heard that she was planning for an actual girl-scout-type activity -- a camping trip -- I couldn't help but chuckle. "Do they make tents with room for the kitchen sink?" I asked my husband Patrick. Shawn started packing weeks in advance for her two-week trip up the coast. They were going up to Portland and then stopping in the Sierras on the way down. "I can't wait to see the Redwoods!" she exclaimed. And suddenly, I couldn't wait, either. I had gone camping plenty of times as a kid, and had never taken my own little ones. But as I made my mental inventory of our own camping equipment, I was forcibly reminded that Patrick's idea of roughing it is going where there is no Wi-Fi for his laptop. We had sleeping bags, an old camp stove...but no tent.

"What kind of camping did you have in mind?" asked Matt at outdoors store REI (858-279-4400, locations in Encinitas, Chula Vista, and Kearny Mesa). "How many are going? Are you backpacking or family camping? Backpacking tents need to be lightweight, and floor plans are geared toward that; they're typically A-frames. When you're family camping, you generally use a dome tent."

Size? "An eight-person tent will sleep eight people if you have everybody lined up next to each other, body to body. You won't have room for your other camping stuff. So if you have two adults and two kids, I'd go with a six-person tent."

Style? "If you're beach camping, we have tents designed for less-aggressive wind. It will be a little higher, and it will have mesh on the top. But if you're going to Alaska, where it gets windy and really cold, you'll want a tent without mesh. Most four-season tents -- as opposed to three-season tents -- have no mesh. They can be good for really cold situations, but sometimes, what happens when you have no ventilation is that condensation builds up. That can create a drip, and if it makes you wet, that can make you even colder."

Materials? "Most tents are made from nylon or polyester; the polyester is more UV resistant. You want to lean more toward aluminum poles instead of fiberglass. Fiberglass is a lot more rigid than aluminum, and it can shatter really easily."

For my needs -- basic family camping -- Matt suggested the Hobitat ( $339 for a six-person, 83 square feet, top height of 6'4"). "It's got waterproof doors, four mesh windows, and a mesh top. If it rains, you can put the rain fly over the top. It's nice because it's really tall." Another possibility was the Base Camp ( $399 for a six-person, 87 square feet, top height of 6'1"). "It's a mountaineering tent -- the poles have seven points of crossing, which makes it really stable. It's got four mesh windows, and the fly covers the entire tent. There's also space in front called a vestibule -- it's covered, but it's not inside your tent. Your gear won't get wet, but it also won't get your tent dirty." Matt also recommended ground cloths that clipped on to the tent poles to help keep things comfortable.

Both tents, said Matt, required two people for assembly. As for maintenance: "Take down the poles from the middle, and keep the tent as clean as possible. Dirt in the poles and dirt on the material are what wear down your tent."

I called Girlscout to tell her what I'd found. But, of course, she was way ahead of me. "REI was a bit out of my price range. My husband and I have bought, assembled, taken down, and returned three different tents. The fourth one, we're keeping."

Shawn's husband Mike gave me the rundown: "You know Shawn. There are three of us camping, but she wants an eight-person tent. First, we went to Big Five. They had a large selection, maybe 20 tents to choose from. I found an 18'x10' rectangle [High-Tech eight-person tent, $149 ]. I liked the design, but one of the pole strings broke the first time we tried to put it up." Next stop: Sports Authority. "Most of their tents were pentagon-shaped. They looked really cool and had a lot of character. We bought one [Mountaineer eight-person tent, $149.99 , top height of 6'] and assembled it. But as you moved to the edge, you lost height. Shawn and I are tall, and so we couldn't stand up straight. Third stop was Target [Greatland eight-person tent, 14'x10', $99.49, top height of 7']. We bought it for the screened-in vestibule -- we thought we could sit in there and eat if it was buggy outside. But because of the way the sides of the tent slanted, the vestibule was too short for that. Finally, we found the perfect tent at Target [Eddie Bauer eight-person, two-room cabin tent, 14'x10', $195.99 , top height of 7']. I went back to the square shape for the height, and Eddie Bauer has a reputable name. It took two people to assemble, but once it was up, Shawn and I could walk the length of the tent without stooping. Plus, the center curtain divider would let us sleep in one half and set up a table in the other...along with all of our stuff. And we liked the louvered windows -- they let you regulate the light and airflow. And it was the easiest of all to disassemble -- I had it down and in the bag in ten minutes."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Spotty internet makes it hard to stay at home in Descanso

Forget the antenna clusters
Next Article

Unexpected views from some San Diego African Americans

"I don't care if you're black or white"
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close