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Old 02-09-2020, 05:27 PM
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Question about Tent camping

So Iím pretty new to camping. Iíve only done hammocks with my friends, but now the wife is interested in getting out. A lot of the tents have mesh tops with rain flu covers. I think itíd be cool to sleep under the stars, but worry about the morning dew soaking everything if I just had the mesh and no rain fly. I am in North Louisiana, and we primarily go to the south west Arkansas (Mena) area.

Will the mesh of a tent keep out the dew? I know it most likely wonít be 100%
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Old 02-09-2020, 05:57 PM   #2
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We haven't tried a mesh top tent, but I imagine you would get wet.

The wife and I camp in the Ozarks a couple of times a year, late winter and early fall. The temps usually are cool enough we button up the tent but leave all windows cracked to avoid condensation.

Keeping her comfortable is my primary goal so that she'll continue to enjoy it. For us that means:
  • Coleman 1 minute tent- LINK Easily fits us, the dog and a kid or 2.
  • Zero degree queen size sleeping bag- LINK
  • Privacy tent tent for toilet- LINK
  • Toilet- LINK

We sleep on a couple of thermarest and keep a Buddy heater in case it gets really cold. Also use it to take the chill out of the tent before we go to bed. (I keep an additional CO2 alarm, just in case)

Down side is we have to take both Jeeps to fit the dog and ALL THAT STUFF

Other important things to keep her happy:
Feed her well.
Make sure the coffee is hot.
Make sure she stays warm.








Another option, a lot of times we've slept in my Jeep. If you have a 4 door that's an option. I removed the rear seat and made a sleeping deck with foam on top. It gives our dog a platform with good traction and allows me to keep supplies under it.

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Old 02-09-2020, 06:20 PM   #3
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No, you won't get wet from dew if you have the rain fly on.

You may however get damp from condensation on the inside of the tent but the mesh will actually help with that if you keep the tent well vented.

I spent 65 days riding around the US on a Harley and slept in a small tent on most nights. I never once got wet due to a fault in the tent. I did however quickly learn to ALWAYS put on the rainfly. There were at least 3 nights where I thought I'd leave it off and enjoy the view of the stars. Then I'd be rudely awakened by a midnight downpour. This was always in the South or East where humidity were high. Out West you could get away with leaving it off.

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Old 02-09-2020, 11:15 PM
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Lmao that toilet bucket seems amazing and amazingly difficult. Thank you for the links and tips. Really looking forward to this becoming a thing for us to do.

Silentfoe, so you’d say that the whole no rainfly thing is more of an out west thing?
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:12 AM   #5
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Lmao that toilet bucket seems amazing and amazingly difficult. Thank you for the links and tips. Really looking forward to this becoming a thing for us to do.

Silentfoe, so youíd say that the whole no rainfly thing is more of an out west thing?
Generally yes. Otherwise you'll get really good at sleepily stumbling around in the dark and rain to put one on.

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Old 02-10-2020, 06:24 AM   #6
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I would hop over to the WhiteBlaze forum. Folks are gearing up to hike the Appalachian trail and there is a never ending supply of tent questions there. https://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/for...n-Trail-Forums


I prefer hammocks in cold weather...warmer.
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:35 AM   #7
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I would hop over to the WhiteBlaze forum. Folks are gearing up to hike the Appalachian trail and there is a never ending supply of tent questions there. https://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/for...n-Trail-Forums


I prefer hammocks in cold weather...warmer.
People who are doing long distance hikes are looking for a very different type of tent than someone who is camping out of a vehicle.

To the OP, if two people are going to be sleeping in the tent, I'd look for nothing smaller than a 4 person tent.

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Old 02-10-2020, 09:56 AM   #8
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People who are doing long distance hikes are looking for a very different type of tent than someone who is camping out of a vehicle.

To the OP, if two people are going to be sleeping in the tent, I'd look for nothing smaller than a 4 person tent.

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Its not the size of the tent he is asking about ....its the technology.

There is no better place to learn about tents than from someone who spends 6 months inside one.
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Old 02-10-2020, 10:03 AM   #9
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In reality, a 4 person tent is a two people and a dog tent. Unless you're down with spooning with 3 of your best buddies, also known as a pole tent.
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Old 02-10-2020, 10:14 AM   #10
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Been tent camping for over 50 years, backpacking,bicycling, motorcycling smaller is better, car camping get the biggest tent you can. Learn how to set up your ground cloth otherwise you end up sleeping in a waterbed. If you have room quality cots make a world of difference otherwise a good queen size air mattress. I have had every shape and size thermorest and never got a great nights sleep. We like a tent you can stand up in and move around in.
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Old 02-10-2020, 10:33 AM   #11
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Its not the size of the tent he is asking about ....its the technology.



There is no better place to learn about tents than from someone who spends 6 months inside one.
The technology most prized on a small tent is the weight. He doesn't need to worry about that at all. He needs something durable, easy to set up and long lasting.



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Old 02-10-2020, 10:38 AM   #12
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What everyone is eluding to with getting wet or not, is the combination of relative humidity, dew point and temperature. Out west the air is generally dryer than near the gulf, or ocean or lake. Generally speaking, the closer the temp and the dew point are together, the more likely the water will condensate = dew. That is why sometimes the jeep wet and other mornings it is dry. Now how wet or rainy has to do with the relative humidity or how much water the air is holding.


I camp on the beach often. If the breeze is blowing off shore, it can be very dry. If the breeze is blowing on shore, a fog can roll in - even at the same temperature.
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:33 AM
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Here in North Louisiana Dew is 365 days a year. I'll let you know how it is on the leap year at the end of the month, but I'm pretty sure its gonna be dewy lol. I would love to be able to sleep under the stars, with a mosquito net because they're our state bird lol, but I just might need to drive out west for that.

question, instead of an air mattress have y'all tried the super thick memory foam pads? This will be solely weekend car camping so the weight doesn't matter as much. I was thinking one in a queen size 3-5" thick and stuff it in the large vacuum seal bags then use an air mattress pump to vacuum out all the air.

And as for hammocks, lay in one at an angle with a lot of droop in the hammock and it's the best sleep of my life. It opens up flat and just holds you.
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