Adventure Nomad

Adventure Nomad

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Searching for a New Tent

The 'Mid pitched out in Loihuno, 1st night out on the Tour de Timor.

We were in our tent, just about to lie down to sleep when Laura said to me:

“Oh look, a scorpion.”

We have a BD Megamid, a tarp tent, which means it has no floor, and hence no bug protection. And so at 9 o’clock that night, on the second night of the Tour de Timor, we moved our tent from the edge of the brush out onto the middle of the dirt road, where we felt safe from scorpions and other creepy crawlies.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of ‘Mid tents. They are fast to set up, light, strong, and incredibly spacious for their weight. I’ve pitched them while climbing on the icy slopes of the Tetons and Mt. Rainier, backpacking in Yosemite, and trekking in the sweaty jungles of S.E. Asia.

Their weaknesses are:

1. No bug protection; and
2. Not freestanding.

MSR Hubba Hubba HP without fly.

My first tent was a Chouinard Pyramid, the predecessor to the BD Megamid, so I’m on my second ‘Mid. I seem to go in cycles, and seem to always come back to a ‘Mid for their bombproof simplicity. And so this cycle has me looking for a new ‘scorpion proof’ tent. At the moment, the front-runner is the MSR Hubba Hubba HP, which (as a weight weenie) I’ve worked out to be the same weight as my Megamid plus groundsheet.

Let me know if I’m the right track :o)


-ben said...

Oh, you can't go wrong with that. The only 2-person tent lighter than that is the Carbon Reflex 2 (and I am not too sure how carbon fiber poles will hold up to abuse; that, and its ease of repair in the field).

The Hubba Hubba HP is a very nice tent. They also make a custom-fit groundsheet for the tent. I'm considering one myself for future suicide missions. Err... I mean solo expeditions :-P

Unknown said...

Thanks Ben. A good suggestion. I had a look at the Carbon Reflex 2, but I believe that's not freestanding, and I'd prefer a freestanding tent if I'm going to go down this road.


Spencer said...

ever thought of Hennessy Hammock? I used them in Taiwan touring and they were great. Weighs around 1.2kh the ultralite ver only 860g

Otherwise go for REI Quarter Dome T2 tent, weighs around 1.8kg. I hv the 2 and 3 men version.

Unknown said...

I've heard of Hennesy Hammocks, although I've never actually tried one. I've heard that the ultralite is THE shelter to use in jungle ultramarathon racing, but hammocks are a little too limited for all around use.

Thanks for the tip on the REI Quarterdome. It looks very similar in specs to the MSR Hubba Hubba HP and I wonder how the two stack up against each other?

Spencer said...

Hammock has it's limitation. But for solo travel and adventure sport is a great tent to have. Sometime I would just bring to East Coast park and hang myself loose :)

I had a look at MSR Hubba HP ultralite. It is only 100g lighter compare to REI Quarter Dome T2 and the price is a huge difference!! I had used under heavy rain and it stayed dry. I like to see how it hold up against typhoon in Taiwan..hehe

I think the MSR tent will be warmer in Summer. Already my past few camping under the summer weather here I felt warm even the whole REI tent was cover with no-see netting.

Campers corner used to have MSR tent but the last time I was there in July, it seems they changed to Black Diamond. BTW you can't order MSR stuff from internet. They have ceased sales out of US. You can only get from local distributor, maybe you might want to check with Campers Corner.

REI have a return policy, you can return anytime if you dun like the stuff.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the information. Camper's Corner won't sell me a Hubba Hubba HP. Apparently, they've had a lot of problems with 'sticky flys'.

I think I'll wait a while and see if MSR can sort out this problem before ordering one.

There are a couple of other solutions, such as the Big Agnes Seed SL series, or The North Face Minibus 23, but none are as light, or have the elegant one-pole setup.

rick beatty said...

why not just get the bug net insert for you BD?

Unknown said...

Hi Rick,

I thought about that, but the BD Megabug weighs something like 2lb 10oz, is bulky to pack, and it costs about $200!

One suggestion that I'm considering is to sew on some sort of bug net skirt down the sides. The problem is that while it may be effective against flying insects, I doubt that a skirt would be effective against crawling bugs, like scorpions.

I've heard a lot of good suggestions for alternative shelters that I'd like to try, like the Hennesy Hammock; but overall, for the places I like to go, the BD Megamid/Megalight shelters are very hard to beat for their strength, weight, space and price.