Carrying a Ground Tent In Non-Ground-Tent Setups? | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Carrying a Ground Tent In Non-Ground-Tent Setups?

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TwoRoadsOverland

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Hey everyone! I just returned from a few nights in Bar Harbor, Maine (Bah Ha Bah) but for the first time since Boy Scouts, I camped in a ground tent. The waterfront site that we wanted was a walk-in site so wouldn't have worked with any other sleeping accommodations. I didn't start this thread to compare ground tents to RTT because those are a dime a dozen. I have probably about 100 nights in my RTT over the past few years and I'm currently in the early planning phases of a trailer build to hopefully solve the "basecamp" issues that inherently come with a vehicle-mounted RTT setup. This trip made me realize that perhaps I should add a plain old ground tent and sleeping pad to my packing list for future trips to afford me the possibility of using the "less-accessible" campsites I may come across.

Those of you that run a RTT or even an enclosed trailer: do you carry camping supplies for those "away-from-vehicle" side adventures?

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Road

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Yes, absolutely. I keep a small variety of options for overnights away from trailer and van, whether on foot, ebike, or with my canoe.

roaddude_hornbeck-islandcamp-900-0788.jpg
Simple tarp arrangement with hammock

stcregg_8259-900n.jpeg
From just last week on a four night river trip along the Canadian border; a little one man Stormbreak 1 backpacker's tent with Klymit sleeping pad

pthi-190709-9280-900.jpg
Same canoe camp as first image

Having a couple small pack options with me all the time greatly increases my camping site potential when away from trailer and van, and affords me the possibility of offering overnight accommodations for friends and fam.

This is my regular trailer/RTT setup. I've used it well over 600 nights all over No America, mostly pre-pandemic:

basecamp_2572-1000.jpg

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Kozysnack

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We keep a go bag in the truck with food/water, small tent, micro cook set, First-aid and Coms.
I was in a trail rollover years ago and now tend to keep a plan B in place. But aside from having to walk out, you're right it is nice to be able to take advantage of using the rig as a base camp.
Two hammocks with tree straps are in the rig also and have been great to have to clip on our hiking packs in the event of finding a spot we want to spend more time.
 

Alanymarce

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Those of you that run a RTT or even an enclosed trailer: do you carry camping supplies for those "away-from-vehicle" side adventures?
...or even those who sleep in the vehicle...

Interesting question, which got me thinking.

We rarely go anywhere we can't reach in the vehicle, and when we've done so (Roraima, for example) we've been able to rent tents locally. So, we don't carry a tent. We do carry sleeping bags, day packs, and a variety of kit which would make it possible to go and camp somewhere easily enough if we did carry a tent with us in the vehicle. Part of me says that it would be good idea to have a light tent for occasional use. The other part of me doesn;t want to take up any space or add any weight for something which we will rarely use.
 

TwoRoadsOverland

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We keep a go bag in the truck with food/water, small tent, micro cook set, First-aid and Coms.
I was in a trail rollover years ago and now tend to keep a plan B in place. But aside from having to walk out, you're right it is nice to be able to take advantage of using the rig as a base camp.
Two hammocks with tree straps are in the rig also and have been great to have to clip on our hiking packs in the event of finding a spot we want to spend more time.
That's another really good point. To keep with the "be prepared" mentality, I think I should focus on making that set up a little more portable. For this trip, I used a car camping tent (~4lbs), but a backpacking set up in a "go bag" as you say would make a lot of sense as a dual purpose side trip kit as well as a worst-case scenario hike-out pack, even if I do usually go on trips with a minimum of 2 vehicles.


...or even those who sleep in the vehicle...

...Part of me says that it would be good idea to have a light tent for occasional use. The other part of me doesn;t want to take up any space or add any weight for something which we will rarely use.
It's a fair conundrum. It may be that having the gear would encourage you to find places to use it, although I could say the same about all the unread books on my shelf at home that I keep saying I'll read. :laughing: I will say backpacking tents and pads have come way down in weight and size so it could be a pretty small space sacrifice to add it.
 
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KonzaLander

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Good point - we do carry hammocks - not ideal in monsoon season though : )
Counterpoint - I have never had a ground tent that was "good" in monsoon season.

I've been meaning to add a hammock to my gear for a while now. Just keep finding other more pressing purchases :laughing:
Grab one that is about 11' long. It will be ridiculously comfortable and you will wonder why those other purchases were more important :wink:
 

Alanymarce

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It's a fair conundrum. It may be that having the gear would encourage you to find places to use it, although I could say the same about all the unread books on my shelf at home that I keep saying I'll read. :laughing: I will say backpacking tents and pads have come way down in weight and size so it could be a pretty small space sacrifice to add it.
Yes good points - we too have books (lots) waiting for the right moment to read...

Good point that having a tent would encourage us to get further into the wild, which would be good. We are minimalist in approach, and have refined our stuff to the point where we do have a bit of space, and tents are now, as you say, fairly light. More reflection needed, I think : )
 

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...or even those who sleep in the vehicle...

Interesting question, which got me thinking.

We rarely go anywhere we can't reach in the vehicle, and when we've done so (Roraima, for example) we've been able to rent tents locally. So, we don't carry a tent. We do carry sleeping bags, day packs, and a variety of kit which would make it possible to go and camp somewhere easily enough if we did carry a tent with us in the vehicle. Part of me says that it would be good idea to have a light tent for occasional use. The other part of me doesn;t want to take up any space or add any weight for something which we will rarely use.
.
Interesting. You're in Colombia, too, right?

I don't know that, in all my travels, I've ever run across a place in the places I like to go in No America, that rents tents for the night or longer, though I've never really looked or been in the market. I'm usually far enough off the beaten path that when I want/need a tent for the night or longer that I'm not going to go looking for one to borrow or rent. If I don't have it on hand, I make do with my tarps or my Thermashield Field Blankets.

I'm also not usually back through the way I've just been to return a rental, but am moving on elsewhere on some longer adventure.

Even a 3 person backpacker tent like the Big Agnes Blacktail Hotel 3 (which I'm seriously thinking of getting for canoe and bike trips--because it packs so small--so I can keep more gear under cover, even if solo-camping) is only 22" x 7"/ 56 x 18cm packed size and 6lb 14oz /3.12kg packed weight.

22" x 7"/56 x 18cm and 6lb 14oz /3.12kg is a SMALL package for such a large footprint tent. The tiny North Face Stormbreak 1 I have now has literally a solo sleeping bag-sized interior with very limited outdoor space under the fly and is almost the same size packed as the Big Agnes Blacktails.

Counterpoint - I have never had a ground tent that was "good" in monsoon season.
I used to carry, and still have, a wonderful Eureka Grand Manan 9 ( I think now maybe discontinued), which was very comfortable for 3-4 people and impervious to big storm weather (whether night after night of heavy rain and thunderstorms or not) though was too big of a package (though way less that an OzTent or Gazelle) to carry regularly for spontaneous use.

...

To the OP and thread in general, if I can carry a roomy "3 person" backpacker style tent that packs as small as 22"x7" at less than 7lbs that stands up to weather, you can bet it's coming along on all my adventures for side trips in my canoe or by bike or on foot, as well as be able to set up for occasional visitors.

After just having done a five-day/four night canoe-camping trip along the Canadian border--where established solo campsites were miles apart on either side of the border--I am still dreaming of more canoe-camping adventures:

nomad_1900-1000.jpeg
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I've been meaning to add a hammock to my gear for a while now. Just keep finding other more pressing purchases :laughing:
Every night on this canoe-camping trip I kept looking around at our camp spots along the tree and root-bound river shores, thinking "Jeez, this is perfect for sleeping hammocks!" Much lighter and smaller to pack and far more quickly set up, no matter the terrain, as long as you have trees.

I've set up hammocks before for canoe camps and withstood torrential rains and been comfortable and dry (and bug-free) under my cover and netting when most ground tents would be swamped.

There are some AWESOME and comfortable sleeping hammocks available these days that have diagonally arranged 'pockets' for head and feet that allow you to sleep flat, not bowed, which is what turns most folks off to multiple nights sleeping in hammocks.

...

For those of you who get out on the water when adventuring, whether experienced or new to paddling, you may be interested in the Paddler's Safety & Cold Survival (OB post) info from NFCT, as well as another past thread here on OB entitled Wisdom From the River, started by @Plisken, about things used on river trips that can be used for land adventures.

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TwoRoadsOverland

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To the OP and thread in general, if I can carry a roomy "3 person" backpacker style tent that packs as small as 22"x7" at less than 7lbs that stands up to weather, you can bet it's coming along on all my adventures for side trips in my canoe or by bike or on foot, as well as be able to set up for occasional visitors.

After just having done a five-day/four night canoe-camping trip along the Canadian border--where established solo campsites were miles apart on either side of the border--I am still dreaming of more canoe-camping adventures:

Every night on this canoe-camping trip I kept looking around at our camp spots along the tree and root-bound river shores, thinking "Jeez, this is perfect for sleeping hammocks!" Much lighter and smaller to pack and far more quickly set up, no matter the terrain, as long as you have trees.

I've set up hammocks before for canoe camps and withstood torrential rains and been comfortable and dry (and bug-free) under my cover and netting when most ground tents would be swamped.

There are some AWESOME and comfortable sleeping hammocks available these days that have diagonally arranged 'pockets' for head and feet that allow you to sleep flat, not bowed, which is what turns most folks off to multiple nights sleeping in hammocks.
I feel like I'm always trying to find the line between being "well prepared" and being "excessively prepared". The thought of packing 2 - 3 forms of sleeping arrangements (RTT, Ground Tent, Hammock) throws a little red flag for me. But at the same time, I find myself needing a constant reminder that one of the greatest advantages of vehicle-based adventure - over, say, backpacking - is that we can afford to carry a little more comfort. And to be honest, for roughly the space of a couple of 2-liter soda bottles, this seems like a good investment of space.

All this to say: I'm convinced. Hammock and ground tent are now on my packing list :grin:
 
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Alanymarce

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Interesting. You're in Colombia, too, right?

I don't know that, in all my travels, I've ever run across a place in the places I like to go in No America, that rents tents for the night or longer, though I've never really looked or been in the market.

I'm also not usually back through the way I've just been to return a rental, but am moving on elsewhere on some longer adventure.

Yes, we live in Colombia, although we've been outside the country for about a third of the time in the last decade (big and smaller trips).

We haven't tried renting tents in NA, so far. Our next planned NA trip will be 6 months in Canada, with perhaps a month in Alaska. Shipping rates have gone sky-high so we're not going to ship our own vehicle and so we'll probably buy a vehicle and sell it later. Once we've sorted everythng else out we'll consider buying a tent - the lightest and smallest possible which is still going to provide protection.

WHen we've rented tents we've returned to the point of departure - we always need to get back to the vehicle .