The official OTO "Ozark Trail Overland" gear thread!

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Lunch Box

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Enthusiast I

I'm glad this thread exists. When I got married, I inherited 3 stepchildren to add to my own 2. If we were going to hit a trail, there was simply no way we could afford the high-end gear for all those kids. Especially knowing they'd soon outgrow any interest in things to do with parents...
So off to Wal-Mart we went. All the gear we bought stood up to the abuse teenagers can throw at it, at a price point that I could live with.
As I've mentioned before, in my second 'career', I trade in (mostly) military surplus outdoor gear. I've had a lot of kit pass through the shop in the past 8 years. Most of it is really high-end stuff designed for severe abuse. Much of it with totally insane price tags (I'm talking to YOU, Snugpak).
Since I backpacked exclusively until recently, I've had some ultralight gear pass through. Had friends with sil-nylon and cuben fiber rucks. Crazy expensive and usually good for about one season of hard use. For the kind of money some of this gear costs, I expect it to be bulletproof.
On this site and others, I've seen gear junkies exclaim that you simply CANNOT leave the pavement/hit the trail without [insert favorite gear set here]! You'll never survive!
When I announced my thru-hike of the AT for the 2015 season there were many who chuffed and beat their chests and swore I'd never make it out of Georgia if there was even a single military surplus item in my packing list. "Those Bates boots you've got won't make it to Fontana Dam!" Why not? They carried me through Kunar Province without a hitch. "That ILBE is just too damn heavy for serious trail work!" I know, but it's a damn sight lighter than the one I've been humping till now.
The further north I got, the more naysayers fell by the wayside. Now, I'm not gonna lie, once I'd summited Katahdin, I was ready to go home and STAY there. But I know there were a good many people much younger, with much better gear, who were in the same boat.
Point is, buy the best gear you can afford and enjoy the hell out of it. If you can afford a $2000 rooftop tent, buy it. If you're on a strict budget, buy an OT ground tent. They both keep the rain off your head. I'd rather be in the great outdoors enjoying whatever time the Almighty sees fit to give me than sitting at home trying to figure out how to afford the next end-all be-all piece of gear before venturing out of the neighborhood.

#Endofrant
 

CR-Venturer

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Very good points, I would agree.

A buddy of mine has a RTT that cost way less than any others on the market. It's actually a name brand, except with none of the branding, bought from the factory in China that makes the branded ones. Crazy how much a little name patch sewn on the side of the tent costs you...
 

CR-Venturer

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Got my cot tent yesterday. So far, pretty impressed. It's very roomy and comfy - enough space for my eldest kiddo to lie down beside me, and despite my being 6'2", there is tons of room top and bottom, such that I think my gear bag would easily fit at my feet.

Build quality seems good, although there is a slight flaw in the mesh tent roof. It doesn't amount to a hole, though, so it should be fine.

It's heavy for a "tent," because of the cot frame, but it eliminates the need for an air mattress and it's about a quarter of the weight of most roof top tents, and it can be left pitched at camp if desired when one goes out exploring.

As a bonus, the tent part can be unzipped from the cot and the cot used on its own if desired, or the mesh tent used without the rain fly if clear skies are assured. Points for versatility.

I'll post a thorough review with pics when I get a chance to use it in the field.
 
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Rexplorer

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My amazon 2for 25$ led flashlights use the same 2x 18650 size batteries as sweet lights. They are just as bright. Tolerances are lower but i dont care if the get lost or broken. A full year later and i just cant lose them. Expensive things seem to dissappear. Cheap alternativez hang around forever.
 
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brianb2

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Advocate I

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Charlotte, NC
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So, what are your initial impressions?
I think it's an awesome alternative to an RTT.
First impressions are pretty good. My wife got a sore throat on Christmas day, so I gave her the bed and set up the cot without the fly. Quality seems good, setup was easy, slept well, and I'm pleased with how much room there is inside. I'm heading out this weekend and plan to give it a test run. Unseasonably high temps expected, nothing below 40F with rain expected.

The folded size is pretty good. I drive a 2000 wrangler and space is limited. I haven't tested the folded size yet, but I think it's going to fit well. I'll take some pictures over the weekend, but yeah I'm pretty encouraged by the niche this thing fills.
 
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CR-Venturer

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First impressions are pretty good. My wife got a sore throat on Christmas day, so I gave her the bed and set up the cot without the fly. Quality seems good, setup was easy, slept well, and I'm pleased with how much room there is inside. I'm heading out this weekend and plan to give it a test run. Unseasonably high temps expected, nothing below 40F with rain expected.

The folded size is pretty good. I drive a 2000 wrangler and space is limited. I haven't tested the folded size yet, but I think it's going to fit well. I'll take some pictures over the weekend, but yeah I'm pretty encouraged by the niche this thing fills.
Nice. I can't wait to take mine on a trip. Hopefully I can take one soon.

Oh, the one thing I will mention is that the pegs supplied with the tent are garbage. They're the same ones that come with the 10x10 Ozark Trail canopy I have, and they bend in anything but the softest ground. I recommend replacing them with proper pegs before camping.
 
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brianb2

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I met some friends in the NC mountains for a little post Christmas gathering, and got a chance to test out the OT Tent Cot. I have to say, I'm happy.

We'd had a lot of rain before I got there, and more rain forecasted for the weekend. It was dark during setup, but it went easy. I found a piece of ground that felt fairly flat. I determined later I was facing downhill a little but never bothered me. I'm 5'10" and the cot's size is more than adequate for me. I had plenty of room to store extra gear inside without any of it getting in my way and in a pinch you could get two people in there if needed.

We had rain both nights, and the fly did well. No leaks, but I plan to go back and seam seal the fly regardless. I sleep in a hammock for backpacking, and sleeping with the tarp propped up on one side (porch mode) is my norm. For the Cot Tent I used some hiking poles for something similar with the fly door and it was great. During the rain I lowered one pole so the water drained well.

My take, it's a great little tent. I've built a platform in my jeep TJ so that I can sleep inside when I want. With that as an option, I like this better. I slept really well, it's easy to set up, and for base camping it's a solid option. @CR-Venturer was mentioning it as an alternative for a RTT and I would agree as long as you're out solo. This will definitely be part of my sleep kit going forward.

That last photo shows the view you get when in porch mode. For me, that’s the money shot.







 
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TerraCrawler

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Anyway, back to the Ozark Trail merch...on a tip from my buddy Tim K at Schutt Industries, who makes the XVenture trailers, I ordered an Ozark Trail 2 room Shower Tent online for store delivery. Showed up in a day or two and I made a run into town to pick it up.

It's not the strongest thing in the world, but I was impressed with the engineering and design that went into it, even if it's a knock-off of another product, and was overall surprised at the quality. Very easy to put up and take down, not a lot of parts, the exo-frame is integrated with the tent and collapses easily when it's time to put it away. Comes with a rain fly, too, though I don't use it unless I expect bad weather.
View attachment 50867

What if you have an external shower, is it possible to pass it internally to the Ozark Trail tent? I mean is there a way to unzip something or a hole to pass a shower head into and possibly hang it (zip ties?).
 
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SgtMac

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What if you have an external shower, is it possible to pass it internally to the Ozark Trail tent? I mean is there a way to unzip something or a hole to pass a shower head into and possibly hang it (zip ties?).
There is no built in access hole at the top of it, if you have enough hose you could run it in the main door and over to the shower side. Or I would probably just cut a flap into and use velcro to keep it shut.

I use a hand pump weed sprayer painted black with a shower nozzle on it. Heat it up in the sun or boil some water, and we take that inside pump it up and shower.
 

billum v2.0

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Old enough to have a "you get what you pay for" mentality. Therefore, I avoid Walmart and particularly their "in house" stuff. That written, I was in a pinch last Spring and needed a stand alone awning for a trip we were leaving on.........in an hour. I grabbed an Ozark Trail 10'x10' awning because: A) it fit in our trailer, and; B) it was in stock, and: C) it would work for our needs, and D) at under $70 (on some sort of sale), couldn't complain when it would inevitably fall apart shortly after (more likely during) it's initial 10 day trip.
2 years, 7 extended trips and 1 birthday party later, I'm doing my best to let Mother Nature tear this thing apart to confirm that you do IN FACT get what you pay for and that Walmart stuff in particular is junk. 30+ mile an hour winds and dime sized hail in a thunderstorm, couple inches of snow/ quarter inch of ice, 90°+ temps in Moab, zero issues. Zero. Counted on the 4 year old grandson's birthday party to validate the inferiority of this thing once and for all. Nope. Dammed thing reminds me of those old Timex commercials. Good Grief.
03/04/2019 update:

I knew these things were junk!

The last 8" snowfall with 25 MPH sustained winds finally killed this thing. For $70, you'd think they could make something that would withstand more than 20 trips, 35,000 miles bounching around in the back of the trailer and just under three years of usage in all kinds of weather. You'd be wrong.

I KNEW they were junk!
 

Eddiebrs

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Road

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Yep, I think I have the same external shower hookup on my XV-2 as you have on your xventuretrailer, though I added an eight foot length of hose to mine and am able to run it around and into my shower tent.