Tents/shelters and making the best of bad weather

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 17:01
ThreadID: 55084 Views:3071 Replies:8 FollowUps:2
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Most of my camping time is spent in the Vic High Country – usually gold prospecting although sometimes just for pleasure. The pleasure times are normally with one or two other vehicles and usually see me moving on each day; my swag is ideal for this type of camping.

It’s the gold prospecting trips, when I can be out for quite long stretches which I’m trying to make more comfortable. When the weather is poor it would be nice to have somewhere to sit (live, really) which did not have a dirt floor and had protection from the wind and rain on all four sides. Getting a caravan or trailer into the places I go is out of the question so I thought I might give some of the larger tents a look. To that end I spent an hour in a major camping store (remind me to go midweek in future when the “little darlings” are in school!). Not too impressed with any of the tents; some were so large it would take 4 people to erect them, most didn’t look as if they would still be standing after a decent storm and the ones which seemed to suit my requirements didn’t have a large enough “living area” to put the “kitchen” and a couple of chairs in.

Unless anyone has a recommendation I think I’ll stick with the swag (or my dome tent) and a tarp shelter at least I can build a fire at the leeward side of the tarp shelter and stay, mainly, dry and warm.

Think I must be getting a bit soft in my old age :)

Mike Harding
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Reply By: Member - Ivan (ACT) - Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 17:32

Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 17:32
Any of the centre pole tents will meet your needs there Mike. Not light if you go the PVC floor, but better than other options.

At the end of the day there is a good range from Oztrail all the way through to Southern Cross and Freedom.

Your 'kitchen' is the only thing - but you can set up the 'verandah' with all sorts of canvas and mesh attachments depending what you're after.

Definitely only one man set up - you can go with four pegs and one pole - up in five...
AnswerID: 290261

Reply By: Middle Jeff - Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 17:50

Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 17:50
Hi Mike

At the moment I have 5 tents, but if I am staying in one place then my favourite is a Coleman like thisone It looks complicated but is really simple to put up. The poles are different colours and every thing just clips on. I do not know where you are but Coleman has a clearance store in Sydney which is great.

Have fun

AnswerID: 290265

Follow Up By: Middle Jeff - Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 17:52

Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 17:52
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Try this

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Reply By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 18:10

Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 18:10
I reckon I would have to agree with Ivan. I have not had much experience with tents other than the ell cheapo 3 man variety, but a few years ago travelled with some people who had the centre pole style & they erected it very quickly & it was roomy & well made & looked like it would withstand a decent gutsy windy conditions.
On the same trip a mate & myself had just settled down with a schooner at Innaminka when a coach full of Grey Nomads ( I am one now!!) pulled in. The Coach Captain & his assistant opened up the luggage area and all the Nomads started to set up there tents. Anyway the mate & myself settled back to watch & enjoy the hassles etc. that they were about to encounter over the next hour or so! No Way!!
They were issued with the centre pole variety, wham bam mam, all up in a few minutes & over with us enjoying a beer or two.
AnswerID: 290269

Reply By: Member - Kim M (VIC) - Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 19:06

Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 19:06
Gidday Mike

I've had a centre pole tent for over twenty years. All you need to do is put in four pegs and extend the pole.

In my case there is a permanent vestible attached to the tent, which go's over the back of the 4WD. This gives plenty of room for cooking.

It's pretty well buggared now, but I can put it up on the front lawn if you want to see how easy it is to handle.

The other tent I've heard good reports about is the OZTENT


AnswerID: 290275

Reply By: Member - Jack - Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 20:35

Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 20:35
Hi Mike:

I have the 2.4 metre Oztent, with the deluxe side and front panels. The tent has a floor, but I have annexe matting that extends beyond that to cover the enclosed area provided by the side and front panels.

I have found the Oztent terrific in high winds, and the extra enclosed space is particularly good when it is raining. I took the whole rig around Australia in 2006 and had no complaints whatsoever. I did not always use the extra panels.

It might be worth having a look at to solve your dilemma. Only drawback is the length of the Oztent but I have a tradesman roof rack and it sits there (in an Ozpod) nicely.

The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll-Alice In Wonderland)

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Follow Up By: TrevorDavid- Sunday, Mar 02, 2008 at 09:50

Sunday, Mar 02, 2008 at 09:50
Mike , Ditto to Jacks comments, but will add that it is quick and simple to erect ( single person job ).



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Reply By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 20:49

Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 20:49
Mike, have you considered only erecting a large lean-to fly sheet ?
Pretty easy to put up if all you want to do is keep the rain off. You only need a couple of extending poles (or handy trees) and a large light weight trailor cover. Keep your firewood dry and your swag as long as the wind doesn't change.
AnswerID: 290287

Reply By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 23:52

Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 23:52
Try these.

Site Link

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Cheers Steve.
AnswerID: 290319

Reply By: Member - Pedro the One (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 02, 2008 at 01:14

Sunday, Mar 02, 2008 at 01:14
Hi, Mike....
Know how you feel about 'creature comforts' at the end of the day .... or those days without end !!

For quick overnight stops whilst travelling I sleep in the Troopy, but it is set up for that type of travel. Or use my little 'MozzieDome" ..... dependent on the trip needs.

For two or three-nighters I usually use my lttle dome tent [OzTrail 4EV] which has the BASIC Extended Vestible nice and comfortable for one [ me .... and the Beagle!] In good weather, just the mesh tent [no main cover over] but almost always with a large tarp [18'x12'], just in case.
[See my BOYD BAY rig pic]

For four to seven days + I have an OzTrail 4EV PLUS, which has the large extra vestible and an extra compartment.[storage/cooking/bunging the Beagle in when she's really wet !! /sitting down and reading/laptopping/etc. etc......
[MAPOON rig pic.]

Should be able to get one of these for around $100 - $120 with Easter specials in the air.

Sometimes with a tarp over. Easy access inside and outside ..... the extra compartment is big enough to take a double swag !!

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I have weathered a few FNQ tropical downpours in this rig .... stayed relatively dry ..... again only using the mesh dome part unless there was WIND to drive the rain horizontally, of course.

Room enough to set up table and chair, gas stove, keep wet gear out of the sleeping tent .... and all that jazz !

I also always lay out a shadecloth Floor under the tent
and "within the tarp-lines" .... very basic but really useful.

'f course, I now have a snazzy Armadillo CamperTrailer tent on my own trailer ..... for the two - four weeks prospecting trips coming up this year .... can't wait to 'rough it in comfort! '

But always carry the 'little dome' in the Troopy, just in case.

Can't believe I have so many tents !!!!! A couple more in the shed not even mentioned . Man can't have too many tents ???

Even though these are 4 person tents, I generally camp on my own, I like to 'spread-out' when camping ....
and the missus is not keen on anything that has more than two legs ..... maybe the CamperTrailer will tempt her ....bed up off the ground ??

Though obviously where I camp is much different to your domain ..... in another life me and me mate used to do our thing in the High Country, mainly around Gaffneys, Woods Point, A-1 ..... I remember those days with fonness .... the campsites actually had GRASS .... such luxury now up here. !!

AnswerID: 290325

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