Hiking/Backpacking/Camping/Camping equipment

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Question
Hello Oscar,

The wife and I are in our late 50's. We use to hike and camp in our 20's and 30's. So hopefully you'll find some humour in my question. Were a couple of old farts wanting to rough it again so to speak. Mild easy hikes would be the norm for us now due to physical limitations. But we dont believe in motor homes or tent trailers {that just doesn't seem like camping to us}.

Can you reccomend a super easy tent that two old farts can set up without alot of fuss or technical stuff involved. Just want to make it a simple tent with a high center height, room for a small table inside and one dog. We use cotts now, so would need some extra room for those too.

Thanks for your time !!
Ron
FYI, you mentioned desert hiking camping. I agree !! We live in Arizona.

Answer
Ron,

I going to make an assumption that since you mentioned a table and cots, you will be car camping.  If this is correct this will give you some more options in choosing a tent.

Given your needs and part of the country that you are camping in, I would suggest the following.  I would get at least a four person base camp type tent.  Since it is a base camp type tent you will have good height 5.5’ to 6’ and often two rooms.  Many of these have options such as a larger vestibule or garage that can be added.  These are great if you need to cook during foul weather, have wet/smelly gear to store, or in your case a dog. Many of these tents will only have three poles and are free standing.  This makes them fast and easy too set up.  The free standing style will allow you to pitch the tent in areas where the ground might be to hard/soft for stakes. I would suggest a tent with a polyester rain fly.  Polyester will stand up the UV rays allowing you to get more life out of your tent before the Sun destroys it.  Since you are in Arizona, I would look for tents with a lot of ventilation.  Many of the better quality tents will allow you to roll up the fly partially (often you can do this from inside the tent) to allow for ventilation.

I don't know what your budget is, but the two suggestions I have are both tents made by REI.  The tents are as good a quality as Marmot or Mountain Hardware… etc, but less expensive.  Also, almost anything purchased at REI can be returned any time for any reason for 100% refund (you might have to be a member, not sure on that).  This is great, because you don’t have to worry about a bad choice.  I like the REI Hobitat 4 (2011) http://www.rei.com/product/810122/rei-hobitat-4-tent-2011 and the Kingdom 4 (2012) http://www.rei.com/product/829184/rei-kingdom-4-tent-2012 .  I think something like the Kingdom 4 might be a little more versatile.  I would also check web sights like Camp Mor, Sierra Trading Post… as they often have really go deals on clearance tents.

Hiking/Backpacking/Camping

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Oscar

Expertise

I can answer questions pertaining to backpacking/day hiking, snowshoeing, and general camping questions. I can also answer questions pertaining to clothing and equipment selection, maintenance, and repair. I will also be able to answer most general recreation/touring kayaking questions.

Experience

I have been very active my whole life; mt biking, running, scuba diving, sailing …etc. I have been an avid hiker for the past 22 years. I have hiked trails in both the national and state park systems in approximately 20 states through out the US. Personally, I enjoy dessert hiking the most and have spent more time in these areas of the country (i.e. Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, South and North Dakota Badlands) I have canoed and kayaked in the Boundary Waters (Minnesota), the Missouri River (Montana) and several areas within Minnesota. I have lived/worked at Mammoth Station (park HQ) in Yellowstone National Park. In addition, I spent three years working for a major camping/mountaineering retailer and have a very good understanding of most gear/clothing used for camping, backpacking and kayaking.

Education/Credentials
BA Sociology, Naval OCS, NETC Newport, RI

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