I am working on a trip plan to ride my harley to Alaska and back. This is my biggest concern. I am alowed a big can of hornet spray to use as self defence against these monsters in Canada. I can handle the bugs, roads, rain, long days, no darkness, gas issues, etc, but the bears concern me.
I wouldn't bring hornet spray for bears. If you do some research, there are quite a few things you can do to avoid bear attacks. One of the biggest is to make sure you make enough noise that you don't come up on them by surprise when wandering around, as surprise (and them feeling threatened) or you coming up between momma bear and cub are the most common causes of attack. Between that and being careful about how you handle food and you should be fine. If you want something just in case, the most effective bear defense is bear strength pepper spray (much better than handguns, and possibly more effective than a rifle).
Both Springbar and Kodiak use a silicone treatment in the canvas which is supposed to address leaking. Supposedly you can touch or brush the canvas during a rain without any wicking.
As for lifestyle changes, I will always like tent camping. I do want to get a pop-up in a few years, but that is being put off a bit again (well, it probably is)...In addition to wanting to buy a house within a couple years, I want to leave MD. I have long entertained the idea of moving to Northern VA in the back of my mind. As soon as I get a job in NOVA or a MD job close enough to move somewhere between Alexandria and Reston, I will be moving (preferably Alexandria). That area is a bit more money than comparable areas in MD, thus putting off buying a house and a pop-up a bit (I probably won't buy a pop-up, unless I can pay cash for the pop-up and pickup, until after I get a mortgage). So, even if I somehow gave up tent camping after buying the pop-up (I doubt it), I'll get several years out of the tent.
I've been reading online since posting, and I'm nearly 100% decided it will be the Kodiak, Springbar or Outback Lodge. I was thinking about replacing my cheap Bass Pro Shop brand (Boulder Creek) 4-season tent this year and all of these can do true 4-season service (at least with MD/VA/PA/WV winters, maybe not VT, Canadian or Rocky Mountain winters). Between the three, I'm leaning towards the Kodiak and Springbar since they go up so much easier than the Outback Lodge (not as many lines to set up). The price break of the regular 10x10 Kodiak would be nice, but the extra features of the Kodiak Deluxe or the Springbar would be nice (especially the extra ventilation).
From what I'm seeing, these go up easily enough that they may replace all but one of my dome tents should I buy one. I doubt my Kelty dome is any easier to put up, and it won't have any more interior space, so I'll probably donate it to Goodwill. The one thing that may save both the Alps Mountaineering and Big Agnes are that they will fit on the back of the motorcycle (and they are small enough domes they probably will set up a bit easier than the Springbar or Kodiak).
The only question really is if I buy one this year, or if I wait until next year (especially with the cost of these canvas tents). Well, that and whether the Springbar and made in the USA is worth the price premium over a Kodiak.
It seems that every spring or summer I look for a new excuse to buy another tent :D, and I am once again thinking about adding a new tent.
I have 4 tents right now, and I really love 3 of them. In fact, one of them (the 6 person Kelty) could mostly handle what I'm currently looking for, but I do really want a straight wall cabin tent to choose from for certain trips.
I am almost finished my masters degree (I have a few weeks to finish the final thesis-like project). Once I finish my masters, I'll have a lot more time for traveling/camping. For weekend trips and for trips where I'm traveling and making and breaking camp throughout the trip I will be happy to use my current, easy to erect/break down, dome tents. However, for longer trips where I'm going to stay in one place longer I want the cabin tent.
For a longer stay (4 days or longer) a cabin tent gives more room and should be more comfortable with plenty of head room. I like the straight walls, the curved in walls of a dome feel like they leave a lot of wasted floor space. For summer trips (or fall/early spring trips with a heater) I could use a cot or air bed for more comfort and still have a lot of room for a chair (for when I'm rained in) and gear.
While I do sometimes camp with friends, I also often camp alone. I'm still single and I don't have any kids. So, while I want a decent sized cabin tent, I need to be able to put it up alone. For size, 10x10 is probably about perfect (lots of room even when out with one or two other people but still small enough for most camp sites and to put up alone), but I will consider a little smaller or a little bigger.
I've considered outfitter style wall tents like the Cabelas Alaknak tent due to the versatility, but of course I've ruled them out due to the need to be able to set them up by myself.
My top choices, are a Springbar or Kodiak canvas cabin tent. They are pretty heavy duty tents that seem like they'd last a long time. Canvas breathes pretty well and the windows are well placed so it should be well ventilated, yet they can be closed up so winter camping with a heater should be reasonably comfortable. I've watched You Tube videos and both look pretty easy to put up alone (these aren't like the old canvas cabin tent my parents had in the 1980s). These are probably my top choices, though a bit pricey.
So, my top choices are (with the first two being far more likely than the next two):
-A Kodiak canvas cabin tent
-A Springbar canvas cabin tent
-Cabelas Outback Lodge (not quite a cabin, but roomy, and despite a lot of stakes and lines it can be put up easily alone)
-Eureka Copper Canyon (cheap, but decent)
Any feedback on these particular tents would be very welcome.
I am seriously concidering a motorcycle trip to Alaska. If I can't do Alaska then a Smokie Mnt run as a tune up for Alaska next year. Either way I would prefer to camp along the way. I have Harley classic so a tent could ride on the luggage rack 22wide by 6 or so would be ideal. I am looking for a tent that sets up easily with 1 person. Enough hieght to sit up, plenty of floor space to dry out gear. I am thinking a 3 or 4 person tent. I checked the old posts and those tent models are no longer availible. I don't need a 4 season. I dont plan to ride in the snow. An invisible bear shield would be a nice feature. I want quality but yet would like to stay around $200. This is very limited use 1 trip per summer. I have a lance camper and trailer as well. I just want to do a few long bike trips while I can still ride all day. Any suggestions are welcome. I will need a good sleeping pad and bag as well.
Last year I went through the same exercise: Tent for motorcycle camping
I agree with you that a 3 or 4 person is the sweet spot for a motorcycle camping tent, even if solo camping. Unlike car camping you can't store your stuff in a dry car if it starts raining. You probably have more gear than a backpacker since weight isn't an issue. So, it was important to me to be able to bring my gear into the tent without being cramped in case it rained. Bringing things into the tent is also the only way to keep things out of sight if I go for a ride and left the campsite but don't want to lash it all to the bike.
For an Alaska trip, you might want to look at 4-season tents that will allow you to close up some of the venting. It might get cold in Canada and Alaska at night, even in the summer. Then again, a good sleeping bag may make a bigger difference in comfort (though being able to close up some of the ventilation will allow you to keep out the cold wind).
I went with a Big Agnes Fairview 4 (doesn't seem to be available anymore, but it is very similar to the Coulton Creek 4 which is also discontinued, but last I saw was still available on a website or two). They are both 96"x86" with 60" of headroom. The Fairview packs to 8x22, the Coulton Creek to 8x24". For spring and fall I have a Alps Mountaineering Vertex 4. It is a good tent, but doesn't quite have enough mesh ventilation for summers around here. It measures 86"x96" with 52" of headroom (it packs to 7x22"). The Vertex 4 has been discontinued and apparently replaced by the Morada, but can still be found online. I've had my Vertex 4 for a few years now and, other than summer ventilation, I am very happy with it.
When I first started looking I had 20-30 tents on my list at one time, and there were many suitable tents I left off. Further, I would suggest you also look into 4-season tents given the location of your trip. So, a list of tents may not do a lot of good (a lot will be based upon your personal tastes). As for brands, it all depends upon your budget. Good budget buys would be Eureka (especially the Timberline) and Alps Mountaineering. On the higher end, you can't go wrong with Big Agnes, Sierra Design, Marmot, MSR and Mountain Hardware. Two brands I always put on my list when looking at tents make tents on both the budget and expensive lists: REI and Kelty.
My family has been camping for the past 30 plus years. The past 14 or so have been in an RV. Our current 32 foot Sunseeker is great. However, the wife and I are planning on a tent camping trip. Yep, I have talked her into roughing it. LOL!! Wish me luck! :B
We (I mean me) are looking so forward to going! The wife is already having some 2nd thoughts. She very might back out. Granted, she does have a few health issues. But I am on “Like Donkey Kong”. If she backs out we will still go. I might shorten the trip by a day.
I hope you have a great time. Hopefully your wife doesn't back out, and hopefully she has a ball and will want to do it again.
We did this this year. Yes we had a ball although the first weekend we were in need of a couple extra blankets. We are adding a kayak to the top of the little trailer this summer. Should be a blast. Hope you have as much fun as we do.
Nice set up. I'm a little jealous. I've thought about getting one of those little trailers. I have a car with no tow rating but I strongly want a pop-up. I was thinking maybe a little ultra-light tent trailer or motorcycle camper like yours might work. If nothing else, I'll probably get one in a few years after I get a touring sized motorcycle.
I'm also jealous about the car...If the diesel powered Smart cars were available here in the US, I'd probably have one. What kind of gas mileage do you get?
I've been crazy busy with work and graduate school (I am finishing my last class for my masters this semester, and I am putting together my "capstone" project which is due July 6, and then I'm done with my masters). Unfortunately, that has limited my ability to go camping this spring, and this weekend was my first trip of 2013.
It was a small, and short trip but a lot of fun. A buddy and I went to Harpers Ferry, WV. I am a huge history buff (I teach social studies and special ed) and I love Harpers Ferry. The camping itself was also a great time of course.
Because it was a short notice trip, I figured it was easier to just go to the KOA, and I've been to that KOA and know it is a pretty nice campground. It is right at the historical park and has a short hiking trail to one of the rivers.
It was a "medium" bad weather weekend for the time of year. A cold front came in on Friday. So, on Friday evening there were some interesting thunderstorms as the temperatures dropped. Friday night winds weren't terrible, but they weren't great: winds were generally in the teens to 20s, but there were gusts near 40mph (no, not bad, but noticeable). There was off and on rain through much of the night, and some was fairly heavy. Temperatures were below normal for this time of year and dropped to about 40 overnight on Friday.
I brought my Alps Mountaineering Vertex 4. It really is a good solid tent, I've had it for a few years now and the only complaint I've ever had about it was that there isn't really enough ventilation for Mid-Atlantic and Southern summers. Well, when it was 40-45 degrees out and some of those 35-40mph gusts hit, it definitely had enough ventilation in the walls to allow some pretty cold air to blow up under the rainfly and into the tent. At least I had a good sleeping bag and sleep pad so the only times I really noticed it were the times I let my arms or feet dangle outside of the sleeping bag (I unzipped my bag and used it more like a blanket).
Something about camping on a chilly and rainy night, with a good tent to keep you dry and a good sleeping bag to keep you warm, it is a lot of fun. I can't wait until next year when I'm done with grad school and can once again do more late fall and early spring camping. I may need to get a new 4-season tent first though. My cheap fiberglass pole Bass Pro Shop 4-season won't handle any real winds (at least, I've never been out when it is windy and I don't trust it to handle the wind). My Vertex 4, while a terrific tent, isn't ideal for nights that are both cold and windy since I can't close up the mesh to keep the cold wind out.
Depending upon how much work I get done before then for grad school, my next trip (unless I go on the spur of the moment next weekend) is May 3-5. I am meeting with other motorcyclists from a motorcycle forum I frequent so it will be a motorcycle camping weekend. I already have the campsite in Gettysburg, PA reserved. It will probably be either warmer or less windy that weekend (probably both), so it should probably be perfect weather for my Vertex 4. Maybe the weekend after I finish my current class will be a good time for another trip (I need to get the Vertex 4 out a bit before it gets hot and I need to go to my better ventilated Big Agnes or larger and better ventilated Kelty).
I camp alone in a tent. When in MD, I prefer commercial and state park campgrounds. There are plenty of people around. I also carry a knife, and sometimes some pepper spray.
When camping outside of MD, I feel comfortable wherever I want to camp. I have a UT carry permit which is honored in most of the country. Get a UT CCW and do most of your camping in areas near home that you know are still safe, or out of state where you don't need to worry about legal consequences of carrying.
Of course, another option is to get some kind of camper. The locked doors give some safety, and should buy you some time. Being "indoors" (sort of), you should hopefully be legally safer if you want to keep something in your nightstand by your bed than if you were carrying it while in a tent (IANAL, and different states may differ in how they treat this, so be sure of the situation where you are before making a decision).