This spring, our troop was in need of some new tents since we had gained 20 new scouts and some tents were wearing out.
I checked around the Net and found ScoutDirect.com
which sells ALPS Mountaineering tents. We ordered some 4-man and 2-man Taurus tents with fiberglass poles. Aluminum poles are lighter, but more fragile and much more expensive.
I just spent 14 nights in a 2-man Taurus backpacking in Wyoming. 7 nights were with another adult leader on our scout trek, then 7 nights were with my son on a church youth group trek - his patrol let us borrow the tent.
I've got to give a great big Thumbs Up
to the ALPS Taurus tent. On these treks, there were Eurekas, Keltys, and some other tents. The rainfly on the ALPS comes completely to the ground which has a few great benefits:
- The inside tent never gets hit by rain, unless it splatters up from hitting rocks on the ground.
- Strong wind whips around the tent instead of turning the fly into a big sail.
- The fly creates a large vestibule on both sides for dry storage of gear you might need at night.
We had a strong, short hail storm - you might see the white hail on the ground in the photo. But, we also had a 10 hour rainstorm all night. The ALPS kept us and our gear in the vestibules dry, while the other tents got wet inside from blowing rain.
Another impressive thing about the ALPS tents is that they go up with just clips - no sleeves to slide poles through. My son and I timed ourselves and it took just 3 minutes 14 seconds to erect the tent from being bagged to completely staked out with rainfly. There are just two poles and no third pole for the rainfly so it is a very simple, sturdy set up.
What don't I like? Well, there's a little plastic window in the rainfly so you can look out from the inside - I could do without that since it just means more seams to possibly leak. But, the scouts like it. And, I wish there was green or tan colors, but it just comes in blue unless you double the price up to the Outfitter style in tan.
Have your Troop Quartermaster take a look at your tent inventory this fall and then check out ScoutDirect.com to see what they offer.