In Search of a 2 Man Tent

I’ve been looking for a new tent and think I’ve found one that I’m ready to try.

Criteria:

  • 2 man capacity
  • $200-$400 (ideally, cost includes footprint)
  • 3 - 4.9 lbs (as close to 3 as possible)
  • 2 doors (and 2 vestibules)
  • Bath tub floor
  • Sold by REI (love their guarantee and I get a dividend back)
  • Great bang for the buck


Planned Use:

I’d be lying if I said this tent would be mostly used for true backpacking but in reality, my near future holds mostly car camping with the occasional overnight backpacking trip.


My Style:

I prefer to buy things once and don’t mind paying a little more if it’s a better value in the long run. “Some things cost more because they’re worth more.” [The trick is finding out which things are worth their cost.]


My Current Top Picks:

I’ve been debating mostly between the Big Agnes Rattlesnake SL 2 mtnGLO ($349) and the REI Half Dome 2 ($199) and have all but settled on the Half Dome 2 because of my current (and near future) needs as well as its low impact to my wallet. While I think the interior lights idea of the Big Agnes tent is neat, it's not a deal breaker for me at all. In fact, I could buy the Half Dome 2 and the Big Agnes mtnGLO Light Accessory Kit and still have $110 left over when compared to the Rattlesnake SL 2.


Final Decision:

The main problem is that I'm having to make a decision in the next day or two because I'm going on a camping trip this weekend. I wasn't planning on upgrading so soon but they're calling for rain and my current tent won't be able to handle the constant downpour without me getting wet and uncomfortable. A quick decision is hardly ever ideal but I've been weighing my options pretty hard over the last few days and just now decided to write about it.

As of the publishing of this post, I'm leaning heavily towards the Half Dome 2. It seems to be the best compromise of features and cost for my needs.


Your Recommendation?

I'd love to hear your recommendations but keep in mind my criteria listed above.

UPDATE: I settled on the REI Half Dome 2. On the few camping trips I've taken it on, it's proven itself to be a great buy and I highly recommend it.

Unsplash and Apple Montreal

I recently submitted a few photos to Unsplash for anyone in need of a "non-stock stock image" to download and use and I'm extremely proud to have one photo in particular featured by Unsplash. The photo below was taken on my iPhone 5 while visiting Yosemite Valley a few years ago and I truly just stumbled into this shot as I emerged from my tent.


"All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash."

There was an event recently at the Apple Store in Montreal and Unsplash showcased my photo in a huge 60x40" frame and then shared a photo of it through Twitter. I'm not a professional photographer but it made my day to see my photo displayed and enjoyed by so many people.

While I don't usually toot my own horn, pardon me while I do just that here.


August 20, 2015:

"Unsplash x Apple Inc. Partnership in Montreal. Last night, we got to feature some of Unsplash's photographs that were shot on an iPhone. The photographs were super awesome, and we received lots of love 😍 Thank you Apple and everyone that came out to support us."







Bush Smarts Bush Knife




I’ve had the Bush Knife from Bush Smarts for a little less than a year so far and while I haven’t truly beaten it up, I’ve enjoyed using it. It's a tough knife that includes a well-made leather sheath. The blade itself is forged from ultra high carbon steel and utilizes a Scandinavian grind for maintaining a long-lasting edge. This handmade in Finland knife is rounded out with a tuff burled birch handle that both looks good and feels comfortable in hand.

The price may be a bit steep for some and that's understandable. There are many knives out there that could cover your various bushcraft duties and this is one of them. If you feel moved or intrigued by this tool, jump on it. The Bush Knife has a very classic minimalist style and is fit for all tasks around the campsite or hunting cabin.

Check out more photos on Flickr.

Disclosure: The Bush Smarts link here and above is an affiliate link. It costs you nothing but if you make a purchase after clicking this link, I receive a small percentage of the sale. 

Back from Muster 3


I recently got back from the third annual ITS Muster. It’s nearly a week long and sleep is often a luxury so it’s taken me a little longer than usual to get back up to speed.

Since I was the “official” photographer for the week, I’m not in any of the photos but I like it that way. There is one photo I’m in that a friend of mine shot but you may not know it’s me.


I’m on the far right.

Overall it was a great event because I got to get away from the desk and computer and spend time in the field with old friends and some new ones too. I always forget how good it feels to not know what’s going on in the world because I’m so engrossed in what I’m doing physically.

We usually spend the entire time camping from our tents but the new venue this year meant bunks and cabins which was totally welcomed in my book. I love sleeping on a ground pad but a mattress and electricity makes it easier to get going in the morning.

Even though I just got back in town and I'm barely settling into my normal routine again, I'm already looking forward to the next camping trip, wherever it may be.

Fresh Snow, Bear Tracks, & New Peaks

A buddy of mine has been itching to go camping and with my newfound time off, I figured it was the perfect time to go. I was needing a bit of a recharge and spending time outdoors always helps.

We've both climbed Old Rag Mountain before but this time I wanted to try something completely new. We set our sights on Robertson Mountain.




As we left town, it started to flurry and when I called the National Park Service to check conditions, I was informed that they already had 2 inches on the ground in some parts and were closing sections of Skyline Drive.



We pressed on.

Before long we were on the trail looking for a suitable spot to setup camp. It was still snowing as we set the tent up and climbed in to warm up and dry off and finalize our plans.

The only snag was that my buddy brought his wife's sleeping bag which was made for indoor sleepovers but we improvised and neither of us froze to death. 



Getting up around 6 am was great though. The sun was started to brighten things up and we were eager to start the day. After boiling some water for oatmeal and coffee, we were ready to hit the trail.



There was still a lot of snow on the trail and before long we finished the Corbin Hollow Trail and were starting the Robertson Mountain Trail. After a short time on the trail we saw some bear tracks and these were super fresh. Luckily the area is only home to black bears and they are generally scared of people so we weren't too alarmed. It was neat to see the prints up close and each paw was the size of my entire hand.



After a quick summit we headed back down.




I strongly encourage you to take some time away from your desk and spend the night outside. You'll thank yourself for it.


But wait, there's more...
Photos on Picasa.
Short URL: http://goo.gl/QuSWW

A Huckberry Christmas


Christmas is coming and probably faster than you'd like. I know that I still have quite a bit of shopping to do myself and after seeing the current deals on Huckberry, I may be shopping for myself!

Brett McKay from The Art of Manliness has jumped in and shared some of his top picks for deals on Huckberry and some are just too good to pass up. You'll have to login to view everything but I'm going to share what items that I'm currently lusting after.

Oh and one of the best parts about these deals?

// All AOM Holiday Shop orders guaranteed to reach you by December 24 or your money back. //

Poler Man Tent - $125


I don't currently have a Poler tent so I can't speak on the exact quality but all signs to point yes if you are in search of camp vibes. This company is certainly one to follow if you haven't been already. I recommend checking them out on Twitter and Tumblr.

PocketToolX Brewzer - $10





















It's important for me to be the guy that others turn to when in need. I enjoy acting like Mary Poppins as I pull some much needed oddity out of my bag while still being fast and lite. The Brewzer is the super simple lightweight multi-tool I need. 

Trek Light Double Hammock - $56





















I use my hammock just about everywhere, and I mean everywhere. I've enjoyed a few lunch breaks from the 12th floor rooftop at work using only two well spaced trees in planters. If you're looking for a different way to spend your weekend than deepening the dip in your couch, pick one of these up.

Sawyer Squeeze Filter Kit - $39 





















During a past Huckberry deal, I purchased this filtration kit from Sawyer and couldn't be happier with it. It's lightweight, easy to use, and super portable; you can't ask for much more.

SlantShack Jerky - $22





















Who doesn't like beef jerky? Ok, there may be a few of you but still, I love beef jerky and this stuff looks delicious! I also like how they have both grain fed and grass fed jerky though I don't know if there are any taste differences...

Rite in the Rain Journal Kit - $25





















In the past, I've used Moleskine and Field Notes notebooks primarily. But neither are able to withstand the elements like Rite in the Rain. The fact they throw in a space pen should be enough of a reason to jump on this deal. 

Retrospec Bikes [Not part of the 'Art of Manliness Holiday Shop']

Millenium
Red+Black





















Retrospec currently has a dozen or so different models of bikes on Huckberry but two have really caught my eye. I love the colors and look of the Millenium and the Red+Black. At $250, these boutique bikes are a steal. 

These deals won't last forever so you better act fast. The clock is ticking at 12 days left. 

Anything on Huckberry catch your eye? 




But wait, there's more...

Short URL: http://goo.gl/j4RvW
When you sign up using my link, I get credit on the site once you make your first purchase. 
All photos are property of Huckberry Co. and only used for illustration.