Thursday, March 19, 2015

Gear Review: My Tent

     Here at Three Elk Meadow, we are always one for trying something different. We always like a good story, but it’s fun to try something new sometimes. Don’t worry, we’ll still keep the stories and whatnot, but the next couple posts will be a little bit different category: gear reviews.
First up: my little two-man tent. It’s called the North Face Flint 2, it’s $169 from many stores, and I absolutely love it. It’s seen me through countless scouting campouts, a week of rain at a beach in Utah, and a few million backyard campouts under the stars. It’s extremely easy to set up, (it only takes about five minutes at most,) it’s extraordinarily light and small, and it has many great features that enhance my camping experience. Overall, it’s the perfect tent for all ages, no matter what.
      The tent comes only in green, “bamboo green” according to the website, it weighs only 4.5 pounds, (extremely light,) and when packed up, it’s itty bitty. Only about a foot and a half long! Both of these traits make it super portable and easy to carry. One of my favorite features is its vestibule. It’s part of the rain fly, it protrudes out the front and is great for stowing gear, freeing up space inside. Also, it makes the tent look awesome! Beware though, the vestibule is not waterproof. I wish they had designed it to bond more with the ground, it is nigh on impossible to not have a little gap, allowing water to flow in. So if it looks like it might rain, bring your stuff inside:

       I learned this the hard way last year at a scout camp in Utah. It rained for five days straight, and me and my buddy who were sharing the tent had all our gear absolutely soaking wet and covered in sand (it was a beach) because we put our stuff in the vestibule. Oh well. Live and learn. The inside tent bit is actually extremely waterproof. It’s survived many a monsoon and a flood without the inside getting a tad bit wet. It has waterproof seams on the inside which keep it perfectly dry.

       It has some nice features which make things easier: a little hook at the top, perfect for hanging a lantern or a flashlight, two inside side pockets which can hold small gear like a flashlight in the night, snacks, whatever, and it also has high-quality aluminum poles (compared to the normal steel) which are very strong and light, and can survive the toughest Wyoming wind.
      A few cons always follow perfection, of course: first, the vestibule problem I mentioned earlier. Secondly, it is made to fit two people, and it does, but just. It does get a bit squished and cramped in there. It’s okay for two people in there for maybe a night or two, but after three or more nights it really starts to feel cramped and small. Thirdly: it is a bit expensive, for just a 2-man tent. Of course, it’s one of the best two-manners out there, and really makes for the cost in the high quality.     

Overall, I think this tent is the image of perfection. It is very versatile, portable, and high quality. It’s perfect for every lifestyle, whether you are a teenager going on scout campouts or the hard-core hiker/mountaineer. It works great in the calm, quiet backyard of my house or in a huge thunderstorm in the middle of the night in the Rockies a bazillion miles from nowhere. It’s my tent, and I love it.

-The Ranger

Here are a few more pictures:
The spacious inside
Here's my hand next to it - very small when packed up!

Without the rain fly (bug-proof!)

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