SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

BACKPACKER PHOTOS

Email this page RSS feed
User rating:
-

Lighten Your Tent by 22 Ounces

Six easy ways to lighten your tent load.
Text and Photos by Allison Woods
  • I wanted to see how much weight I could slash from my two tents--an REI Half Dome and MSR Hubba Hubba--and how much each ounce cost me in dollars spent. Here's what I did.
  • Ditch the stuffsacks (including pole and stake bags). Pack tent and fly loose in your pack, above your sleeping bag. Secure poles and stakes with a rubber band and stow in your pack's side pockets. I saved 3.8 oz. on the REI/2.4 oz. for the MSR. Cost: $0
  • Lose the groundsheet. Select campsites carefully, clearing them of pointy debris. Or, make a groundsheet out of ultrathin plastic from the hardware store, cut slightly smaller than the tent. Saved: REI/8.2 oz., MSR/7 oz. Cost: $2.
  • Swap out your tent stakes for any number of lighter ones. One cost-effective method: use a variety of stakes. Left to right: MSR Carbon-Core, $7/each, 3 titanium styles from Vargo, $4/each. Saved: 2 oz. Cost: $42. cascadedesigns.com, vargotitanium.com
  • Save an ounce or three by swapping out included guylines for super-thin 4 mm Dyneema from a marine supply store. A tautline hitch eliminates the need for cord tensioners.  50' is enough for guylines, plus corners. Saved: 2 oz. Cost: $10.
  • Employ fast-pack mode when bugs aren't a concern. Most tents will pitch with just a rainfly and footprint, providing airy comfort, plus all of the space normally confined to the vestibules. Saved: 24 oz. Cost: $30 (for the groundsheet).
  • While not available for every tent, a carbon fiber poleset knocks off a ton of weight.  Use care to keep this state-of-the-art poleset clean and free of nicks. Made on demand from fibraplex.com. Saved: 9.3 ounces for the MSR. Cost: $173.
I wanted to see how much weight I could slash from my two tents--an REI Half Dome and MSR Hubba Hubba--and how much each ounce cost me in dollars spent. Here's what I did.
Image 1 of 7

I wanted to see how much weight I could slash from my two tents--an REI Half Dome and MSR Hubba Hubba--and how much each ounce cost me in dollars spent. Here's what I did.

READERS COMMENTS

Page 1 | 2

$7 for a tent stake?!?! Apparently the strategy is to lighten your wallet as well. If you wanted to go ultralight, whittle a stick into a stake.
— Scott

So for about $300 you saved 22 ounces. I think for that $300 and the $300 that the tent cost in first place you could find a really nice ultralight tent.
— BigWaterJim

Or I could just spend 200 and ditch my double wall rei qtr dome and replace it w a single wall non-free standing tub bottom like the go-lite single @ 1lb 17 oz. still sold on my own plan.
— Matt

This defeats the purpose of a groundsheet. It is suppose to protect the tent. What good is a piece of "ultra-thin" plastic going to do to protect the tent.
— John

"4 mm Dyneema"
Four mm is pretty thick. You sure about that dimension?
— Yaan

$258 for the entire refit that comes out to almost $12/oz. BUT, 1.4 pounds is a good chunk from the weight you carry. I have had a Stephenson's Warmlite 2R for over 15 years and I guess at 2.75 lbs for a very large 2 person (single wall) it has amortized the original cost of around $475 several times over just is sweat carrying it around. That is about $11/oz total cost. The tent is a bit more expensive now and fully tricked out will cost you around $12.7/ oz. Cup of coffee went to $3 over same time period
— Anonymous

Yikes! My entire tent weighs less than 22 ounces!
— hikerGuy

To really save weight, switch to a tarp or tarptent. They let you re-use your hiking poles instead of a separate poleset.
— RevLee

The goal of this was to keep the Hubba Hubba in service. Like a lot of you folks, I have a single-wall tent that gets used a lot of the time. In shoulder seasons, the single-wall's a bit chilly, and the two-wall comes out.

Considering this tent's performed for me for this many years now (I think I bought it in 2006 IIRC), I don't have issue with the cost--this tent tricked out for a couple of bills is good to go for a few more years. Also keeps it out of the landfill. I personally own high-quality gear and only ever rarely replace it.
— Allison Woods

I like to use one of the larger light-weight survival blankets as my ground cloth for my 3-man tent.. double duty in the event of an emergency! I've also completed several marathons and received a 'space blanket' after each which fits my 2-man perfectly. As for protection.. I watch where I set-up and it's never been an issue.
— RichardC


POST A COMMENT

Your Name:
Comment:
My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
Ebola breakout
Posted On: Jul 28, 2014
Submitted By: dayhiker9
The Political Arena
Israel/Gaza Conflict
Posted On: Jul 28, 2014
Submitted By: Ben2World

  1. How to Hang a Bear Bag--PCT Style

    This method is popular with ultralight thru-hikers and requires two materials ...
  2. How to Fit a Week's Gear into a Weekend Pack

    Don't own a massive pack for your big annual adventure? Here's how to make it ...
  3. The 10 Essentials

    The 10 essentials packing list was designed to ensure that hikers could a) ...

TIP 10: Before Dark Falls

Start your search for a campsite well before dark. Look for water access, and avoid hazards like dangling branches, rockfall debris, flash–food zones, and avalanche runouts.

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions