Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Home Sweet Tent

Today I will be sharing information on my home for the next 5 months. When I am not staying in shelters along the Appalachian Trail, I will be staying in the most kick ass tent ever made in the universe! Not to mention a wonderfully warm sleeping bag, which is a good thing because I pretty much run cold all of the time; when it is 70 degrees in our house, I am wearing a sweatshirt while draped in a blanket.

Below is the break down of my shelter and sleeping system.

The Tent


I have the ZPacks Solplex Tent and ZPacks Ultralight Titanium Stakes.

  • One person tent
  • 14.6 ounces (16.2 ounces with stakes - that's one pound, people)
  • bathtub floor
  • bug netting
  • only needs two trekking poles and stakes to assemble (set at 122cm and 81cm) 

It is made from cuben fiber which is lightweight, very sturdy and weatherproof. The design allows for plenty of airflow but makes sure those pesky insects can't get in! My favorite part is the "tarp overhang" near the door, giving me extra weather protection at a fraction of the weight. These door flaps allow me to put shoes and other gear outside of the tent while still being protected from rain. The tent is made for a 6 foot tall dude to be comfortable, meaning it's a 5 star hotel for my 5'2" shrimpy frame. The Solplex is very easy to put up and pack up. Once packed it is about the size of a Nalgene and saves a lot of space in my pack!

It is not necessary to use ground cover with this tent, but I have a lightweight, cheap polycro-type ground cloth - sold at Lowes for winterizing your windows.

For more information, pictures, or to see a video of how easy it is to assemble the tent go to http://www.zpacks.com/shelter/solplex.shtml
The ZPacks Solplex is in the forefront. 
Trekking poles, tent, Nalgene for perspective, and ground cloth
ZPacks Solplex (extra points if you find the dog) 
ZPacks Titanium Shepherd Stakes

Sleeping Bag, Sleeping Bag Liner, and Sleeping Pad

Summer Bag (blue), Winter Bag (red), Sleeping Pad (silver, rolled), Silk Liner (green)
**Puppy not included**
Apache MF 

Apache Microfiber Bag (red winter bag)

The Apache MF sleeping bag is made by Western Mountaineering and weighs 1 pound 14 ounces. It has 17 ounces of some of the best 850+ power down out there, and has a conservative 15 degree fahrenheit rating. This is for the 5'6" sized bag, because once again I am short. 

Once the season warms up I will mail this bag home and pick up my summer bag.

Caribou Microfiber Bag (blue summer bag)

The Caribou MF is also made by Western Mountaineering and weighs 1 pound and 4 ounces. It is rated 35 degrees fahrenheit and is the perfect summer bag with 9 ounces of downfill. 

Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest Sleeping Pad

I know what you are thinking... why didn't you go with an inflatable sleeping pad? The answer is simple: I hate them! I know they are comfortable and get you a few inches off the ground, but I hate blowing them up, deflating them, and packing them up everyday. So I guess you can say I am lazy and that is why I have picked the Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest sleeping pad. You simply roll it up and voila, you are done! Also, I don't run the risk of it popping and or getting damaged by a random rock or stick. And it is lighter weight, with a good R rating (a measurement of insulating warmth). 

Sleeping Bag Liner

I have the Sea To Summit silk liner for my sleeping bag. It will basically provide protection from dirt - keeping my sleeping bag clean and functional through many nights of use. It will also be a great blanket when I check into a hostel that has no linens, or for those really warm summer nights. 

All laid out VS. All packed up!

And there you have it! My home, sweet home on the the trail!