Anyone revert back to tents?


Jan 18, 2017
I know most continue going bigger and don't get me wrong, I like my pup, but a really decent tent is nice. We're three people and my tents are 4 person, so the size is pretty close. I have a few: Cabela's bargain bin Marmot for about $120 (2 real pole + 2 little spreaders, normally around $350), their Instinct Outfitter from the bargain bin for about $250 (tons of poles, figuratively and almost literally, normally $600-overkill) and a used Eureka Assault Outfitter (3 pole $200, normally $450-nearly overkill) and the old a-frame, with 3 poles.

They are each nice and if I chose one, it would be that Eureka as at the best choice of materials, layout and ease of setup. None have left me down although some have seen "sprinkles" and some, downpours.

I could honestly see taking a small, maybe even a motorcycle trailer, and packing up things like 5-20lbs of propane, a stove, a battery (if I wanted some real light and fantastic fan), maybe an ez-up or screen room in addition to the other things we normally take. Would be a breeze towing and super mileage.


Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
Albuquerque, NM
We still have (REI) front country tents, both 4 and 6-person size, and other supplies, and would use them if there was a good reason. When we were still doing a group camping event with our church, the group site wasn't set up for campers, so we took the tent. (On one of them, someone did not listen to the description- they were told that a couple of times, and said it was the first time they'd set up their popup in a parking lot. It worked.) While, at 65, I can still sleep on the ground with a Thermarest, I can no longer put up a tent by myself, and ducking to go in and out is not good for my bad back.
My husband still backpacks, so gets tent time with that. He'll also take a trip this year to meet up with one of his brothers while he's here in the west, and will take either that backpack tent or the 4-person one.
Our first pup was 6' with one bunk, and we found there was actually less space for our clothing duffels in it than we'd had in our 6-person tent. That took a bit of managing. Our second pup was 8', so the extra bunk was handy. We're now in a TT, which is only slightly longer than the pup was.


2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
Northern Virginia
In my mind they each have their plusses and minuses. I still have my tent and take it out occasionally. There are times I really like the out of the way spots you can get with a tent. My tent is super quick to set up and at times easier than my popup. Because my camper gets stored off site it can be too much of a hassle to bother getting it if it's only going to be a night. I love my popup as it gets me off the ground and can stray dry. No rivers or waterfalls going through my tent. No damp bedding to sleep in and even better the camper can get me out camping more in bad/cold weather. I'm able to push my season into late fall where as I'd be an ice cube even in my so called zero degree sleeping bag. So even though I don't see myself wanting to permanently go back to my tent I won't get rid of it either because there are times I I'd rather use it. Still have my backpackers tent as well although it hasn't been used on the trails anymore but for my kayak camping trips I may go on once in a blue moon


Active Member
Jul 23, 2019
I've come to realize the ground is harder than my head...
, exactly, not just you, mine too, and probably for many :). Getting a good night sleep makes camping, hiking, exploring fun and that is the reason we moved from tenting to pup'ing. But I'd agree that there maybe opportunity for tent camping occasionally, but probably not 'for good'...


Super Active Member
Mar 23, 2016
King George, Virginia
We still camp in our Three Room tent... Several nice somewhat local areas to tent camp here in Virginia...

With my front deck on my POPUP camper can carry extra things like this with us whenever we go out...

Roy Ken


Super Active Member
Aug 28, 2012
SW Montana
Since I boon almost exclusively, it still feels like camping for me. I grew up in the Boy Scouts and spent wayyyy too many nights cold and miserable and that was with having the best gear that we could get our hands on in Seattle back in the 80s. My back just doesn't tolerate the ground when using backpacking gear, nor do my feet allow for long hikes. I could use better foam or air mattresses, but then, why pack all that comfortable stuff when I already have my Pup setup the way I like it?

I get what you are saying and there is nothing like getting remote with quality gear. I still keep a family tent around for when we do group camping and all the boys or girls wanna hang together at night. But for me, my body requires a certain level of comfort. For my wife, she doesn't see the allure of spending good money on quality backpacking gear just to be temporarily homeless. The Pup checks off more boxes for us than blanks and is a good compromise. Otherwise, I'd never get her out of the house!


Super Active Member
Aug 1, 2014
Thousand Oaks CA
Still have 5 tents- 2 solos, 2 3 person backpacking domes, and a 4 person "family" tent. Only still use the solos for backpacking any more.
Don't get me started on backpacking gear! Sleeping bags, I have six: Three 15 degree, two 30 degree, one 40 degree. 4 different backpacks and 3 different sleeping pads.


Super Active Member
Aug 8, 2015
I have multiple tents. My son is still somewhat active in scouts, and I run the annual shooting campout for the troop in Feb. I have a pretty large stash, REI Kingdom 6 from our family cub scout days, a Kingdom 4 for supreme solo comfort on longer campouts, 2 different Marmot 3 person tents (lots of room for me when I need to watch packing space a little), Big Agnes Wyoming Trail 2 (huge stand up vestibule, real nice but cramped sleeping area), and old REI Half Dome T2+ (bomber tent with just enough room for me and some gear), and an ancient 1 person Cobra tunnel tent. I alternate tents as needed depending on the trip, although since my son got his Eagle we only go on a handful of trips now. I still enjoy tenting, but I haven't slept on the actual ground for years. In my never ending quest to increase comfort when outdoors, I found a number of different lightweight cots that fit my needs. Thermarest ultralight cot which packs down to about the size of a 2L soda bottle, Kamp Kot which is quite comfortable, still low to the ground, but with spring bar legs and a longer packed size it is primarily a motocamping/car camping cot that takes up minimal space, and a Helinox cot with optional high legs. All of these take up far less space and weight compared to the traditional camp/army style cot, and can be used in the typical 2+ person tents. Coupled with a good pad and sleep gear and I tend to have a pretty good nights sleep. Rarely am I the first person up at a campout, and frequently the last!

I organized my garage last year, and my camping gear takes up 3-4 complete shelving units between tents, chuck boxes, cooking gear, lanterns and stoves, ovens, water jugs, gadgets and misc gear. Couple backpacks as well, various camelback type systems and day packs, couple hammocks, camping tarps, hiking poles, 5 sleeping bags, multiple headlamps, water bottles, purification systems.

I do so much large scale cooking on campouts for the adults that I added a 3rd chuck box to my stash. Working on setting one up for standard cooking supplies and seasonings, cleaning gear and other consumables/prep stuff, another for just pots/pans/tools and dishes, and the smaller one set up for pop up use.

I currently have 2 Camp Chef Weekender stoves, a Coleman Road Trip with all the various stove inserts, Weber Q1200 BBQ, 1 CharBroil old style propane camp BBQ, Weber version of the same, a bunch of various Coleman white gas 2 and 3 burner stoves, 2 Coleman Eventemp 3 burner propane stoves, a bunch of camp tables for all of it, multiple pop up canopies, about 8 assorted white gas propane Coleman lanterns, gallons of extra fuel, Charcoal, 3 dutch ovens, propane fire pit, coolers, solar panels, battery packs.

And this was all because my son joined cub scouts. Although I camped in college and a little after, my camping gear had not increased or changed beyond what I could carry on a motorcycle until our first campout as a scout family. Since then I ave been gradually picking up better or more specialized stuff at garage sales, clearance, etc.

I admit it, I am a gear junkie!


Super Active Member
Apr 6, 2017
While I still have several tents out in the shed, I agree with Raycfe, the ground is just too hard anymore. The wife & I had given up camping for nearly 10 years, because we were no longer willing or able to sleep on the ground. If it weren't for our pup, we probably would have given up completely by now, instead of being out enjoying life.


Super Active Member
Feb 11, 2010
I’ve got backpacking quality gear for remote bow hunting. I’ll be 46 this year and those 100 pound packs are getting to me. Have family tent. Hammock ect. 3 pups, a hybrid, and a tt. Currently rocking one pup.


Super Active Member
Nov 7, 2013
There is a difference between backpack camping where you need a lite tent and car camping. If I went back to tent camping I would get two of the biggest tents that I could handle. I also would have cots, tables, chairs, television and AC.


A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
We actually bought a new tent the year before our pup, not knowing we were going to buy the pup. The boys were younger then (about 7 years ago now) and my intent was not to abandon the tent... indeed we still used it at least once a year as our church had a father/son campout each spring where tenting was the thing. We also used it once or twice as a family, but we've come to expect the nicer beds and other conveniences of the pup. We still camp in relatively primitive places where possible.


Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
Albuquerque, NM
@Sneezer - being gear junkies is fun. Some of our extra gear has been acquired as it has improved through the years. Courtenay just bought himself a new backpacking sleeping bag, seems like things get more comfort with the same or less weight. It gives us a choice and on occasion, we have been able to loan gear to responsible people. If my husband can convince his twin to backpack, say at Grand Canyon, instead of just coming west to elk hunt, we have the extra gear for him. (He hikes in with gear from his vehicle, but I don't think he has any real backpacking gear.)


Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Feb 7, 2013
Anchorage, AK
I had tents, still have them. One word... RAIN. Rain stinks in a tent. Even the best tents with full flys still sit on the same surface rain gathers. It rains a LOT here.

I use the tents when I need to spike out to a remote location for hunting. 20 years ago, that never bothered me. Now, I don't look forward to it. Soon, I'll probably just avoid it altogether.

Tent camping for camping's sake has long ago flown the coop for us. I've also spent enough time sleeping in GP medium tents in various parts of the globe that I'm pretty much good on tents for a lifetime.

Tonya Harding

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 15, 2018
Used to carry an old Army entrenching tool I kept when I got out; wife asked what it was for when we first got married, I laughed and told her she'd find out soon enough lol, dug many a trench around a tent to prevent flooding...still have a crap load of gear/Kelty tarps etc, given a lot of it away over the years to new campers...
Last edited:


Super Active Member
Mar 25, 2018
South Carolina
Have a two person for backpacking, four person for scout camping with the boys, and an eight person for family camping. The eight person hasn't been used since we got the PUP.