New One Room Rancher Available for Immediate Occupancy


New One Room Rancher Available for Immediate OccupancyWhen researching backpacking, especially a 2100+ mile multi month trek like the AT (Appalachian Trail) you always hear about “The Big Three”; Tent, Sleep System, and Cook System.  Part 1: Tent.  Let’s be honest here, the last time I backpacked was 40 years ago in the Boy Scouts.  I basically had  a lightweight for the time “pup tent”.  And the last time I slept in a tent it was a GP Medium in Korea, not exactly a “packable” tent.  Bottom line, research had to be done.  Charlene said “Don, you like to research things, pick it out”.  She also tells me to “not be a cheap ass” and get a quality tent that will work for us. A great idea since this will be our home for SIX months in 14 states.Research Engaged.  Back in June we sat down with “Postcard” aka Mark at REI in Marlton, NJ.  He has hiked the AT twice and has a couple books on the experience.  We discussed the various options, looked at a couple of tents, and Postcard made his recommendation.  YouTube video time showed me Tarps, Pop-Ups, Hammocks, 1P,2P,3P tents.  There was Big Agnes, Hyperlite, ZPacks, MSR, REI, and many more brands to choose from.  Books were just as varied and EVERYONE has an opinion.  Guess we need to find out our basic needs to have a starting point.  Packable-obviously, lightweight, comfort, room, ease of setup/teardown.  Oh, and what about our gear, almost forgot we have to put our packs and shoes somewhere.  Using these as filters, I decided upon the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 (what a mouthful) with a footprint/tarp for underneath.  The HV model is a new design with oodles of head/shoulder room and believe it or not, the model first suggested to us.  Lets look at the filters:

  • Packable – check.  Designed to be compact and we can share the burden of carrying
  • Lightweight – check.  Overall it weighs about 3 ½ lbs.  Not the lightest but for the room and features this is it. 
  • Comfort/Room - Sleeps 3 – Why three? Charlene, Me, Gear, and yeah room enough not to kill each other.  It’s HUGE.  41 sq ft of living space, the 2P only had 29 sq ft.
  • Ease of setup/teardown – I was able to watch a video and set the tent up without issue and in short order.  There is even a way to set it up in the rain that keeps your crap dry(ish).
  • Gear – With the rain fly installed there are two 9 sq ft vestibules for even more room and to keep your wet stuff out of the tent and the rain.  And let it try and dry overnight.

Part 1 of the BIG THREE is locked down.  Better yet this system retails for about $580 with the footprint.  Doing some shopping and a little luck on Ebay and I nailed one down for almost $200 less.  Woo Hoo.  We stated with a 1600 sq ft farm house, moved into a 240 sq ft Airstream, and will be shifting to a 41sq ft tent.  The best part is the HUGE back yard the tent will offer… Can’t wait.  Next up… our cook system.