Feb 20, 2010 at 4:20 am #1255505
When reading Ben’s talk of “Memory Lane” concerning shelters, I went back and looked at the collection of photos I gathered over the years of shelters that I thought were interesting. Here are a few shelters you just don’t see anymore:
AR UL Tent
Douglas Adams Tent… very old design… I wish I could get one! I think it was made by Vango?
Enlightened Gear Malcontent… only ever seen at the Outdoor Show, but it was so beautifully designed and so promising that I'm sorry that it never made it to market.Feb 20, 2010 at 8:35 am #1576308
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
Great collection Miguel! The wayback machine provides the following:
RickFeb 20, 2010 at 8:47 am #1576315Feb 20, 2010 at 8:54 am #1576318
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
Not all in the past is rosy. I used to own a Sierra Designs Solomente. I love its simplicity and all — but alas, it has a fatal design flaw: there's no way to avoid touching one end of the tent wall or the other — unless you use a short sleeping bag! And that just will not work in a single wall tent! Same for MontBell's puny single wall solo dome tents — too short even for MontBell's own "regular size" sleeping bags!Feb 20, 2010 at 12:01 pm #1576381
Like Ben, I own one of these, the Missing Link. While it has its good points (wind resistance, really nice if you're camped by a lake and want to enjoy the morning view), it is a bit rough around the edges. Specifically, if you're sleeping two, the one in back is almost certain to block the low vent in the rear and kill any chance for air circulation, and will have to climb over the person in front to exit the tent. My Tarptent Double Rainbow is better in all regards, and I'm confident that a Lunar Duo or other current lightweight shelter would be as well.Feb 22, 2010 at 12:51 am #1576963
I just love looking at these old pictures and catalogues! It reminds me that as much as we like to think of ourselves as having the latest ideas, few ideas are really new and different. During the 70's there must have been a passion for new ways of designing outdoor gear that rivals the passion for UL these days. Looking at the catalogue linked to above I only recognized a few of the designs; I'm not old enough (I'm 49) to remember most of them.
Two designs from the advertisements that intrigued me:
Snow Lion Mountain Tent (apparently Snow Lion was one of the most innovative outdoor gear manufacturers at the time)
Stephenson Silver Light Sleeping Bag (waterproof, with a foam base, it floated)
While browsing related information I came across the revival of Rivendell Mountain Works, on of the most innovative outdoor gear manufactures in history, and the new offerings of custom-made Jensen packs. The packs had no frame, apparently holding their shape from the contents. I'd LOVE one! Fascinating!Feb 22, 2010 at 6:50 am #1576991
Here are a few I used and remember fondly:
This tent go me through a lot of bag nights and had the round tunnel door and 3 poles: two A-frame and a single vertical back pole. It was part of the two-tent package available from North Face during the 1970s, the other being the Sierra below.
And then there's this great NF tent:
It's the 3 poled hoop tent called the Westwind. Discontinued, of course. Here's another fotog:
A more recent tent now discontinued which I used:
It's a Mt Hardwear Muir Trail tent.Feb 22, 2010 at 7:11 am #1577001
That is one hell of a vestibule for the Westwind, Walter! I bet you could sleep another person under it.
How old is Mountain Hardwear anyway? I thought they started up in the early to mid eighties.
Love the hiking staves in the background, too!Feb 22, 2010 at 7:14 am #1577004
@dangLocale: Pacific Northwet
That Douglas Adams tent looks similar to a Kifaru Paratipi.Feb 22, 2010 at 8:04 am #1577011
I was pleased to see the picture of the Snow Lion tent in Miguel's post. It doesn't show the fly.
I still have (and used as recently as a few years ago) that tent. I've also got the snow module for the front (a separate piece with additional poles that comes in it's own stuffsack) although I've never actually camped with it.
Camped years ago with my son and daughter when they were kids (now in their 30's) and then (since I had it) used it for my solo outings when I started to backpack about six years ago.
Now I use the Lunar Solo e and the Snow Lion is still available for when there are enough grandkids camping that we need additional shelter.Feb 22, 2010 at 8:17 am #1577022
That Mountain Tent looks like a precursor to the Moment!!Feb 22, 2010 at 8:45 am #1577039
Yup, thats a Vango Force Ten mk1.
They don't make that model any more, but you can still buy the mk3, mk4 and mk5 http://www.vango.co.uk/force-ten/classic-std-mk3.html
Utterly bomb-proof with a weight to match, used on Everest and still popular with Scouts and D-of-E groups.
I've still got a 30yr old mk3 in usable condition, the fly is bleached white from the sun.Feb 22, 2010 at 9:55 am #1577063
@jdw01776Locale: Southeast Texas
I owned the Snow Lion Mountain Tent (but not the add-on "Snow Module"). It was a fairly standard design A-frame tent, with a separate fly.
It was lighter than other A-frames because it was smaller — a bit of a tight fit for 2 people. Needed about 12 stakes to pitch the tent and fly. It was well made…Feb 22, 2010 at 10:56 am #1577093
@saparisorLocale: Pacific Northwest
Who made the Tacoma tent, pictured above?
You could post that as a pre-production, sil-version of the Zpacks Hexamid and I'd believe it!Feb 22, 2010 at 11:02 am #1577096
@marcpenLocale: Western NC
That is the Dancing Light Gear Tacoma Solo. I think they have been out of business for quite a while.Feb 22, 2010 at 11:11 am #1577099
@simauliusLocale: Bohemian Alps
Miguel, Rick & Ben,
Thanks for the memories of how colorful campgrounds used to be!
I still have the conservative-looking Diamond Free Spirit and its late 1980's clone from Eureka, along with my 28 pound Eureka Great Western. These get loaned out to Boy Scouts and neighbors anymore.
I use a tarp now, even when my flat-coated retriever comes along… but WOW that Snow Lion tent is a real thing of beauty!Feb 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm #1577127
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Front: custom dome tent, MYOG, 1968 (nylon and fiberglass, 4-man)
Rear: Blacks (UK) pyramid with external poles
Site: Wales, ~1969
CheersFeb 22, 2010 at 3:57 pm #1577199
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Walter, thanks for the partial picture of the 3 pole north face tent. That was the first tent I owned. My favorite early tent was my dad's 3 man tent from SD.Feb 22, 2010 at 9:37 pm #1577337
Someone on the world wide web emailed me about a year ago and knew my interest in the old North Face Tuolumne tent and he sent me these two fotogs of his you may enjoy. Mine was brown with a blue canopy but otherwise the same. Later NF upgraded with a full length fly with vestibule for the thing.
Here's the other:Feb 22, 2010 at 9:42 pm #1577340
What a great thread. What amazes me is that no matter what the next 'new shelter' is, it probably looks a lot like what has already been made.Feb 22, 2010 at 10:24 pm #1577351
@umnakLocale: Southeast Alaska
This tent was purchased in 1976 or early 77 from Early Winters. I bought it while I was living in the Aleutians and it went with me to Sierra Leone, both very wet places. The goretex fabric held up well, but I could never adequately seal the seams along the front. Last seen sometime in the mid 80's, lost in a move.
On the road to Falaba, 1979Feb 22, 2010 at 10:47 pm #1577354
@romandialLocale: packrafting NZ
mmore! please!Feb 23, 2010 at 12:19 am #1577372
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Unfortunately I don't have any old pictures because I rarely took a camera with me, because they weighed too much. From the 60's until sometime in the 80's my only camera was a Yashica twin lens reflex. Finally got rid of it when 120 roll film became hard to get. Plus I would either loose the film, it would get wet, or I couldn't afford to get the pictures developed. So those who remember that camera will probably remember this tent.
This is an old Sierra Designs Super Flashlight, which is in excellent shape. I took these pictures for my daughter when she borrowed it a few years back for a trip. The purpose of the pictures was for a set of instructions so she could set it up. BTW I lived in this thing for 48 hours straight when I got stuck in a blizzard on San Jacinto (even though it is a 3 season tent).
In the early 80's SD came out with the Flashlight, which had two modified hoops. Then the Super Flashlight, which was larger and had 3 modified hoops. Then they came out with the Clip Flashlight series.Feb 23, 2010 at 12:29 pm #1577590
@akajutLocale: Central Oklahoma
A bunch of vintage outdoors photos from the U of Wash. have been put up on flickr.comFeb 24, 2010 at 9:12 am #1577987
Nice thread Miguel,
During the mid-nineties, I ran into a couple that was interested in pursuing an outdoor gear business. At the time, I was interested in a tent that was immune to child/kid abuse and suitable as a group tent for canoeing lay overs. The couple had been experimenting with a modified center pole design and had completed one prototype. I think that the one pictured below is the second rendition, as well as the last. Rare and easy on the eyes.
It is 88 sq. ft., single wall 70d nylon, with a 200d floor, and a center zipped vestibule that attaches to either end. Sans vestibule, the "taj" pushes the needle at the local basic materials dealer, just past 15lbs. The vestibule is not practical for entry, but decent for gear storage, and as you might imagine, quite welcome in wind. It is dry, ventilates very well, but challenged by cool, still, humidity.
I was hesitant about the lack of bathtub floor, but when set up the perimeter seams tension up about 1 1/2-2 inches above the ground. It is very skillfully sewn. Instead of counting sheep as I drift off to sleep, I'm prone to counting roof panels and following the endless seam lines.
Still in use, three of us used it in the Boundary waters last Sept. The photo is from the South Arm of the Knife.
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