I will be camping on the trail, during service hours (10 days at a time in backcountry), and then will be camping in nearby national forests and Glacier National Park during off days. So it is imperative that I have a shelter that can take a beating from the elements. I have had thin nylon tents fail on me after just 3 days in rough weather, and I can’t afford to have that happen in Montana.
So I put in an order for a tried and true shelter, the two piece shelter, Army pup tent.
Thick, rugged canvas, with no bullshit poles of wood and metal, with metal stakes.
Yeah, it’s not ultralight for an ultralight thru-hiking adventure. This is down-to-the-bones ass kicking and is for those who don’t weep at the face of rucking some weight.
No cheap Chinese zippers with non sealed, ultra-thin nylon that rips and leaks. Thick canvas, heavy duty buttons, rope, and grit here.
Only tough men and women need apply for this heifer.
The basic A shape shelter is the typical configuration for this two piece beast, but it certainly isn’t the only one. Depending on the number of shelter pieces you have, or if you have a tarp or poncho, the possibilities are endless.
For a dry night by a fire, this will do!
None of that flimsy Chinese aluminum that bends at the breath of a slight breeze here. Sure its a little more weight to carry, but hey, that’s part of the workout.
You may say this isn’t ultralight hiking. I say, “You better believe it!”
I could stick to just my USMC tarp shelter set up, but I would like to sit up and read a book on a rainy day. I’ll still utilize my tarp for added coverage, or switch it up and use it as a flooring inside the tent, but I just needed a little more room to work with. Tarp only was fine for a month, but for 6 months, I need more.
Canvas is water repellant but not waterproof, so I will be cleaning and treating this shelter wit a waterproof layering. This will help keep the odor to a minimum, keep my dry inside, and make carrying it on my pack a bit more manageable without weighing a ton from being soaked.
Spending half a year in the wilderness requires equipment that test the time. High winds, crazy weather, and give me just tad more protection against wildlife. I couldn’t be more happy with this.
Later this week I will be posting more on this as I practice some configurations and launch the waterproof treatment.
If you’re interested in this shelter, you can still find a couple vendors that sell them on Ebay. Many of the military surplus stores are currently out of stock. And beware of sets that only contain one piece of the shelter, or excludes the polls and stakes.