Canoe Country Wilderness Canoeing
by © Lee Hegstrand


Price is an indicator of the quality of a tent. Tent and tarpA good quality tent exhibits the following features: Light-weight, durable, stable in high winds, easy to set up, has no-see-um proof mesh netting on doors and windows, a bathtub type waterproof floor (seam sealed) and shock corded, aluminum (not fiberglass) external poles in no more than two foot long segments (longer ones will not fit in a pack easily), supporting a freestanding-type design. Freestanding tents are a great convenience in the shallow soils of the Canoe Country because they do not have to be completely staked down on calm days. Tents with three or more roof support wands will be more stable in the wind.

Ideally, the tent size should be rated one person more than the party size to allow for both gear and non-claustrophobic living space on wind-bound days. Always place a ground protector under a tent that is cut somewhat smaller than the floor of the tent or, as some recommend, a large sheet of plastic placed partially up the walls on the inside of the tent. If you are borrowing a tent, be sure to set the tent up and test for leaks and the existence of all essential parts if the owner is uncertain of the tent’s condition.

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