Gear Review: Tarptent Squall 2

The Squall 2 is a non-free standing two person tent that utilizes one or two hiking poles to pitch.  The tent packs small and has a minimum foot print in your pack.  It has a great space to weight ratio, making it popular with ultralight backpackers.  Please note the photos don’t show the tent complete taut.  It was 95 degrees outside at 9:00 AM in the morning when I was pitching the tent in a few of the photos.

Fly Creek UL2, Tarptent Squall 2, Mountain Hardware Scout

Quick and Dirty
Gear Type: Tent
Material: Sil-Nylon
Trail weight: 34 oz
Price: $249
Link:  Tarptent Squall 2
Pros: Light, collapsing tub, uses four stakes to pitch, great wind stability, larger than comparable tents, very small pack weight
Cons: Condensation, misting during the rain, difficult to pitch in rocky or hard packed dirt Continue reading


Pack Weight and Down Sizing

This week I was talking to Campfire Chic about pack weights and size, specifically about how some people carry quite a bit of gear for their over nighter and multi-day trips.

Everyone has a different way of backpacking – some of us are minimalist and some of us are luxury campers.  Most of my friends are heavy haulers, refusing to give up their 80 liter packs and 50-60 lb carry weight.  We get a lot of comments and questions about how we are able to pack several days worth of food and supplies in our small packs, and still have all our necessary gear.  The answer is simple, pack lighter and pack less.


Carrying everything inside the pack (left) versus carrying it all outside (right). My pack (left) was approximately 25 pounds on this trip.

Continue reading