Wall tent Pros/Cons

Joined
Sep 8, 2016
Messages
85
Background: I am learning that if you do the homework in the offseason, there becomes less and less reasons to backpack for 7 straight days in the backcountry. Im toying with the idea of getting a wall tent to use as a basecamp and on hunts that only require 10-15 miles of day hiking. I will still pack my backpack tent while hunting incase I need to spike camp on some deer or elk, but sleeping in a wall tent with a stove most nights would be a huge moral boost. Especially in inclement weather or having multiple people in camp. FYI, I would prefer to buy a wall tent over a camper.

My question:
-
Has anyone bought a wall tent and regretted it?
-If I buy a quality tent (Montana, Davis, Wall Tent Shop) and take care of it, can I except the same longevity as a camper? 15 years of usage, camping roughly 15 days per year?
-Any clear preference on a wall tent company or are the top competitors pretty close together?
-Typically will be camping by myself or with 1-2 people. Would the 10x12ft be sufficient?
-Have people bought a wall tent then preferred a camper instead?

thanks
 

RockinU

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Jan 27, 2019
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257
Location
Texas
I have an Elk Mountain, and I much prefer it to a camper, there's a lot more "living space". I've only had it 2 years, but I left it up on a lease place for 2 months, even put a plywood floor in it, and it was none the worse for the wear.

I like the mobility of backpack hunting too much to tie myself to a wall tent, but for a base camp, or a large group trailhead camp, a wall tent is awesome. Also much easier to get down nasty roads than a camper.
 

Slick307

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May 18, 2019
Messages
20
My family has been using wall tents for about 10 years now. They will last a really long time as long as you dry them out after use. We have been using the same one this whole time it gets used summer, Fall and late season elk.
I like it much better than a camper. Known a few people that have had to leave there camper on the mountain for winter or break camp early do to weather, not thing to worry about with a tent.
They are easy to repair if something should happen.
 

Nick_CO

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Dec 20, 2018
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Location
Southern Colorado
Wall tents are great for hunting with groups where everyone pitches in to setup and chop wood for the stove and such. I have found them to be valuable when hunting with people of varying abilities since you can all essentially go your own way and meet back up at the end of the day where a warm wall tent provides a great story telling environment. I wouldn't want a wall tent if I was solo, a truck bed camper would be my preference if alone.

Now about going on 10-15 mile day hikes from a wall tent camp while carrying your overnight gear for possible spiking. That's covering some serious ground on a daily basis. I would forget the wall tent at that point and just backpack in to begin with. Your description makes me think you might like a packable tipi tent/stove combo. There are setups that can accomodate 3 people and you still get the morale boosting quality of an indoor stove.
 

Werty

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Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
73
I'm not sure there is a a correct answer, its subjunctive. In that, what someone wants. I have stayed in motels, campers, and tents. They all served their purpose. If you know your area and are not running all over the place, a wall tent is good.
With that being said, I've been in a wall tent, with the wind flapping the walls so bad and wind blowing down the chimney pipe. One minute wishing to go to sleep, next hoping I wake up in the morning do to smoke inhalation.
Last year I was in a tent for 8 days, it was nice to have the wood heat. The area I was in, depending on weather you might not get your camper out till winter. I was also 2hr drive from lodging. I own a canvas wall tent, a Cableas bighorn and smaller tents. Non are better or worse, just different for different needs.
I dont regret buying any of my tents, or renting a hotel room occasionally. Hope this helps
 

BearFoot

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Jun 6, 2018
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309
Location
Alaska
I've a 10' x 12' by Alaska tent and tarp. Heavy at 80 lbs with frame and canvas. Its the moose camp and camping with the grand kids. With the bunk bed cot, we now sleep six. Perfect for two hunting. Got to tie it down if the wind is blowing!
 

hardwoods

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Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Messages
185
Location
MN
You may want to go a size up 12×14, may not always just be 2 hunters and to accommodate your gear, etc.. also look into some sort of canopy off the front for cooking, eating, and gear storage.
 

pgidley

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Dec 4, 2018
Messages
71
Not much to add that hasn't been covered by others already. I've hunted and camped in a lot of setups, in all seasons for extended periods here in Northern Ontario. For my wife and I with our dog, the 10x12 wall tent with a Four Dog stove is about perfect, but it definitely isn't lightweight, and it takes up a bit of space in terms of year-round storage etc. However it is much smaller to store than a camper, and it's pretty reasonable to get into some difficult access areas with the ATV. A small cart would work well, but I sure wouldn't want to be packing it without some sort of draft animals. I would definitely go bigger than 10x12 for more than two people, and even with two, you want to be comfortable in eachothers space. Bunk cots definitely save some floor space!

The best setup I've camped in is one developed and refined over the years by my Great Uncle, who is now 82 and still setting up and hunting every fall from September until November when the snow starts sticking around. He built a small enclosed camper trailer, big enough for a bed and some solid floor space, which connects directly to one end of his canvas tent. The trailer is sturdy and has good clearance, and can be towed down trails with an ATV, and the tent, stove and all his gear fit inside the trailer. It's quite the rig, and is super comfortable.
 

marshman

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Joined
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
171
Location
Southwest Washington
What are the numbers of hunters that you hunt with? if you are solo or with one other hunter you might want to consider a Kodiak canvas tent. Research this thread for lots of information on them. For one to two hunters they cannot be beat in my opinion, very easy set up and tear down if you want to move.
 

ShootsManyBullets

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Joined
Dec 27, 2013
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1,379
Location
OR Trail
I'd go on the 12x14 or larger for is 2-3 guys.
Nice for having a base camp and a wood stove to warm up and dry out. There's probably some better/smaller/lighter options for 1-2 guys than a big wall tent though. I can usually have mine setup in about 30 minutes if I have a partner and on average I spend 3-4 weeks per year in mine.

On the plus side over an RV it takes up less storage space, requires minimal maintenance, and doesn't need to be insured
 

TheDudeAbides

Active member
Joined
Sep 26, 2015
Messages
528
Location
Rio Verde, Wyoming
Background: I am learning that if you do the homework in the offseason, there becomes less and less reasons to backpack for 7 straight days in the backcountry. Im toying with the idea of getting a wall tent to use as a basecamp and on hunts that only require 10-15 miles of day hiking. I will still pack my backpack tent while hunting incase I need to spike camp on some deer or elk, but sleeping in a wall tent with a stove most nights would be a huge moral boost. Especially in inclement weather or having multiple people in camp. FYI, I would prefer to buy a wall tent over a camper.

My question:
-
Has anyone bought a wall tent and regretted it?
-If I buy a quality tent (Montana, Davis, Wall Tent Shop) and take care of it, can I except the same longevity as a camper? 15 years of usage, camping roughly 15 days per year?
-Any clear preference on a wall tent company or are the top competitors pretty close together?
-Typically will be camping by myself or with 1-2 people. Would the 10x12ft be sufficient?
-Have people bought a wall tent then preferred a camper instead?

thanks
Pros

* You will not find a more comfortable way to camp especially in late season hunts.

* You can dry out your clothes after hunting

* Space - It is like a cabin in the woods. Head space and lots of movement.

* Longevity - It'll last as long as you take care of it.

Cons

* Truck Bed Space - Tents are large in size and take up a lot of space when stored. Mine is stored in a 55 gallon trash can in the offseason and I have to squish it to fit. The poles, the stakes, the tent, and stove probably take up 60% of my short bed. The rest of the bed is jam packed with chairs, hunting gear, cots, lanterns, cooking gear, etc. You will be shocked at how little space you will have left.

* Weight - Stove weighs 100 lbs and the Tent weighs 100 lbs, so they are a pain to move.

Companies - Montana or Davis. The Wall Tent Shop is hit and miss.

Size - 14x16 is the minimum size I would go for 3 people. Always go a size bigger than you think you would need.

Tipi - Rather than a camper, I would suggest looking into a TIPI style of hot tent. They are lighter and don't take up as much space and are more pack-able. With a tipi style you will be less inclined to take everything with you.

So, I do like my wall tent, but I only use it in late season when there is a chance for snow or really cold weather. Due to how much of a pain everything is I normally just take a regular tent a lot of the time. I think it will be worth your time to look into the tipi option.
 
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Cheater

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Jan 22, 2013
Messages
142
Numerous pros, most have been listed. Love my wall tent.

Cons: Not necessarily hard to set up, but it takes some time. They also take up more room in your truck bed than you would imagine. Don't like to set mine up unless it's going to be there for a week.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2016
Messages
75
Location
NJ
I thought about this quite a bit as well and went with a 10x14 Kodiak Flexbow canvas tent instead. Main reason is that I often hunt solo and really don't want to spend a lot of time setting up a wall tent. The Flexbow takes less than 10 minutes to set up, is really well built with high quality materials, and comes with a lifetime warranty. I just got it in the spring, but so far it has worked well for camping with my 2 boys and at 10x14, it has plenty of room. However, in a hunting camp, I think 2 people would be ideal in it and 3 would probably feel cramped given all the gear.
Kodiak also makes a cabin canvas tent, which is similar to a wall tent, but I didn't go for that mainly because the set up takes longer and is more of a hassle solo. Note, Kodiak's do not come with a stove jack. Therefore, for heat, I just use a buddy heater, coupled with a battery powered CO detector. Overall I am happy with it and have no regrets getting this over a wall tent. Would do the same thing again.
 

mplane72

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Jan 25, 2016
Messages
305
Location
Iowa
We've put a very large wall tent set up in places you would never get a camper to. Love it. Would never think of bringing my camper out west over the wall tent.
 

COEngineer

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Jul 6, 2016
Messages
467
Wall tent >> camper

I bought my tent and stove at Davis because that's where a friend who had one directed me. No regrets. I have had mine over 10 years and had repairs (~$100 cost) once to patch up some holes.
 

choc dogs

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Apr 12, 2006
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1,217
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boise
I've got a 12x12 wall tent, it's great for 2, for 3, somebody's kinda close to somebody else.. It's great for drying out, staying warm and spreading out, it's kind of a pain in the butt to set up for a weekend hunt, especially when it's just me.

I've got a slide in truck camper, it can't go as many places, it's never as warm, it's kinda cramped, and clothes don't dry out as quickly hanging inside. It's a bunch faster to park the truck someplace, and get it kind of level with blocks, and camp's set up. It's kinda cool when it's cold outside and the furnace kicks on when it gets to be 60 inside, and I don't have to stoke up the stove.
 

wllm1313

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Dec 9, 2015
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3,988
Location
Aurora, CO
As cheater said lots of pros, so I will skip those.

Cons:

In general I don't like equipment that I'm not going to use solo, as sometimes you just can't make schedules work. You probably won't use a wall tent all that much solo. You will use a decent amount of time breaking down and setting up camp, loading up your truck with gear/unloading your truck and hanging out in your nice camp that you could be spent hunting.

You are less likely to stick it out till the last light of day or be right on the ridge at first lite if you have to walk back a long ways to your camp.
 

2rocky

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Joined
Jul 23, 2010
Messages
1,368
Cons

* Truck Bed Space - Tents are large in size and take up a lot of space when stored. Mine is stored in a 55 gallon trash can in the offseason and I have to squish it to fit. The poles, the stakes, the tent, and stove probably take up 60% of my short bed. The rest of the bed is jam packed with chairs, hunting gear, cots, lanterns, cooking gear, etc. You will be shocked at how little space you will have left.

* Weight - Stove weighs 100 lbs and the Tent weighs 100 lbs, so they are a pain to move.

Companies - Montana or Davis. The Wall Tent Shop is hit and miss.

Size - 14x16 is the minimum size I would go for 3 people. Always go a size bigger than you think you would need.

Tipi - Rather than a camper, I would suggest looking into a TIPI style of hot tent. They are lighter and don't take up as much space and are more pack-able. With a tipi style you will be less inclined to take everything with you.

So, I do like my wall tent, but I only use it in late season when there is a chance for snow or really cold weather. Due to how much of a pain everything is I normally just take a regular tent a lot of the time. I think it will be worth your time to look into the tipi option.
I will agree with the pros and wanted to address how I've dealt with the cons.

Space and weight, used a Synthetic material tent in a Center pole pyramid design 12x12 Total. Actually has been doable to setup for a weekend summer trip . Even used it for a Medical tent the last 10 years at the local Trail race. I set it up before the race, run the race, and take it down singlehandedly.

Stove weight - Used Packer style stove rather than Large Steel drum style. Takes more and smaller wood, lighter construction.

Repeat camping areas, Cache tent poles from trees on site. In the Mountains of the west, often you will see them stood upright against a tree in historic camping sites.

Truck Bed Space - If no poles uses folded rather than rolled across the bed is more efficient. You can roll it to move it
 

Elkdog

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Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Messages
209
Location
Nevada
I love my wall tent. As mentioned above I would go up one size, you won’t regret it. I think most major brands are about the same. I chose Davis for their customer service. They are heavy and to set up a camp well you will need a few extra things over a regular tent but it’s well worth it in my opinion. Practice setting it up a few times at home before you head up hunting. Mine is a 14X16 and I can set it all up by myself with a canopy, tarp floor and carpet, stove and 8ft porch in a couple hours. With another person it’s half that time. It is so nice to come back to after a long day of hunting or just camping with the family.
 

Cheater

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Jan 22, 2013
Messages
142
It is nice to have two people to set it up, but make sure you've got a good system. For some reason somebody always wants to start staking the tent down while I"m inside getting the floor, sod cloth, and poles just right. It's a pain in the butt when the tent is already staked. Do that last.
 
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