If you're trying to save every ounce that you can, then tent poles are one piece of camping and backpacking equipment that most people can do without, assuming that you carry trekking poles. If you do carry trekking poles, then a trekking pole tent will allow you leave your tent poles at home and use your trekking poles in their place.
Trekking Pole TentIf you plan on getting a trekking pole tent, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Bigger Footprint - Trekking pole tents, by virtue of their design, tend to have a fairly large footprint, and are usually not free-standing. If you are camping in the back country, where space is no problem, this is fine, but you might run in to a few problems with a small campsite.
- Location Matters - Trekking pole tents are also not as stable as most other tents. If you pick a spot for your tent well, then this shouldn't be a problem, but a good wind storm, for instance, can flatten a trekking pole tent with ease.
- Lightweight - Of course these potential disadvantages are offset by the big positive associated with trekking pole tents, which is that they are typically quite lightweight.
Best Trekking Pole TentHere are a few of the best trekking pole tents.
- Tarptent Contrail - Tarptent makes a whole bunch of excellent trekking pole compatible tents, but one of their most popular 1 person tents is the Contrail. The bathtub floor is spacious, as is the ceiling height, and the ventilation it provides is more than enough to keep moisture out of the single wall design. The adjustable pitch even makes it a viable option for weathering a storm or two, assuming you have pitched it with the correct orientation to begin with. You even get a small vestibule to store gear in. And all that for 24.5 ounces, or 695 grams.
- ZPacks Hexamid Solo - What stands out about the Hexamid Solo immediately is the weight. You get a tent that offers full protection from insects and the elements for just 8.35 ounces, or 237 grams, which is really an amazing weight. However, you have to sacrifice longevity to get there. The Hexamid solo is made from cuben fiber, which is a fabric used more often for sails. It tends to degrade with prolonged sun exposure, however, and given enough hours, the seams will start to fall apart. But that's only after thousands of hours of sun exposure, and even then, a little duct tape fixes everything. Still, it's something to be aware of before purchasing.
- Terra Nova Equipment Tarp Shelter 1 - If you're not worried about insects then a tarp might be an ideal form of tent for you. The Tarp Shelter 1 from UK manufacturer Terra Nova is just one of many excellent tarps currently on the market. You can make a wide variety of shapes with the tarp and your trekking poles, such as a lean-to or an A-frame, that will protect you from the elements. Best of all, the Tarp Shelter weighs just 6.28 ounces, or 178 grams, so you save a lot of weight with this option. Just beware that you wont be protected from the bugs if you go this route.