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Old 02-12-2020, 12:46   #1
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Is a tent worth owning?

Hi everyone, I am building experience and plan on buying a coastal cruiser this spring. In the spirit of Black Friday and Christmas I am getting a head start on some wishlist items.

Should a camping tent be on that list? I plan on cruising the Gulf of Mexico and eventually the Caribbean. I'm curious how often you find yourself near a State Park or want to go inland a bit and stay a night or two?
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Old 02-12-2020, 13:18   #2
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Re: Is a tent worth owning?

Mostly, the accommodations on the boat are preferable to tent camping, especially when around scorpions. The boat is where all the camping cook stuff is, too.

Also, there is the problem of transport to camping parks, if you're a long way from home on your boat, mostly public transport doesn't go where you're thinking of being.

We have found sleeping bags of use on the boat, though.

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Old 02-12-2020, 13:23   #3
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Re: Is a tent worth owning?

Can’t imagine the use for a tent, or in our case even sleeping bags.
Space will be at a premium.
I recommend starting out very minimalist, and buying once you begin cruising, you will be surprised at how much must have according to the internet things you will even want, or have room for.
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Old 02-12-2020, 13:47   #4
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Re: Is a tent worth owning?

Maybe don't need sleeping bags for the GOM, but if you also go to cold places and you are tropic acclimatized, you're glad for the warmth. We haven't used them much, but it is nice to have the warm when you need it.

We've loaned them to people whose forepeak got soaked when they forgot to dog the hatch, too.

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Old 02-12-2020, 14:12   #5
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Re: Is a tent worth owning?

Never had use for a tent on a boat...except a boom tent on my Hobie 16.

I do sometimes use my Hennesy Hammock aboard though. And it could be used ashore too should the need arise.
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Old 02-12-2020, 14:20   #6
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Re: Is a tent worth owning?

I can only imagine that few would do it.
and this totally depends on the person....and on where you go.

Sailing Uma on youtube does. I think twice now in the short time I've been looking at their stuff, they have done hikes carrying backpacks and a tent. One recently in Norway to an awesome spot but it was up high and as I recall they ended up hiking back in the night instead for some reason or another....

I for one enjoy camping and can imagine wanting to do it if ever faced with an awesome location..... that said, don't imagine it would happen all that often.... just logistics
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Old 02-12-2020, 14:28   #7
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Re: Is a tent worth owning?

Never used a tent, but sleeping bags came very handy.
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Old 02-12-2020, 15:46   #8
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Re: Is a tent worth owning?

I keep an Eno hammock and fly on my boat, and have used them occasionally, mostly on day trios. They are lightweight and stow easily which makes them great for the boat. I also use them for backpacking trips during hurricane season when I’m not on he boat....
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Old 02-12-2020, 15:55   #9
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Re: Is a tent worth owning?

I converted from tent camping to hammock camping some time ago.

When it’s time to head off cruising for a few years I’ll definitely have my camping hammock and tarp onboard. The other gear - mainly quilts - will also find other uses on board.

Note that camping hammocks (like the ENO mentioned above or my Warbonnet) are very different to the typical tropical island hammock.
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Old 02-12-2020, 16:12   #10
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Re: Is a tent worth owning?

A tent is a great option when you have a little boat.
Used a tent a few times when my daughter and family came along for trips. Too many people to all comfortably sleep/cook etc on the boat so her kids would freedom camp on the beach. Is was great fun.
We' hang out for a few days; swimming, fishing, sailing, eating and then move on to another spot a day sail down the coast and repeat.
A wonderful summer holiday.
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Old 02-12-2020, 16:18   #11
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Re: Is a tent worth owning?

Surely it depends on you, your boat, your crew, where and how you cruise.

I do carry a tent, and general camping gear. The plan has been to do some kayak camping while leaving the mothership at anchor. I must admit, I haven't actually done it yet, but I do have the tent.
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Old 02-12-2020, 16:42   #12
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Re: Is a tent worth owning?

I would be tempted to cut up a tent and make a canopy even if it was a ridge style for extra space. On a small yacht somewhere out of the sun or in our case the rain is really valuable.
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Old 02-12-2020, 16:53   #13
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Re: Is a tent worth owning?

I’m reminded of a thread a while back that got into what folks defined as “camping”; opinions vary.
For some, just being on the boat would be considered “camping” (more akin to RVing)
If you tend more to a backpacking style of camping (minimal,compact, light weight) it’s very easy for such equipment to be duel purposed for use on board and on shore.
Rain fly, footprints, hammocks etc. are easily rigged up onboard while anchored as shades etc.
Camping stoves work nicely on beaches and,if gimballed, on board as well.
The pack itself comes in very handy for day trips and provisioning.
If you happen upon an accessible area in your travels, you’re good to go.
If we’re talking “car camping” sort of gear with multi-room tents; probably not so much.
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Old 02-12-2020, 17:05   #14
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Re: Is a tent worth owning?

+1 for sleeping bags. Saved my and guests' a$$es from freezing a few times.
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Old 02-12-2020, 17:08   #15
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Re: Is a tent worth owning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naus View Post
Hi everyone, I am building experience and plan on buying a coastal cruiser this spring. In the spirit of Black Friday and Christmas I am getting a head start on some wishlist items.

Should a camping tent be on that list? I plan on cruising the Gulf of Mexico and eventually the Caribbean. I'm curious how often you find yourself near a State Park or want to go inland a bit and stay a night or two?
My wife and I were fairly frequent campers before buying the boat and told ourselves we'd camp from the boat.

We never took our gear on board and haven't missed it.
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