APPLICATION to test: APPY TRAILS TENT- Will Rice
- I have a good idea...pick me!
Please accept my application for the privilege of testing the APPY
TRAILS TENT. I, Will Rice have read and agree to comply with the
report requirements stated in chapter 5 of the BackpackGearTest
Bylaws v. 0609.
NAME: William Rice
LOCATION: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 7" (1.70 m)
WEIGHT: 145 lb (65.80 kg)
I have been backpacking for 13 years (since I was 13). In college, I
worked with an outdoor tripping organization (for 5 years), both in
gear preparation and as a trip leader (climbing, sea kayaking,
backpacking/ hiking, caving). My most frequented hiking locations are
in the North and South Carolina Appalachians and the Smoky Mountains
during the cold and early spring and the summer. Per month, I spend at
least 14 days doing outdoor activities and a minimum of 2 nights
camping/backpacking. In the past, I would do around 2-3 multi-day
trips per year. This year (2008), I plan to spend multiple weeks
hiking some stages of the Appalachian Trail. I carry between 25 and
35 lbs (11.3-15.8 kg) on multi-day trips. Because of my varied
interests and hobbies, I have become very picky with my gear,
preferring my accessories to be more akin to multi-tools. Being not
very big in stature, I also prefer those accessories to be as
lightweight as possible, in case I end up carrying them on my back.
Expected Weather- Charlotte
Month: Avg. Temp- High, Avg. Temp- Low, Avg. Precip.
March: 64 F (18 C), 42 F (5 C), 4.39" (11.15 cm)
April: 73 F (23 C), 49 F (10 C), 2.59" (7.49 cm)
May: 80 F (26 C), 58 F (15 C), 3.66" (9.3 cm)
June: 87 F (30 C), 67 F (19 C), 3.42" (8.69 cm)
Charlotte is located in the piedmont, so the weather is rather mild.
I hope to get some testing done in the mountains, so the conditions
will be colder, windier, and hopefully wetter. We are rapidly losing
winter though, so I might just have to settle for wetter.
Appy Trails Tent
My first thought is one of skepticism.
Here are the points I am skeptical on (and therefore will be the
highest priorities for testing):
- Is it really that light? If it really is that light, then I am
wondering if the fabric is somehow really really thin. Maybe it is
really thin, which is fine, as long as this doesn't result in tearing
the first time I pitch the tent right next to a bush. Light often
means less durable. Is this thing, in all its crazy-light glory,
- The other way it could be really light is if it does not really hold
3 people. I have two friends that I could sleep in this tent with to
see if it really is roomy enough for 3 men, NOT sleeping on top of
each other. I am skeptical about that top man who sleeps across the
width of the tent in the diagram.
- It says the single center pole is also one of the ways that it cuts
down on weight. This also sounds to me though like it might cut down
on stability. If I am camping on a very hard ground and cant anchor
everything real tight and secure, is the tent unusable? With this
innovative design, can my non-camping friends still figure out how to
set it up? Can I figure out how to set it up? Is it easy to set up
and anchor everything in the dark?
- Vestibule space is built in? The tent itself looks like one giant
vestibule to me. I'll have to use it in the rain to see how well it
keeps me dry if I am trying to cook in the "vestibule."
- Water proof coating? I don't think you can add as much
waterproofing to thinner material, so I am skeptical about thinner
materials shedding large amounts of water. The only way to know if
its true is to find out.
- Quite in heavy winds? Is it still quiet if everything isn't pulled
as tight as can be? Or, is this not possible, because the tent wont
stand without being pulled fully tight? Actually, noise is not as
much a concern as whether or not the wind blows through the tent while
I am sleeping in it. Does it?
My 2nd thought is wondering whether or not it is really worth the
money. Currently, I am using a tarp and groundcloth. They pack very
small, don't weigh much, and best of all, cost very little. It
appears from the pictures as though this tent is very similar to my
tarp, with some shape modifications and the pole added. The tent will
have the added benefit of being freestanding, keeping bugs out, and
possibly keeping heat in. Are there other benefits that justify the cost?
Lastly, I will test the following typical tent aspects:
- ease of setup
- ease of and need for maintenance (i.e. cleaning, drying,
- warmth: does it keep me a little warmer when its cold and does it
ventilate when its hot and humid?
- does it have a comfortable enough height for: sitting? kneeling?
- how well does it integrate with a make-shift footprint/ floor? Does
not having an established
- general comfort: the website sort of makes it sound like a
bare-bones system that might not be suitable for city folk .which
means I will be ok, or I am in denial.
I am hoping to spend some time on the southern Appalachian Trail,
which often results in being out in the rain and other kinds of
weather. There will likely be some scouting involvement as well. If
I happen to get only good weather, then I will plan to do some mock
representations of camping in some urban wooded areas. I am
especially interested in trying to setup this tent in all manner of
combinations of: dark, wind, by myself, impending rain, and actual
On a minorly related note: I enjoyed the reassurances and advice on
how to deal with girlfriend/boyfriends who are paranoid about the
outdoors. Now, if I could just find a tent waterproof enough to camp
on a floodplain.
Owner Reviews (3):
Princeton Tec Quad Headlamp
Granite Gear Round Rock Solid Compression Sac
Slumberjack Regular Pillow
Currently Testing (1):
Sitka Gear Traverse Shirt (LTR Due in March)
Completed Tests (4):
Flej Solo Cup
Big Agnes Elbert Sleeping Bag
Big Agnes Clearview Sleeping Pad