Thoughts, ideas and memories of photography, cooking & the outdoors (not in that order!)

Backpacking & Tents

Camping & backpacking is an old interest of mine, back from the Boy Scout days of yonder.  I feel thankful for having a renewed ability to participate in these activities being in California; it’s possible back on the east coast but from my perspective not nearly as accessible, in terms of weather and scenery at least.

Right before I moved out here I got the REI Half Dome 2 Plus on sale and while it’s a great tent for car camping, it’s a bit heavy for backpacking.  After lugging it around (albeit split across 2 people) on several trips, I wanted to explore lighter options.  I read around a bit and saw that the Hilleberg Anjan 2 seemed like a good choice: significantly less weight, as sturdy as Half Dome 2 (if not more) and a bit more versatile to boot.

This tent accompanied me on the Rae Lakes loop this past weekend and I was quite pleased with the performance.  In typical Sierra summer weather, we caught glimpses of clouds one day (and actually had bit of a drizzle the first night) but it was clear and sunny for the rest so I cannot personally say how well it holds up during inclement weather.

The only downsides I found so far were the following: the foot area – you seem to need to stake out the tent in addition to the fly to get the full space and help prevent condensation.  Also, while it’s versatile in some capacity – you can pitch the fly without the tent, you can’t do the opposite (the poles run through sleeves in the fly, not the tent).  The vents can easily be exposed by rolling back/up the fly but they are only on two ends of the tent, so it might be hard to get a good cross-breeze if it’s oriented the wrong way.

It might not be the best choice in very warm or humid environments (low elevation), but otherwise it seems to be quite good.  I was expecting camping at the actual lakes (at 10,500′) would give it a good wind test, but alas it was calm and still.

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