I bought a Camp Right compact truck tent with the intent of using it for hunting trips during the Pennsylvania hunting seasons now through mid December. Right off the bat, I understand the company didn’t design these tents for year around camping. However, I see no reason why not.
Being your basic HPA Pennsylvania sportsman I will adapt in place features to maybe improve the experience.
Tent: Campright Compact truck tent, no floor
Truck: Chevy Colorado extend cab
The first outing:
I arrived at my destination last Thursday in pouring rain and fog with temperatures in the 40’s. The morning hunt was a wash, so visited the friends in the local area and returned to the selected camp area and set up around 2PM. Good set up having the job done in about ten minutes. I was soaked, but the interior of the tent was dry. Not bad for the third set up of the tent - ever.
Of course, cold temp’s, wind and rain mandated that I check out the interior. I found a basic breeze free tent. I had a small candle burning (contained and safe) to ward off the chill. No flicker of the flame from outside weather. The candle did help break the chill, but not as much as I had hoped. More details on this later.
Around 8 that evening, the rain picked up to about 15 mph with higher gusts. Add to that rain, then sleet, then snow. My candle continued to burn with no wind flicker. Impressed!
I bought two of those 6” push button lights at the dollar store. They run on AA batteries. Modified them by hot gluing stiff wire into the hanging slot. The tent has several rings from the roof. Hung these from those and had plenty of light inside the tent.
<span style="color: #3366FF">That ain’t frost!!!!!!!!!!</span>
The following morning I awoke at 4 AM to find the above. Basically, a solid 1/8” of ice over the truck and a heavily ice beaded tent. After the rain and sleet/snow and cold temps, the ice was indeed frozen tight to the tent. Most would not “beat off”. The temperature on the truck thermometer read 27 F. Not bad, and I slept well.
Only issue was the zipper for the main tent froze. So there I was at O’dark thirty with limited light and blurry eyes trying to get out. I worked the zipper and finally got it to move. Once moving, and off the bottom it worked well.
The zipper for the main tent door closes at the bottom right as you are looking out the back. This is a tailgate down model tent, so the zipper in this area is at the end of the tent drainage area. I suppose it was just wet enough with the rain and stuff that it had enough moisture to freeze.
I plan of treating the zipper with wax before heading back out.
Breakfast was coffee (Coleman single burner stove, sauce pan and Folgers Singles boiled) and buck wheat pan cakes. Took a pack of left over party cups and mixed it in that. Just wiped pan out when done. The paper plate and cup and some other limited trash was burned. My wife found a mini bottle of syrup at the store – good to go.
Next week I am adding egg’s!
Only real problem was the pans wanted to slid off the stove. Just a bit of unlevel ground there. The solution to that is a fold down lawn type table I have at the house. I can push the legs into the ground to level it out, and it will take no real room up in the truck when traveling.
Friday morning into early afternoon found the ice gone and the tent drying out a bit.
I had to strike camp later on that evening as we got an unexpected snow storm that the National Weather Service just seemed to miss. I was going to stay, but my friend’s wife would have none of it and I weathered over in their basement with the gas fireplaces. The expectation was 8 – 10 inches of snow and 45 MPH winds. The winds happened, but snow totals were far less.
I struck camp in 15 to 20 minutes. It was snowing pretty darn good. Enough that the white rain fly I removed and laid on the ground was basically covered and I had to look for it after packing the tent in the bag. A combination of the snow and fading light really camouflaged it. Snow was falling heavy enough that we went from a bare field to total snow cover in about 30 minutes.
So, the initial trip went well. Most that know me have further solidified their thought that I am indeed nuts. But my plan is to use this tent all the way through Pennsylvania’s hunting season, mostly to the second weekend in December.
This tent is sweet!
It sets up easy. Just make sure to practice once or twice before doing it in the dark or bad weather.
The tent is basically wind and weather tight – so far.
I need to find a better heat source or adapt the tent a bit. The tent features a large vent area in the top of the main tent. Chimney to the max it is! I am planning on making a fabric blank utilizing on tent attachments to block off this area a bit. I also have access to Coleman propane light. Light for sure, but they also throw heat.
CO2 is an issue, but I don’t plan on using this extensively.
As a test, Friday morning I assembled my Coleman single burner cook stove then lite it inside the tent. In about three minutes I was toasty warm. No doubt in my mind that for the times some heat is wanted, this will do the job. CO2 issues shouldn’t be an issue due to limited use and there will still be plenty of ventilation. Something to watch for though.
I plan on moving the camp site to another location. Like the first, under the lee of the hill to protect from wind. I also plan on taking a small poly tarp and making a shelter from the back of the tent – out. Just a place to have some basic protection from rain and snow if it happens. Real basic – tarp, rope, and trees to tie off of.
Most liely important, I need to add an additional Folgers coffee single to the pan. Good doffe, but just needed that little extra..
Next week: Building the wine celler