Elk Hunting/ Family Camping Tent Suggestions?

Joined
Nov 3, 2017
Messages
1,463
Location
AK
We use an Arctic Oven 10 with two kids. I’ll probably buy a 12 when they get a little older. I can set it up alone in maybe 15 minutes and can do it with my wife in 5-10 minutes. We have a SO cimarron and had an SO 8. Along with a pile of other tents. My wife didn’t like the floor less. Too many bugs flying around and in the sleeping bag, even with cots. Our AO tent has been the family weekend and moose hunting tent for 6 season. The vapor fabric they use for the body of the tent means no condensation. Ever. You can also use propane to dry out because it allows all moisture to be pushed out of the tent. We use it at least 10 weekends a year and have used it from -10 and very windy to 80 and calm. No tent is fun in the 80 degree crap, but it allows for decent venting. Our friend had an Alakanak that was sold shortly after a couple weekend camping together. I’ve used several wall tents and would choose the AO 11 out of 10 times over a wall tent. Mine weighs probably 60ish lbs total and fits in a large tote, but no cots needed with the enclosed setup, just sleeping pads. So that saves on weight and space.

We have a stove Jack that I almost never use. I have a collapsible stove, barrel stove, nuway, and a good old buddy heater. Have used the buddy heater exclusively for a couple years now paired with a CO detector (would recommend with wood too). If it’s below about 40, we usually just fire up the buddy heater to take the edge off in the morning. Rarely ever use any heat above 40 unless we need to dry stuff out. On low it about burns you out after 15 minutes when around freezing outside. We’ve used it in January camping out for musk ox tags for 48 hours and ran the buddy heater on low nonstop. It stayed around 50 degrees inside with an average -10 outside temp and blowing about 20 mph.

The vestibule sticks out about 4 feet and is floor less, so that’s extremely handy. Keep all boots out there along with totes and gear Often times cook in there too or just hang out with gear on to get out of the elements. I couldn’t recommend an Arctic Oven 12 more for what you’re describing you need. Straight up 6 foot sidewalls will leave plenty of room. Some pictures below show how the inside liner pushes moisture through. Inside of the tent was dry as can be. I’ve seen numerous times people will have them out camping all weekend ice fishing. I will be doing the same when my boys get a little older.
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Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
1,334
Location
Tulsa Ok
Weve got the 2nd largest Alaknak. Good tent but takes a few minutes to set up. We probably overkill for two guys but if we ever have a larger group we are set. We are early season guys so never have had a stove in it but it is set up and ready for it.alaknak.jpg
 

t_carlson

WKR
Joined
Nov 1, 2022
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521
Location
Montana
I bought the Kodiak 12x12 cabin last year and couldn't be happier.

You can set it up easily solo. Takes about an hour.

I do recommend you get a fireproof bbq mat for using a wood stove. Otherwise, you'll melt the floor out underneath it.

Which brings up a great feature of the tent - the floor. Nice to have with kids. Also keeps rattlesnakes and bugs from coming inside during the warmer months.
 

Dave_

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Mar 3, 2017
Messages
133
Location
Austin, TX
We have the 10x14 kodiak flexbow. It's pretty awesome. I can set it up in ~30 min solo. It's too hot for summer in TX though, it's an oven in direct sunlight, but thats probably any canvas tent here. I would get the model with the extra screens if I did it again.

One guy mentioned it's tight for 4 people. That depends if your all using cots. On hunting trips, 3 adults in full sized cots is about max with still being comfortable. With the fam we usually just sleep on the ground on basecamp pads and it still feels huge. I usually have a small fold out table and a few small camp chairs inside also.

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Haro450

FNG
Joined
Mar 21, 2017
Messages
80
Location
OR
I camped out of a wall tent for years. If you go that route get a internal frame. If your wanting to be mobile IE quick setup and break down time a RV is way faster. There is always some much crap that goes along with tent camping. All of it has to be setup taken down. Then cleaned and store away when back home. We bought a 24 foot travel trailer last year and will leave the wall tent for late season snow hunts only.

It you go with a stove in a wall tent i would look at a gravity feed pellet stove.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2022
Messages
21
As far as wall tents go, you can't beat the price on the Ozark Trail ones. Comes with stove jack too. They occasionally go on sale, I've seen them as low as $250. Set up time is slow in the beginning but once you get some experience, it goes much quicker.

 
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
454
Location
the Bitterroot
I’ve had the Kodiak 10x14. Setup solo is pretty easy and made much easier if you use long HD lag screws as stakes. With a drill it speeds up that 16 stake process a lot.

We used a big buddy heater. Really liked quick heat as weren’t in tent much but did have the co2 sensor shut it off sometimes so we always had tent vented.

For a canvas tent with quick setup, nowadays if you have the budget, seems like can’t beat the Wildreness Ridge Trail Llamas / Snowtrekker tents. For a family could look at the WRTL Continental (13x13) or if want bigger, the Snowtrekker MegaCrew.

With a truck tent your stove options open up and could even do a pellet addition to your wood stove, to allow easy, consistent heat for the family for when didn’t want to collect and split wood.

Good times and great memories for the family. Enjoy!
 

Kurts86

WKR
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
350
I use an MSR habitude 6 as my crossover elk base camp family tent. It worked fine for 3 guys during a miserably snowy/cold Wyoming hunt and works for the family the rest of the year. I’ve run a Mr. buddy heater in it and no one has died of carbon monoxide poisoning yet****

It’s a lot different option than most mentioned here but it’s smaller and faster to deal with than a wall tent.
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Messages
2,219
My wife and I really like our Kodiak Canvas. Its a 10x14. It works great for us but if you had more people a bigger one would be nice.
 

Archer86

WKR
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
396
Location
Greatest place on earth
I have a a wall tent and bought a bell tent last year and that's all I used for quick set up its way faster then a wall tent. We slept 5 In a 16ft white duck bell tent comfortably
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
2,263
Don’t be intimidated by a canvas wall tent. You can set one up easily. With a little practice, you’ll get quick at it. Here’s a thread showing you how to set one up solo with no partner. They really are the way to go. If you tell me you’re using it during October for elk it doesn’t really matter what else you’re doing with it in. You have to buy a tent that will work in your worst case scenario. I would say that means a woodstove too. There is a reason why hunting outfitters, Lewis and Clark, and the US military uses wall tents. lol

Nothing like a homebase where you can get warm and dry, and regroup with without a worry in the world.

 
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
1,763
Location
San Antonio
OP, hard to get faster setup than the Kodiak Flexbows. Get a 10x14 for you and the wife and the small 2 man for the kids so y'all can have snuggle time. Then when you're alone you use the 2 man. I have the 2 man for solo duck hunting trips and love it.

When I camped a lot when the kids were younger the plain Cabela's Alaskan Guide tents did us very well, still have a 15 year old 6 man so. Been in negative temps out West and 60+mph gusts on the coast. Easy setup, just regular tent poles and stakes.

Buddy has one of the big Alaknak tents with stove and all. He's in his 50's and sets it up alone all the time but takes a bit. Sure is nice and roomy inside.

Edit: Those bell tents sure are interesting though, can't stop eyeballing them..
 
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Joined
Nov 20, 2021
Messages
1,447
For 2nd rifle season in Colorado, the Cabela's 8 man Alaskan Guide with a small propane heater (Coleman Black Cat 3000 btu heater) keeps it above freezing on the coldest nights down to 0 deg. Very good in the summer with the ventilation capabilities and sheds heavy snow like water off a duck's back. No issues with condensation and propane but that's in Colorado with low humidity. Bigger heater will effectively add to condensation potential, so always stuck with the small heater as the tent is just for sleeping and we hang out around the fire each night.

My thought is pick up a used 8 man Alaskan guide, very good prices on those. Get a wall tent with a wood stove as well and have both bases covered with flexibility for summer and winter.
 

Ron.C

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
Messages
275
Location
Vancouver Island British Columbia
another wall tent fan here. From a family camp perspective they have the most useable space for any tent design, tons of headroom, durable, and can take any weather (including heavy snow) if its left unattended.

I like the floorless design, even in warmer months. Being able to walk in/out without needing to drop footwear is awesome. (that said I don't live/hunt/camp in snake country).


I had my current tent made with 2'x2' screened windows/w cnavas flap covers on the sides, and back plus a double zip screen/canvas door on the front. Breaths VERY well in warm summer months and seals up to keep heat in during the cold. I can set up a 10x12 by myself with stove ready in under 35 minutes.

I've had a couple canvas wall tents now and the main drawbacks compare to other tents are:

1. Size/weight. They are big, take up allot of room to transport and store (compared to all other tents).
2. Need a place to dry them out after use. Put the away wet/damp and they will mildew and eventually rot.
3. Cost
 
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Joined
Jan 10, 2023
Messages
10
Anyone from the east coast willing to chime in on whether a canvas tent would be a wise choice for year round use? My use case is primarily in VA/WVA mountains with and without family. Currently eyeing a sringbar style tent due to speedy setup when juggling toddlers but still not totally sold. Will I regret not getting a dome style tent on those humid 80 degree evenings?
 

CKcountry

FNG
Joined
Feb 27, 2024
Messages
7
Wall tents are really nice, can be heavy to carry. Cylinder stove is the way to go. Just need to mess with wood and keep it stoked. Davis tent or Montana canvas. Make sure it is big enough for gear stove and people, especially in snow or rain.
 

WRO

WKR
Joined
Nov 6, 2013
Messages
2,951
Location
Idaho
14x16 minimum for 4 for any amount of time in a wall tent.

The new cableas outfitter tents are really nice.


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Joined
Feb 17, 2013
Messages
2,263
Anyone from the east coast willing to chime in on whether a canvas tent would be a wise choice for year round use? My use case is primarily in VA/WVA mountains with and without family. Currently eyeing a sringbar style tent due to speedy setup when juggling toddlers but still not totally sold. Will I regret not getting a dome style tent on those humid 80 degree evenings?
I’m from the East Coast. See my post above. I’ve used mine in Tennessee and all over Pennsylvania. You can leave one set up the entire season if you have a deer hunting property somewhere. I used to leave one over in Ohio for months.

Those newfangled tents are all an expense because they will not last. Eventually, you’ll have to buy a new tent. And guess what, you’ll probably buy a wall tent the second time around! 🤣 If dried properly a wall 10 will last you a lifetime. Therefore it’s an investment and not a cost.

There’s really not a reason to buy anything but a wall tent. The one thing I hear is that people worry it will be difficult to set up. That’s just because they’ve never done it. At the link on my post above, you’ll see me set up a 14 x 16 footer alone.

The only legit reason to consider lightweight tense is if you are a backpack hunter. Although I will say I have backpacked a 10 x 12 canvas wall tent when I knew it was going to be worth it.

I’ve used lots of brands. Blue Star, Davis, Big Sky, Montana Canvas, Colorado Tent, Buckstitch Canvas and more. This is my go to. Equal or better than any other brand I’ve used. Free shipping too. Don’t forget the rubber caps for the bottom of the legs as seen in my previous link.

 
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