Tarptent Double Rainbow Li test run = somewhat successful

As a person who sits at a desk for a living and is a stranger to the weight room, the idea of minimizing the amount of weight on my back is high on my priority list. Which leads to my search for a lighter, well, everything. However, in this post we will talk about my most recent purchase, a tent. As an environmentalist (read frugal) person, secondhand is my favorite option. When going that route, options become more limited to what some stranger nearby has purchased and their willingness to part ways. Nonetheless, this type of shopping does nothing to help my obsessive need to research the ‘best’ option. Naturally, the first things that came up were for the Zpacks, Big Agnes, etc. depending on your freestanding or otherwise preferences. My main goal of a backpacking tent was that it would lighten my pack, something I could set up, and hopefully keep me dry.

After many hours of pouring over strangers opinions on products, it became obvious there was no definitive answer. Which I assume I decided because I went with a tent that was not in the mainstream ‘you must own’ lists I read. I came across a listing for a Tarptent Double Rainbow Li. At the time of reading, I had never heard of or considered this tent even after an embarrassing amount of time looking into backpacking tents. Needless to say, after a short dabble into the details I was satisfied with the weight (28.6 oz), ability to use trekking poles to make it freestanding thus allowing my ever constant need to go off into the unknown, and the main arch pole which made me feel as though staking it down improperly would be ok-ish in the rain. The tent I picked is not cheap by any means, but buying secondhand helped.

Over the weekend I figured it was due time to try out the new tent. If you’re not familiar, the weather in Minnesota this time of year is extremely variable with highs in the 80s or it can drop down in the 30s. You never really know what season to expect. This weekend was a cold one dropping down into the 30s with a little rain during the day. This wasn’t a bad thing as I expect my trip to Isle Royale to have similar conditions. I felt good about my sleep system/clothing choices, but this was more about making sure I knew how to set up my new to me tent. Well, I got it up. It took me a few tries to figure out what went where but she stood pretty. That was until I woke up in the morning and two of my stakes were not in the ground. Eek! Fortunately, it didn’t rain during the night and I learned a valuable lesson of pushing the stakes entirely into the ground, especially when in sandy conditions.

Lastly, I stayed at one of the backpacking sites at Frontenac State Park. This is a lovely park with many trails and campsites in their 2,300 acres. My highlight was hiking along the bluffs of the Mississippi River as it is exceptionally high right now. If you have ever been or recommend any other places, please let me know!

Until next time…

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