Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. Default Sleep Systems- tent, bag, liners, pads?

    So we’ve got a few western tags and anticipation is building. As much as I want to drop a few Benjamin’s on a Hilleberg tent, that’s a lot of other equipment I could get being dropped on a tent. Are they worth it? Any other advice for alternatives that don’t break the bank? I’d like to say I could be a minimalist and go with a tarp type system, but I also like to think I’d rather be protected a bit more from the elements.

    I like Randy’s video of his bag system... anyone else agree or have other thoughts to that as well?


  2. #2


    Hammock, underquilt, top quilt and tarp. You can get all that for under $600 and my setup weighs under 6 lbs. Good down to 15 degrees with just a base layer on. Any place with 2 trees is a campsite. Something to think about

  3. #3


    I used a tarp and a bivvy they don't sell anymore. It actually worked pretty well especially for 20 oz. Look up borah hear. I bought a one man tent from someone off here that I might use more now still haven't decided. I personally would not buy the most expensive brand name anything until I learned what I like.

  4. #4


    When I first started out I used a 8x10 tarp from the local hardware store and a military poncho for my ground cloth. I did purchase a Thermarest sleeping pad. Used this set up for archery elk hunts for many years. I have a actual tarp shelter now but it isn't much different, a little bigger, packs smaller, and is lighter. For rifle hunts where it will most likely snow I use a Seek Outside Cimarron with a stove. I like to have dry clothes and boots that aren't frozen stiff when I get up in the mornings.

  5. #5


    Where you're hunting, when you're hunting and what level of comfort you want really dictates what gear you need. You definitely don't need to break the bank.

  6. #6


    Hilleberg is not necessary.

    I like REI brand stuff for quality gear at a good price.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo and Ned
    Thin out their numbers

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by belly-deep View Post
    Hilleberg is not necessary.

    I like REI brand stuff for quality gear at a good price.
    ^This. Not sure if it's still on or not but REI just had an amazing deal on their Half Dome 2+ tent. I think it was around $150 which is a steal.

    As for a sleep system: I have a down REI 19 degree bag, which is excellent, and a garage sale slumberjack pad that's probably not the best, but works just fine. I do like his idea of a light bivvy for over the top of his down bag, because condensation is a big deal in the colder months of camping. I think a tarp would probably work just as well.

    You don't need to break the bank. Just get things that are decent off the bat and then if you wear them out, get something better afterward. I can just about guarantee you that this setup would last you a few years even if you do use it hard. Mine has.

  8. #8


    I have this. It’s great for 2 guys with room to move and is very light. Basically 1lb per person if you share the shelter. Great tarp tent at a great price. You would have a ton of room for all your gear and rifle if you went solo.
    “If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.”
    ― Theodore Roosevelt

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Daytona Beach


    I spend a lot of time on here reading about what works and what didn't and the reasons behind it. I also believe in the moto by once cry once. I also understand what's good for one person may suck for the next. My advice is due your research on here and by used quality gear. If it doesn't work for you then send it on down the line with and explanation of why it sucked to the next guy. That way your getting your money back with a clear conchious to buy something else. But I try not to ever buy something just to get me buy, I find that I later end up buying what I really wanted and threw the lessor money away. Another great forum to read is for quality gear. When it's all said and done I have gear that works for its intended use and maybe additional uses I hadn't herd of, spent a lot less in the long run, and that got g to last along time.

  10. #10


    I buy the gear needed. Might take two or three years to get all the gear needed. If you are packing far in from a trailhead then you are risking your life. Few people die of hypothermia road-hunting or sitting on their couch. If you are young and strong then the difference between 8# sleeping system (tent/bag/pad) and 20# is not a biggie. If you are old and starting to lose your core strength then the extra weight could result in a tumble or fatigue that impacts how hard you hunt. If you wear cotton rather than wool on a chilly, wet day then is not just an issue of comfort but potentially of survival. Do you have a family? The repercussions are compounded then.

    If you go in the woods often enough and deep enough then you will get in an "oh crap" moment from time to time no matter your level of preparation. If you have the wrong gear then you will earn a few extra oh crap moments. If you are entering a harsh environment then prepare and gear up.

  11. #11


    If you die in the field it will be less due to the price of your gear and more due to lack of planning, skills, and lack of training with the gear you choose. People have been braving the wilds for much longer than the latest wiz bamg piece of machinery even existed. I'm not saying buy a Walmart tent... though it would probably work. But you don't need a 500 dollar tent to start off with. And anything over 10 pounds for a sleep system is extremely excessive.

  12. #12


    Also I second REI co-op gear. You can definitely get cheaper. You can probably get better. But their stuff is a good balance for stuff that absolutely must work, has a lot of reviews generally which reduces uncertainty, and isn't prohibitively expensive.

  13. Default

    Amazon is having prime day tomorrow, you should be able to find some great gear at a discounted price

  14. Default

    I personally prefer to get higher end gear even if it takes a couple years to get it, especially when it comes to boots, optics, and staying warm.
    And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.

  15. Default

    I've thought about it for a long time and I think I am ruling out the Hilleberg for now. I've actually slept out of one many years ago and it worked out well, but the size that those things break down to has me thinking of a different approach. Has anoyone tried a Seek Cimmaron with a full nest inside? I think I like this setup for how small I forsee the setup to break down, and lightweight for sure.

  16. #16


    Quote Originally Posted by BE_LIKE_RANDY View Post
    I've thought about it for a long time and I think I am ruling out the Hilleberg for now. I've actually slept out of one many years ago and it worked out well, but the size that those things break down to has me thinking of a different approach. Has anoyone tried a Seek Cimmaron with a full nest inside? I think I like this setup for how small I forsee the setup to break down, and lightweight for sure.
    I've never slept in one but I'm sure they'd be just fine. And being able to put a stove in would extend your use of it. That one is actually on my wish list for future purchase.

    However, that tent is really expensive as well. If you think you'll use it a bunch (or if money isn't an issue) then go ahead and get it. But it sounds like you're concerned with money a bit as well as only using the tent for a once-yearly mountain hunting trip. If that's the case, you may want to consider one of the many two person backpacking tents on the market and pay around a third of the price for a great tent. Just my two cents.

  17. Default

    There’s great tent sales at and Not sure what months you’re hunting or how high, but I would take a 0 degree bag for sure. Only in September in lower elevations have I been fine with a 20 degree bag.

  18. #18


    This is my setup

    MSR Hubba Hubba
    Thermarest Xtherm
    Marmot Helium bag
    Silk Bag Liner

    April - May - Full system
    June-Aug - Run the full tent without the bag liner (bugs)
    From Sept - October I run the tent with just the fly and ground cloth, no liner
    Novermber - Full system

    With everything it's like 7-8lbs my fall hunting system is a smidgen over 5lbs. Also the tent is big enough that I don't have to change the set up when I bring my wife and dog along. Camped in Moab in the summer and 13k above timberline in late Sept. My recommendation is get a setup that's flexible. A big problem with a lot of the shelters out there is they are very use/ environment specific.

  19. Default

    Whatever you choose go hunting. Don't delay hunting for shinier gear...ever. experience gained is worth more than gear. Plus no in knows if we will be alive next year or anything else for that matter.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2014


    For camping near my truck, I have a cot, zero bag, and decent tent. That cot sure is comfortable.

  21. Default

    Current setup

    Alps Zephyr 2 Tent (love this tent, just too heavy at nearly 6lbs and only 3 season)
    Alps Quest 20 down bag (no complaints other than its at or above 3lbs)
    Thermarest Prolite Plus (love it)

    Planned setup

    Kuiu Summit 3p floorless (adds ability of a stove and my hunting partner and I can split the weight)
    Enlightened Equipment Enigma Down Quilt
    Thermarest Prolite Plus

    I could run the Summit with a tigoat stove and carry less weight than a comparably sized Hilleberg. Spend less $$ too!

  22. Default

    This was my setup this spring 6 nights on a bush fly in (AK) around low 40s to high 50s plenty of rain and wind:

    1. Borah Silnylon tarp (8 oz): $50, I paid $40.
    2. Borah Event Bivvy (13 oz): like $170, discontinued.
    3. REI Igneo 19 degree bag (31 oz): $300, mine was an older better version I paid a lot less for.
    4. Klymit Static V insulated 4 Season (25 oz): $85 Amazon, I paid <$50 for a second.
    Grand total 4.8 pounds.

    From the prior year, I added the tarp but quit using a bulky self inflatable air pad I thought would be more comfortable (not really).

    This year, I might trade use more of a Mountain Hardware Meridian 1p tent I bought off here used. Weight 3.25 lbs replacing my 1.3 lb bivvy/tarp will bring my total to 6.75 lbs.

    Bivvy/tarp is great but harder with bugs and you have to be more skilled/careful with rain/wind. But they are used in the most egregious conditions, so enough there. Tarp tent is a compromise with some of the benefits and disadvantages of both a tarp and a tent. Brother has one. Here's a good article from someone who likes the bivvy tarp setup for elk hunting. The best advice is in the title of the website, but I'll say gohunt but make sure to train, plan, prepare, A LOT first!

  23. #23


    Quote Originally Posted by MVRK28 View Post
    Thermarest Prolite Plus (love it)
    I have the Prolite Plus and the Neoair xterm... I like the prolite and break it out occasionally but it kinda sucks if you are a side sleeper, and packed up it's 3x the size of the Neoair... but no crinkly sound and it's footprint is way bigger...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts