Picking a backpacking tent to use as a bug out tent can be challenging, especially for those who aren’t experienced backpackers. Many of the subtle differences that will make one tent stand out over another to the seasoned backpacker, may fly right over the heads of the rest of us. One could respond to that by saying “Buy the most expensive and you’ll have the best.” But most of us really can’t afford to buy the most expensive, especially considering that the only time we’d use it is while bugging out.
Most preppers have to strike a balance between cost and features. While we might all want the best, we are practical people. As such, we look for something that will give us the best possible service, for a reasonable price. So, we need to understand what those high prices are buying for us.
In the area of backpacking tents, there are a number of features which can drive up price, but the most glaringly obvious is weight. Two person backpacking tents can range from five to nine pounds. Invariably, the lighter the tent is, the higher its price. So, when you’re looking at a $200 tent, you’re not getting more space; you may not be getting a much more durable tent; mostly, you’re getting a lighter one.
The Coleman Hooligan series of backpacking tents are a great mid-range tradeoff tent series for the average prepper. They make Hooligan tents for two to four people. We’re specifically looking at the two-person one here.
This is what is known as a three-season tent. It’s two layer construction helps keep you comfortable and dry, even in inclement weather. The inner wall is made of mesh to keep insects out. On warm nights, you could remove the outer cover and allow the cool breeze to blow over you, without having to let the mosquitoes in to interrupt your sleep. The outer shell is waterproof, protecting you and keeping you dry.
The floor is also built to keep you dry as well, extending up the sides to keep water from running into the tent. That saves you from having to put a ground sheet under the tent, as well as not having to worry about digging a drainage ditch around it.
The outer shell is zippered, forming a dry vestibule at the entrance. This allows you to take off wet boots and outer garments, before entering into the tent itself. With one half of the vestibule open, the other half continues to provide protection from the wind, so you don’t get cold while you are trying to work your way in to the tent.
This tent design uses one continuous, fiberglass tent pole, which goes over the center of the tent, long-wise. The fiberglass pole is 11mm in diameter and is sectional, with elastic cord to help pull it together. Stakes around the corners and guy lines finish off the assembly. This single pole design is very easy to erect, allowing you to have your tent up and ready for occupancy in ten minutes or less.
The Hooligan isn’t the lightest backpacking tent around, coming in somewhere around the middle of the pack at just over 7 pounds. But to cut a pound out of the weight, you’d have to spend $100 more. That makes this tent a great compromise that will serve you well.