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ASL-Alan
05-06-2011, 09:14 AM
I'm new on here and if this has been answered before please point me in the right direction as I have missed it after a quick search.

I am an ASL in Scotland and our range Icelandic tents are on their last legs we did get some modern dome tents but after a recent rather windy camp these are no longer showing they are up to the job. We have been using the bigger domes as patrol tents and find them great as a leaders base to dump all the our stuff. We also like the idea that we can fire them in the back of our cars and use the one small trailer owned by a leader - only one with a tow bar so cant always make it to every camp. Currently using a load of 8 man vango something or others. We have plenty of small hike tents also dome as our stock of force 10's have died a few years back :'(

We need to replace probably most of our stuff as usual funds are not over flowing so looking to get something that will last as long as the Icelandics 20+ years (the holly grail of tents small strong and lasts for ever lol) but something that we can get that will last a good few years easy to put up, will fit in the boot of a car and wont break the bank balance.

We have quite a big troop and do a few bag packs every year and have several successful fund raising activities each year so we would be happy to get one or two good tents each year until we replace the lot. So money no object (yes a dream but lets dream) what would you get would it be better to replace with new Icelandics or can someone suggest something better for our needs as we would need tents for about 25-30 scouts plus leaders tent for standing camps.

p.s we do have a brand new marquee the gsl bought a couple of years ago to replace our 30+ year old mess tent but we haven't used it yet so want to go to him and say we want these specific tents and not let him pick ones that wont really suit our needs

Sorry for the 3 page essay and thanks for reading this far and for any future advice I am sure I will receive :thup:

Rothley Bill
05-06-2011, 09:51 AM
Personally I like the Nijers and Icelandics, I know they are heavy and take up a fair amount of room, but correctly pitched they are bombproof and more importantly Scout and Cub proof. Some groups in our district have bought lighter family domes and the like but replace one a year as they don't seem to last more than 2/3 years.
A local outdoor shop sells 'outwell' tents which look like they are well made and could be suitable for a patrol, but I do not know if they are any smaller when packed or lighter than a traditional tent as I have not used one.

GScrimgeour
05-06-2011, 10:09 AM
This sounds almost exactly where we were 3 years ago - no useable tents, based in Edinburgh (but we had no GSL until last Thursday - but we do now - yay!).

We've bag packed and raised funds...

We decided to have a mix:

Stormhavens (Blacks of Greenock (actually in Easterhouse now)) - which we use for week long summer camp for Scouts. We hope these will last for a long time. £800 ish (depending on discounts etc).

Vango Beta 450s which we use for Cubs and for Scout weekend camps. £95 online (outdoormegastore etc). It's much easier to dry these, they're much cheaper, not quite disposable, but less upsetting when inexperienced YPs damage them through carelessness. We like the layout with plenty of storage space that you can access without having to enter the tent. For Cubs having 4 or 5 in a tent is a good number for getting them to finally settle down. Larger tents with Cubs mean there is always one of them talking.

We had cubs at Fordell Firs last weekend and broke quite a lot of poles (on the Beta 450s) due to the high winds on Sunday morning (2 adults lying on a tent just to prevent it blowing away whilst it was packed up!). (Broke about 1 pole section per tent). Spares can be had for £10 for 5 pole sections and reasonably easy to replace.

Happy shopping

Graham Scrimgeour
ASL 122nd Inverleith Scouts

David Kendall
05-06-2011, 10:15 AM
We were in a similar situation a few years back whereby our patrol tents were coming to the end of their life and unrepairable. What we did was applied to Awards For All and got a grant to purchase 3 x Icelandics (with flysheets) and 5 x Vango Force 10.

Recently, we have purchased 4 x Vango Orchy 5 man tents for use on weekends where we need quick pitch and more space in the tents (e.g. canoe camp for cag jackets, BAs etc) plus if the Cubs are camping the same weekend as Scouts then we have enough tents.

We don't expect the nylon tents to last as long as the Icelandic but then the price reflects that. Also drying them will be easier.

Neil Williams
05-06-2011, 10:28 AM
I found that drying nylon tents took longer as they are not breathable. Same with the plastic sod cloth on newer Patrol tents. The reason being that when hanging out tents to dry in limited space some wet bit always gets caught inside a fold or something.

I would go for new Patrol tents if I were the OP. We did, after a brief but unsuccessful time with 6 man domes. That said, we do have a few 4 man Colemans used once a year by the Cubs and these are OK - don't think they would stand up to Scout use though.

Neil

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ASL-Alan
05-06-2011, 10:33 AM
the tents we have are all still usable Icelandic's prob at a push couple more years but we said that a couple of years ago lol and the light domes need poles repaired again just seems quite a regular thing. But as its the end of the year we will be taking a good look at all our equipment over the summer and from the sounds of things everyone has the same probs with the lighter ones they dont last too long and need a fair amount of maintenance (broken poles) while the niger/Icelandic's last for ever near enough. So prob just worth replacing the really bad domes and scavenge bits for spares, replace the really bad Icelandic's with new ones but is the quality still there?

Neil Williams
05-06-2011, 10:45 AM
IMO the tents will still last well. Pegs and mallets seem to break though, perhaps it's because hardwoods are harder to get these days.

Neil

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David Kendall
05-06-2011, 10:50 AM
Don't really agree re drying time for nylon tents - they take less space hanging in the main hall and can be taken down quicker and put back up before/after section meets much more easily.

Do agree, however, that the plastic sod cloths are not as good as hessian ones on the Icelandics - they don't lie flat under the ground sheets the same (might be better if they were bigger).

ASL-Alan
05-06-2011, 10:59 AM
pegs and mallets get lost broken all the time especially with scouts faffing around so not a huge problem as long as the tents are likely to last

drying is not a prob hung out round the hall or suspended from the ceiling

Neil Williams
05-06-2011, 11:00 AM
Don't really agree re drying time for nylon tents - they take less space hanging in the main hall and can be taken down quicker and put back up before/after section meets much more easily.

The latter yes, but we found they took up *more* space. Because the canvas is breathable, you can get away with airing Patrol tents by putting them up on the poles at the side of the hall, though admittedly this takes longer. You can't with big nylon tents.

If you're using smaller (2-4 man) ones you're probably right, though. We were using large 5-6 man ones.

Neil

Taeniura
05-06-2011, 11:00 AM
IMHO buy some more Icelandics, no modern tent is going to last as long, they might be expensive but as you say money is not a problem.

shiftypete
05-06-2011, 11:04 AM
I'd definitely go with new icelandics (or similar) if they have worked well for you in the past they will continue to work well for you in the future IMHO. We are still very happy with our 20 year old nijers.

ASL-Alan
05-06-2011, 11:12 AM
they worked well in the past when scouts were bigger but they now need more leader input to put up and move which is why we started getting the domes but they dont last hence the prob

money no object is a dream as I am sure we all would love to be that way especially when we are trying to save for a new roof as it leaks and only just put in a lottery funded climbing wall thanks gsl anyone want to swap for a slightly used gsl who likes to spend money will accept new or used tent peg lol

Quatermaster
05-06-2011, 05:30 PM
We use Khyam Amazon delux domes as Patrol tents. We find that the large lobby area is right for kit and the inner tent has plenty of room for the boys to sleep in. These are the second set of domes we have brought the first set are still going strong. So far I have only had to replace two pole sections. As a leader tent we use a large eight person dome. Just to show that we still use scouting skills we have and use a 20x20 or 40x20 marquee as camp HQ/Leader kitichen, the scouts dine out under a dining Shelter.

Hathi_Cambridge
05-06-2011, 07:37 PM
Proper (big, green) patrol tents would get my vote. Whether you go to Black's or one of the alternatives is possibly worth further consideration. See if you can find a recent purchaser locally to help make your choice. IMHO the finishing on modern tents of this style is not as good as that on 20+ years old tents.

I would always go for a flysheet (belt & braces), and added darkness, but if you're trying to cut-down on expenditure you may be able to re-use old flysheets in the short-term. Be prepared for a surprise at the weight of a new tent, 20 years hard labour converts a patrol tent into a lightweight tent.

I would agree with previous posters' criticism of modern pegs & mallets, you will probably be supplied a rubber mallet with a new tent, best stored with the chocolate fireguard.

dasy2k1
06-06-2011, 01:45 PM
+1 for proper tents. They are much cheaper in the long term (£100 every 2-3 years for a nylon tent or £800 every 20-50 (the oldest one I have slept in was over 80 years old) years for an icelandic/stormhaven)

If you want something a bit easier to put up by kids try bel tents

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Neil Williams
06-06-2011, 01:59 PM
I don't think traditional Patrol tents are at all hard to put up. Indeed, IMO they are a lot simpler than the larger dome tents which can be quite unwieldy and easy to damage.

Neil

andypagett
06-06-2011, 02:35 PM
My vote would go to the BCT Troop Tent for Patrol camping...

http://www.bctdivisions.co.uk/page.php?id=119

Howslo
06-06-2011, 03:29 PM
That looks superb!

I can't speak highly enough of BCT products. We've got two mess tents similar to the one in this link - http://www.bctdivisions.co.uk/page.php?id=275 - both around 15 to 20 years old now, and going strong. Both will be going back to BCT for some repairs and re-proofing, for less than £400, including collection and delivery! Given the replacement costs for these, that is an absolute bargain!

So, to get back onto the topic of troop tents, I'd say the BCT version would be an excellent buy. Wonder how much they are? :rolleyes:

ASL-Alan
06-06-2011, 04:35 PM
the consensus is what deep down I already knew just hoped someone would know of some great tent that would be better

I have absolutely no experience with bell tents but have been looking at them online and they do look interesting but never seen one in the flesh so to speak so dono

Will prob end up going the Icelandic route as we know them and nobody came up with anything better.

Dr_Pepper
08-06-2011, 07:16 PM
If it helps I recently did a lot of research into icelandics and my vote seconds others go for BCT.

Speak to them direct, even though they don't advertise very well they are the cheapest around (a lot of others eg one stop scouting and scout shops sell BCT tents with a markup)

Just personal preference but I hate any lightweight tents which aren't "hike" tents (ie designed for 5 or more) as I always find them a nightmare to put up, icelandics are easy and last 30 years not 3.

Smiley
08-06-2011, 08:04 PM
I would go down the icelandic route as well. We tried some 8 man nylon tents a few years ago, but they are not as cub proof as the canvas icelandic tents!

Like other people have mentioned before I am very impressed with BCT. We got our marque and new mess tent from them a few years ago and we also sent all 6 of our icelandics to be re-proofed and have the sod cloths replaced on some, which cost us about £800 I think. Well worth it as they will last us quite a few more years!

Howslo
08-06-2011, 09:27 PM
Funny you should mention BCT repairing Icelandics. The sod cloth is coming away on one of ours, and the QM and I were wondering the other day if BCT repair any tents, or just those they've manufactured. That hopefully answers my question!

shiftypete
08-06-2011, 10:02 PM
Funny you should mention BCT repairing Icelandics. The sod cloth is coming away on one of ours, and the QM and I were wondering the other day if BCT repair any tents, or just those they've manufactured. That hopefully answers my question!
BCT definitely repair any canvass tents, they have been repairing our Group's Blacks nijers for years (decades more like)

They have replaced the sod cloths on most of ours (we got them to replace them with PVC rather than hessian when they needed repairing)

Scary Monster
09-06-2011, 08:40 AM
Before buying new ones, it would be worth asking around to see if any groups locally (or not so locally) have ones that they are getting rid of. There are some silly people out there.

Neil Williams
09-06-2011, 08:47 AM
They have replaced the sod cloths on most of ours (we got them to replace them with PVC rather than hessian when they needed repairing)

Ugh, no. The PVC sod cloth is the biggest thing I dislike about our two newish (about 3-4 years old now) Stormhavens. It takes ages to get dry if you don't ensure it is touching nothing at all and is not folded at all when the tents are hung. No such problem with hessian.

Neil

shiftypete
09-06-2011, 01:49 PM
Ugh, no. The PVC sod cloth is the biggest thing I dislike about our two newish (about 3-4 years old now) Stormhavens. It takes ages to get dry if you don't ensure it is touching nothing at all and is not folded at all when the tents are hung. No such problem with hessian.

Neil
Yes but on the other hand it actually means the tent is more waterproof as once tucked under the ground sheet the PVC sod cloths form a good waterproof barrier, to be honest I have never worked out the point of the hessian sod cloths as they do almost nothing to make the tent weatherproof.

Also in an ideal world the sod cloths are dried by loose brailling the tent before striking it and packing it away (ok weather permitting I know). We are also lucky that we can dry our tents by hanging them from the beams in the hall we meet in so the tents are fully stretched out

ASL-Alan
09-06-2011, 04:11 PM
Before buying new ones, it would be worth asking around to see if any groups locally (or not so locally) have ones that they are getting rid of. There are some silly people out there.

most troops in the district tents are in the same or worse condition and being swapped out for domes styles due to lower initial outlay, last district camp we were one of the few still running heavy canvas and will prob be the same this year


A few of you have mentioned re-proofing and repairing the tents how long do you expect a refurbished tent to last This is an option I don't think any of us actually thought about before but if you could get 5+ years for £150-200 per tent it might be worth looking into especially as so many seem to rate BCT for repairs and replacements

shiftypete
09-06-2011, 04:19 PM
Alan where abouts in the Country are you based? I ask as I know there is a Group in our District wanting to give away some patrol tents. I have no idea what condition they are in it was just mentioned at a District meeting

frazzle
09-06-2011, 09:22 PM
Yes but on the other hand it actually means the tent is more waterproof as once tucked under the ground sheet the PVC sod cloths form a good waterproof barrier, to be honest I have never worked out the point of the hessian sod cloths as they do almost nothing to make the tent weatherproof.

My understanding is that the sod cloth is there for 2 reasons:
1 - to stop the bottom edge of the tent flapping, by the pressure of the groundsheet (and contents) on the cloth, particularly on uneven ground
2 - to take the moisture that runs down the outside of the tent walls and direct it into the ground.

I have no reference for this whatsoever, just what I seem to have always believed (so probably a PL or SL told me many years ago)

Personally I don't like the PVC sod cloths - our 2 new icelandics from Blacks came with Hessian.

Evil Akela
09-06-2011, 10:27 PM
The BCT Troop tents are great - 2 adults can put them up, as can a few Cubs without too much trouble. They sleep 6-8 Cubs or Scouts better than a standard ridge tent as they are almost square.
I think the new ones are offered with or without fitted ground sheets.

Darrian
09-06-2011, 11:10 PM
Have used a mixture of tents over the years and love the repairability of Icelandics/Stormhavens/Nijers. Lighterweight tents are great for transporting etc so we have a mixture to call on.
once you are used to putting up a Patrol tent it becomes second nature and you can extend a full length flysheet out the front as a long porch - brilliant.

ASL-Alan
10-06-2011, 08:11 AM
Alan where abouts in the Country are you based? I ask as I know there is a Group in our District wanting to give away some patrol tents. I have no idea what condition they are in it was just mentioned at a District meeting

Paisley in Scotland so not exactly local to you lol but thanks

Will get the chance tonight to discuss with the other leaders all the info gained here and see what they think but will be pushing to repair or replace our icelandic/nigers with the same and not replace the domes