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Thread: Mess Tent

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    Senior Member David Kendall's Avatar
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    Mess Tent

    Our Group, like most I guess, has one of the big white canvas mess tents which weigh a ton, are bulky and are difficult to put together (why is it the labelling on the poles applied when it is standing makes no sense when you come to re-erect it ? ). We even have the extension pieces.

    Problem is that it is too big for weekend camps for the max 10 Scouts we currently have. I know I could leave behind the extension pieces but that would mean having to pitch, separate and lable the the parts and it would still be bulky.

    I could use a fire shelter for a mess area but am thinking I would like an enclosed tent space to cook, store and eat in. Does anyone have any suggestions for a smaller mess tent for such occasions ? Don't think a gazebo will be suitable but perhaps a day tent :-

    http://www.outdoormegastore.co.uk/ac...Day_Tents.html
    Last edited by David Kendall; 19-07-2010 at 04:27 PM. Reason: spelling
    In between roles/helping out where I can......

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    Member leadera's Avatar
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    A couple of suggestions. We use family camping tents sometimes for storage and eating on small camps. You just leave out a couple of bedrooms. I wouldn't recommend cooking in them though we use dining shelters. An alternative is a Coleman event shelter. a bit fiddly to put up but lots of space and you can buy side and doors for them.

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    iDespair andypagett's Avatar
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    I swear by dodgy 70s style frame tents (the more embarrrasing the colour / frill arrangement, the better!).

    You can normally pick one up either that someone is chucking out, or from eBay (search "canvas tent, frame tent, lichfield tent etc.). And they're usually in good condition cos their previous owner used them like once a year for 5 years or something. Perfect size for catering for a small - medium group on a weekend camp. Rip it, burn it, splash fat on it etc? No problem, just pick another one up.
    Terrible, wonderful, crazy, perfect.

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    Sparks Sparks's Avatar
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    Have you looked at the latest tunnel tents which come in various sizes. We recently camped next to a group of Guides (19 in total) who all piled into the one tent for the night. It was bigger than our mess tent, (which sounds to be like yours, takes two men to carry the canvas, and four for the poles) but could be carried by one person.

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    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
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    I was also going to suggest a Coleman event shelter.

    We recently had a small camp of 16 Cubs and used ours for the first time for cubs (the Scouts and Explorers have used it a lot!), although we had a separate cooking shelter and it was ideal. It goes up very easily and is so much easier to transport than anything else. We didn't need to use the walls, as the weather was superb, but the ESL (who is also one of our ACSLs), reckons that with the walls up it is the bees knees!
    Peter

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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    What other (non sleeping) tents do you take for a weekend camp? I ask as I wouldn't want to go on a camp without a tent large enough to get most people on the camp into at once, in case of wet weather and for supper etc. We usually camp with a marquee and a mess tent (which is pretty much only used as a food store and sometimes a cook tent). For a weekend camp we would sacrifice either the mess tent or the marquee (depending on size of the party camping) but not both.

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
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    Grey but not that old Alfbranch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    What other (non sleeping) tents do you take for a weekend camp? I ask as I wouldn't want to go on a camp without a tent large enough to get most people on the camp into at once, in case of wet weather and for supper etc. We usually camp with a marquee and a mess tent (which is pretty much only used as a food store and sometimes a cook tent). For a weekend camp we would sacrifice either the mess tent or the marquee (depending on size of the party camping) but not both.
    I was begining to think I was the only one who thinks like this.
    Alf

    Group Scout leader 1st Hensingham Scouts Western Lakes District
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    Member mattbarnett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfbranch View Post
    I was begining to think I was the only one who thinks like this.
    You aren't - I was about to say the same thing...

    I'm yet to be convinced by any of the light weight "day tents" I've seen. They always seem much harder to put than a frame tent, not easier! And I can't see them lasting! They are also colder/hotter and noisier!

    What weight of canvas do you have on your current mess tent?

    I ask because, we have a rather nice ex-military 9'x9' frame tent (sometimes called a wolf tent I think, designed to fit off the back of a Land Rover). This has a fairly light canvas (I *think* 6oz) and aluminium poles - total weight ~120lb - canvas one adult lift, poles one scout lift. So in comparison with a 14'x14' with steel poles and say 14oz canvas - total weight ~250lb - it is much lighter, and, because there are less poles and less joints, very easy to put up, with all the advantages of a proper tent!

    Similar, I suppose, to the 1970s frame tent suggestion. Just much harder wearing, probably easier to assemble, but a little heavier and more expensive.

    So to answer your question - get another, smaller, thinner, not quite as heavy, easier to put up version of what you have!
    The Murphy Philosophy - Smile ... tomorrow will be worse!

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    Senior Member Tibsie's Avatar
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    We take loads of tents on our camps.

    For our summer camp next week we have 6 tents for the kids, 10 for the leaders, 4 dining shelters and 2 mess tents. 22 in total.

    The smaller mess tent is used as a kitchen and store room, the larger one is full of tables and chairs and used as a dining room and meeting area. We still take them even when we are doing patrol cooking so we have a fallback if it is raining too hard.
    Tom
    ASL 1st Dinas Powys

    "If it ain't raining, it ain't Wales" - Bear Grylls

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    For a camp in May we took 6 tents - three for the scouts to sleep in, 3 for the leaders to sleep in. No mess tents, no dining shelters, just a couple of tarps to provide shelter if it rained.

    On other camps we might have dining shelters or a mess tent depending on what's required.

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    We vary the amount of canvas according to the type of camp -
    A catered camp such as Malvern Challenge or badge camp we only take sleeping tents (usually plenty of marquees around to shelter in if necessary)
    Summer camp we will take a mess tent, sleeping tents and dining shelters
    Camp in July sleeping tents and dining shelters only
    Other weekend camps - depends on the time of year

    Only take the mess tent if I have to - don't like having to dry it out each time and also we don't have a lot of carrying capacity so try to keep kit weight down if I can
    Fiona
    BSL - Astwood Bank Scout Group

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    Senior Member dasy2k1's Avatar
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    if you want rid of your existing mess tent how much do you want for it?

    our current one is unservicible at the moment (see thread about never packing a tent wet) and if we cant repair it we will need a new one......
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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    74th Birmingham St Germains
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  13. #13
    Senior Member David Kendall's Avatar
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    Mess tents

    Dasy2k1 - seen your post re mess tent - how tragic. Not actually getting rid of ours, just looking at options for a smaller/lighter 2nd tent.

    Thanks to everyone for the replies. Thinking about the family frame tent route. I had forgotten that when I did a NA course at Tatton in May, one of my virtual patrol brought an ex Eurocamp tent for the mess. Without the bedroom pods it was massive - loads of space for cooking, eating and storage plus in nice weather two of the sides open up. Wasn't too big or heavy when packed up either.
    In between roles/helping out where I can......

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    Senior Member SimonM's Avatar
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    I have just bought a Coleman Event Shelter for school use and am very impressed with it.

    Heavy duty poles, easy to put up, and once pegged and guyed very strong.

    We have used it on a number of school events, including as a shelter for a BBQ and an archery gear store. In fact, I "forgot" to put it on the school bus last Friday after the BBQ, and ended up using it as an outdoor classrom on a Leader Training weekend.

    We bought the side panels and a door panel, but to date haven't used them.

    It would more than be up to the job of Mess Tent IMHO...




    HTH,

    Simon
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    No mountain too high PeterSheppard's Avatar
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    How waterproof are they though? I've read they have a HH of 750mm, which doesn't sound as if it would stand up to a long bout of heavy rain
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