I'm going to start my gear review series with this post because I believe strongly in the power of getting a good night's sleep when you're out in the woods. For most of us, that's not our normal habitat and we are operating at a level far above what we would normally push ourselves to do. This is great, but, there also needs to be sufficient time to rest or fatigue will overtake you both mentally and physically. Tired bodies get hurt easier, tired minds make more mistakes. For my Wyoming trip, I spent more of my budget on sleeping gear than any other subcategory. Let's dive in, shall we? (TL:DR summary at bottom)
Kelty Tempest 2 -
I chose my tent after many hours of researching the conditions that I would be faced with where I was headed. I looked up weather reports from years past, lurked on forums, and called the people I was planning on working with for their local knowledge. Only then did I begin searching for tents that would meet those needs. Because I was trying to work within a budget, I figured that I would look for an older model of tent that had great reviews from people who actually used it as I would be. This is harder than it sounds, and took me three or four days of on and off searching to come to a decision. I am extremely happy with the tent that I chose - the Kelty Tempest 2. It's easy to put up and take down, stable, and handled everything I threw at it without so much as a scratch. It kept myself and my backpack dry, helped keep me warm when it was cold, and provided a much-needed haven from the mosquitoes. The tent stakes provided with the tent were perfectly serviceable. I would however suggest getting some spares just in case. I purchased these from Kelty, but anything similar should do nicely.
The vented design kept condensation on the interior on cold nights from being as much of a problem as it is with non-vented tents. The 'bathtub' style floor kept all water out even without the addition of a ground cloth or tarp underneath. It was really nice to be able to bring in all my stuff (except boots) out of the frost and rain. As for the boots, they slept out under the vestibule, which for those who don't know is like a built-in awning created by your rain fly. This is a great feature because it allows you to keep your muddy boots from getting rained on, yet keep them outside the tent.
The model I got, the Tempest 2, is great as a one man tent, or two people willing to get cozy. It's an older model, like I mentioned, so it might be harder to find that exact one. If you're looking for something for two to three people, or yourself and your trusty adventure dog, then the Kelty Tempest 4 tent is probably more your speed.
I hope that this review helped you out with your tent choice - if nothing else, you know the struggle to find the perfect tent for that awesome trip is very real. If you have other tents to recommend or anything else you'd like to share, please, leave a comment below.