Adventure Media

Adventure - A bold, exciting participation in an unusual experience, or an undertaking of a spirited nature.



Selecting a Tent

Selecting a tent properly to fit my personal needs, and protect me from the environment, has allowed me to enjoy a rest full nights sleep, no matter what I endured during the day, or what mother nature throws at me during the night. - James D. Ross

This all season 3-man Eureka self-standing geodesic dome

 has protected me extremely well over 15 years, at least.

Here it is set-up next to a tributary of the Churchill river,

Northern Manitoba, Canada. 1993

Older self standing A-Frame style Eureka,  made of canvas and excellant for winter. The fire-proof stove pipe hole was not factory.

Northern Manitoba, Canada. 1976

Selecting a Tent


There are of course many aspects to choosing a tent, just like a backpack or canoe, but for me, the most important is its ability to stand on its own, with no further adjustments once it is setup. There is nothing worse than getting out of a warm and dry sleeping bag, in the dark, to address some fault in its ability to remain standing, and keeping me dry, no matter how harsh the wind and or rain. My overall choice is a free-standing geodesic dome, with a rain-fly that falls lower that the lowest seam on the tent wall. Poles need to be sturdy enough as to not allow high winds to flatten out a wall.


One of the most utilized styles for more years than I know of is the A-frame. It's simplicity in construction, and ease of setting up, has made it the most popular choice of tent up to the introduction of the self-standing geodesic dome. For most of its existence it required 2 poles, one at both the front and back of the tent, centered vertically from the ground to its peak. Two guy-lines were used; one each tied one end of the line to the top of each pole, the other end of line tied to a stake driven into the ground several feet away from the floor. This anchored the whole system keeping the ridgeline taught. In 1960 Eureka came along and ingeniously redesigned the A-frame pole system, creating the first externally framed free standing tent, now known as the Timberline.


Next in order of importance is the floor. The best is one where the floor is like a bath tub, where there are no seems in contact with the ground, but are up the tent wall far enough to be covered by the rain fly. A more durable fabric than the tent itself uses is encouraged and waterproof is ideal, as long as the weight doesn't become an issue, especially when backpacking.


When it comes to insect netting, depending on your experience with bugs, this could well be your most important aspect of a good tent. Nowadays, most quality tent makers use a no-see-um, bug proof, tightly woven door and window screen material.

For more in-depth information on choosing a tent, its style and function, fabrics available, selecting a tent site, and setting it up, read either of Cliff Jacobson's books; Expedition Canoeing, 20th Anniversary Edition: A Guide to Canoeing Wild Rivers in North America , or Camping's Top Secrets, 3rd: A Lexicon of Camping Tips Only the Experts Know . Cliff's thirty plus years outdoor experience offers sound advise and advanced techniques on the preparation, and skills required to enhance your next wilderness adventure.


Listed below are a few of my choices, some that I've owned myself.

Eureka A-Frame Tents


One of the world's most popular (with over a million sold), the classic A-frame Eureka Timberline 2 offers a roomy, well-ventilated shelter for two campers. Ideal for casual backpackers or as starter tents for new campers, the Timberline 2 weighs less than 6 pounds and can be used for three-season camping. This free-standing tent is quick and easy to set up, thanks to a sturdy shockcorded 0.5-inch aluminum frame, ring and pin attachments, and clip attachments.

Eureka Timberline 2 Adventure 7-Foot by 5-Foot Two-Person Tent 

And the A-frame Eureka Timberline 4 is the 4 person version of this classic design, weighing less than 8 pounds and shelters 4 campers, with all the same features as the 2 person.

Eureka Timberline 4 Adventure 9-Foot by 7-Foot Four-Person Tent


I've camped in mild Wisconsin fall weather and had no complaints. I have known some friends to also use the 2 person version , in not so mild Wisconsin fall weather, which was very windy and rainy. So with the weather not condusive to rock climbing, they spent much of the day in the tent. Thier only complaint was that the slanted walls felt confining, even though sitting facing one another, they were altogether comfortable, and stayed dry.


Other Eureka Tents


Other very popular and similar to the A-frame, with crossing pole designs similar to dome tents, Eureka calls Apex. These self standing tents have a footprint like an A-frame, but with long, corner to corner shock corded fiberglass poles that cross and attach at the top, as well as pole sleeve attachtments to the side walls, offer a roomier interior.

Eureka Apex 2XT Adventure 7' 5" by 4' 11" Two-Person Tent


True all season geodesic dome tent for extreme conditions by Eureka is called the K2 XT, and is built to handle the most extreme and demanding environments and weather conditions. This 3-person dome and rain fly, plus gear vestibules, has all seams factory sealed, for stay dry weather protection. This is the later model of what I've used for many years in all conditions and seasons (photo above), plus now it has the added vestibules, and factory sealed seams.

Eureka K-2 XT 8'11-Foot by 7'8 -Foot Three-Person Four-Season Expedition Tent 


For those of us who enjoy going it alone, finding a tent that dosn't fit like a cocoon, and is built with the same high quality as larger tents can be hard to find. This next tent is the much later model of my first Eureka tent, which I bought in the late '70's. The Eureka Spitfire 1-person, is even lighter today at 2lb 12oz, including the rain fly, which is factory seam sealed, a definite plus, due to a sizable insect proof mesh area in the tent body for ventilation. 

Eureka Spitfire Tent 1-Person 3-Season