Back Packable Tents for Your Bug Out Bag or Hiking



MSR Carbon ReflexWhether you are escaping an oncoming disaster (bugging out) or just hitting the wilderness trail, shelter will be very important. You can make a shelter with natural materials, or just use a tarp for shelter. A tent would be a lot better, but most standard camping tents tend to be pretty heavy too. But a whole industry has grown up around lightweight back packing and lightweight tents that you can carry in your bug out bag are available.

Any prepper or survivalist should know how to make emergency shelter using what is at hand or even a simple tarp or poncho. But for obvious reasons, a tent would be much more preferable. Your standard family camping tent would be a good item to have to throw into your bugout vehicle, but they are all way to heavy to carry on foot. But the lightweight back packing industry has developed a whole array of back packing tents that are light and small enough to fit in your bug out bag and offer much better protection that a tarp. They also give you a better level of comfort which is psychologically important in an emergency situation.

I have done some research with an eye to upgrading my gear and have found a few examples of light weight tents suitable for bugging out on foot. This is only a small example of what’s available. They cover a price range from pretty expensive to reasonable on a budget. Do your research carefully and read the reviews before making your choice. These are all but one three season tents. If you expect to survive in serious sub zero winter weather, you need to explore additional options and train for serious winter survival. However, a three season tent will work for most people under most circumstances. I have also selected 2 person tents as even if you are the Lone Wolf, you would want to keep your gear out of the elements.

These are only a small sample of back packing tents that are available and are presented here to give you some ideas.

Kelty salidaKelty Salida 2  ($140.00)

This is one of the best-selling back packing tents on the market. It was chosen as the 2011 Backpackers Magazine Editor’s Award. It is also one of the least expensive quality tents available. Specifications:

Seasons: 3

  • Number of doors: 1Ultralight Packpackin Tips
  • Number of vestibules: 1
  • Number of poles: 2
  • Capacity: 2


  • Minimum weight: 3 lb 14 oz / 1.76 kg
  • Packaged weight: 4 lb 9 oz / 2.07 kg
  • Floor area: 30.5 ft2 / 2.83 m2
  • Vestibule area: 10 ft2 / .93 m2
  • Length: 88 in / 224 cm
  • Width: 55/45 in // 140/114 cm
  • Height: 43 in / 109 cm
  • Packed size: 13 x 15 in /  33 x 38 cm


Hilleberg Nallo GT

Hilleberg  Nallo2 GT ($850.00)

This is one of the more expensive tents, but they do advertise it as all season. It will sleep 2 and has a good sized vestibule for your gear. This is one of the best quality survival tents you can get. The US-based American Alpine Institute presented its coveted Guides Choice Award to five Hilleberg tents, including the Nallo, saying “they are perfection in design.”


Minimum Weight:  2.3 kg/5 lbs 1 oz
Packed Weight: 2.8 kg/6 lbs 3 oz

Outer tent fabric: Kerlon 1200

Poles (9 mm): 1 x 305, 2 x 260 cm
                         1 x 120.1, 2 x 102.4 in

Pegs: 20 V-Peg


MSR Carbon Reflex 2 ($408.00)MSR Carbon Reflex

This tent was chosen by National Geographic Adventure Magazine editors as a 2009 “Best of Adventure Gear Award” winner. It has a full-sized vestibule and covered, window-accessed awning in the rear of the tent. This is one of the lighter weight tents I researched at three-pounds, six-ounces packed weight. The fabric is

  • 20-denier x 330T ripstop nylon fly with 1,000-millimeter rated DuraShield polyurethane and silicone coating
  • 20-denier x 330T ripstop nylon canopy
  • 20-denier nylon mesh
  • 40-denier x 238T ripstop nylon floor with 3,000-millimeter rated DuraShield polyurethane coating


Minimum weight 3lbs

Packed weight 3lbs, 6 oz

Ultimate hikers Gear Guide

Big Agnes Copper Spur ($400.00) 

This another one of the better lightweight tents at 3lbs, 2oz

  • Trail Weight 2lb 13ozBig Agnes Copper Spur UL 2
  • Packed Weight 3lb 2oz
  • Footprint Wght 5oz
  • Fast Fly Weight 2lb 1oz
  • Packed Size 5.5″ x 17.5″
  • Floor Area 29sq ft
  • Vestibule Area 9sq ft
  • Head Height 42″

The above tents are only a representative of the number of quality lightweight back packable tents on the market that could be a candidate for your bug out bag. Shop carefully, and as always do your research. The tent you buy may end up being your home for a long time.

If you enjoyed this article and found it useful, please click the “Vote for Me” icon on the right of the page. Thanks!


2 thoughts on “Back Packable Tents for Your Bug Out Bag or Hiking

  1. I always ask one question when people talk canvas.
    What’s the protection factor of a tent or fabric shelter in CBRN terms, during a natural event (say a volcano going pop or a tornado), let alone your chances of it stopping a bullet or a man-imal attack?

    Whilst canvas has a role in keep you dry and out of the weather, the decision to use canvas has to be weighed against the four little letters.
    C (chemical) contamination
    B (biological) contamination (which in my mind includes man-imals)
    R (radiological) (thinking Chernobyl) and
    N (nuclear) contamination (Boom).

    No, I’m not talking war the whole time, Chernobyl wasn’t war was it?
    Yet industrial accidents, dare I add terrorism, or simple Monsanto like chemical sprays can ruin your day by trying to survive under canvas.


  2. Pingback: Back Packable Tents for Your Bug Out Bag or Hiking | Azweaponcraftprepper

So what do YOU think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s