Gear Review: Davis Wall Tent

If your garage ever sets on fire, there is one item we all have in our minds right now that we would grab. Photo albums, antique fly rod, your motorcycle, or maybe even that vintage November 1980 issue of Playboy magazine you just can’t seem to part with because you are a little sentimental. Not me. Let those pages burn. I’m grabbing my Davis Wall Tent. Sure it’s dirty and worn as a pair of your dad’s whitey tighties, but like those underwear, it is dependable and a field tested, rugged piece of equipment.

Fishing Camp.

We purchased ours in 2013 because with three kids and two dogs we were beyond cramped in our little 10×10 David Ellis Range Tent, which is still in excellent shape by the way. But the guys at Davis had us sold as soon as we walked in the door to their shop right here in Denver. The tent we decided on was a 12×16 with an 8′ porch awning. And get the floor. With a push broom, it makes keeping your sleeping bags cleaner because your feet don’t get so nasty.

Drying out and warming up our shoes

Later that season we found a tent stove on Craigslist and this wall tent became a 4 season home. In seven years of camping which adds up to about 150 nights under canvas, this baby has never sprung a leak and the zippers have never failed. I suggest opting for the bug screen on the front and back doors as well. During those warm summer days, it gets toasty in there and worth having the breeze without the insects.

Holds up to the wind.

These tents look intimidating, but after you’ve put one up a few times, it is actually much easier to handle than you think. It is necessary to have a helper, no doubt, and Mary Helen and I don’t even speak anymore when erecting and breaking down the tent. Not because we hate each other. It’s just that the spoken word is sometimes overrated.

A two person job.

What you will need is plenty of space to carry the tent and the poles. The poles are 8′ long and the tent bag is a little more than you’ll want to carry very far. Did I make the mistake of not realizing this? Sure did. I went and picked the whole setup up from Davis in our old Dodge Durango and luckily the back window opened because the poles were sticking out like a cannon fuse. I realized immediately with this new wall tent lifestyle I’d have to buy a small trailer to haul all our stuff and family and dogs. So I drove to Harbor Freight to pick up their 4×8 utility trailer and drag it home in time for the first camping trip the next day. After purchase, they rolled out 4 heavy boxes to my vehicle. That night by headlamp I assembled a “highway legal” trailer on my deck and said a little prayer the next day as I loaded it down with all our gear and the crisp new tent and drove up to Lost Creek Wilderness, still without tags. Getting those tags is a whole other story. I do not recommend this trailer, but it did last us five years and we did beat the ever living hell out of it. But it ain’t fancy and you better be handy to assemble it so it doesn’t explode into a thousand pieces on the highway.

2013 maiden voyage. Notice how clean the canvas is. Almost blinding.

In short, if you want to sleep like a baby and have plenty of head room in all seasons, give the folks at Davis Tent and Awning a call. And remember, they’ve never had anyone come back and say they bought too big a tent.

Published by willbarch78

I grew up in the middle of nowhere Texas. The nearest Walmart was a full two hours away. My family still runs a ranch back home that I grew up on, but at some point in my treasured youth I hung up the idea of becoming a cowboy, and pursued my passion for architecture. Today I still find myself trying to fit in to a life that has treated me with the average ups and downs one can expect after a certain number of years. My wife and I moved to Denver after attending Texas Tech School of Architecture in Lubbock as we needed a grade change from the Llano Estacado. We camp with our three growing girls all summer and into the fall while I write and create and fly fish to maintain sanity. Life is moving fast as our careers and children progress in all areas, so being outdoors with each other keeps us mostly grounded.

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