I recently went on my honeymoon with my wife Leah to the northern regions of Maine, where there is still real, wide-spread wilderness. Not simply an encircled park of forest, but a serious stretch of what feels like endless, untouched forest. To understand one’s origins so deeply in one’s heart is perhaps the greatest feeling I’ve experienced, and no place allows such a profound connection than the deep wilderness, because when one stops to take a long hard look at what was before civilization, than the dogma, the ego and the false reality peddled by generation after generation of humans washes away, and so a sense of freedom in understanding becomes tangible.
To wander aimlessly in the unspoiled forest is perhaps the most peaceful and engaging thing I’ve done, because when you’re surrounded by the sensation of endless trees, the trickle of streams, the singing of birds, and the scurrying of creatures abound around you, all of the trials and troubles of modern life waste away and that stirring anxiety feeling transforms into belonging. This connective feeling ramps up even more when one spends a night in a tent or sleeping on the ground, where admiration and wonder can be paid tribute to the glittering stars overhead, and when the sun comes up and the forest comes alive with the early light of morning. These are among life’s most transcendental experiences, and in Maine, I had this experience again, much like in Wyoming, except the stars weren’t quite as clear and the mountains weren’t reaching as high into the sky. But the simplicity and power were still experienced.
The right choice for a tent can also have quite an effect on one’s experience in the wilderness, because if you choose a weak, cheap tent, you may be creating more problems than you’re solving. In Maine, Leah and I worked with MSR’s Papa Hubba NX tent, which is a specially designed tent that’s specific for backpackers who need a compact, lightweight and versatile tent. For us, it was perfect: super easy to setup, spacious for two, and very easy to carry along with all of our other gear and supplies. The design has been optimized with a symmetrical shape, as well as a non-tapered floor to help maximize space, yet keeping it at a 5/5 for lightweight livability.
Depending which route you choose, this tent setup weighs in at 2 lbs 2oz or up to a measly 3lbs 7oz. With two large side-entry vestibules to store gear, and enough head and elbow room throughout the tent, Leah and I found it to be perfect for our needs, and was easy to setup and teardown each day as we moved through the forest. Fitted with two large StayDry doors with built-in rain gutters, and an adaptable, cross-ventilating rainfly, the Papa Hubba NX comes ready for just about any weather that summer in Maine can throw at you. While this tent may not be ideal for extreme cold weather, it is versatile enough to work well in the other three seasons. All in all, I have zero criticism for MSR’s design, as it’s truly a long-lasting tent, built for weather just about any storm, while lasting for years and years of use. I’m a big fan!
Papa Hubba NX’s list of features:
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