Goodbye to the Hangout. Hello Moondance.

My old Hallmark Hangout with the fly pulled back

The time has come for my trusty Hallmark Hangout to retire from service. I’ve owned this tent for the better part of a decade and it has served me well. But, as with all good things, my Hangout’s place as my primary home away from home must come to an end because today my mum bought me a fantastic present: a new Mont Moondance 1.

I can’t speak highly enough of my trusty old Hallmark Hangout. It’s not without a twinge of sadness that I relegate it to the land of camping equipment that is suitable for loaning to family and friends. The tent was a present from my godmother many years ago when I started getting serious about motorcycle touring. It was super lightweight, weighing only about 1.1kg (2.4lbs) and took up almost no space. When erected correctly, the tent was fairly waterproof, though I did find myself sleeping in campground toilet blocks or under picnic shelters in heavy rain and storms on more occasions than I’d like to admit. To be fair, though, I think it’s a north-American tent designed for temperate climates, not the vagaries of the subtropics.

My old Hallmark Hangout filly pitched

I used the Hangout everywhere, from my stinking hot weekend in the Pilbara to some freezing cold nights in the Australian Alps. It’s traveled on the back of my motorbike, in my hiking pack, in my bicycle trailer and on airplanes. I’ve used it to sleep in at night and as a shade shelter during the day. I’ve perfected the art of pitching it and of worrying about whether dead tree branches might fall on my in my sleep. See, this is probably the biggest downfall of the Hangout (other than it’s limited storm resistance): you need to tie it to a tree to pitch it. And we have lots of ‘widow-makers’ in Australia that drop heavy branches on unsuspecting campers. Fortunately, I’m still alive so obviously haven’t been struck by such a branch but I have had some sleepless nights.

My new Mont Moondance 1 packs down small and is light weight

As one door opens another always opens and, for me, that door is the Mont Moondance 1. A 1.6kg (3.5lbs) free-standing single person tent designed in Australia for Australian conditions. It is made from more durable fabrics, is more water resistant and doesn’t require a tree for pitching. The Moondance promises me comfort and warmth in most weather conditions and I’m assured it will save me nights sleeping in campground toilets (not actually a pleasant experience).

My kitten approves of my new tent

The new Moondance 1 is simple to erect

Unlike my Hangout, the Moondance has a full bucket floor so I shouldn’t have to worry so much about water that drips down the sides of the tent pooling against my sleeping body. It also has poles to keep it up and has a lot more head space.

Inside it’s a Taj Mahal compared with my old Hangout. I can comfortably sit upright

I’m quite excited about the new tent. I’ve been wanting one for years but have never quite been able to justify spending the money because so far I’ve always got away with the discomforts posed by the Hangout (like those nights sleeping in campground toilets).

The Mont Moondance even comes with a set of lightweight pegs

I’m going on a motorbike trip down south on 7 June so I only have to wait a week to test it out. I hope I can pitch it easily because I am likely to arrive at camp in the dark.


7 responses to “Goodbye to the Hangout. Hello Moondance.

  1. Very spiffy! I am always in awe of how light tents are now compared with 20 or even ten years ago and also like you said, how easy they are to put up now.

    • It is spiffy hey πŸ™‚ It is so amazing how light tents are. But also how much more waterproof they are too. I remember many childhood camping trips that ended in us sleeping in cars or being stuck soaking wet waiting for dawn πŸ˜‰

      • Oh yes memories of waking in the middle of the night to a sodden sleeping bag from that had some found it’s way into the tent. That hasn’t happened to me in oh about 20 years

  2. good luck with the new tent andrew. it looks similar to one that i own and i love it. now you can safely sleep away from the widow-making tree branches. i’ve lost a few nights sleep during windy nights also worrying about one crashing through my tent.

  3. It looks really good. I love sleeping in a tent πŸ™‚

    • Me too – I always sleep so well in a tent. When I was a child I used to sleep on the full and pull my blanket off my bed so that it was like a tent over me … LOL. Only 2 more sleeps until my camping trip when I can try out my new tent πŸ™‚ I do hope the rain that’s been falling on the east coast stops though (I’m currently on the west coast for a few days where the sun has been shining)

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