Other Shelter Options
Some pairs of hikers in the “friend” realm prefer to have their own sleeping haven. If that’s so, they might each prefer to have their own lightweight solo tent. And you’ll still have the option to share other gear like cooksets with your hiking partner. We like the REI Flash Air, Gossamer Gear’s the One, and the Six Moons Designs Deschutes Plus.
Need More Room for 2? Consider a 3-Person Tent
When I hiked the AT with a partner, we opted for a three-person tent. While the weight penalty was five ounces more per person, we really appreciated the amount of space the NEMO Dagger 3 offered during a five-month hike. A few years later—and many gear pounds lighter—I would certainly opt for the weight savings of a good 2-person tent over the additional space (and weight) of a 3-person tent, but at the time, the luxury of that much livable space felt nice. Lighter three-person options include the ZPacks Triplex, the Big Agnes Copper Spur HVUL3, or Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL3 Tent.
Tips & Tricks for Hiking with a Partner
No one likes blowing up sleeping pads, filtering water or cleaning dishes in freezing cold water. Trade tasks, and always offer to help the other person out. If one person is filtering water, don’t just sit there! Set the tent up, offer to unload their bag, or ask what you can do to help. Oftentimes, couples backpacking will fall into a routine. One person can automatically take over cooking while the other person does the bear hang after dinner. It can feel just like a routine at home, albeit with better views.