Our first tent: The MSR Mutha Hubba

A late fall trip just before the snow flew.

A late Fall trip just before the snow flew.

Back in mid 2010 myself and my wife knew we needed to bite the bullet and start buying all our camping and hiking gear. We’d recently moved to BC, Canada from Ireland and knew that we wanted to start exploring the mountains as soon as possible.

The problem was we knew nobody and didn’t know anything about how to properly hike or camp in the backcountry. All our shirts were cotton, all our pants were denim, our shoes were bought for how they looked rather than how they functioned. We had never had reason to ever utter the words “Ice Axe”, “Crampon” or “Gaiter”.

Walking into the popular Outdoor Recreation store, Mountain Equipment Coop, in Vancouver we were overwhelmed with how much stuff there was to choose from. We wandered around for close to 4 hours just reading labels, trying stuff on, trying to understand why we’d need one feature over another. Eventually we asked for help from an Employee.

He was experienced in hiking and backpacking and guided us for over 2 hours around the store picking out everything from boots, to medkits, to finally a tent.

He recommended the MSR Mutha Hubba. We took his advice, and with that we owned our very first tent.

It came with us on every overnight trip we took for the longest time. As we grew in our understanding of how to be better hikers and campers our level of appreciation for this tent grew also.

It’s simple and quick to set up, has a lot of space inside (you could fit 4 people in a pinch head to toe) and loads of storage in the side pockets. The dual vestibules are nice, especially on snow as you can dig one out and use it as your porch and then use the other one as your kitchen. It’s rated as 3-season only but we’ve comfortably used it through all 4-seasons.

Eventually, as we got more comfortable with camping we started to move more towards sleeping in snow pits, under a tarp in a bivy sack, or a much lighter, but cramped winter tent. The Mutha Hubba still gets used occasionally, when we are car camping or when we want to sleep 3 people, but it sees a lot less use now.

Every time we take it out though and have reason to use it, we look forward to it. So many memories are stored within those nylon walls, so many amazing views woken up to and perilous nights survived. It was and is an awesome tent.

Buy (Canada): MSR MUTHA HUBBA HP 3 PERSON TENT
Buy (USA): MSR Mutha Hubba Tent

Our first backpacking trip. We were green as a sapling. We had tins of Stagg Chili, a bushel of bananas and nothing to protect us against the swarms of mosquitos. We also left food in our tent and a clever rodent chewed a hole into the tent in the night.

Our first backpacking trip. We were green as a sapling. We had tins of Stagg Chili, a bushel of bananas and nothing to protect us against the swarms of mosquitos. We also left food in our tent and a clever rodent chewed a hole into the tent in the night.

 

This was our first experience with winter camping. We brought fresh eggs that froze and we learnt quickly that we needed to replace all our fleece clothes with down

This was our first experience with winter camping. We brought fresh eggs that froze and we learnt quickly that we needed to replace all our fleece clothes with down

 

One of our first big days of hiking. After pitching our tents we continued on to Mount Weart

One of our first big days of hiking. After pitching our tents we continued on to Mount Weart

 

Our first time camping near the summit of a mountain. With this trip we firmly resolved to camp high in the mountains from then on rather than low and in the trees.

Our first time camping near the summit of a mountain. With this trip we firmly resolved to camp high in the mountains from then on rather than low and in the trees.

 

Our second time camping near the summit of a mountain. This time with amazing views of the many peaks we would begin planning to climb in the coming years.

Our second time camping near the summit of a mountain. This time with amazing views of the many peaks we would begin planning to climb in the coming years.

 

In the night on this trip we'd hear avalanches releasing off slopes around us. The next day we attempted to summit Tricouni Peak but were turned back by the weather and avalanche danger

In the night on this trip we’d hear avalanches releasing off slopes around us. The next day we attempted to summit Tricouni Peak but were turned back by the weather and avalanche danger

 

Camped out on the Coleman Glacier below the summit of Mount Baker.

Camped out on the Coleman Glacier below the summit of Mount Baker.

 

We camped near a lake and had a campfire, a novelty as we are usually on snow or high in the Alpine. We were on our first Mountain Biking trip.

We camped near a lake and had a campfire, a novelty as we are usually on snow or high in the Alpine. We were on our first Mountain Biking trip.

 

High on a ridge crest, we had so many choices in where to camp we moved our tent around to find the best spot.

High on a ridge crest, we had so many choices in where to camp we moved our tent around to find the best spot.

Author: Leigh McClurg

I grew up in County Dublin, Ireland and moved to British Columbia, Canada with my wife in 2010. I fell in love with being in the Backcountry and Mountains that are all around me here and try to spend all of my free time exploring those wild places. My main goals are to chase happiness, see as much of this planet and its cultures as possible and grow every day through knowledge and experiences.

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4 Comments

  1. Stunning locations and photographs! How did the pack size and weight feel for this tent? I am torn between this tent and its 2 person sibling. I will primarily be doing 1-2 person backcountry trips but appreciate extra space to crawl into at night and during a storm. I’m trying to decide if the extra 2.5 pounds and $100 is worth it. What is your opinion with this tent versus going smaller?

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  2. Hi Grayson, as I’ve grown as a backpacker my needs have slowly been whittled down also. At first, myself and my wife found this tent to be adequate for our wide and long inflatable sleeping mats and all our gear. Now, with lighter, smaller mats and less gear we find it cavernous. I’d only use it for backpacking now if we can split the weight between 3 people. It’s really a 3.5 person tent in my opinion. As I said above, you could sleep 4 people in a pinch.

    I’d recommend going for the smaller and lighter Hubba Hubba, your knees and back will thank you. If you think you’ll need the space for a third person or if you like to bring a lot of creature comforts and use larger sleeping mats then get the Mutha Hubba.

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  3. Leigh, I appreciate the recommendation. I suppose if extra space were needed for either luxury, preference, or utility, the HH gear shed add on could be a good bet. That has been my leaning, but one can almost never get enough information about gear. Thanks for the review and reply!

    I just stumbled upon this site and it was bookmarked within seconds. Great content.

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  4. You can get the carbon reflex 3, which is the same weight as the Hubba Hubba but with the space of the Mutha Hubba.

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