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July National Park Highlight: Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale National Park, MI

Hey there, Flock! We’re back again this month with another National Park Highlight Blog. We’re excited to introduce you to this month’s destination: Isle Royale National Park. If you’re unfamiliar, Isle Royale is located in Michigan, within Lake Superior. This park offers a surplus of peace and solitude for outdoorsmen and women of all type. There is endless opportunity for backpacking, hiking, fishing, canoeing, and camping. 

Lake Superior

Park Activities

Camping at Isle Royale is a one-of-a-kind experience. With 36 different campgrounds to choose from, you’re able to camp with Lake Superior access or on the Isle on an inland campground. The inland campground is only accessible by non-motorized boat. When camping in the park, it’s important to take into consideration how isolated it can be. Weather conditions can always take a turn, so be sure to pack an emergency kits and gear you may need, depending on the season. Campfires are not permitted at most campsites, providing an even more off the grid experience for experienced campers. One thing to note: camping gets very popular in the warmer months, so make sure to head to their site to confirm a reservation before your trip.


Gray Wolf in Isle Royale

Wildlife

Gray Wolves have inhabited the Isle since the late 1940’s. With the population fluctuating from around fifty in the 80’s to just two in 2018, your likelihood of encountering a wolf is very low. For this reason, no pets are allowed on the Isle and remember to practice safe camping practices. These wolves are unique apex predators who contribute to controlling the Moose population throughout the park. If you happen to see one, enjoy it! It’s a rare and beautiful experience. Moose have been on the Isle since the early 1900’s and their population in the area has varied from around 500 to 2,400 since 1980. 

So there you have it, Flock! If you get the chance to experience Isle Royale’s unique Lake Superior views, Wildlife, and hiking and camping opportunities. Be sure to pack your Roofnest down blanket for a light sleeping cover to keep you comfortable and protected on your adventures. Happy camping!

Hardshell Rooftop Tents Vs. Softshell Rooftop Tents

Are you ready to make your purchase on a roof top tent? While we know we’ve got you covered, a common question many folks have is this: What are the benefits of a hard shell roof top tent vs. a soft shell roof top tent? Let’s weigh the options.

Hard shell roof top tents:

What do we prefer about this option?

Aerodynamics

Hard shell roof top tents are a relatively newer and improved upon product than their soft shell roof top tent counterparts. One of the biggest draws to the hard shell model is the aerodynamic capability when traveling. Soft shell roof top tents don’t collapse completely flat, which provides less stability among long, high-speed road trips and tight overlanding routes. Our Roofnest models are designed with an aerodynamic shape that allows you to drive without worry of losing your tent, hindering your gas mileage, or being slowed down on the road to your destination.

Living Space

Hard shell roof top tents tend to raise completely up, almost always allowing four entirely vertical walls. In comparison, many soft shell roof top tents have sloped walls inside the sleeping area due to the shape and design. Inside a hard shell roof top tent, every inch of livable space is optimized to provide as much room inside as possible for any sized camper to be able to sleep comfortably.

Setup and Takedown

Hard shell roof top tents provide a large advantage in the ease of setup and takedown. With our models specifically, its as simple as four clasps and two handles for the actual set-up and take-down. The built-in gas struts inside our tents make it incredibly easy to simply push up on the tent to open it, and a light pull down to close. One person is able to do it alone with ease and in minutes.

Soft shell roof top tents:

What do they offer in comparison?

Size

Soft shell roof top tents are typically smaller in size for actual transport, but can open up and allow for extra quarters to be attached and essentially double in size. With this feature and depending on the specific model, you can often fit multiple people in the tent with ample room to move around.

Setup and Takedown

While they may be larger in living space size, this feature also adds some extra work for setup and takedown. These tents often require complex and multiple folds that can be somewhat difficult to get back into their outer casing for travel.  That being said, these tents do typically require less roof area when actually traveling. Additionally, if a soft shell roof top tent has an extended living quarter it may require stakes to hold it up off the side of the vehicle, which creates added steps for setup and takedown as well.

Living Space

As we mentioned above, the soft shell model typically allows more space for living and can accommodate for more people. An added feature to these tents is the small awning created by the landing that is suspended off the side of the vehicle. This covering can provide a small shaded place for lounging or setting up a prep area for food and cooking cleanup away from the elements.

The Verdict

Both types of rooftop tents provide a comfortable way to camp off the ground with different attractive features. Whether you value more living space or a certain amount of roof space to give on your vehicle, there is an option for you.  However, when it comes to versatility and user-friendliness, we can’t help but think Hard shell roof top tents are definitely the way to go. In minutes you can be set up or on the move, have the most utilized sleeping space, and are ready to hit the road without any hindered gas mileage or worry. So whatever your draw may be, let’s get out there and enjoy the outdoors.