Can you plan a camping trip without a tent?
Most likely not. A tent is an indispensable part of camping that must be on your checklist. Whether you’re just getting started or thinking of a first-time purchase, or an upgrade to an improved one, all of a sudden you have a huge number of options on the table. It can sure get a lot confusing.
After all there are quite a number of designs, sizes, seasonality and shapes to choose from. It can be surprisingly hard to narrow down the choices, measure the pros and cons and figure out if the tent you’re considering is really worth it.
So, how can pick the perfect tent for any outdoor activities?
In this article, I detailed a couple of key things you can assess when buying a camping tent. Here’s the comprehensive guide to buying the perfect tent for you:
Which Type of Tent Do I Need?
The question itself depends on another question; i.e. what kind of camping am I going to be waging? If you’re camping in a designated campground, nearby your car, then find the largest, comfiest and heaviest tent possible and suitable for you. If you are required to carry the tent any distance, then prefer something lightweight and easy-to-carry. Backpackers who are planning on hiking through the backcountry should prioritize small size and low weight. Go for the lightest tent possible if you’re going in for miles.
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What Size Tent Do I Need?
First of all, ask yourself, how many people are going to use the tent? The number of people who will live in the tent will determine what size tent you will need. But, just because a tent is marketed as suitable for a certain number of people, doesn’t mean it will really fit that many people. For example: if your tent is tagged as a 4-people tent, with 4 people, it may be a tight fit, considering the space your gear will take up. Therefore, if you’re travelling with 4, then you should be looking for a 6-person tent. With big size comes great weight. So, prepare yourself for the lifting and carrying challenges you’ll encounter.
What Season Tent Do I Need?
Tents are usually marketed based on a season rating; such as: 3-season or 4-season tent. So, what do they mean? They are kind of misleading. 3-season tents are the most popular choice of tents. That’s because they are usually lightweight and suitable for temperate conditions available in spring, summer and fall. They usually come filled with mesh panels to increase airflow. However, if your tent is a 3-season tent, then it may not be strong enough to withstand high winds, snow loads or colder conditions. To be able to put up with insanely cold temperatures, you need a 4-season tent. Four-season tents are designed to withstand high winds, and colder conditions. You’re going to have more gear storage and space at the expense of cost and weight in a 4-season tent.
Now there are a couple of factors you need to look for apart from asking yourself those questions. And, they are:
The perfect tent should offer you more than just shelter. It should your be your mate who will have your back in the woods or on the wilderness. The tent should be adaptive to your needs, everything from hanging out, reading to napping, sleeping and escaping wind, sun, rain and bugs. Also, be mindful of the ceiling height. You should be able to roam the tent without feeling crammed. So, ceiling height is important for having tall campers stand up comfortably. Camping in warmer weather may get heavily uncomfortable due to heat. So, look for a tent with proper ventilation feature.
How do you envision your camping weather? You probably will visualize a climate filled with sunny days, not too bright or hot, spending gossipping and singing by the fire, and sorts. However, if weather takes an unexpected turn, camping with inappropriate gear may make your camping trip a botched up one. We all know how weather is, you have bright atmosphere during the daytime, but heavy rainstorm at night. So, prepare yourself for the worst outcome and choose a tent that have adequate water resistance capability. Make sure you buy a tent factoring in wind and water resistance. Examine the tent’s seams if they are sealed.
Ease of Setup & Use
Pitching a tent should be extremely easy. After spending a day trekking, hiking, and travelling, you don’t wanna be put through strenuous tasks of setting up a tent. That’s why look for a tent that offers ease of setup. Furthermore, a tent should have enough doors and windows for ventilation. One should be able to get in and get out of the tent with ease. So, tents with more doors help.
What should my tent be made of? Examine the tent closely to find out what the tent is made of. Tents that are canvas, made of cotton, are cotton, but they tend to get heavy once the water is absorbed. However, canvas tents don’t wear much and they last longer than a nylon tent.
One most overlooked part of the tent is the zips. Pull the zip down and see if it slides easily, and doesn’t catch on fabric. The zippers should also be non rusting.
Ents usually come with a fly that covers your tent during rain. The rainfly needs to be coated with polyurethane and silicone. The rainfly should cover up the windows, doors for further protection from rain.
An investment on a camping tent should be solid. You can’t afford to purchase a poor quality tent, since it will shelter you in a place where everything could get hostile. So, make sure you go through all the factors listed above before purchasing your home away from home! Here are some high-quality camping tents review, probably the best camping tent in the world. You can read that review to select the best one.