Choosing a Good
While tent camping, the tent
becomes your castle. It is the most important piece of camping equipment that you will
buy. For this reason, a good amount of time should go into purchasing the right
tent. To help simply this decision process, we have put together the following
Type of Camping
Trip: Are you going to be backpacking, weekend camping, or doing
some extended camping? A heavier tent can be used for longer term camping and tends to be better for larger
groups. However, a lighter tent is better for short term camping and is ideal for
Distance: How far will you have to go to drop off your camping
equipment? If it is a far distance, a lighter tent would be preferable because of its lighter
weight. If you need a larger tent, it is a good idea to camp close to the drop-off
point. Ideally, the drop off point should be within ½ mile if you have a large amount of
Season : What seasons will you be going camping? Most people tend to
camp in the summer, spring or fall.
Therefore, a summer or 3 season tent will be your best options.
However, if you enjoy camping in the winter, you may want to purchase a 4 season tent or convertible
tent. Each of these four types of tents has its own unique set of advantages and
tents are best for the hot weather of the summer as
they have a lot of mesh for ventilation and are very lightweight weighing about 4 to 8lbs. However,
this lack of insulation will not be very helpful for fall or winter camping.
tents are designed for spring, summer, and fall and
are the most commonly used tent and weigh roughly 5 to 10lbs.
tents are designed for all seasons with an emphasis on
winter camping. They are very good for winter camping and high altitude
tents are also designed for all four
seasons. However, they do have a large number of “convertible” parts for the varying
conditions which can be a benefit and a burden at the same time.
Head room: Do you need a lot of
headroom while you are in your tent?
Do you need to be able to standup in your tent to
change? The answer to these questions are largely a matter of personal
preference. However, we recommend that new tent campers and older tent campers start off with a
tent that provides both these features as a roomy tent tends to be the most accommodating for all
campers. This will ensure you have plenty of room for all the things to do while
Party: How many people will be going? The size of the party
will dictate how many tents are needed.
However, as a rule of thumb it is a good idea to always allow for a
little more space in each tent for additional gear and firewood.
Tent: In the movie, “The Ghost & The Darkness”, Michael
Douglas’s character lectures the main character on the importance of never bringing an untested rifle into
battle or a hunt. The same advice goes for your tent.
You should test building your
tent at home to make sure you have all the pieces and are at a point where you know how to build it from
memory. You do not want to be in a rush putting the tent together for the first time in the
dark or while it is raining, only to find out you are missing a piece or can't seem to locate the
If you do find that you have lost
a piece or broken a piece beyond repair while camping, some live or solid dead wood can be used as a
substitute for stakes or a crosspiece.
Features: It is also a good idea
for the tent to meet these other criteria:
assemble: Does it take a long time to put the tent
together? If it takes over 10 minutes to put together, we recommend getting an easier tent to
parts: Does it have a large number of parts? The more parts
it has the greater the chance something gets lost. For this reason, we recommend the fewer the parts the