Camping – Choose Your Tent Carefully
Camping may be new to you but If you are considering trying it out, you need to choose your tent carefully. Tents are manufactured in many sizes, shapes and styles. There are frame tents, ridge tents, dome tents, hoop or tunnel tents, vis a vis tents, geodesic tents etc, etc. There are many, many makes and models of tents on the market nowadays.
How Many People Are Camping?
The first criteria to choosing a tent for your camping trip, is to know how many people are going to be using the tent. Always consider your luggage as well as the number using the tent. Luggage can take up as much room as a person. If there are two people camping, then it’s wise to go for at least a 3 berth tent or preferably a 4 berth tent. It’s better to have spare space than not enough.
What activity will you be using your tent for? Family holidays and breaks, backpacking or mountain expeditions?
Family tents are ideal for the more sheltered campsites and should have multiple sleeping areas. Areas for porches and awnings are also useful features of a family camping tent.
Family tents are more expensive than others because of their size. They tend to be heavier as most people go car camping and unlike backpackers don’t carry the tents with them. Vis a vis tents are tents that have sleeping compartments either side of a communal living area. Vis a vis tents are now becoming extremely popular for family camping holidays.
Backpacking tents will obviously be smaller in size, lighter in weight and cheaper in price. Most backpackers use lightweight dome tents.
Mountain tents need to be able to cope with strong winds and foul weather. They need to be easy to pitch, have lower profiles, be stable and rigid. Geodesic tents are ideal for mountain expeditions.
More so if you are considering buying a family tent, headroom will be a major factor in your purchasing decision. Obviously smaller tents offer little headroom but if this is important to you then it may make your decision rather more difficult.
The majority of tents are manufactured with a double skin i.e. the inner tent and outer flysheet. Cotton, nylon and polyester are the three main materials used in the manufacture of tents. Make sure there is a sufficient gap, ideally three to four inches, between the two sheets, otherwise you may find that leakage becomes a problem.
Cotton when used for the inner tent allows the tent to breath and is best for avoiding condensation. Nylon and polyester, normally coated with polyurethane for waterproofing tends to be used for the vast majority of dome and ridge tents. Unlike cotton, nylon and polyester dry out more quickly. They are also lighter in weight and can be packed down easily to a small size.
Most tents have fitted groundsheets so you should have no problem with dampness or insects.
Whatever tent you decide to buy it is worth visiting a decent display showroom where you can inspect the tent in an erected situation.
Tent Camping Facts & Figures