Choosing the Right Camping Tent
When you’re ready to purchase a camping tent for an upcoming trip or just for future use, you might think you can get away with the cheapest available. However, you should know that when it comes to camping tents, the old adage is very true – you get what you pay for. There are affordable tents that are great quality, but they’re going to cost more than the cheapest available. Knowing a little bit about the different tent features that are available and how they will benefit you can help you in choosing the right camping tent.
Camping Tent Size
The first thing you’ll want to think about is size. While you might think a 2-person tent is big enough for two people, there are things you’ll want to consider. Will you be taking air mattresses, and what sizes are they? Will your tent hold lots of camping gear, food, and other supplies? If so, you’ll want a tent that is big enough to accommodate all of that, with a little extra room so you’re comfortable. Therefore, sometimes bigger is better. Also, when it comes to storage, many tents have ‘loft’ storage that allows you to get some of your gear up off of the ground, and offers more room at ground level.
Lightweight or Not?
If you’ll be backpacking to the campground, you’ll want to consider the most lightweight tent you can find. Tents that are heavy will be a big burden as you’re walking, so the lighter the tent, the better. Hoop tents are known for being rather light, and easy to carry as you backpack. If you will not be backpacking, you don’t have to worry about whether the tent is lightweight, but remember that at some point in the future, backpacking might come up, so you may want to purchase a lightweight tent anyway.
There are camping tents available for typical summer weather, those available for cold weather and rain, and those are equipped to handle snow and other fierce weather. It’s a good idea to go ahead and purchase a tent that is equipped to deal with at least rain and cold weather. Some tents are specially sealed around the seams to prevent leaking, and feature a ‘bathtub’ bottom incase water stands around the tent. These are some special features to consider if you expect to deal with rain on your camping trip. Some individuals still recommend purchasing a good tarp or two to place under the tent and over top of the tent during a storm, in order to keep you and your gear and the inside of your tent dry.
Camping Tent Designs
As you begin shopping for tents, you will see that there are numerous camping tent designs. The designs do matter, and knowing how those designs are beneficial will help you choose one. A Geodesic tent is very strong, using intersecting tent poles to make the structure more sound. They’re often used for expeditions or in cases when a super-strong tent is needed. A tunnel tent is beneficial for longer stays, as the inside is typically more spacious than in a regular dome tent. In addition, it’s easier to stand and walk in these tents, as the ‘ceiling’ is not sloping from a single point like with other tents. A dome tent is perhaps one of the most lightweight tents, typically using just two poles that intersect. These are good for families as well as single campers, and are typically cheaper than geodesic or tunnel tents. Family tents are also great for larger groups of people, but are typically harder to set up, and are used for the duration of the trip so that one only has to pitch it once. These are not good tents for moving around a lot during camping.
By using these guidelines, you can choose the right camping tent for your particular camping needs.