GIMME SHELTER: CHOOSING THE BEST TENT FOR YOUR TRIP
With a wide variety of tents on the market today, choosing the right one can be an overwhelming task, especially for first-time buyers. Prices range from extremely affordable camping tents to quite expensive, so how do you know how much to spend? What follows is a general guide to help you suss out the perfect tent for you and your exciting outdoor trek.
Tent model names typically include a number, which is the maximum number of full-sized adults that can sleep comfortably in that particular tent. These numbers can range from the singular to a dozen or more. Having a wild rumpus while camping with children or dogs? Big family reunion? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, consider sizing up. Remember that for each camper there is added camping gear, so storage space is a consideration.
BACKPACKING VS CAR CAMPING
For car camping, the world is your oyster with the choice of any tent that will fit in your vehicle, however hiking in typically requires you to bring a single or double-occupancy tent in your pack. You’ll want it to be made from very lightweight yet sturdy materials like aluminium and polyester as you’re going to be carrying this tent on your back up and down trails and terrain.
There are several different tent shapes out there, but the most popular and versatile of these is the dome tent. Dome tents are constructed by using two or three poles that cross over each other to create an open space. This provides extra headroom and often even standing room within the tent. These are also the easiest to pitch, making them a great choice for families. Other tent shapes include the traditional A-frame, hoop or tunnel configurations.
EASE OF TENT ASSEMBLY
This is an important thing to consider, especially if you need to set the tent up quickly. At night, in undesirable weather or when you’re tired after a journey, the last thing you want to do is sort through endless pieces and instructions. A good tent will have almost intuitive construction, with coded poles, clips and tie-downs. The very best tents can be set up in a matter of moments, eliminating frustration and time wasters and will have you enjoying your holiday as you should.
TENTS AND WEATHER
Not all tents are created equal when it comes to withstanding the elements. Wind, rain and intense heat can create an unpleasant scenario without the proper features. Find a tent that provides ample ventilation through mesh screened windows and ceiling vents to ensure your days and nights are comfortable and cool. For wind and rain, waterproof materials and sturdy construction are key. Do your research and find a tent that provides a reliable barrier between you and the elements while maintaining the feeling of being outside in nature.
TENTS AND THE TEST OF TIME
Some tents on the market can provide all the best features, but only for a limited time. You want to make sure that your tent has high-tensile, corrosion-resistant poles and strong, tear-free fabrics that will stand up not only to inclement weather but to the test of time. The seams should be reinforced as much as possible, and all zippers should be heavy duty and resistant to snags and tears.
A TENT IS A TEMPORARY HOME
Does your tent have a vestibule? How about storage space? What kinds of added features are a necessity for you and what can you leave behind? These are important things to consider when you’re assessing livability. Do you anticipate spending more time inside reading alone or lounging with mates? If it’s the latter, you may want a tent with more headroom and space.
The more involved you become in the camping experience, the more you will know about what you require in a tent and will start to seek out those characteristics that suit you best. Starting out with an affordable yet durable dome tent is the best bet for a beginner and will ensure that you enjoy comfortable, safe and happy camping for years to come.
It’s harder to get a better deal on a camping tent than buying online. It always pays to buy from a reputable retailer.
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