How To Choose A Tent


 
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How To Choose A Tent

by Brian E. Rooney

 

 

     If you are a romanticist and believe in the lyrics to the old cowboy song of “…let me sleep under the starry skies above, don’t fence me in”, then there is nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy nature this way.  There are many nice nights to do this.  The reality is you should have a camping tent.  A camp tent will provide you protection from a rain storm.  A tent will provide you with extra warmth if it is needed.  A tent will protect you from insects like mosquitoes.  A camping tent will protect you from the unwanted visits of some of the forest critters.  There is nothing better than to wake up in the middle of the night and have a skunk starring you in the face.  The following should help you in deciding what camp tent to choose to meet your needs.

     There are many types of camping tents with different variations.  I will explain what the

different camp tents and variations are, what to look for in a tent, and followed by my recommended camping tents to buy.

What kind of camp tent to choose is going to depend on a few factors such as how many people will be using the tent, how will the tent be used, what kind of weather do you expect to use the tent in, and how often will the camping tent be used. 

Types of Camping Tents

Dome Tents:  Dome tents are designed with a low profile to effectively shed rain and to be wind resistant.  Dome tents tend to be warmer inside due to their low profile.  Dome tents are easy to setup. Dome tents don’t need to be staked, but should be in open areas and windy conditions.

A Frame Style Tents:  A-Frame tents have a simple light weight design and are easy to set up. They provide good ventilation.  There is less room at the top with good room at the bottom.  A frame tents are more favored by backpackers.

Umbrella Tents: Umbrella tents can hold many people with large entry ways and windows.  Umbrella tents are roomy, well ventilated and easy to setup.

Cabin Tents:  Cabin tents are usually large tents with high walls and are usually very roomy inside and well ventilated.

“Family Tents”:  “Family tent” is a term used to describe tents designed for 4-9 people with good ventilation.  “Family tents” are designed with large entry ways and windows.  “Family tents” can be either cabin style or dome tents. 

All in the Family with Family Tents  

 

 

Different Season Camping Tents

Summer (also known as 2 season tent):  Summer tents are designed only for hot weather and humid conditions.  For this reason summer tents have a lot of mesh for ventilation.  Summer tents are impractical at higher elevations. Summer tents are the cheapest to buy.

3-Season Tent: 3-Season tents are designed for spring, summer, and fall camping.  3-Season tents are constructed to be durable to withstand wind and rain or a light snowfall.

All-Season Tent:  All-season tents can be used year round.  All-season convertible tents can be converted from all-season to 3-season with the removal of a few panels.  All-season tents are designed to handle a heavier snow load than a 3-season tent.

Winter:  Winter tents are designed for extreme winter conditions.

Factors To Consider In Choosing A Camp Tent

Size:  What size tent is going to depend on how many people you will be camping with.  Try to choose a tent that is 1-2 people larger than the amount of people camping.  For two people, try to buy a tent rated for 3-4 persons.  You will appreciate the extra space as a storage area, for hanging out, and for comfortable sleeping.  A dome type tent is good choice in for a small amount of people.  For 4-9 people you might want to consider buying a family tent or 2 dome type tents, one for adults and one for children. 

Fabric:  The days of the heavy tarp tent have been over for a long time.  Today you have two fabrics primarily to choose from:  either polyester or nylon.  I choose polyester; polyester has proven to be more resistant to harmful rays of the sun and abrasion than nylon fabrics.  A polyester tent won’t sag or stretch when faced with rain, snow, or dew.  This means the inner tent stays dry and protected from the elements.

Color:  A neutral light color will let in more light.  Choose a bright neon color tent if you intend to camp faraway from humanity.  The bright colors will make it easier to find you in a search and recue operation if you get stranded.

Rainflys:  If your tent did not come with a rain fly, then consider buying a rain fly or nylon tarp to provide protection from the rain.  The rain should cover the tent and extend to a few inches above the ground.

 

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