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Pop-up Tents: Traveling Light Made Simple

Jun 17, 2008
For the true outdoorsman, only tenting will do. Forget the RV. Getting in touch with nature means leaving the microwave and HDTV at home. There's nothing better than listening to crickets chirping in the stillness while you're inside a great canvas tent. Whether your tent is a pop-up or other type, tenting is one of the best ways to commune with the environment.

Unfortunately, some people still have the outdated image of the bulky, circus-style tents of yesteryear. Unwieldy steel poles and the sheer weight of the canvas discouraged some from even trying camping. Luckily, camping technology has come a long way. Today's tents are lightweight, but sturdy. Plus, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to put one up. Pop-up tents are exceptionally easy and convenient to use. They can even be assembled by one person.

Pop-up tents are exactly what the name implies. They are erected by pushing poles through fabric channels. They're so simple, in fact, that they are often referred to as "self-erecting" tents. The poles are typically made of light, flexible materials, making them nearly foolproof to work with.

Pop-up tents are designed to be extremely compact. The poles usually break down to shorter lengths. They may separate completely to create shorter sections. They may also "fold" down via a cord that runs inside the hollow tube that comprises the pole. The fabric itself folds easily. Pop-up tents are the perfect choice for a tenting excursion that includes a hike. Compact and light, they add only minimal weight to a backpack. They're also a good choice when space is limited, such as when being transported in a smaller vehicle.

When choosing a pop-up tent, there are two main factors to consider: size and camping conditions. First, decide on size. How many people will likely be sleeping in the tent at one time? It's important to read labels carefully. Pop-up tents may sleep anywhere from one to eight people. The label will tell you exactly how many people it was made to hold. However, you may need to make some adjustments. For example, a tent that says it sleeps "four" generally refers to four average-sized adults. A family of two adults and three small children may still fit comfortably inside. Similarly, a tent for "four" may not be big enough for four tall men. Always check the dimensions of the tent along with the number of people it sleeps to get a more accurate gauge of size.

Next, in what type of conditions will you be using your tent? For example, if you frequently camp on windy mountaintops, you should avoid hoop tents. Hoop tents may not be strong enough to withstand a powerful wind. Instead, they are ideal for backyard camping or for use in enclosed campgrounds. Ridge tents are a good choice for backpacking trips, offering headroom without bulk. For trips when space isn't an issue, frame tents are an excellent selection. They work well for families and have ample interior space.

No matter what the style, pop-up tents are a breeze to erect. Even the least mechanically-inclined of campers will have no trouble enjoying the great outdoors with a self-erecting tent.
About the Author
Warren L. Smith offers a fountain of information on Camping, such as Camping Tips, Family Fun, Hunting, Fishing, Tents, Equipment, and Wilderness Tips. For the best, up to date information, go to: http://www.CampingBreak.com
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