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How To Pick The Right Tent - Your Guide To Having A Comfortable And Safe Refuge In The Outdoors

Aug 17, 2007
In order to maximize on your camping experience, one of the most important piece of equipment that you will need is the camping tent. Whether or not you enjoy your experience will depend quite largely on the quality of the tent that you choose. This is why there is a considerable amount of tents available in the market today.

The first thing you should do in order to pick the right tent is to firstly decide on the dimensions of the tent that you need.

Tents are made to shelter a specific number of people. For example, a solo backpacker might need a tent suited for a solo camper, while a family of six campers will need something that is much bigger and more spacious.

Most tents in the market are made with labels describing their capacity, or in the other words, how many campers it will house.

This means that, if you do not want to purchase many tents with different capacities, you should think thoroughly and decide wisely on the largest number of campers that you foresee camping together with you.

So, if you always go camping with a friend, but decide to go it alone this year, think about purchasing a tent made for two, or a "two-man tent".

There are basically four components to a tent - the poles, body of the tent, the rain fly and the tarp. The tarp is actually a cloth or sheet that you put on the ground which will help to make your tent floor last longer.

Now that you know the basic components, here are some tips on how to choose the best tent according to your needs.

1. Think of what you need. Consider factors such as where you go camping, during which season, whether you will be backpacking and any other requirements that you can think of. After deciding on your needs, you will then be able to make informed decisions on the type to purchase.

2. Determine your budget and how much you are willing to spend. Once you have established your budget it is unlikely for you to overspend.

3. Decide on the weight and size of the tent. Will there be many campers who will be sleeping in that tent? The size will not matter much if you go 'car camping'. However, if you decide on going backpacking then it would be wiser to invest in a lightweight tent.

4. Look at the available features of the tent. In today's market, you will be spoilt for choice as there are many manufacturers offering different unique features for their tents.

For example, you could choose tents with mesh panels which allow the breeze into your tent while at the same time keeping the mosquitoes and other insects out. Or you could opt for 'shock corded' tent poles which allow for a fast setup, waterproof or flame resistant tents, or even a rain fly for more protection against the rain.

Keep in mind that the tent you choose should be the one that best suits your camping needs.

5. If possible, choose a durable fabric tent. It might cost more but this is one of the things that you should definitely invest in.

6. Make sure that you select the right colour for the tent. Check how the colour of the tent spreads the light inside the tent. Some colours can make the tent interior look bright, while others might make it dark and gloomy.

Take note that light colours are cooler, hence more suitable in the summer. Darker coloured tents absorb heat from the sun and are best used during the colder seasons.

7. Inspect the coating of the tent. You should see a waterproof and shiny coating inside the floor of the tent and on the rain fly. If this is not seen, or felt on the fabric of the tent, then the tent might not be durable enough for heavy usage.

8. Do remember that your camping needs differ in summer than in winter. Your tent choice should reflect this difference, as camping in the hot summer sun is definitely unlike camping in the snow.

Most tents in the market nowadays have weather ratings. Choose and invest in a tent that is specifically made for the weather conditions that you will be camping in.

9. Look at tents from various manufacturers. There are many tent manufacturers that produce unique designs in their name. Some manufacturers are known for their inexpensive tents, while others are more established and famous for their expensive but high-quality tents.

Among the popular tent makers are Coleman, Wenger, Greatland and Eddie Bauer. Pick a tent manufacturer you trust.

When you are in the wild outdoors, it is important to have the proper equipment. The wrong type of equipment will not kill you, but will surely make your camping experience an unpleasant one.

Thus for a perfect camping experience, you should think thoroughly and decide wisely when purchasing your tent.

Keep in mind that your tent will be your home away from home for a few days. Thus, having the perfect tent will provide you a comfortable and safe haven during your camping days.
About the Author
Juzaily Ramli and Tommy Lehmann are camping buddies and love to camp whenever they could find the time. Find out how to camp and choose the best tents at Camping Guide and Camping Tents.
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