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The Selections of Backpacking Tents Available

Aug 18, 2007
Good backpacking tents are nice to have, but choosing which shelter is the best one for your tour is important. You may need a shelter for an ultra light tour or a heavy-duty tent for a winter expedition. Knowing what to look for, such as construction materials, type of set up, and durability is a must. To know which one of the many tents on the market is best for your needs, keep reading.

Three-season backpacking tents are considered the best option on the market. They're lighter and more compact than four-season tents and also offer more room as well. These types of tents for camping trips during warmer months are great and are versatile for other activities such as kayaking or bicycling trips.

If you're thinking of taking a winter vacation and enjoying some snowy backpacking tours, then four-season backpacking tents are the ones you'll have to buy. They have sturdy poles built to handle heavy snow and use thicker materials in their construction, which means added weight. Four-season tents are also less compact, so purchase these only if you'll be camping in the winter months.

When trying to choose amongst the offerings of backpacking tents, take a close look at the weights of each one. Tent weights are described as "minimal" and "packaged". Minimal weight means stripping the setup down to the bare minimum you'll need to set the tent up.

Packaged weight means everything the tent includes from instructions to extra pegs and stuffing sacks. For lightweight backpacking, try to choose a tent that has the lowest minimal weight while still covering all your needs for space.

Minimalists and those into ultra light backpacking might want to consider opting for other shelters as opposed to backpacking tents. Bivy sacks and tarp shelters cut down on weight by providing the minimal amount of necessary equipment to set a shelter up.

Bivy sacks are big enough to hold a sleeping bag and pad. Those who want lightweight gear and don't mind sleeping in closed-in spaces could opt for a Bivy shelter.

Tarp shelters can be larger shelters good for lightweight backpacking and camping trips. By stringing up a few ropes and possibly accessorizing with a pole or two, you'll have an enclosed space for sleeping on your camping trip.

You won't get any of the bells and whistles of fancier backpacking tents, but you'll have good space and protection from the elements without the weight to carry.

Choosing backpacking tents basically boils down to how much weight you want to carry and how comfortable you need to be. If you're the type of person that isn't thrilled about sleeping on the ground in the first place, avoid tarp shelters and bivy sacks.

Choose tents that offer the best amount of space at the lowest weight to carry, and leave the extra accessories at home.
About the Author
Learn to love the journey and your choice of backpacking tents from Mike Selvon's backpacking portal, and leave a comment at our backpacking blog.
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