Choosing a Perfect Tent

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If you’re an outdoor type you probably like to camp and when camping you probably enjoy outdoor activities and games. Perhaps you like to hike, hunt, or fish; true outdoor types sleep in tents, right?

Having a tent that meets your specific needs can make your camping experience much more enjoyable. Choosing the right tent for you and your family requires some research. Tents come in all shapes and sizes. I suggest that you go to a well stocked sporting goods store and check them out. After making a choice, check online stores first as you’ll often be able to find the same tents at much lower prices and a lot of outdoor/camping-sites offer free shipping.

Don’t crowd it

You will find small one-person-sized tents, several choices in two- and three-person tents, and even multi-room family sized tents in which you can stand up straight are available. Before making a choice, consider how many people will be using the space.

First let me say that the packaging on the tent displays can be somewhat misleading. I have personally found that if a tent ad says it’s a two-person tent, than in fact, two people can sleep in that tent, but that’s it.
This means there is no room for your gear or supplies. If you and one other person will be going camping this type of tent would work only if you keep your gear in a vehicle.

I suggest that you buy a tent made for the amount of people going plus two more. That would mean if you have a family of four you purchase a tent made for six. This will insure that there’s plenty of room for everyone including your gear. Camping is new and different enough for a beginner so the last thing you’ll want to do is cramp your surroundings.

Tents generally are available in these types:

  • A-frames
  • Domes
  • Cabins

A-frames are usually small and very durable. They generally only fit 2 or 3 people and they can be troublesome to set up.

Dome tents have sloping sides. They are usually roomy, particularly in the center. They are also able to handle strong winds because of their shape. Moreover, they are probably the easiest to set up and pack away. This is therefore the tent I suggest for beginners.

Cabin tents can be very roomy with separate areas partitioned off. The major drawback is that they can be time-consuming and difficult to assemble and to take apart and pack away. If you’re planning on staying in the same spot for more than a few days, this is definitely a winner.

Other tents include tree tents, bed-tents, and uncommen shapes and sizes. I’ve even seen a custom-made tent the shape of a car!

Your comfort when camping is very important

Remember, when camping you will be sleeping in sleeping bags so at best, your comfort level will probably be less than you are used to. In order to achieve maximum comfort during your camping adventure do not choose a tent that will be too small.

Not only do you have to consider how many people will be sleeping in your tent, but also consider the storage space you’re going to need. You’ll probably be bringing a lot of gear along. Keep in mind things such as backpacks, fishing and or hunting gear, duffle bags, coolers, food… well this list could go on but I think you get the idea.

Most campers end up keeping a lot of things inside the tent at night so it is wise to plan ahead. Before making your purchase, it is best if you can see the tent set up in the store or at least one similar in size in shape. It’s hard to tell just by reading a box what is well suited to meet your needs. That’s why it’s best to shop around in a store, and then order online for the best value.

Consider how often you will be camping

If you’re an occasional camper – you camp 4 or fewer times per year – then you may not want to splurge on the top of the line tent. Instead, a less durable model may be ideal for you, it is advisable to get a rain flap that has tension adjustments. Be sure that this goes all the way to the ground: getting wet while camping is not fun!

If you are a year-round camper you will need to get a tent that will hold up to all seasons. Be sure that it is very strong and durable.

Pitch your tent at home

My advice is to always set your tent up at home before your camping adventure. This gives you an opportunity to practice the set-up, to check for the functionality of the tent, and to find out if you left behind any parts on your last camping trip.
There’s nothing more annoying than arriving at your destination only to find out you’re missing a crucial part of your tent – I speak from experience.

Likewise it is much better to find a broken zipper on a door flap before you get to the campsite than to discover it when you plan to retire for the night. Mosquitoes and other pests can make your night miserable so be sure to have a way to lock them out. By the way, it’s also a wise idea to check out all the other camping gear before you leave home.

Through careful planning and consideration you can find the perfect tent for your needs and having a tent that accommodates your needs can mean the difference between a pleasant camping trip and one that is tortuous. 

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