There are few pursuits that are more rewarding than leaving the stresses of normal life behind and setting out for the great outdoors. However, whether you are leaving to enjoy a week at a campsite or heading into the wild, the right equipment is vital and a sturdy camping tent should be top of your list.
There numerous factors which will determine which is the right camping tent for you. If you do not go camping regularly and conditions will not be too harsh, then something cheap and cheerful should be enough. On the other hand, if your camping tent will see a lot of use in different kinds of weather then it certainly is worth investing in good quality and the right design. There are few things more unpleasant than having your camping tent falling to pieces around you in the middle of a stormy night.
One of the first things you need to consider is how many people your camping tent needs to sleep. Tents can range in size from one-man, with just enough sleeping room for a single person, to large family tents with multiple rooms.
The second thing to think about is convenience, both in terms of the weight of the tent and how easy it is to put together. If you are hiking you will want something lightweight, certainly not weighing over five kilograms. One-man camping tents can be as light as 1.5kgs, though lighter camping tents usually cost more.
How easy your tent is to put together should also influence your decision. If you plan on setting up camp somewhere for a week or two, then this is not a major concern. On the other hand, if you need put up your camping tent every evening, maybe sometimes in harsh conditions, you will want something that you can assemble quickly. Many camping tents literally pop up in a matter of seconds, while cheaper models could take a good 15 minutes to assemble.
There are a number of different tent designs and some are better built for certain conditions and requirements than others. If you are an occasional camper this needn’t be a huge concern. However, if your tent will regularly be exposed to extreme weather conditions, design can make all the difference.
Geodesic – This is seen as the strongest of the tent designs. Intersecting tent poles provide it with excellent strength to withstand extreme weather conditions. This is the tent for the more adventurous outdoor expeditionist.
Dome – This is probably the most popular camping tent design. It is lightweight, is cheap, is easy to erect and offers great overall durability. A popular choice among backpackers.
Tunnel – Another common choice, though not quite as lightweight as the dome tent. However, it is a good deal more spacious.
Finally, it is essential that your tent’s fabric is made from high quality material. Lightweight nylon or polyester are the best fabric for the purpose, and, of course, they should be fully waterproof. Also, it is often a good idea to waterproof the seams of the camping tent yourself as a final safety measure.