Tents will serve as your home away from home during camping trips, so it is important that you find the most comfortable and functional one to take with you. Here are the things you need to do when choosing a camping tent:
Be mindful of the size
This one is a given. Size is very important when choosing a camping tent. You don’t want to buy something that’s too small for your needs as that will make it very uncomfortable and even unsafe. However, you also don’t want something that’s too large that it becomes difficult to pack and carry on your travels. Additionally, the large the tent, the more difficult it is to set up. Some of the really big ones can’t be set up by a single person, for instance.
Choose the right shape for your tent
Tents come in either A-frame, umbrella, dome, and wall shapes. The right shape will depend on your needs. If you need a lot of space for your other gear, you should opt for tents with square floor shapes, as they tend to have more space compared to ones that have hexagonal, triangular, or circular floors.
Pick the right kind of pole
Tents will come with either fiberglass or aluminum poles. You need to find one that is linked together with an elastic shock cord, as it is very effective in preventing lost poles. It also makes setup faster and easier. Many manufacturers include emergency repair links. Bring some along, as you never know when the need to replace a pole will come up.
Practice setting your tent up at home
One of the worst problems people have with setting up tents is that they are either not used to setting up tents, or unfamiliar with the type of tent they are trying to set up. This results in most campers wasting a lot of time trying to set up a tent. When you buy an outdoor camping tent, make sure you spend some time at home trying to set it up, so that you know how to do it when camping time rolls around.
Consider the fabric used
Majority of tents are made of nylon these days, with the walls employing breathable nylon for extra comfort. If you need waterproofing, choose coated nylon. Ideally, you should pick thick fabrics but don’t forget that the weight of the tent will increase relative to how thick and dense the fabrics are.
Test the zippers
Many tent buyers fail to test the zippers thoroughly before buying. Simply working is not enough. You have to ensure that hey don’t catch and bind up on the tent fabric, and you also need to test whether they get snagged on nylon flaps or frayed fabric. The material is also very important, with steel and aluminum having a tendency to corrode but are also stronger than plastic.
Consider the weather you’re going to face
Different types of weather will require different features on the tent. If you’re camping in a windy area, you want a tent that has sturdy poles, guy lines, and stakes. You may also want to choose dome shaped tents because they reduce wind resistance and their pole arrangement is sturdy.
If you’re expecting a lot of rain, you need to ensure that the tent is waterproof, sturdy, and have groundcloth, since this will help prevent the ground from accumulating moisture through condensation. Additionally, it also helps protect the floor from rocks and various debris.
If camping in sunny weather, your tent should be one that provides both shade and ventilation, for obvious reasons. Most campers use portable battery operated fans to cool off in the summer. Size is also a factor, as large tents are usually colder than small ones. Many campers use heaters inside large tents, but this should be avoided unless you’re sure that you are careful enough to avoid any fire accidents.
Last but not the least, keep cost in mind
Price is always important, especially in this day and age when money is getting much harder to earn. However, you should also keep in mind that the adage “you get what you pay for” still rings true. If you buy a cheap tent, don’t expect a lot of comfort.
On the other hand, while expensive tents usually have stronger fabric, poles, and have more features, not every camper will require these extras. It is therefore important to know exactly what you need out of the tent, and how much you are willing to spend to get it. You don’t always need to buy the most expensive ones, most of the time you only need the least expensive ones.