One of the best ways to spend time in nature with your family is to go camping–and now is the perfect season. The winter is long gone, and it’s still time before summer in full swing hits us.
But if you really want to enjoy camping, one of the main things you need to make sure is that you’ve picked the right tent–otherwise you’re going to be spending time in an over cramped tent where you might freeze to death.
Here’s a guide on picking the right tent for the perfect camping experience:
Tent Sleeping Capacity
When you are choosing a tent for camping, the first thing you need to keep in mind is the number of people that will be sleeping inside the tent.
Though there are no industry standards that define per-person tent dimensions, you need to assume a close fit.
Also consider if you need time to move around in the night when you are sleeping, or if you are bringing a small child or dog, then choose a bigger tent.
Camping Season Preferences
Based on your camping season preferences, tents are divided into different categories:
3 season tents
These are lightweight tents designed to tolerate normal camping seasons with moderate temperatures like spring, summer and fall. They also are equipped with mesh panels to promote air ventilation, and keep out bugs. These tents can also withstand some amount of rainfall. These are the most popular types of tents.
3-4 seasons tents
These are an extended version of 3 season tents and are engineered to be used in slightly more colder weather. They include one or two poles, and a fewer number of mesh panels than the regular 2 season tents. These tents are perfect for you if your camping destination has some amount of snowfall.
4 season Tents
If you are planning to take a camping trip which has a little more harsh weather conditions like fierce winds, and snowfall, mountaineering tents are your best bet. These have more poles and heavier fabrics, and a rounded dome designed to make sure snow doesn’t collect on top of the tent. The mesh panels and rainflies are located closer to the ground so that they cut off the flow of the cold air from the outside.
Key Features of Your Tent
Tent poles help making your tent sturdy, and more resilient to harsh winds.
Tent poles should be lightweight and easy to set up–most poles are made of aluminium because it is almost weightless, but they can also be made from fibreglass. They also come with an elastic shock cord, making it easier to assemble the tent poles together.
A rain fly is the waterproof material that extends over the tent. It can protect your tent from the rain and harmful rays of the sun that can damage the outside coating of your tent.
Shelters or awnings to attach to your tent for the purpose of storing muddy or dusty boots can come pretty handy too. They can be either a part of the rainfly or can be an accessory that can be bought seperately as well.
When you are choosing your tent, think about how many doors you need, based on the number of people occupying the tent. A tent with multiple doors, like a cabin style tent, will help you avoid climbing over each other.
Be on the lookout for a tent that has a higher denier rating (thicker density fabric). These tents will be more rugged as they’ll reduce the odds of rain or snow seeping into your tent at night, and will be more tolerant to extreme weather conditions.
Mesh Panels for the Tent
Mesh panels are used for ventilation in a camping tent. Mesh panels are used in the windows, doors, and ceilings of a tent depending on the weather conditions the tent is made for. For colder weather, choose a tent with less mesh panels so that the insulation is better. In hot and humid weather, more mesh panels are encouraged since they help manage condensation, and increase ventilation.
Height of the Tent
Are you using the tent only to sleep?
Are you claustrophobic?
These are the questions you should keep in mind while selecting the height of the tent. You can opt for a tent with tall peak height, a cabin-style tent, or a dome style tent.
Pro tip: if you’re over 6 feet tall and want additional space, look for a tent with a floor length of 90 inches. The typical tent floor length is 84–88 inches.
Loops and pockets
Interior loops can be used to attach lanterns, or even a mesh shelf to keep the tent neater.
These are organising tools that will help you keep your tent tidier if you are planning to camp for more than a day or two.
For camping destinations with harsh winds, these guy lines allow you to batten down the hatches, so that there is no flapping fabric.
Other tent accessories
Custom fitted ground cloth like a footprint, will be fitted under your tent floor and will help make sure your tent floor is protected from rocks, twigs and dirt.
Gear loft is a storage section to keep your essentials off the tent floor.