There are no specific characteristics of the best camping tent. The tent that matches your budget and possesses the right style and brand you are looking for is supposed to be the perfect one for you!
We will not discuss your camping needs or requirements; rather we have enlisted some questions here for you. Ask these questions to yourself and your answer will determine the characteristics of your best tent.
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What do You Need to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Tent?
Before you buy any tent, you should ask yourself the following questions –
- What type of camping am I doing? – Base camping (set up and stays two weeks) or touring (set up and pull down every day).
- How many people? – Is it for a family, a couple or just yourself?
- Do I prefer canvas or polyester?
- How much room do I have? – Both in the car for transport and at home for storage.
- Where am I camping/hiking? – Many campgrounds have relatively small sites, others are open plan.
- What is my budget?
- What are the weather conditions I am likely to experience – a Queensland winter can be warmer than a Tasmanian summer!
While figuring out the features of your camping tent, remember that tents are not like your house. It is made for sleeping or getting a cover for bad weather. Rest of the works such as- cooking and eating are done outside of a tent. You can also do it with a tarp or shady tree or in a screened shelter if mosquitos are excess in number.
The Types of Tents
Here are the different types of tents that you can get for yourself –
Traditional A-frame or Ridge Tent
There is a tent in the shape of an A when erected which is called a traditional A-frame or ridge tent. It is generally a light tent but it becomes heavy when a tarp is added to it for weather protection. The steep sloping sides lessen the space for headroom and they may break during strong winds.
The sides consist of two poles at each end with a single one running down the center and the ridge carries the tent fabric. So, this tent is made using a very simple technique. Even if you get stranded or lost in the backcountry and have a poncho or other covering, you can make an emergency living place for you.
The modified A-frames use curved poles instead of the straight poles to protect the tent from strong wind. It also allows greater interior space for staying comfortably. The rain fly will allow you to remove the tarp when you are at home. It will make the tent lighter and easier to carry around.
The dome style tents are frequently seen, especially in the primitive campsites. They are still the most popular type of tent. The structure is built with a number of flexible poles running over each other across the center of the roof with their ends travelling down to the base or floor of the tent.
It is mostly used due to its sturdiness and ease of movement even after the full set up is done. It stands still during strong wind and covers a good amount of snowfall. The tent provides enough headroom, living areas and can easily accommodate separate rooms or porches to store gear and equipment.
A dome style tent can house one person to a large family. It is easy to pitch or easy to carry in a backpack. The construction of this tent makes it more heat efficient and the rain-fly performs well in keeping the inside dry. If you make the tent larger than the standard size, the strength and rigidity of the design will decrease to some extent.
The geodesic tents are designed in a shape from crisscrossing poles across the surface of the fabric which intersect to form a triangle. The name of this tent comes from its construction and the design is used in large dome buildings now.
The design requires a minimum amount of material for a large rigid space. It distributes the overall stress across the structure. The high wind conditions are handled by the central poles. You can set up the tent all by yourself. It is a heat efficient and a spacious tent that provide high strength and stability.
Emergency situations and extreme environment can be tackled by the geodesic tents. You can easily carry it in your backpacks while trekking our mountain climbing.
Instant or Quick Pitch Tents
The instant or quick pitch tents can erect it. It is built with a long coiled sprung frame that is permanently attached to the tent fabric. You can twist the frame into a circular package to carry the tent. If you want to set up the tent, simply unleash the coil.
Buying the instant or quick pitch tent will provide you with inner tents and it will easily accommodate a small family consisting of 4-5 members. It is best for good weather conditions as extreme situations cannot be handled by its strength.
Inflatable tents are newcomers on the market. An air pump is used to inflate the tent to its shape. Open the air valves and start rolling the tent up from the side opposite the door opening to store the tent. By doing so, the tent will shrink pushing air out through the door opening.
There is no need for tent poles to set up this tent and you can do it all by yourself. Though the self-inflating sleeping pads can be carried into the backcountry, but the reliability of the air pump of these tents and the overall weight might limit this fact.
The tunnel tents use flexible poles like the dome tents but the usable space inside the tent is more than dome tents. They can easily accommodate large families. The tunnel is created by the flexible poles which are bound into semi-circles and stood up in a line. Rigid poles can also be used to form the tent’s structure.
Tunnel tents can protect you from heavy snow and medium to heavy rainfall. These tents are useful for large families; kids play area or even tents for pets. They are very stable if pitched end-on to oncoming winds but becomes unstable if the wind changes direction.
In Conclusion To
When you are buying a tent always make sure that you have brought the best one for you. Now, to accomplish this, you must ask and analyze the above questions. Also, you can have a look at the above types and check whether your intended tent falls into the categories. Whatever you do, remember a good tent can make your camp tour a success. So, think before you buy!