Camping, Equipment, Hiking, Lifestyle, Outdoors, Travel

Which tent? Part 2

Which tent? Part 2

Hello again!  In the previous post we discussed three-season versus four-season tents and we’ll touch upon that one more time.

You need to pick a tent that really is suitable for the conditions that you’re going to be going out in.  The most popular selling tents are three-season tents and they’re good for spring, summer and autumn (and of course it really depends on what part of the country and what part of the world you’re in).  It depends on the weather during those times, but in most cases a three-season tent is suitable for those three seasons.  Typical three-season tents are airier, they have better airflow and make less condensation.  A four-season tent will typically be a little bit more shut-in and it will allow for greater warmth to be kept inside, which you will want during the coldest months, but you will not want that contained heat during the warmer months.  So that’s definitely something to consider.

Design

Let’s discuss design elements, we’re talking about ventilation, we’re talking about how the poles are inserted through sleeves or how the netting is hooked onto the poles and so on.  There are so many different designs when it comes to tents that it can be overwhelming, so again, you need to consider what you like, what you are looking for and what is going be suitable for your needs.

For example, if you’re going to be camping, let’s say, in autumn and you have poles that are on the outside of your tent and it does a little bit of raining that night and the temperatures drop before you wake up, you’ll find the poles all frozen together.  That for you is a poor design element that you need to consider if camping in colder seasons, but in the summer that won’t be a big deal, so that tent might be good for you.

Along with this, we can talk about doorways, entrances and porches.  If you’re going to have somebody else camping with you and staying inside of your tent, you may want double doors, that way you’re not stepping over each other in the middle of the night when you have to go use the bathroom or something like that.  Also, you need to consider the design elements in regard to space.  If you’re sharing a tent with someone, are you going to be able to fit your gear inside of that tent?  Is that a priority for you?  In that case, you should consider tents that have a sort of a porch.  That’s where you’re going to keep your gear.  You need to make sure that you have a porch that’s big enough to keep your gear.

Moving on to interior space, this is going to be a trade-off of space versus weight.  How much space do you need and how much weight do you want to carry.  That’s basically what it boils down to.  Having a lot of space is awesome but you have to remember you’re going to be carrying that weight back home, or you’re going to be carrying that weight to the top of the mountain.  Also, when it comes to interior space an important aspect to remember and to consider is tent height.  Are you the type of person that likes to be able to bend, sit up inside of your tent and change clothes?  Or do you want to be hunkered back trying to get your clothes on in the morning?  That’s obviously different for everybody depending on how tall you are.  If you’re nice and short you could get comfortable just about anywhere but if you’re very tall, some tents will simply not work for you.  It will be uncomfortable to change your clothes in the morning or put on different clothes or do whatever you got to do, so consider that as well.

Groundsheet

One final aspect to consider is the groundsheet.  A groundsheet is basically a protective layer that separates your tent from the ground.  I’m the type of person to really take care of my gear, so I always put down a groundsheet first.  That way, you don’t have to worry about rocks or sticks puncturing the bottom of the tent.  I take a very thin piece of plastic, lay it down on the ground and then I put my tent on top of that, just to give it that extra protection.  That also depends on what you are going to do.  Do you want to carry the extra weight for that groundsheet if you’re going for a long hike? Does your tent need that extra protection?  Do you know what the conditions are you going to be in at the campsite?  Will you be able to clear up everything on the ground so you that you have a nice safe place to put your tent?  Only you know that and only you can decide 😊

So my friends, there we have it.  We’ve discussed many aspects that you should consider when it comes time to purchasing a tent.  As I said, there’s not, in most cases for most people, a one tent fits all solution.  If you’re adventurous and you want to go somewhere different each time, in most cases that one tent fits all solution just isn’t feasible.  If you’re just getting started with backpacking, you’re testing the water, you’re not really sure if it’s your thing or not, it makes sense not to spend a fortune.  You do not have to go out and buy the most expensive gear out there.

Hopefully, I’ve touched upon most of the items you should be considering when buying a new tent.  If I forgot something or you want more information about a specific topic, get in touch with me or leave a comment below and I’ll put up another post or reply back to you.

You can find some good tents and other camping and hiking accessories at jonoutdoorsstore.com 😊

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