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January 23, 2009

Finding the Right Tent for You

Filed under: Camping — Tags: , — writer @ 4:11 pm

Camping tents come in all shapes and sizes. From compact one-man domes to large, sprawling multi-family units, tents are made to suit any camper’s needs. Determining what style of tent is right for you can be a challenge, but it is not impossible.

The first step in evaluating your tent choices is to look around you. Knowing your surroundings and the weather you will be camping in is vital to assuring you are well-protected as you sleep under the stars. Smaller, more compact tents made of dense fabric work best for cold or windy areas. The less open area you have exposed in your tent, the less body heat will be cooled by the chilly air. The weather can change drastically from day to night in many camping spots, so a safe bet is always to plan for an overnight temperature around 32 degrees during a summer camping trip. Pack an extra blanket or sleeping bag if necessary to be sure that you stay warm even during the coldest nights.

The number of campers you have in your party is also essential when evaluating your tent choices. Most tent companies build tents according to the number of people that will be sleeping in them, so an accurate body count is necessary. If you are camping alone, a one or two man dome tent will be more than adequate. If a larger group is going, plan on a tent just big enough to sleep all of you. Many tent companies make tents with separated sleeping units, so even people who are not exactly comfortable sleeping in the same room can enjoy camping together.

The final important consideration when selecting your tent is it’s size and weight. Camping in a designated campground area makes larger tents much more manageable, but if you are camping off the beaten path a smaller, more compact unit is important. Many manufacturers are producing lightweight portable tents made of light fabrics and sturdy, lightweight support beams to ease stress and strain for those who carry tents long distances. If your trip requires a hike and a larger tent, employ two people to help pack the load. One can carry the tent fabric and one can carry the poles and stakes to help distribute the heavy load.

Camping can be one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a spare day or two. Proper planning is vital to ensuring you have a safe and pleasant trip, so look over your tent options carefully and choose the right style of tent to avoid any unnecessary stress or backaches while out on the trail.

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