After all the camping I’ve done in my life time, having a good, safe, reliable tent is something you definitely want to invest in if you plan on camping more than once or twice. As a matter of fact, I can’t think of any other camping accessory more important than your tent. Not only will your comfort be at stake, your safety will be too, so do some research, and make sure you keep these things in mind while you are looking.
There are so many ways to go when it comes to tents. For example, are you camping on the beach, in a forest, on a mountain side, in a permanent camp site or a KOA type camp, or just in your own back yard with the kids. Are you looking for a recreational tent or are you planning on going with a full-blown Professional unit? Pro tents can be very expensive and are usually hard to put up, so take that into consideration.
So, let’s start with camping on the beach. You won’t need as tough a tent for beach camping as you will for other types of camping. If there will be more than two people sleeping in the tent, however, you will need to get one that’s a little sturdier than a small two-person tent. I’m not going to recommend a specific brand because there are so many good ones out there, and so many manufacturers, but if you are in the market, I might have what you’re looking for right here.
I’m a “complete comfort girl” when it comes to my camping, so I’ve always had a professional tent of one form or another. I’ve even made my own, but that’s another story for another day.
Mountain Side Camping
You want to make sure whatever tent you buy has good ventilation, has side windows that zip up and down and I also recommend a rain flap. It needs to be sturdy enough to make it through a good rain storm. Make sure it has proper staking. Once I was camping in the mountains in California in a small two-person tent. It started to rain very hard in the middle of the night and I literally got washed down the side of the hill in the mud because my tent wasn’t strong enough to take the weather. It was scary as well as embarrassing because I had to go to the closest gas station to clean up. I was covered in mud. It was funny….NOT.
You also need to decide if you want a tent to just crawl into it to sleep, or do you want to be able to stand up in side of it. Almost all tents tell you how tall they are at center height. Again, I’m a comfort girl, but you’ll need to make that decision for yourself. If you want to be able to stand up to put on your pants, you’ll want to get a tent with at least a 6-foot height. More, if you are taller than that.
When you’ve made your decision and bought your tent, take a little advice from an old warrior and make sure you set up your new tent completely, at home before you go camping. I can’t tell you how many times I have been short a stake or a pin or a poll. If you don’t do this, I promise you will regret it. LOL. Oh, and while we are on this subject, make sure you water down your tent to make sure it doesn’t leak. You really need to do this, been there, done that. You also might want to invest in a very large tarp, some rope and some extra stakes just in case you wind up in a storm like I did in California.
This one is simple, it’s all about weight. Find the lightest tent you can find that will hold the number of people who will be using it.
Permanent or KOA Camping
I have a lot of experience in “permanent” camping. What I mean by that, is you have a space somewhere that you can use often, where you can leave some or all your belongings. Kind of like an outdoor home away from home. You will want to invest in a much better tent for this, i.e. a professional tent. I always had at least a 10 by 20 for each of my permanent sites. We even built a bed frame for our king size air mattress, so we were off the ground. I’m not saying you need to do this, it was just something we did to be more comfortable, plus it was a lot of fun seeing the look on peoples faces when they came inside. KOA Campgrounds are all over the country. They have tent camp sites, RV sites, some even have marinas for boating activities etc. So again, depending on where you want to camp, will depend on the type and size of tent you should look for. If you have any specific questions, drop me a comment or an email and I’ll get back to you asap.
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