Whenever we hear the word “camp” an image of a beautiful tent pops to our mind. Though camping brings back the sweet memories of our childhood, the art of camping is difficult to master. You along with your family might have planned for the very first “Family Camping”. Then you must already know about “Family Tents” for an adventurous outdoor activity. But beneath the happy side when you enjoy your camping is the dark side – setup, carry, store, maintenance and fix your tent.
How to you set up your tent?
Setting up a tent sounds like fun but the process is tough for any first time camper. If one lacks thorough planning the task at hand turns daunting. But once mastered, the tent can be set up in any location or weather condition with ease. You can set up any complex tent in a record time after some practice. Thankfully you can follow few tricks to become a pro at setting up a tent.
Most of the family tents are relatively easier to set up because of their simple structure. It is very important to practice in daylight or evening for visibility so that you can learn and observe about various components. Many experienced campers suggest setting up tent at least twice before the actual camping date. Here are few tips to begin with,
- Locate an even, clean surface devoid of any objects that can cause tear in your tent.
- Once you have the place decided in mind, open the tent and its component for a better understanding.
- Now that you have everything you need in front you, spread out the tent onto the selected area. If you are particular about certain direction (for example, east, to watch sunrise or west for sunset) unfold the tent accordingly.
- Stake down your family tent while making sure that it’s anchored properly onto the ground, pay attention to the pegs.
- Join the poles which are numbered or colour marked by referring to the manual.
- Unlike Dome tents with complex designs, family tents are fairly simple and will have two-three pole structures.
- Tent-fly: A flap that covers tent could be waterproofed or non-waterproofed. Some mountaineering tents are fully waterproofed. Choose carefully to suit your camping location and weather. Many of the tents have waterproofed Tent-fly’s to protect the tent from rain. Place the Tent-fly on top of the tent and fasten the edges to the poles by clips or ropes to secure.
- A family tent for 4 man can be pitched by two people in 25 minutes.
How to carry your tent?
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Moving with their tent could pose a challenge to the camper. Due to the tent’s poles, material, components a large space is needed to place the tent while transporting. One can transport them with less difficulty by following these tips.
- Use transportation wheels: There are online sales of these helpful add-ons. They are very easy to assemble, with 2 wheels of 8 diameters each that can be mounted to the tent feet. You must turn the tent to one side and take it by the strong handle. The tent glides effortlessly on these wheels to any place.
- For large family tents: Get your mind thinking with few tricks for transporting large tents without any tear. A good density foam clamped wooden plank/rack can hold the large tent by strong elastic wraps. The large tent will be well supported along the length and the weight of the tent while transporting is equally spread.
- Carry bags: Tents like Coleman Sundome tent which are easy to assemble and dismantle come with a well made durable carry bag that can be used to repack all the components for someone on the go.
How to store your tent?
After the initial steps and preparations once campers get comfortable with assembling and packing the tent, they need to know how to store their tents when not camping.
- Never store tents that are damp or moist.
- First and the foremost, the tent must be dry after each usage. If your tent is damp you can expect mildew formation on the surface.
- You might decide to give a good rinse after every use which is fine but make sure that no strong detergent, soap, shampoo or sprays are used. The chemicals in them not only can attract mites but can thin the water repellent coat of the tent.
- Make sure to loosely air dry the tents after use.
- Do not even think about machine washing the tents as the material might be overstretched, tugged or torn.
How to maintain your tent?
Tents are an investment if cared properly, in order to make them last longer a proper maintenance routine is ideal.
- In the field: Always choose a smooth; clean area which fits the size of the tent well (This will avoid water clogging) thereby preventing any tear caused from debris. A footprint preferably made of cloth to chart out the plan for your tent can prevent rain water deposit under the tent. Do not sleep or sit on uneven surfaces as this can damage the tent’s surface.
Maintain clean area inside the tent by not entering it with your boots or footwear on. The nylon material of the tent may suffer sun damage under long exposure to ultraviolet rays. To prevent your tent you can use Tent-fly atop to cover it.
- The poles: Handle the poles carefully to avoid chipping. Shockcorded poles must be dealt with first when dismantling. This can reduce the tension of the cord in storage.
- Safety: While transportation, tents could be stolen or accidentally dropped on the road. To avoid any such theft or slippage use locks and chains to secure the foamed wooden plank or rack with the folded tent on it to the carrier.
- While camping: Avoid storing wet food items for it can make the ground moist thereby dampening the surface.
How to repair and fix your tent?
Mending your treasured tent is an important task to make your tent last longer. One can benefit greatly to know few tips handy when there’s an impending repair.
- Broken poles: Many manufacturers provide a pole repair sleeve while one purchases tents. The broken pole part can be easily slipped in the sleeve. You can secure it by any good tape.
- Different folds: A tent must be folded in many directions to avoid creasing leading to tears.
- Seaming and waterproofing: Various companies provide the customer with seam sealer and waterproofing. In the absence of these two factors one has to buy a seam from the market to fix tiny rips caused by sewing needles. To make your old tent alive you can use waterproof coating as well.
- For mildews: to not to dampen the spirits always steer clear of mildew, in case of infestation. Light scrubs using sponge can remove the mildew.
- Quality: At times after buying the tent of your dream at a reasonable price you might discover that the tent stinks bad with plastic odour or the colour of the tent is on your hand, contact your vendor immediately for a replace or refund. Any low grade synthetic can disrupt our physiological system.
- Package: If the package is unsealed or damaged at the time of purchase or any other component described in the manual is missing, please contact the vendor as this is unacceptable.
- If the Tent-fly is not covering the tent adequately then get back to your seller and enquire.
The best IDEA is practice first:
Any family activity tends to bind the family members together, as you involve them in every step of camping from setting up to taking care of the tent. Hence a family camping tent experience should never go sour.
Before buying a family tent, consider the size, simplicity of usage, material durability, transportation, and ways of easy storage and maintenance of tent. To ensure and keep our family in good humour while we plan to camp we must consider a well suited tent, good storage and maintenance practices that can make our buy stay longer and a few good tips to tackle the minor nicks and tucks.