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Photo from gooutdoors.co.uk
Nothing beats the feeling of open breeze on your skin and the blanket of stars directly above you. Packing your stuff and going to places people don’t normally go is an activity that not only gives you a breather from schoolwork or your office, but also an amazing opportunity to get in touch with nature and to reflect about more things. However, camping is more fun when it is done with others, more so if it’s with your family. Camping with your family gives more room for your bonds to strengthen and for you to be able enjoy nature and life without the hassle of traffic or everyday life.
And of course, a camping would not be complete without your old reliable camping tent, in order to safeguard your stuff and ensure you and your family’s safety when camping. This article will walk you through the world of tents—as for which kind of tent to use in what occasion, how to set up your own tent, and some safety and maintenance tips of your tent for more fulfilling and enjoyable camping getaways with your family.
Part 1: Buying your tent
Just like everything else, camping tents come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Even if you and your family may not camp that often, it is still important to keep in mind the differences between tents because some tents are made for specific purposes or climate conditions.
What to consider: Before going to the miniscule details of the style of the tent that you want to use, you must first take into account a few important factors:
Size: The size of the tent you might prefer may depend on how many of you will camp out, but your tent should at least be big and cozy enough for sleeping and storing your camping stuff. We have guides for 4-person, 6-person, 8-person and 10-person tents.
Material: Durability is an important essential to look for when looking for tents. Your tent should of course be portable and/or lightweight, but you cannot have both at the same time. Among canvas, nylon and polyester, polyester is the best choice for lengthened camping stay, canvas for durability (although heavy) and nylon if you want your tent to be lightweight (but it is not really suited for windy conditions)
Strength: In order to measure the strength of your prospective tent, regardless of its material, it should be able to withstand most of the elements and weather conditions, and it should also be waterproof.
Ease of pitching: The ease of which your tent can be pitched is also an important thing to consider, especially if you and your family have zero camping experience and if your tent might be too sophisticated to set up. When it comes to that, a tent with a simpler structure is better.
Where to buy: You can usually find camping tents for sale online or on outdoor gear shops. Amazon has a catalog of family tents on its website (you can look it up later at your own time), and popular brands that sell tents include Marmot and Coleman. A little caution is advised if you ever buy online, as you are not able to test the quality of your tent before purchase.
Which tent to buy: Different styles of tents are out there, and here are some that you are most likely to encounter at any camping shop:
The basic ridge tent: This is the traditional style of tent, the kind of tent you would most often read about at a novel. Offers limited head room.
Dome tent: The most popular kind of family tent. Easy to pitch and move, and provides larger storage are and head room than a traditional ridge tent. Suitable for almost any kind of weather condition. Tunnel tents can also be counted under this category, since they are also dome-shaped.
Quick-pitch tent: Easiest kind of tent to pitch, as the only thing needed to do is to uncoil the spring embedded in the tent material. Ideal for camping during festivals.
Part 2: Setting up your own tent
Even though there might exist a lot of tents everywhere, tents are almost always triangular or dome-shaped, so setting any type of tent almost goes through the same process. As it is, here is a video showing you how to set up your tent, whether or not it is small and simple:
video by VTUUSA
Part 3: Taking care of your tent
Lastly, maintaining something in its perfect condition is the most important thing to remember, and often the most neglected by many people. The same goes with camping tents, as not all days are good for camping trips. Because of this, tents are usually kept in some place for somewhat long periods of time before they are brought out into the sunlight and into the great outdoors. Here are a few friendly reminders for you to remember in order to enjoy your tent for longer:
Practice pitching your tent right after buying it: This will help you to check for any damage, as well as to be able to familiarize yourself with the assembling process.
Set up your tent in a relatively stable place:Even if your tent might be durable, a wrong way of setting it up can still cause problems for you and your family while camping. Your tent should be set up on level ground. Clean your tent floor of anything that might cause any damage to your tent.
Always make sure that your tent is dry before storing it: Check for any damp spots. Clean your tent thoroughly. This will avoid the molds and other kinds of fungi to take residence to your tent.
Clean your tent by hand, not by machine-wash: This will ensure that your tent will be washed properly, because machine-washing is sometimes not thorough and can cause tears in your tent material. At best, use regular hand soap when washing it, and avoid those that contain strong chemicals like laundry detergent or dishwashing liquid.
Always have repair tools at hand when camping: Anything can happen during a camping trip, and it’s always nice to have things like tent footprints, duct tape, and sealants at hand to attend to immediate problems with your tent.