Thinking of getting tent for your first family camping trip? Here’s some tips to get you on the road:
1. How Many People The Tent Sleeps
In your quest for a family camping tent, you’re going to learn to ignore this number. If you’re seeking comfort, you won’t want to cram 4 people into a 4 man tent. In fact, 3 people might be pushing it. Ideally, put 2 people in a 4 man tent and you’ll have room to move around some.
The fact is, a 4 man tent would be wall to wall people if you put 4 persons in that tent. Thus, if you’re a family of 4, seek at least a 6 man tent for the most comfort. Besides, if you have inclement weather, you’ll want room to get dressed and provide ample blankets for everyone to stay warm.
Take into consideration what you’re going to need in the tent with you and make sure that you have plenty of room for your belongings.
Also, consider how tall the adults are in your camping party. Taller people need plenty of room to stretch out without having to curl up in a ball.
2. What Conditions Will The Tent Be Used In?
Let’s face it, some tents lend themselves better to inclement weather than others. That said, you’ll want to consider the weather conditions where you’ll be camping.
In the summer you’ll want a lighter weight tent. You’ll want plenty of ventilation and you’ll want to ensure that you can stay dry if there are any sudden thunderstorms.
Winter tents aren’t as common but they can be had. If you’re going to be in the snow or colder regions, you’ll want to find a winter tent.
3. Ease Of Use
Some tents have multi rooms. They may state that they sleep up to 10. Keep in mind the first step of this where you consider the size of the tent and the amount of people it will comfortably sleep. Also, consider how many it takes to set it up and remember that you’ll need at least that amount of people when you go camping. There’s nothing worse than pulling into your campsite after dark and trying to set up this size of a tent and not disturb other campers, not to mention disgruntled spouses and children who would rather just stretch and be out of the car.
Keep in mind, ease of use is up to interpretation.
If you’ve never set up your specific tent and can’t try it out in your yard before you embark on your vacation, find a youtube video and check it out there. You’ll thank yourself later for this step.
Also, keep in mind that the larger the tent, the larger campsite you’re going to require. Many campsites are designed for smaller tents so always check and make sure that your campsite is plenty large for your tent.
You’ll also want to make sure that your tent is placed on a level area to avoid someone having to sleep upside down.
4. Material Of Tent
The composition of your tent is vital to your comfort. Not all tents are waterproof and not all tents are suited to all seasons.
Most tents that are canvas are waterproof. They may, however, become very heavy in the rain and never touch the bubbles that form on the tent, they will break and create a hole in the tent.
Nylon and polyester is also waterproof, however, over the course of time, the sun will deteriorate the tent. Seams may also become worn and eventually break open causing a hole in the tent.
Good tents will have fabric that has rip-stop in it. Cheaper tents aren’t always waterproof, even if they say they are.
Tent poles are available in a variety of materials. Some people prefer to upgrade their poles to a more quality pole in order to prolong the life of their tent.
Also, keep in mind that zippers can wear out. Check these prior to purchasing the tent as they are a pain to change out. Zippers can also prevent stray animals from taking a tour of your digs. You don’t want to share your tent with a raccoon or skunk.
Flys should always be waterproof as well. Polyurethane or silicone coatings can help to reduce water getting into the tent. It should cover the entire tent and protect the entry, windows and top of the tent from water.