What Kind Of Camping Tent Do You Need? – Part 3

In essence the best tents all have similar traits. What makes them different is that they were designed with different uses in mind. These different uses require different features from the tents. The best camping tents all need to have large doors.

The more doors a tent has the easier it is to get in and out of it. Obviously a one person tent is going to be fine with only one door. However a two person tent must have two doors. If the tent only has one door one person will have to crawl over the other person every time he or she wants to get out of the tent. This will be very unpleasant, and it is not a good experience for the other person involved either. Tents with three doors are quite rare, and off the top of my head I can’t think of tents with four doors. Every additional door adds weight to the tent so the designer of the tent has to be very savvy and must not add doors off a whimsy.

There are different door designs, some are more advantageous than others. The simplest door is a hole in the wall of the tent that can be covered up with a piece of nylon. A more sophisticated design is a hole in the tent that can be zipped together. These doors are hard to close as the wall of the tent can be hard to zipped together. The best design -and the most common- is a D-shaped door with a zipper. The reason why this design is so popular is that it is the most waterproof one, and it allows the tent to have a bathroom-style floor. The con to such a door is that it doesn’t reach the floor, so you might trip over when entering the tent or coming out of the tent.

Most camping tents have vestibules. These are little rooms that extend over the door and it is where you can store your shoes and clothes. This is a good way to store your gear and save a bit of space. Tent manufacturers always want to save on materials and use as little amount of material as possible for the manufacturing of their tents. This is great because this incentive makes the tents very light and cheap as well, but it results in small tents that don’t really have enough space. The tent that has the best vestibule in my opinion is the Ledge Tarantula. It has two huge vestibules that add a lot to the overall experience of camping in the tent.

The best camping tents definitely need to have vestibules. Even the best four season tents have vestibules, as in this case it will allow you to prevent condensation by not bringing snow into the tent.

Conclusion

There are so many traits that the best waterproof tents need to have, but they can be guessed by using common sense. The most important thing is to decide what you are going to use the tent for, how many people you are going to use it with, and where you are going to use it. If you got the answers to these questions, you only need to make sure that your tent complies with the few pieces of advice above, and you have got yourself a great camping tent.

A video about how to choose the best camping tent:

What Kind Of Camping Tent Do You Need? – Part 2

In the previous episode of this series I talked about the difference between four season tents and summer camping tents. In a nutshell four season tents are designed to stay up even in heavy snowstorms while summer camping tents are designed to be used in hot weather, and they are usually waterproof.

The next decision you have to make when it comes to choosing a camping tent is concerned with how many people are going to use the tent. Obviously a tent for eight people is going to be very different compared to a tent that was designed for only two people. The more people can stay in the tent the heavier and the bigger the tent needs to be. There is a minimum number of campers after which the tent has to have a few features that are missing from smaller tents. First, a tent for over six has to have a plastic wall that can be erected in order to make multiple rooms out of the tent. These walls are usually just a plastic sheet that won’t keep anybody out, but it can add a lot to the comfort feeling of the tent by giving a chance for the people in the tent to have a bit of alone time when they feel like it.

The view out of a tent through the window. Source:Flickr
The view out of a tent through the window. Source: Flickr

The best camping tents need to have at least one window. These windows help with ventilation and they help prevent condensation. Condensation can ruin any camping trip as there is nothing worse than waking up soaked in water. Some people think that waterproof tents defend you against condensation, but the truth is that condensation occurs inside the tent, and it is the product of the vapor in your breath, it has nothing to do with the rain or any external water source. Only great ventilation can help with preventing condensation as it clears all the vapor that was in your breath.

Some camping tents have mesh windows, while other tents have windows made of plastic. Obviously only mesh windows provide adequate ventilation. Some camping tents have inner walls made of just mesh, which is going to make it a bit colder than regular tents. Mesh doesn’t keep warmth inside the tent as well as plastic, so the ones with mesh walls will be colder. As a reason they can be sub optimal for late autumn camping or early spring camping. This is one of the reasons why four season tents don’t have mesh walls, the other is that mesh is not the most solid material known to man, and it would crumble under the weight of thick snow.

In the next episode of this series I am going to go into more detail about a few features that the best camping tents all need to have.

Advice For Camping In Sunny Weather

Camping is a relatively safe way of enjoying life. It is a low risk way of enjoying all that nature has to offer. Let’s face it there is not many sources of danger for the average man who goes camping. Humans have only a few natural predators, so unless you are sleeping with lions in Africa, or you are swimming with sharks in Australia you are going to be fine.

However there are sources of danger in nature that are invisible and you might not even be aware of the danger you are facing. One of the biggest dangers that is out there for those who hike and backpack during the summer is the Sun.

Being exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time can lead to all kinds of skin diseases. The lighter diseases include being sunburned or other types of burning injuries. However the worst case scenario is that you get skin cancer. There are different ways for dealing with skin diseases, this article intends to introduce you to a few of them.

First of all, the easiest way to prevent skin cancer is to stay out of the sunlight. I know that it sounds like a dumb, obvious piece of advice, but it is true. The sun shines the hardest around midday, early afternoon, this is the time when the UV rays are so strong that they can cause serious harm to your skin. With this in mind you should not go out to the sun from midday to four o’clock. Stay inside, and take care of tasks that can only be done outside either in the morning or in the evening.

Browning lotions and tanning lotions are not to be confused with each other. Source: Flickr.
Browning lotions and tanning lotions are not to be confused with each other. Source: Flickr.

If you still need to go outside, use a tanning lotion. These lotions are cheap and provide your skin with a thin layer that reflects the UV rays. This way your skin can be protected from the harmful rays. There are many different kinds of tanning lotions on the market. The difference between them is how strong UV rays can they protect you against, this ability is measured in factors. The higher the factor count of the lotion, the stronger it is.

You should also cover as much of your body as possible. I know that you want to dress as lightly as possible during the summer, but the more of your body is covered by clothes the better you will be protected against the harmful sunlight.

You also need to drink as much water as possible. You are going to loose water at a rapid rate when you are exposed to the sunlight. Your productivity starts suffering the moment you start dehydrating. Severe cases of dehydration can lead to fainting, loss of consciousness, but these are preceded by muscle pains. The best way to stay hydrated is to drink a little bit of water time after time to keep your water levels at a comfortable level all the time.

Conclusion

You need to be aware of the dangers of staying in the sunlight for extended periods of time. If you make sure that you don’t go outside during the times when the Sun shines the heaviest, and if you make sure that you wear tanning lotion and cover up as much of your body as possible you should be fine.  You also need to make sure that you drink enough water in order to prevent loosing your consciousness.

What Kind Of Camping Tent Do You Need? – Part 1

Your tent is going to be your shelter for the whole trip if you go camping. This makes it a must for you to choose the best tent that you can. Choose a sub-optimal tent and you are going to spend your night staying up, loosing sleep thanks to the discomfort you feel in your tent.

So what do you need to look for if you want the best camping tent for yourself? The first thing is to know exactly where you are going to use the tent. A summer camping trip requires a completely different kind of tent than a winter camping tent. Winter tents are called four season tents, these tents are used for camping in winter conditions.

A great camping tent.  Source: Geograph
A great camping tent.
Source: Geograph

Summer tents have to have good ventilation, excellent waterproofing, whereas it is more important for a four season tent to have a solid structure so that it won’t crumble under the weight of the snow. As a result four season tents have thick walls, and they are not necessarily rainproof, but they are heavier than regular summer tents.

One of my favorite summer tents is the Marmot Limelight, because it has inner walls made of mesh, so the air can move in and out of tent without obstruction. This way the air stays fresh and cool inside, which can be a godsend during hot summer days.

Next you need to decide how you are going to transfer the tent to the campsite. If you have a car to carry the tent with you can go for heavier tents, tents that have more features, but those tents are heavier as a result. If you have to carry the tent yourself to the campsite you need to choose a backpacking tent, these tents are a lot lighter, but they have fewer features, and they are made of lightweight materials.

The best summer camps have to be waterproof. This is very important as the rain might start falling down at any moment, so you can never be completely safe that you will stay dry even in a non-waterproof tent. The waterproof tents have two layers, an inner wall and a rainfly that provides the waterproofing for the tent.

In the next episode of the series I am going to talk about the other features that the best camping tents all need to have. There are plenty more of those features like vestibules, windows and all the different kinds of materials a tent can be made of, so stay tuned.