If you are going camping and are thinking about buying a tent, here are a few hints to help you make the right decision.
When buying tents for you and your family, size does matter.
Usually tents are smaller than they are advertised to be. If the Ad claims that the tent can fit two people, it can comfortably fit only one. A three person tent is good for two people and so on.
Picking a tent that is large enough is vital. The last thing that you want to feel on a camping trip is uncomfortable, cramped and claustrophobic.
Ideally, a tent should be more than just sleeping quarters. It should give you some room to move around and to store your gear.
An average person will require a minimum of a 3×7 feet to comfortably stretch out. For dressing, moving about and storing gear, additional space will be required.
Tents basically come in three varieties – the dome-shaped, the tunnel-shaped and the A-Frame. Before you decide on which tent to buy, be clear about the purpose of the tent. If you are going summer-camping, winter-camping or backpacking, you need to buy your tent to suit those needs.
Tents are usually made of breathable ripstop nylon, and are not waterproof. You will definitely need a rainfly. Rainflies can be attached to the roof of your tent and they carry away water from the tent sides. Needless to say, the fly must be wide enough to cover most of the tent walls.
Insects can be a major problem, or at least a serious annoyance at many camping locations. Most camping tents come with a nylon or Dacron mesh to cover the entrance and keep the bugs out.
While a nylon mesh is good enough and will serve the purpose on most trips, Dacron meshes are designed to keep out even the tiny bugs.
Tents, being made out of porous material, are designed more to protect you from the elements than to keep you warm. So if you are going winter-camping, make sure to bring along plenty of warm clothes.
The upside to tents is that they are very low-maintenance. Except for the occasional sealant, Nylon requires very little care. All you need to do is store your tent in a clean, dry place, in the storage bag that comes with the tent.