Camping is a great recreational activity held outdoors that can benefit us in so many ways including our physical, social, and mental wellbeing. It is fun, enjoyable, and challenging but it could also be uncomfortable if one is not prepared or one does not know what to do.
Most people think about where to camp, whom to invite, what to eat and what activities they should prepare for the camping adventure. But many tend to forget the most basic and most essential part of camping, choosing the right tent.
A tent is one of the most essential items of camping equipment and usually, campers take this for granted not realising that not all tents are created equal. Whether you’re planning a simple camping activity in your backyard, a sweat-breaking backpacking trail outing or a challenging survivalist camping trip, at the end of the day, you need to have a good night’s rest to get back that lost energy and relax those aching muscles from the whole day’s adventure.
There are many types of tents that you could use depending on the situation or activity. Before selecting any tent for a specific camping adventure, always remember to ask the 6 W’s.
W #1 – WHY?
Why are you going camping? There are many different reasons for going camping. Some people go on expeditions, some go camp because of a school activity, others need shelter when attending concerts, others do it for family bonding, and others may do it just for fun in the local woods and hills. It is important for you to answer this question because depending on the purpose, a specific type of tent may do the job better.
W #2 – WHERE?
Where is the camping location? Knowing the place you are heading to and likely weather conditions is essential for getting the correct tent. The terrain is an important factor too since the comfort you will be needing inside your tent will somewhat depend on the environment around you. Considering whether the place is rocky, sandy, snowy, grassy, full of trees or just plain flat soil would help you decide on which tent to take.
W #3 – WHEN?
When is the trip going to happen? To know when to camp is to know the kind of season you are going to encounter. The likely climate and temperatures at the location will tell you what type of tent to buy. Ensure you have done lots of good research online, in relevant books as well as seeking out others who have been to the region you intend to go.
Always plan for the worst case scenario weather-wise and you won’t go far wrong!.
W #4 – WHO?
Who is camping? Knowing the number of people and what type of people are going camping is also important. The comfort may depend on the height of the tent and the total space it can offer. You might find that sharing with your friend could make things a little awkward over a longer period. Therefore, buying two one-person or two two-person tents might be a much better idea. Talk this through with your friends so you are all on the same page!
W #5 – WHAT?
What other stuff are you bringing? Knowing what should be inside the tent is very important. Certain things should be sheltered such as food and other valuable things. Determining these things can help you find a specific tent with more or less storage capability depending on how much space is needed. The porch of a tent is also a very good place to keep your pack or boots instead of inside the tent so have look at ranges with porches.
W #6 – Weight
Finally, get the weight right. If you are driving to a camp location the weight doesn’t really matter, but if you are hiking then 1 or 2 kgs to much will make a huge difference during a days hike. Ensure your tents fits inside your backpack or can be strapped onto the outside of it. See our Backpack Blog for advice on this.
Buying a tent is an investment so it is better to do your research regarding the characteristics of the available options. The most important thing is knowing what you really need to be comfortable and productive during your next outdoor adventure. SLEEP WELL..!