What to Look For When Buying a New Camping Tent The most important features to look for in a camping tent include the size, the type of poles, the materials including the rainfly and mesh, the zippers, and the type of stitching. Tents come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and styles, each with their own design features and uses. This short guide will help you make sense of the terminology and narrow your search for the best tent for your specific purposes.
Choosing a buying tent and choice is between fuels
- Find out if any local outdoor stores rent tents. If so, you can try one out before you buy.
- Ask friends, neighbors, and acquaintances about their successes and failures. You may even be able to borrow a tent for a test run.
- At the camping store. get in and out of demonstrator models several times. Now imagine yourself doing it in wind. rain, or snow. Check for good ventilation. See if closures are tight. Try the zippers to see if they work smoome from outside as well as inside. Do they have storm flaps for protection against wind-driven rain?
- No matter how much you liked the demonstrator, inspect the tent you buy before you take it home. Make sure you have the stakes, poles, guy lines, and fly.
Pitching a Tent – Try your tent out in the backyard ﬁrst. Learn how to pitch it there before you try to do it in the wilderness. – Pick a relatively level area that will drain. Avoid low spots. Choose an area soft enough to allow you to pound stakes into the ground. Granite. for example, fails this test. Stake your tent out tightly. Quality tents are designed to be pulled out taut. If you leave wrinkles. the wind will do a ﬂap dance on your tent. If the ground is soft. push the stakes in with the heel of your hand or the sole of your boot. If it‘s fairly hard. try gently pounding the stakes in with a rock or hammer; be careful not to bend them. If the ground is impenetrable. you can use extra nylon cord and tie the guy lines to rocks or trees or place a big rock on a tied stake lying on the ground. If the stakes pull out of soft ground or sand, you can tie the guy lines to a “deadman” a stake. stick. or stuff sack ﬁlled with soil and bury it perpendicular to the main pull. Pitch your tent out of direct sun when possible. Extended exposure will cause nylon to fade and break down. though the ﬂy will help protect fragile netting and uncoated nylon.
The big choice is between fuels, either liquids (gasoline or kerosene, sometimes both) or pressurized gas (propane or butane). No stove uses both, although some models will run on a variety of liquids. The advantages of gasoline include easy availability, high heat out- put, moderate cost, and easy evaporation of spilled fuel. However, prim- ing is required, the fuel is somewhat dangerous, the stove must be insu- lated from cold and snow, and a separate fuel bottle is required. The advantages of kerosene include easy availability, spilled fuel will not readily ignite, high heat output, and there is no need to insulate the stove from cold and snow. However, priming is required and spilled kero- sene is smelly and will not readily evaporate. The advantages of butane or propane include no printing, immediate maximum heat output, a convenient no—spill fuel container, and easy light- ing. However, butane and propane cartridges are heavy, and such stoves are inefﬁcient when temperatures approach freezing, though the addition of 10 percent propane eases that drawback. Roughly, one quart of liquid fuel should last one person a week. Double that if drinking water must be boiled or snow melted for water.