Camping Tent Considerations For First Time Campers

Jun 22, 20

Camping Tent Considerations For First Time Campers

Camping tents come in various sizes and shapes and serve different purposes. If you are trying to buy a camping tent, it can be time-consuming figuring out which one best suits your needs. However, all tents serve one purpose – they keep you sheltered and protected while you are outdoors.  After that, there are some key factors to consider while deciding which tent to buy. 

For starters, you have to consider tent capacity. How many people will be sleeping inside the tent? One? Two? A large family? There are tents to meet all needs. Another consideration is the height and size. If you need room to move about while in the tent you need to pay attention to the peak height so that you do not bump your head and potentially collapse the tent every time you stand up.  Every tent will have the height listed in the specifications, so take a close look and make sure it works for you. 

You also need a tent with good ventilation. A tent without ventilation can quickly get muggy inside and cause condensation to form. Also, camping location is important as some tents are better suited to particular locations than others. If you go mountaineering often, for example, it would make sense to go for more durable and stronger tents even though they may be heavier.

Let’s look at some of the more common/popular types of tents and their features for your consideration.

Geodesic or Semi-Geodesic Tents

 pitched Geodesic tent on grass near river

The Geodesic tent consists of multiple crisscrossing poles that create shapes like triangles or hexagons. These poles cross over each other to make a spacious inner area and to give the tent a stable structure. Geodesic tents are more stable and can withstand harsh weather conditions because the stress is evenly spread out across the structure.

Semi-geodesic tents also have this type of design but with fewer poles which gives a lighter and more streamlined design.

Geodesic tents are more stable and have better structural stability. They give good headroom, ample internal space and last longer in harsh weather. They are also heavier to pack, not suitable for family use and challenging to set up.

Pop-up Tents

 two people pitching a pop-up tent

Pop-up tents are quite popular because of their simplicity and flexibility. As the name implies, these pop-up tents are designed to open up and take shape automatically without much work. They are easy to transport, easy to pitch, and super convenient for lightweight camping. 

However, pop-up tents are not particularly adept at withstanding extreme weather conditions. They can’t handle wind, they lack stability and are unsuitable for long camping trips.

Dome Tents

 blue and yellow dome tent pitched in a forest

Dome tents generally have 2 or 3 poles that arch over the top of the tent in a semi-circle. these types of tent are flexible and versatile making them a  popular for general campers. 

They are inexpensive, easy to set up and are ideal for up to four people. They become more unstable if they are too big and might struggle to stay upright in high winds.

Tunnel Tents

blue dome tent pitched on hillside  

A tunnel tent is ideal for a large group of people. These tents are available in a wide variety of designs and sizes. In Tunnel tents, poles are bound into a semi-circle and stood up in a line to create a tunnel. Their stability comes from the tent stakes and pole structure.

Tunnel tents have high ceilings and can offer plenty of space to move around and store camping essentials. The headroom is huge compared to other tents. They are excellent for harsh weather and harsh winds. but, they are often difficult to set up and it can be a problem if there is limited space to pitch them. 

Don’t take tent selection lightly. Your choice could make all the difference between a happy camping trip and a soggy, windswept washout trip. Consider the terrain you might need to pitch your tent, how far you will need to carry the tent, what the weather might be like for the duration of your trip, and your competence in pitching a tent. All of these considerations help bring you closer to choosing the best camping tent for your needs.

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