It All Starts with the Gear: How to Choose a Tent for Your Outdoor Activities? | American Travel Blogger
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It All Starts with the Gear: How to Choose a Tent for Your Outdoor Activities?

For many people, camping close to nature with their family or friends sounds like a great pastime. If you’re a real outdoor enthusiast, you may be into long-distance trips or even challenging mountaineering expeditions. Regardless of your preferences, there’s no talking about an adventure without proper equipment. 

If you’re only getting into camping and all things attached or you’re a seasoned camper, but you need to buy a new tent, this article will help you make your decision. You’ll learn which factors you should take into consideration before deciding on possibly the most crucial piece of equipment during every outdoor adventure. Without any further ado, let’s jump right into it!

Determine Your Needs

The term “outdoor activities” is quite broad. However, if you’re picking a tent for an outdoor adventure, you’re most likely to make your choice based on what kind of activity you have in mind. There are three most popular options that tent manufacturers have to offer. These include:

  • Camping tents. Their main purpose is to provide comfort and sufficient liveable space. They’re a perfect choice if you’re setting up a basecamp or if you’re just driving to the campsite and don’t plan to cover long distances. They tend to be quite heavy, especially the family models.
  • Backpacking tents. They’re lightweight, which makes them perfect for long-distance hikes with fairly stable weather conditions.
  • Mountaineering tents. They’re a must if you’re going on a high altitude mountaineering or winter expedition. Designed to withstand snow-loading and strong winds, they are often single-walled and lightweight. 

Choose the Style and Shape of Your Tent

Once you’ve determined the purpose of your trip, it’s time to choose the right style and shape of your tent. You have several options:

  • Cabin tents. Large and heavy, yet durable and spacious, they’re great for bigger groups.
  • Family style/Multi-room tents. Large and spacious, they’re perfect for family outings or camping trips with friends. However, they can be bulky, heavy, and require multiple people to set up.
  • Hoop tents. Smaller, yet lightweight and easy to set up, perfect for those who prefer functionality over comfort.
  • Dome tents. They’re a popular choice among camping enthusiasts due to their peak height, durability, and versatility. They come in various sizes, yet they’re easy to set up. However, the largest models are usually less sturdy.
  • Backpacking tents. Sleek, efficient, and lightweight, they’re perfect for backcountry enthusiasts. However, they’re usually small, so they’re not recommended for larger camping groups.

Consider the Distance You’ll Cover

Still can’t figure out which tent style is best for you? Then think about how far you want to carry all the equipment, your tent included. Simply put, the bigger the size, the heavier the weight. As such, cabin and family-style tents are best for shorter trips. If you’re in for a longer expedition, you should opt for hoop, dome, and backpacker tents.

How Many People Are Going?

When choosing a tent for a trip, you need to consider the number of people going with you. When it comes to space and liveability, the market can offer you many options. You can easily buy 1-person, 2-person, 3-person, 8-person, 10-person, and even 12-person tents. However, keep in mind that if you’re camping with a big group, you need to ensure you’ve got space for your equipment as well. As such, for maximum comfort, consider your camping gear as an additional person, and choose a bigger tent for a more comfortable arrangement.

Check the Forecast

It’s important to check the forecast before every camping trip. Weather conditions may also differ depending on the region you’re going to visit, and you should choose your tent accordingly to avoid any unpleasant surprises. The three most common types of tents include:

  • Three-season. A great choice for camping from spring to early fall, three-season tents are the best for mild weather conditions.
  • Three-plus-season. Also known as extended-season tents, these are great for early spring or late fall, whenever you may encounter light snow.
  • Four-season. With their heavy, durable fabric providing heat retention, they’re recommended for the harshest weather conditions.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, choosing a perfect tent for your outdoor adventures is no easy feat. There are many factors you should consider before deciding on the final product, and all of them are closely connected with the type of activity you want to engage in. You need to know precisely what distance you want to cover and how many people you’re taking with you. The time of the year and the weather forecast will also influence your final choice. 

Ensure you know the details of your trip. Then, you can start planning what gear to take with you. Even then, choosing the right tent will be challenging due to all the options and brands available on the market. Nevertheless, don’t let the price be the deciding factor. Let the quality meet your needs, and we guarantee you’ll be satisfied with your decision. Good luck!

Julia Łysakowska

Victoria Brewood

Although very much British, Victoria always felt like she was meant to be living the 'American Dream'. She loves the US and has travelled to over 14 states.

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