Where Do I Find Camping Tents Near Me?

Night camping in the mountains with campfire burning brightly.

How to Buy a Tent for Camping

Tent camping is great and when you buy a new tent for this pastime, there are a few things to keep in mind, particularly if you are buying the tent online, sight unseen.

1—Size of the tent. Tents from major manufacturers to tell you in the title how many people it will sleep. But if you are camping with kids or pets, you want a larger tent to keep the kids and dogs happy and yourself happy. Upsize the tent by at least one person.

2—What shape tent do you want—cabin or dome, the two basic shapes, and each will offer a different amount of space. The cabin shape tents have more vertical walls, which means more livable space. Look for room dividers in cabin-style tents that can add to your privacy.

3—Easy of set up. Of the two basic styles, cabin and dome, the dome is far easier to set up because of their sloping walls. At the end of a long day of trekking through the wilderness, ease of set up may outweigh every other consideration.

4—Protection from storms. The sloping walls of the dome style tent can handle strong winds and nasty weather. Of course, there is just so much weather that any tent can handle and if the weather turns really foul, it is time to implement “Plan B.”

5—Tents made with close-knit fabrics and aluminum poles will stand up better to windy weather conditions.

6—For easy access and quick entry and exit, pick a tent with two doors. Two doors safe a lot of having to climb over tent mates, particularly at night when nature calls. Pick tents with easy to use zippers that open and close “quietly” so that everyone does not have to wake up every time someone enters or exits the tent at night.

7—If you are a fair-weather camper, meaning that you will go out into the elements in spring, summer and fall, pick a three-season tent.

8—A four-season tent will suit you well in some winter conditions. Most of these tents are suitable for late autumn camping after the snow begins to fly or those late-winter, early –spring treks when you are still likely to be hit by at least some snow and strong wind. The main purpose of these tents is to stay in place in tough or cold weather conditions. Some can be a little hard to take for summer camping when the nights are hot.

9—Pick a tent with mesh panels to keep the bugs out at night.

10—Some tents have a substantial roof and only rain flies for the nasty weather. They offer a great view and lots of ventilation inside the tent. You can also buy tents will full out rain flies for more protection from the wind and weather.

11—If you want to stand up in a tent or to change your clothes without having to wrestle getting your pants on while sitting on a sleeping bag, look for a tall peak tent.

12 –If you or your tent mate is a big person, look at the floor length of a tent and pick one that is big enough to accommodate everyone. If you have growing children and want to use the tent in the years to come, plan on a bigger floor length tent now.

13—Most family style tents today are freestanding, which means that you do not have to hammer stakes in the ground to set up the tent. Free standing also implies that you can quickly move the tent and stake off the dirt and bugs on it before packing it up. Get tents with aluminum poles rather than fiberglass poles, which are not as durable. Get tents with clips and only short pole sleeves to threat, another pain trying to do at dust or when you are really, really exhausted. Look for tents that are color codes for easy set up—a real life saver!

14—Get rainflies with your tent. They help in times of wetness and storms. There are two types of rainflies, one fits over the roof and one fits over the whole tents and can really keep you snug in tough weather conditions.

15—Look for tents with a high denier fabric. These are tougher and last longer than low denier fabric.

16—Storage areas for boots and backpacks can either be an integral part of the tent or an add on feature. Either way, plan for storage so that your backpack does not become your pillow and the first thing you smell in the morning are your dirty hiking boots.

17—Look for loops and pockets in tents. You will wind up using most or all of them. Get a tent with an interior lantern loop, which is sometimes placed top center.

18—Buy a tent that takes a tent footprint, which covers the ground below you. You can get tents with a floor, but those tent to get dirty and wear out a lot more quickly than the tent itself and they are less costly to replace.

19—Some accessories to consider: get a tent repair kit the moment you buy the tent. Get seam sealer to keep everything nice and dry. Get a utility cord just to have one. Get a ventilation fan for the tent. Consider stakes and anchors: you probably won’t need them but if you are camping in snow or mud and on a slow, you definitely will need something to keep from slipping down the hill. There’s nothing quite like climbing out of a ravine in the early morning!

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