Top Tips for Family Tents
Your family tent will be your house and home for the duration of your camping trip. The tent you choose will probably be the most important piece of gear you buy. A good tent, taken care of properly, will last a lifetime and will let you sleep soundly at night without needing to worry about rain, wind, bugs or other creatures of the night. Select the best tent you can afford, set it up properly, take care of it, and then just enjoy your trip. Family camping tents come in all shapes and sizes. The right one for you will not necessarily be the right one for someone else. This is why there is such a wide variety being sold in camping outlets and online. Here are some tips to help you get off to a good start….
Size Really Does Matter!
Tents are advertised as two man, four man, six man and so on. However, at best this is the maximum number of persons you can cram into the tent for sleeping in close company with no personal gear. This rating method might make sense for backpackers who are traveling light, but it is terrible for all others.
Why be cramped? I camp alone with my two daughters and we have an 8 man tent! It may sound a little extreme, but us girls do love our space!
A good tip is to divide the advertised rating by two, and you will have the real capacity of the tent. Therefore, most four man tents are really only comfortable for two adults, or perhaps two adults and two very small children.
Having extra space inside your tent for clothing, toys and outdoor play equipment is an added luxury! And a space to eat if you have to “weather” a storm on a rainy day will result in a more livable enviroment and keep your campers happy… and dry.
If you do opt for a larger tent, bare the following points in mind… Firstly, the larger the tent means finding a larger pitch. It can sometimes be difficult and time consuming to find a smooth and level spot large enough to set up the tent on, unless you have little helpers like me who are willing to check the area before we set up and remove any sticks or stones!
Secondly, big tents can get heavy. This is not a problem for your car, but think about how much work it might be for you in loading and unloading the car, another thing worth baring in mind especially if you are setting up the tent alone.
If you are just starting out in your family camping adventures, and don’t know if you will really like camping, then you might want to stick with the least expensive tents. Many families do. It is very likely that you will try your first trips when the weather is warm and dry, and will probably keep close the “civilization” until you gain some experience and decide whether you like camping or not. You can always upgrade to a better tent later, and keep your original budget tent for when conditions allow.
Author: Rosie Austin
The CampTrip Team