Archive for camping gear

How to Choose the Best Tent to Buy This Season

The right tent can enhance your camping experience and make it more enjoyable for all. Before you make a decision, consider how you will be using your tent and what you want your shelter to provide. These four considerations will help you narrow down your option so you can make a practical decision.

1. Seasonal use

Do you only camp in the summer, or are you a four-season camper? If summer is your preferred season, you can select a tent designed to protect you from rain, heat, and insects. On the other hand, four-season tents are available if you like to camp throughout the entire year. These will offer additional protection against the cold and snow when needed.

2. Size

Consider the average number of people occupying the tent on each trip. If you mostly go on family camping trips, select a tent big enough for everyone to sleep comfortably in. Remember to account for any gear you may want to store in the tent.

3. Weight

If you load your vehicle with camping gear and drive to the campsite, weight isn’t much of an issue. If you’re a backpacking camper and take your gear with you, opt for a lightweight option that will be easy to carry.

4. Special features

There are a variety of special features some tents offer that you may wish to consider. For example, some tents have reflective strips for better visibility at night. Others have fabric zippers to prevent noise when it’s windy. Consider the various features available and decide what’s most convenient for you.

Buying a tent can be a big investment, so make sure your decision best reflects your needs. With the right tent, you can feel more comfortable on your trip and enjoy the experience more fully.

10 Tips for a Successful Camp-Out

  1. Personal gear. Pack your gear in a soft duffel bag or backpack. Take what you need—and no more! Stow gear in your tent and keep it tidy. Check the weather before leaving, and be sure to bring the proper clothing.
  2. Stay level and safe. Choose a level spot for pitching your tent. Make sure there are no signs of little streams running through your tent site from previous rainstorms. Check overhead to confirm there are no dead trees or large branches that can fall on your site.
  3. Cooking gear. The biggest mistake some campers make is bringing the kitchen sink. All you need is a portable camp kitchen that holds enough gear for a family of two to six. Like the personal gear, take what you need and no more!
  4. Plan your meals. If you have a camp kitchen or a makeshift set-up on a table, plan your meals around the cooking gear you are going to use. Only refrigerate items that require it. Try to use as many fresh foods that don’t require refrigeration as you can in your menu.
  5. Keep dry or in the shade. A dining fly or “Easy-up” is quite handy. If it rains, your area is protected; if there is a lot of direct sun, you can enjoy shade. It’s also a great place to put your kitchen.
  6. Kitchen hang-out. Just like at home, the kitchen is a hangout for socializing. Keep it neat with the coffee pot on.
  7. Manage your trash. It accumulates quickly. Bring heavy-duty trash bags. A collapsible trash container with the trash bag works great. If you are in a place with campfires, burn all of the paper goods (not plastics).
  8. Clean your room. Remember what your mother said, “You can’t go out until you clean your room.” Keep your tent tidy and organized so when it’s time to “hit the sack,” you can jump right in.
  9. Fires and firewood. Know the campfire regulations for your campsite. In heavily used areas, gathering wood is not permitted, so you may need to bring your own.
  10. Camping is a time to relax. Enjoy the natural environment—and keep it enjoyable for the next camper to follow. Be courteous and don’t trash your campsite.