Nature (Published on TBNWeekly.com - Nov. 10,
It's camping time For months weve sweated and boarded, hulked
broken tree limbs and debris to the curb, shopped for batteries, water and plywood.
Now its our turn to play. Get out the tent, hang the sleeping bags on the line,
oil up the pan, were going camping.
Camping offers families a time to get away from the stress of everyday life and an
opportunity to teach children about our magical planet. The mistake that is often
made is going to the local discount retail store to buy cheap equipment
so the family can try it out. Big mistake. Dont be left out in the
cold with inappropriate sleeping gear or feeling all wet under a tent that
didnt live up to your expectations of reasonable shelter.
Tents: First decide what kind of experience you need. Do you want to spend a week
upon an island roughing it or lay back in the chaise lounge while the kids use the
KOA pool? Weight becomes the deciding factor in either case. A 5- to 7-pound tent is
appropriate for backpacking onto an island. Whereas a 30-pound tent wouldnt be
considered too heavy if youre offloading it from your trunk directly to set-up.
Height is your next consideration.
Are you planning on sliding into your sleeping bag with just enough headroom to sit
up and touch the gear loft or do you need 6 feet, at least, headroom so you can make
beds in the adjoining chambers of the main tents compartment. Suggestion: You
dont necessarily need the latest, greatest design. Youll probably be just
as comfortable with last years design, which may be reduced considerably,
better suiting your budget.
There are four main categories for tents: Expedition, four season and convertible
tents, three season camping and backpacking tents, large family cabin and dome tents,
tarps and shelters. As you can detect by the categories, your three major
considerations are size, weight and weather.
The new improved dome tents are smaller and often lighter weight, and made of rugged
materials. They are easier on the back while backpacking and because of their lower
profile they are better able to withstand wind and rain. Domes usually have the
minimum of poles making them easier to set up.
Cabin tents offer stand-up headroom, near vertical walls, lots of ventilation
enabling your camping experience to resemble a vacation home.
We own two specifically designed tents. Our main base camp tent is the Eureka
Tetragon 9. It is 9 by 9 feet. It has two large mesh windows, one large mesh front
door and large mesh top vents.
Our second tent is a three-season, adventure backpacking dome, lightweight, 6
pounds, 7 ounces, 7x7 foot floor dimension, and 4 feet 4 inches center height, Eureka
Tetragon 7. In addition to being reasonably priced, it seems to withstand just almost
anything, although we havent been snowed in with this one, as of yet.
Ask yourself, do you need to pay extra for a four-season tent or would you be just
as satisfied with a three-season tent, saving quite a few dollars?
There are some features you cant live without. Proper ventilation, front door
D style opening, bath tub bottom design, double sealed seams, and a fly
that shelters openings and windows.
Proper ventilation is obvious. A tent can weep to the degree that you
may believe its raining inside. Great ventilation is a must-have feature.
D-style door opening: Theres nothing worse than a trampled down, mud laden
door rolled up at the bottom of a tent opening.
A protective fly: A fly that extends out beyond the windows is necessary. Once more
this seems obvious but there are quite a few tents on the market that look
pretty with cute little overhangs when once sodden with water dumps that
water directly into the windows. Pretty design does not compensate for practical
Before buying a tent do your research. Visit sites like back packer.com. Read the
reviews. Study the specs and have a good idea of how you will use this shelter.
Remember its all you will have between you and inclement weather.
Reseal all seams and give an extra coating of spray waterproofing before your trip.
Never pack a tent wet. If possible, dry it out as soon as possible. A ground cloth
will add years to protecting your investment.
Go with a reputable dealer. Discover deals online at numerous sports outlets, such
as www.rei.com -
Gear up for camping!,
www.campmor.com or www.eurekatent.com.
Karen can be reached at MyMuddyPawsStudio@gmail.com.