Tents come in all shapes, sizes, and varieties; from the high-tech models used by mountain climbers to the multi-room cabin tents made for fair weather family camping. You might still find those bulky canvas room tents around that may have had their place in certain camping situations, but, for all practical purposes, you will want a tent that is somewhat lighter and more portable.
Today's tents are usually dome or oval shaped, supported with shock cord poles, and made out of double-wall polyester or nylon with dual-zippered doors, no-seeum screening, and a rain fly.
Here are some points to consider when choosing a tent:
- Living Space - choose a tent that's big enough for your purposes, one where everyone will have plenty of room to sleep comfortably and space to stow your gear. If you can, visit a sporting goods showroom where they usually have a variety of tents setup for you to check out.
- Strength - look for sturdy tent poles, securely fastened grommets, double sewn seams, and heavy-duty zippers. There's nothing more annoying than a tent that lays down on you whenever the wind blows. You can remedy this with heavier tent poles that better withstand the wind.
- Rain Protection - select a tent with a rain fly, which has tension adjustments and goes all the way to the ground. You may also opt for a vestibule, which gives you a place to take off wet or soiled clothes before entering the tent.
If you are an occasional, recreational camper, there is no need for you to purchase an expensive high-end model tent. You can find many moderately priced tents made by reputable manufacturers at various outdoor gear retailers that will do quite nicely.
If you are the rugged outdoors type that backpacks and climbs in extreme weather, you will want to consider four-season tents for their strength and durability.
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