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tents

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What Kind Of Tent Do You Need?

December 1, 2017

When it comes to a long hike, a tent is an essential part of the experience. If you get the perfect tent for your needs you will be comfortable, dry and warm all night, but the wrong tent could spell disaster for your trip.

This is because tents come in a wide range of sizes and types, so some tents are completely different to other tents, even if they look similar. For this reason it is important to look at the different types of tents before buying one, as this way you will buy a tent that is perfectly suited to your needs.

Here are some questions that you should ask yourself so that you buy the right tent.

Are You Camping With Other People, Or Are You Camping Alone?

One of the main things that you should think about when you buy a tent is the tent sleeping capacity. If you plan on regularly hiking with your family or friends you will need a bigger tent, such as a three-person or a six-person tent. It is also important to think about your gear and possible pets; if you are hiking alone but bringing your dog with you, you will need a tent that can fit at least two people.

It is also worth getting a slightly bigger tent if you are fairly large or if you toss and turn during the night, as you want to be comfortable when you are sleeping!

Will You Be Camping In Summer?

There are a few different types of tents to suit different weather conditions. Many people are only interested in arranging longer hikes when the weather is warmer as it is more pleasant. If you only camp during summer and winter you may want to invest in a three season tent, as this is a light-weight tent that is easier to transport than a heavier tent. The tent will be equipped with mesh panels to help circulate air when the weather is warmer, but they also come with a taut rainfly that can handle some heavy rain. The tents are even able to handle wind and light snow, but they are not ideal for thunderstorms or heavy show.

Three season tents are specially engineers so that they can be used during the majority of seasons, so they are ideal for most hikers. You can also by an extended season tent, which is slightly more sturdy and comes with more poles and fewer mesh panels than a standard three season tent.

If you are buying a three season tent for two or more people, it is best to invest in a cabin style tent with nearly vertical walls to make the space more liveable. You can even find tents with room dividers for privacy, such as this excellent 3 room dome tent.
If you prefer to camp alone during the warmer seasons, you may be interested in the Adventure Dome tent as it is ideal for one person camping during summer and spring.

 

Will You Be Camping In Winter?

If you plan on camping in winter you will need to invest in a four season tent to ensure that you stay warm and comfortable even in fairly harsh conditions. A four season tent is designed to withstand heavy snow and strong winds, and they can even be used for mountaineering. There are a few different designs that you can choose from, but one of the most popular is dome style tents as they tend to be stronger and more wind resistant than other options. This is will be appreciated by any hikers who are trying to get to sleep in the middle of a storm!

Four season tents are sturdier as they have heavier fabrics and more poles. This means they can be more difficult to transport around, but the pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to camping in harsh weather conditions.

As the tents are thicker and feature less mesh panels they can get quite warm in summer, but you can solve this problem by keeping the main entrance unzipped for a few minutes before you go to sleep.

Extra Things To Consider

Tents can be particularly limiting for tall people, so if you are tall and you camp a lot you may want to buy a tent with a taller peak height. It can also be useful to buy a tent that has a floor length of at least 90 inches so you can sleep comfortably.

Camp Tricks

How To Repair A Ripped Tent

September 11, 2017

©istockphoto/freemixer

One of the most frustrating things when overnight backpacking is a rip in the tent. Maybe you pitched your tent on a sharp rock, or a stray branch fell on your shelter and ripped a hole right through it. A rip can even be caused by strong winds if you’re camping in an exposed area.

But you don’t need to throw the tent away—and if you have the tools, you won’t even need to cut the trip short. Here is how to repair a ripped tent in the field.

Small Tears
Little tears are much more likely to occur than a big rip, but they can be just as difficult to repair. Normally little rips occur when the tent is dragged against a stone or a rock, and this small hole can let wind and water into the tent. It can also release your scent and that of your food, so likely attracting wild animals.

For a quick fix, duct tape works. It will stay for a short amount of time, but when you get home from the trip you should take the time to fix the hole with tent repair tape.

For a more permanent fix, you want tent repair tape. Start by pulling and holding the rip in the tent together, then apply tent repair tape to one side of the rip. Let go and apply tent repair tape to the other side of the rip. This will help to reduce the chance of the tear re-opening.

Once you have done this you should cover the inside and the outside of the rip with seam sealer. This will help to guarantee that the rip won’t re-appear the next time you put strain on the rip area.

Big Tears
A bigger tear will take longer to repair. It is possible that you will be able to temporarily fix the tear using tape so that you don’t have to cut your trip short, but if you don’t have the right tools you may need to head home to do a proper repair.

A proper repair starts with you trimming away any loose threads, as they could make the rip worse further down the line. You can simply use a pair of sharp scissors to get rid of any loose threads.

Then clean that area of the tent. If your tent is dirty it will be very difficult to repair since dirt will get in the way. Clean the tent using warm, soapy water and then use rubbing alcohol to clear the tear.

An optional third step involves steaming the area around the tear, as this will help to iron out any creases in the fabric. This may seem unnecessary, but creases in the tent can make it very hard to effectively sew the tear up.

Once the tent is clean and crease-free you can start to repair the tear. Hold both sides of the tear and pull them together, folding the top side slightly over the bottom side. When the fabric is in place (you may need a second set of hands to hold the material) you can tightly sew the tear together. Use waxed thread as this is durable and strong (sturdy floss can work, too), and once you have finished sewing apply seam sealer to reduce the chance of the hole ripping open again later.

If the hole is too big to be pulled together you may need to buy a new tent. Alternatively you can buy patches of tent fabric that you can use to cover the hole. Simply iron or sew the patch over the hole using waxed thread and then apply seam sealer.

©istockphoto/SolisImages

How To Avoid Tears In The Future
Tent tears are one of the most frustrating things about backpacking, but you can reduce the chance of them happening in the future if you follow these tips:

  • Don’t pitch your tent too rigidly; instead make sure that it’s able to flex a bit in the wind.
  • Check the campsite for rocks and sticks before pitching your tent.
  • Use shock cords and guy lines to stabilize your tent.
  • Don’t go to bed with sharp tools on your belt.