How To Shop For Your Family Camping Tent

Our family has been camping for over a year now and we love it.  When we decided to make the commitment to buy a camping tent, we spent time visiting local outdoor stores to get advice.  I was surprised on how many types of tents were available and it was difficult trying to determine the right tent for our family.  Plus, I realized that camping tents aren’t cheap.  With average tent prices starting at $200, I didn’t want to rush and buy the first tent I saw.  However, after doing some research we bought our first tent and our family has been happy ever since.  In fact, we actually made two tent purchases, one for me and my wife and one for my two sons.   To save you some time, I have written down some of quick tips to help you make your decision.

There are a number of factors to look at when you start your research.  First, find out the actual weight and size of the tent when it is packed up.  This factor comes into play if you plan on hiking to your campsite.  The last thing you want to do is buy a heavy tent and have to haul it for a long distance.  Remember, you will have more than your tent to carry so weight is important.  If you are planning on hiking for most of your outdoor adventures, you might want to look for an ultra-light tent.  These tents are designed to be as light as possible and take up very little space in your pack.

Second, find out the floor space size and peak height of the tent.  Both of these statistics are important on making the right choice.  By checking the floor space you will make sure you will actually fit in the tent when you lay down. This factor is especially valuable if you are tall and don’t want to have your feet sticking out the end of the tent.  The next factor is the peak height, which is the highest point in the tent.   If you want some head room in the tent you will want to compare tents by this factor. However, if you are like me, this factor wasn’t that important.  We didn’t spend that much time in the tent during the day.  We basically used the tent to sleep and change.  So I wasn’t too concerned about this issue.

Third, you want to determine the size of tent or tents that will fit your family.  In our case, we wanted a little privacy so we decided to buy two tents.  We bought one tent for me and my wife plus one tent for our two boys.  You might want to consider this step for your family.  Buying two (or more) tents gives you some alone time with your spouse and it also gives you a private area to change your clothes.  

Fourth, you may want to choose a tent that is a little bigger than your need.   I originally wanted to buy a two person tent for me and my wife.  However, after some research I realized that a two person tent only gives you room for two people and that’s about it.  We would only have room for our sleeping bags. In our case, we decided to go with a three person tent have extra space for our stuff.

Finally, try to determine how much you want to spend on your tent before you hit the store.  When we were about to choose our tent I was determined to be as cheap as possible, but I realized this wasn’t the way to go. I wanted our tent to last for a few seasons and some of the cheaper tents weren’t that sturdy.  You really have to decide how many times you plan on going camping each year.  If you are only camping once or twice each year you might be able to get away with a cheaper tent.  But if you plan on using the tent multiple times each year, you will want to invest in a quality tent.

I hope this article can help you on your first family tent purchase.   AgainArticle Search, just take your time and do the research before you buy.  See you around the campsite!

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