Contrary to popular belief, a tent is not just a mere tent. For someone who is a novice camper, like myself, there are a few items which I must consider when seeking something for an adventure.
1 - Assembly
2 - Rain Protection or Multi Season Protection
3 - Size
Now while this might seem like an obvious in all regards, many of these are not common things for which so many take deep consideration toward in their purchase.
For my own adventures for the time being, I am seeking something with rain coverage but will not be requiring a four season tent. Tents which are designed to be multi season use typically are designed to be a bit more hefty but with that also comes additional weight as they are designed to withstand higher levels or wind or in many cases snow. For practical purpose on my adventure rain coverage would be adequate so a tent selection with a canopy and potential for removal will suffice.
Since I plan on having travel companions along many of my excursions I want to also take into account the space concerns of multiple people. Size plays a major role in comfort even in the most uncomfortable terrain, a two person tent might be large enough for two people but finding the brief moment of personal space in that two person tent will be hard.
Remember tents are designed for campers in sleeping bags, so if someone is using a sleeping pad, air mattress or even cot the number of campers drops. A two person tent is designed for campers on a single mattress or in dual sleeping bags only.
I wanted to make sure to also be able to facilitate slight storage of items such as backpacks in my travels within the tent, so taking this into consideration I have sought out larger tent options. Take into consideration campers which are taller fitting into shorter length tents as well. A typical 4 person tent is not designed for those over 6 feet typically to be able maneuver in multiple directions. For this reason, always plan on your tallest camper and how their bedding would be arranged then adjust accordingly.
Weight is another factor in regard to size. As mentioned above, multi season tents tend to be heavier, but as you add more campers to single season tents, the weight also grows. Larger tents quite simply have more material to haul around. If you are backpacking especially this can be of concern. For my adventures early on I will be utilizing campsites which allow car access so this factor will be small in my decision making, however as later I explore more backpacking options I will have to adjust more than likely to a smaller more efficient use of my backpack space.
Other things to consider in many tents today are electrical availability. Several tents now are equipped with charging ports on them which can be plugged into non-primative campsites. These allow for a single plug to enter the tent without jeopardizing the door not being fully zipped and allowing in the elements or animals.
Remember your experience in the outdoors is what you make it, so taking care of your home away from home and making of it what you would like is something to put much thought into when planning your adventures. Never forget your tent is your oasis.
I'll be posting a revised copy of this blog when I have made my official purchase so look for updates as the adventures near!!