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Choosing A Tent

Tents are available in numerous characteristics, features & styles and their design ranges from a single-person accommodation design to huge cabin tents and frame tents which comes with partition and are ready to be furnished. Camping can be more enjoyable if one chooses the right kind of tent, in accordance with the sort of use and specific requirements. The guide to choosing a perfect tent is as follows:

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Step I - Judging requirements
In order to choose an ideal tent, the first step is to judge your requirements on the following criteria:

Which time of the year is it required for?
Tents are usually constructed to support comfort in specific type of environments, while conforming themselves to other restraint like weight and durability.

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If one is going for a car camping, the weight and size will not be a factor in deciding which tent should be chosen. However, if going out for mountaineering, these factors matter a lot. Depending on the type of activity, some tent shapes and features will be more or less useful. Hence this is an important consideration.

Size requirement
The most popular sizes for tents in the present times are two and three person tents. Since tents considerably vary in sizes, it is important to consider that how many people will be sleeping in it. Also, consider what equipment i.e. camping gear, tables and chairs, etc. are needed.

How will the camper carry the tent will also help determine which kind of tent is required, as if it would be carried in a trailer or by car, weight will not matter. But if it is backpacked, it needs to be light.

Buyers' Preferences
Different people prefer different features while making a buying decision. Some wants to save money or save weight and some look for ventilation, space, sturdiness, versatility, storage areas, tent shape and height, amount of windows, number of doors, color etc. It is advisable to rate all the preferences in the order of importance.

Step II - What is the tent made of?
The subsequent imperative consideration is about the fabric of the tent. Tents are made from a variety of different materials like cotton, polyethylene, nylon, rip-stop nylon, etc. The important factor that should be kept in mind while choosing the fabric is that it should breathe & produce less condensation, should be waterproof, fire-resistant & UV protected and should come with protection covering which avoids deterioration of the tent.

Step III - Significant features of a quality tent
There are many tent features to consider when choosing a tent and all the alternatives available are important. These attributes are:

The tent must be constituted of a sturdy structure, fastened grommets, double sewn seams, and heavy-duty zippers.

Rain protection / Waterproof
If a tent cannot stand extreme weather conditions, it is not worth buying. Hence it is important that the tent is completely seam taped to prevent leaks in the rain.

Ventilation alone does not prevent condensation. Hence, it is something to be concerned about when choosing a tent. One should go for a tent with panels of coated fabric or coated fabric doors and awnings over the doors that can stay unzipped a little in the rain.

Easy setup
A tent should be easy to erect.

Free standing
Tents that are not free-standing are fine in protected campsites where one can stake them out well but rarely match the stability of free-standing models. Free-standing tents are more sturdy, weatherproof, keeps walls from sagging, and allows zippers to slide more easily.

Wind resistance
A tent should be so designed that it does not get blown away in severe winds. Designs like A-frame, tunnel and dome shaped serve this purpose well.

Ventilation is the most significant consideration while buying a tent as in the past, there have been incidents where people die inside tents due to suffocation.

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Step IV - Some other tent features to consider
After deciding on the suitable size, style, weight and have determined the budget range, here are a few other features to look for in order to narrow down the choices:

The pole
The number of poles determines tent weight and sturdiness. Always prefer aluminum over fiberglass poles for as aluminum poles are inexpensive, not affected by UV radiation, are reasonably light and much more durable.

The seams
Beware of low-level seams where the tent floor meets the walls, as it could be an open avenue for water to seep through and be sure the specifications indicate all the seams are taped for waterproofing.

The floor
Floors of the tent should be fabricated of waterproof polyurethane coating applied in many thin layers to prevent delaminating. Floors of tents used in extreme conditions use more layers of polyurethane for extra protection.

The vestibules
Vestibules are actually designed to maximize storage and living space without adding weight to the tent. This is the tent approach to put in the camping gear, etc. for maximum living space inside the tent.

Internal storage pockets
Look for internal storage and organizing pockets and loops along the tent walls or overhead to store items like suspend lights or hanging gear.


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