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Camping is often an activity we reserve for when we need a break from the monotony of the day to day grind. People who want to get away from it all, refresh, re-plan, re-program or simply have some peace and quiet to reflect. This view of camping has transformed over the years, and camping is now a popular recreational activity that is fun for the whole family, groups of friends and even serves as a corporate team-building exercise.
At the center of camping are tents and their various shapes, sizes, and prices. It is important to become familiar with the different kinds of tents available for camping. This is vital when shopping for one, to better understand the suitable weather conditions different tents are built for, the size you require, bulk, space factors, or set up requirements.
Here are the five most common types of tents available in the market currently, to assist you in your camping journey.
Ridge tents are often looked at as the original tents. They are the first that will always come to mind whenever a tent is mentioned. When ridge tents are set-up, they form a triangular or A-shape frame.
Ridge tents are easy to assemble and provide the basic feature one expects from a tent…shelter. A ridge tent is erected using three poles; one at each end and a vertical crossbar to link the two horizontal poles together. The sloping sides of the tents are their most distinctive feature and come in handy when it rains by giving a clear path for water runoff.
Ridge tents have been able to stand the test of time due to their sturdy nature, reliability in withstanding harsh weather conditions, and versatility. A ridge tent can be expanded to accommodate a larger number of people by using a bigger canvas and extending the distance between the two standing set-up poles. When it comes to portability, the ridge tent scores high marks, as it is lightweight and easy to transport.
The material used as a cover for the ridge tent can be chosen depending on weather conditions; a light material for summer camping, heavy canvas for cold temperatures and a waterproof canvas if you expect wet conditions. If you expect to be camping in poor weather conditions, you may want to take some steps to weatherproof your tent, as well.
The main disadvantage of the ridge tent is the lack of headroom due to its rectangular shape. Also, the average tent is best suited for one camper, although two can fit; but it will leave no room to maneuver.
As the name suggests, these tents form a tube or dome-shape when set up, and are popular with families and group campers, due to their spacious nature. Dome tents can handle a minimum of one camper, and a maximum of six people (although you may find even larger versions), depending on the model.
Dome tents are supported by two or three poles which make their setup fast and simple, saving time and resources, which, in turn, make the tents a popular choice for today’s camper. Dome tents are made using lightweight and fold able materials for convenient portability and storage. Even in its fully assembled form, the tent can be easily carried from one point to another. Dome tents are suitable for all weather conditions including snowstorms.
The tent’s dome shape provides ample headroom and a wider floor area for added comfort. There are also inflatable dome tents in the market that are supported by pegs on all corners, and then air is compressed into the tent during assembly.
If you are looking for a tent that can accommodate the entire family or a group of friends, then a cabin tent is usually the tent of choice. Cabin tents are built with abundant space, and equipped with room dividers, multiple entrance options and windows. In addition, cabin tents come in various designs, sizes and models. providing a wide array of choices.
The main selling point of cabin tents is the availability of space they provide and can be considered as a home away from home. This makes the tent ideal for long camping expeditions which involves several campers. It is the only type of tent that allows you to walk upright inside it, without having to hunch down. Some models can hold up to fourteen campers comfortably and is equivalent to a four-room bungalow.
Cabin tents are also designed to handle extreme weather such as heavy rainfall, powerful winds, or temperature fluctuations. This feature enables campers to indulge in four seasons camping without needing to store a variety of models. The reliability of cabin tents is superb and allows you to camp anywhere, including in areas with rough terrain.
The various models available in the market also come with added features. For example, there are more heat efficient models, others provide more space, while other models are budget friendly. You can even find some models that come with extras such as LED lights, windows with grills, fans and a porch. There are also models designed for experienced campers, beginners, back country camping, hunters, hikers and mountaineers.
When set-up, this kind of tent resembles a tunnel and is a popular choice with campers due to the immense space it provides. Because of this feature, the tunnel tent is ideal for families, groups and campers who plan to spend a lot of time inside the tent.
Instead of having upright poles for support like most tents, the tunnel tent uses multiple parallel tube-shaped poles for its set-up. The poles can either be soft and flexible or rigid and inflexible, depending on the model. Some may include cables or ropes in their setup. This makes the tunnel tent sturdy and reliable even in adverse weather, especially when it comes to dealing with powerful winds.
Most tunnel tents are built using quality materials which makes them durable, as well as a stable choice. They are easy to set-up, especially the models that do not come with cables and are ideal for campers who need to dismantle and assemble their tents every day. The tunnel shape allows for more headroom and a larger floor area to accommodate more campers and increase comfort levels.
Inflatable tents are designed to provide fast set up and easy portability, as they weigh very little. They are also the new kids on the block as far as tents are concerned and are steadily gaining popularity with campers.
Instead of plastic or metal poles which are the norm with other types of tents, they use inflatable tubes which are filled with air to set-up the tent. All one needs to do is to stretch out the four corners, pump in the air, and the tent rises. Due to their easy set-up, inflatable tents are ideal for campers who are pressed for time. Dismantling the tent is also a walk in the park as all that is required is to deflate the tent by opening the air valve to let the air out. This feature also has a cool aspect to it when watching others struggle with poles, cables, and tie-downs.
Some models come with several doors and windows for easy access. The windows are fitted with mesh fabric to keep stubborn flies and crawling insects out. They also ensure the tent is well ventilated. The downside of the tent is that you always must carry a pump to inflate the tent.
A quality tent is a vital piece of equipment for campers and can make the difference between a memorable camping experience or a nightmare. Apart from providing shelter, a good tent also acts as a shield from the various dangers that can be found in the wild. With minimal maintenance to keep your tent clean and free of smells, a good tent can greatly improve your experience. It is important to invest in a durable, strong, and quality tent, that is suitable to your needs, to ensure a great camping experience every time you venture outdoors.