A guide to buying a tent that is just right for first time campers.
Before you rush out and buy a tent, there are some questions that you should ask yourself about the kind of tent you want to buy and how much you want to spend.
It is really easy to get carried away when confronted by lots of different camping tents and suddenly you find yourself much poorer with a top of the range tent,
when you only wanted a basic camping tent for a weekend away! Why not read our camping Blog for more information.
Think first about how you will use the tent. If you are a keen camper then it is likely that you will be upgrading and you know exactly what you want. But if you have not been camping for a while then you are less likely to know what you want.
Buying tents for camping that are slightly bigger than what you may need is a good idea because it gives you a little bit more storage space and you aren’t quite so close together in the tent.
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Balance comfort with practicalities. If you haven’t been camping for ages, or indeed ever, then buy a basic tent, say a three-person tent if you are a couple and just see if camping suits you.
That way you haven’t spent a huge amount of money on something that you will only use a couple of time.
You should also check out how easy it is to erect. No tent manufacturer will ever state that their tents are fiendishly difficult to put up, but in practice, some can be, so always make sure that you buy a tent with clear instructions that you understand.
Not everyone understands the same type of instructions, so read them thoroughly just to make sure you aren’t confused when you put it up for real.
Set a realistic budget for your tent. Do not just go for the most expensive or the cheapest. If you buy an ultra cheap tent then remember that it may not last as long or be as durable as more middle of the range tents.
But similarly do not think that as your starter tent you need some kind of mock marquee that will accommodate a wedding party!
Once you have weighed up exactly what you need, then all you have to do is check through each tent to see whether or not it fits the bill.
Planning your tent purchase methodically ensures you get a tent for camping that meets your needs, for the right price, which is just what you want!
Buying a good tent.
When you want to buy a good tent you must first decide what you want to use the tent for. If your going up into the mountains camping then you need something that is going to stand up in bad weather, but if you are just camping in the local woods for a night in summer then a cheaper tent might do the job just fine.
As a general rule i would go for the best camping equipment i could afford. This will not only be better quality and perform better, it will last a lot longer as well.
If you are going up into the mountains then you definitely need a 4 season tent. This is going to protect you from wind, storms and rain and wont let you down, it may even save your life if you get in to trouble.
Cheaper tents are available for a night in the garden or summer lowlands but are not really appropriate for longer trips and all year round camping.
Its worth spending the money, if you have every tryd to sleep in a leaking tent you will know what i mean. Waking in the morning soaking wet in your sleeping bag with no dry cloths is not fun.
Where to buy Camping equipment?
Though I don’t go camping any longer, I will probably do so again in the future. One thing I learned in the past when we did our yearly camping trip was that you should avoid buying stuff in camping shops if you can at all help it.
It didn’t seem to matter how well prepared I thought I was, I was always running out of something or had forgotten to get something altogether.
There were even times when someone we camped with had forgotten to tell us what they were bringing, and we would have to go get something needed for preparation.
As a rule, camping shops tend to be more expensive. You will find these at campgrounds and that is because everyone needs something, and no one wants to have to drive back into town to get something like butter or perhaps a tent stake that has turned up missing.
Camping shops know that people don’t want to do this, and they can charge more money for what they have. They seem to have a knack for charging just enough so that you have to pay more, but driving into town is still not worth it.
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There are great things about camping shops though. There is the fact that they are right there when you need them, and also that they tend to carry things that you might not be able to just grab from the shelf in your local grocery store.
Camping shops seem to have just what you need for camping and each of the little things that pop up. This comes from years of experience with campers and knowing what people always seem to come in to look for.
Camping shops will probably have things like string and fishing line, extra tent stakes, and things like butter, ketchup, and soda. These are all things people forget or run out of rather quickly.
I noticed one year when I ran out of butter I could buy a stick for two dollars. Normally I can get four sticks for that price at my local store, but it didn’t seem worth it to travel to town and back just for butter, so we bought it.
Camping shops are convenient but they certainly are expensive. I guess it’s worth the price if you don’t have to cut out half of your camping day to run down the mountain for butter.