Home in the Wild

    If you plan on going out into the wild for any length of time you will need shelter. Maybe you're good with an ax, or a chainsaw? Maybe you have an idea of building a log cabin out there. It’s a good plan, I have one like that too. But for camping, get a tent.

What is a tent?

    A tent is a portable shelter made of cloth, supported by one or more poles and stretched tight by cords or loops attached to pegs driven into the ground. 

     That’s the definition of a tent. In real life though, it’s a little more than that. This is your home away from home. This is where your gear will be stored. This is where you will sleep. This is what will keep you out of the rain.

"This is the place, when it all is goes wrong you will be glad you made this decision right."

Yeah, it’s a big decision. That's a REAL TENT!

Types

    There are about 7 different types of tents you should know of. There's actually a lot more but this will give you plenty of ideas. 

  • Dome - a dome tent is in the shape of a dome. That’s where it gets its name. It has 2 poles that cross to keep it up and in shape
  • Pop-up - very popular tent now. Have spring loaded poles that pop into place. Good for one or 2 people
  • A-frame or wedge - The classic “tent” shape. Sometimes they can be difficult to put up
  • Multi-room - Like its name implies these tents have more than one room. Great for long stays or with larger groups of people. 
  • Geodesic or semi-geodesic - These tents are like dome tents but have more poles. This gives them more stability should you need it. Good for rough weather camping, or snowy conditions.
  • Inflatable - That’s right it’s held up with air. Instead of poles you fill air beams through the tent. Not great for rough weather. But for quick set ups and clear skies they’re a great tent.
  • Backpack or day tents - Lightweight and quick to put up. Usually everything fits into a bag that can fit on or be tied to a backpack. Good for hiking trips.

How to choose

     To pick out the right tent for your trip you need to answer a couple of questions

  • How many people?
  • How long am I staying?
  • What kind of weather conditions can I face?
  • How will I transport it?

   The main questions I would focus on is the weather and how am I carrying it? If it’s on a pack and good weather. Day tent or dome. Kayaking in, with a group. Multi room. 

       I once made a campsite into a small villa with 3 other people and about 4 tents. More came by on the trail and by the time we left I think we had 12 people staying at the tent villa. It was a good time. But I was glad when it dispersed. I love how uncrowded the outdoors is. Room for everyone, but I prefer 2 person tents and trips.

       Your tent and group requirements may be different.

Keep in mind one thing when picking out a tent there is a difference in water-proof and water-resistant.

    Waterproof will not allow water to pass through it as long as it’s sealed right. You will probably have to do some sealing yourself by the way. Most new tents come with a little tube of tent glue for this.

     Water-resistant will allow water to pass through it after some time. This usually isn’t a big deal. Depending on the time of year. But it CAN turn into a disaster if you don’t pay attention. Know the weather for the time of year you're in. Check an almanac for the annual rainfall in the previous years. Almanacs also have weather predictions too. (Sometimes they’re more accurate than the weatherman.)

    Just remember this is a crucial piece of gear. Don’t skimp on it. If you’re unsure, get better. This might be your home for longer than you plan. At any rate it is going to be your home for how long you’re out there. I like to be comfy at home. The best way to stay comfy out there, is with the right tent.

 

Enjoy the outdoors. Life is out here

written by Benjamin Evans