Camping is, hands-down, the best way to experience nature and is an excellent opportunity to make great family memories. It’s a way to get away from the complexities of the day-to-day grind and remind yourself that joy can be found in simplicity. The key to having a good experience is being prepared with the right gear. So, the first decision that you need to make before anything else is what kind of tent you need to accommodate your camping plans.
Tent Must-Have Basics
There are a variety of shapes and sizes of tents out there from one-man hammock beds to four-person teepee-style tents. However, there are some basics that your tent must have. First, your tent has to be rain-resistant or have a rainfly just in case a rainstorm pops-up unexpectedly. Of course, you should always keep up with the weather conditions with a portable weather radio
. Next, your tent should be easy to put up and take down. Nothing will start a family camping trip off on the wrong foot like fighting with a complicated tent to get it pitched. Your tent should also have sufficient ventilation, especially, it you’re going camping in the summer. This means a mesh door to let air in but keep flying insects out. You can also find tents with mesh windows. The last thing your tent needs to have is a built-in ground sheet to protect you from any moisture on the ground. You don’t want to have to buy a tent and a ground sheet separately. You’ll end-up spending more money that way.
Which Tent Do I Need?
Now that you have your must-haves in mind, your tent selection will be based on the space that you need and the features that you want. If you’re camping with your family, you might opt for a tent that everyone can sleep in or a couple of smaller tents to give family members their own space. Take into consideration the temperatures and season that you’re camping. If it’s cold, everyone in the same tent means more body heat to stay warm and if it’s hot, spreading out is better. Also, take into consideration how long your trip will be and the amount of supplies you’ll need to store in a tent. Even if you’re solo camping, you might want more room to spread-out and opt for a larger tent instead of a one-man bivy-style.
A Tent For Every Camping Trip
Some of our best customers, here at CH Kadels, are our own employees. Our employees like to get out and camp so, when I asked around the office and warehouse about their favorite tent to go out with, I got lots of suggestions. I’ve narrowed it down to these below, which are a variety of styles and sizes.
Intense Pop-Up Bivy Tent
Starting with a solo camping option, the Intense Pop-Up Bivy Tent
makes camping on the fly quick and easy. Deploying in just seconds, the backpack one-man, pop-up tent is lightweight with a tough, rip-stop nylon construction. Black no-see-um mesh netting provides protection against insects and the shock-cord frame is made of sturdy fiberglass for ultimate durability. The bivy-style tent has a full-length zipper on both sides for easy in/out and an interior pocket to store your essentials. Weighing in at just under 2 lbs, the one-person tent folds down to 17 1/2” in diameter to fit into its rip-stop nylon backpack for easy transport and storage. Carry it with you when you go hiking, canoeing or to the beach and keep one in your vehicle, survival gear or bugout bag.
Intense Hammock Travel Bed
One of my favorite solo camping tents is the Intense Hammock Travel Bed
. There are so many reasons that I love it, but I’ll try and stick to just a few. First and foremost, anything that gets me up off the ground when I’m sleeping outside is number one in my book. It’s absolutely ideal for those of you who don’t want to carry a bulky tent but want protection from insects when camping or backpacking. The lightweight, breathable hammock is made of strong, olive drab parachute nylon and the fine mesh mosquito netting is built into the hammock, allowing you to sleep soundly and safe from mosquitoes and insects. A spacious and supremely comfortable sleeping bed, the mosquito net is secured with a sturdy zipper and the two included guy ropes allow ample length to hang and support the net section of the hammock way above you for a restful night of sleep in the great outdoors. When you don’t need the mosquito net, just flip the hammock over and use it as a conventional hammock for a nice afternoon nap at the campsite or even in your backyard. When folded into its attached stuff-sack, the hammock is so compact you won’t even know it’s in your backpack. The hammock is approximately 7 1/2’ x 4’, weighs only 24 oz and will hold up to 440 lbs. Included are two steel carabiners, two nylon webbing suspension straps and two hanks of 10’ guy line rope. Believe me, you won’t ever think of your tent again when you camp with the Intense Hammock Travel Bed!
French F1 Two-Man Tent
A great resource for camping gear, which is often overlooked, is military surplus, especially, when it comes to tents. The military is pretty much the expert on sleeping outside in any climate, so you can count on a tent that’s going to weather the elements. The like new, military surplus French F1 Two-Man Tent
is perfect for either solo camping or camping with a friend. It’s constructed of lightweight and durable nylon material with back and front openings, ventilated panels with storm flaps and it’s water-resistant. It also features a separate, fitted rainfly and a built-in, rubberized ground sheet. It come with two aluminum poles, guy-lines and all the stakes needed to pitch it. When packed into its carry bag, it measures 16”x 8”x 6”, when open it measures 80”x 56”x 39” and it weighs approximately 6 lbs.
Intense Two-Man Pop-Up Tent
Intense took their popular Pop-Up Bivy Tent and expanded it into a spacious Two-Man Pop-Up Tent
. It has the same easy-to-carry backpack and pop-up design that deploys in no time at all. The dome tent is made of 180T polyester with a weather-resistant coating, and it has a vented window with a small rain fly. It also has an outer front door and an inside mesh door for ventilation, hooded by storm flaps. The interior of the two-man tent has a built-in, water-resistant ground-sheet and two small gear pockets, plus, a plastic hanging hook. The flexible frame is constructed of sturdy fiberglass for ultimate durability. The pop-up tent’s overall dimensions are 2’6”x 3’9”x 7’2” and its folded dimensions are 25 9/10”x 1 1/2”.
Intense Four-Person Teepee Tent
If you’re taking a family camping trip, the Intense Four-Person Teepee Tent
is an excellent choice. It’s spacious but remarkably easy to transport, providing a comfortable sleeping area for multiple campers, easily accommodating four full-size sleeping bags with plenty of room left over for camping gear. No matter where your adventures take you, the entire family can rest easy in this cozy “home away from home.” Covered zippers, shielded seams and a weather-treated rain fly ensure that not a single drop of moisture makes its way into the tent's interior. The ultradurable, rip-resistant polyester shell features an advanced weather-resistant coating that wicks away moisture and guards against damaging UV radiation. With its strong steel center pole and steel anchoring stakes, this rock-solid portable shelter setup is easy thanks to snag-free, continuous pole sleeves. Large mesh windows and vents increase air circulation, keeping you cool and comfortable. The teepee tent features multiple interior storage pockets for stowing electronics or other gear and a handy interior hook. Approximately 7 1/2’ long x 8 1/2’ wide x 6 1/2’ high, the tent rolls up tightly and packs away in a compact carry bag. With this extraordinarily lightweight but rock-solid tent, “home” is anywhere you roam.
And By The Way…
A tent repair kit is a major addition to your camping gear. Nothing’s worse than having a rip in your tent that flying insects or moisture can get through. The Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl Kit
has everything you need to make minor repairs to your tent if that becomes necessary. It can also handle heavy-duty materials like canvas and leather making it useful for repairs to backpacks, gear bags, tarps and even shoes. The kit includes the Speedy Stitcher sewing awl, a bobbin wound with 14 yards of waxed coarse thread, two curved needles, two straight needles and a 180-yd tube of additional thread.