Camping Gear: Tent

The purpose of the tent is to provide a place to sleep and shelter from the wind, rain and bugs. Tents come in various colours, shapes, sizes and quality. For car camping, look for a single tent that is large enough to house your family. When selecting a tent, consider the following features: 

Columbia Bugaboo - Mid Range Quality, Sleeps 5

Size: When sizing a tent for your family, select a tent that is rated for one to two persons more than the size of your family to ensure that there is enough space in the tent. For example, if you have a family of four, you should select a tent that sleeps five to six people, so that there is a little extra space to move around in and store clothing bags. The extra space will also help prevent you from going nuts when confined to the tent because of unexpected rainfall. 

Shape: Square and rectangular tents provide the best use of space inside the tent. 

Waterproof: The fly (the cover on top of the tent) provides protection from the rain; it should cover as much of the tent as possible to prevent water from leaking inside the tent. The better quality tents have a transparent waterproofing strip applied over the seams, which should help prevent leaks through the seams for years. If the seams have not been treated, you will have to seal the seams after purchasing the tent and on an ongoing basis to avoid water seeping into the tent. 

Seams Are Elevated from Ground

Dry floor tub design: With the dry floor tub design, the floor seams are elevated off the ground to help prevent water on the ground from seeping into the tent through the seams. The floor of the tent is stitched to the walls of the tent several inches off the ground. The floor seams can be seen where the blue and grey tent fabrics meet in this photo. 

Vestibules: Some tents have a vestibule attached at the entrance of the tent. The vestibule provides a sheltered storage area for shoes and some camping gear. 

Zippers: Zippers may break if there is a lot of traffic going in and out of the tent, especially with children. Tents with good quality zippers are worth paying extra for. 

Framing poles: The framing poles should be durable and shock-corded. Shock-corded poles are sequenced in sections and are held together by an elastic cord that runs through the insides and lengths of the poles for easy assembly. 

Stakes: Tent stakes should be durable; otherwise, they may bend or break when anchoring the tent. Many entry level priced tents come with very poor stakes that bend or break very easily. If you buy such a tent, you may have to consider purchasing extra tent stakes that are more durable. 

Assemble it at Home: If you are planning on purchasing a new tent, ensure that you assemble it at home, before going on your camping trips to ensure that there are no missing or defective parts. Most camping gear only comes with two-week in-store warranties nowadays, so test it out and exchange it as soon as possible to ensure the product is satisfactory. 

You can see a wide selection of tents by clicking the following link:

For more details on tents and other camping gear, see The Camp Tripper. The Camp Tripper includes: trip planning, reservations, gear, meals, setting up camp, activities, breaking camp, maintenance of gear and many tips for memorable camping trips in Ontario. The book is very reasonably priced and small enough to fit in the glove compartment of your vehicle. Here are four reasons why you might prefer to order it in e-book (electronic book) format:

  • The e-book price is 37% less
  • No shipping costs, which saves you even more
  • Instant delivery to your computer or hand-held device
  • Eliminates paper and saves trees

This book is currently only available in online bookstores.


About Patrick Dzieciol

I have authored and published "The Camp Tripper - The Secrets of Successful Family Camping in Ontario" If you want to get in touch with me, please drop me an email at:
This entry was posted in Book, Camping, Gear, Ontario, Park, Tent and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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