Before You Buy
Before you buy a tent you must first consider what purpose you need it for and how many people will be using the tent. You will find there are many different types of tents and must choose one that is specific to your needs. Below are some examples.
Backpacking tents – These are small, light and can be carried easily. They are perfect for hiking trips.
Weekend tents – These are large tents, perfect for a family weekend camping. They usually have a large living space and a porch area.
Pop-up tents – These are generally small tents, they are mostly used for festivals as they are cheap and easy to erect.
Setting Up Your Tent
– Once you have decided on the tent that will meet your needs and have purchased it, you must now learn to set it up.
– It is a good idea to practice setting up your tent before your camping trip. If you have space in your garden you can practice setting it up there, or perhaps in a local park.
– Find level ground. This is the best way to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep.
– Some people like to lay a tarp or groundsheet down before setting up the tent (if your tent doesn’t have an in-built groundsheet this is essential). This stops the tent from gathering moisture and also protects it from any stones that may damage the tent.
– Next you should lay out all the components of your tent. This allows you to find everything easily and also makes it easy to check that nothing is missing.
– You should then spread your tent out over your tarp or groundsheet, you can then make sure the entrance is in the correct place.
– Next you must connect all of your poles and place them on top of the tent. If you make sure each pole is in the correct position before inserting them into the tent you won’t have to take them out again which can be frustrating, particularly if it’s windy!
– Insert your poles into your tent, always push the poles in, never pull them. This ensures that the sections of the poles do not separate making it difficult to put up.
– Once all the poles are in you can raise your tent, most tents will have eyelets that the poles will slide in to which will keep the tent upright.
– You must now stake out your tent. Pull any guy lines tight and stake them to the ground, make sure they are secure by giving them a pull, if the stake comes out easily it needs to be adjusted.
Some Tips to Enjoy Camping
– Make sure your sleeping bag is appropriate for the season. It’s uncomfortable to sleep if you are too hot or too cold. A worst case scenario could mean getting hypothermia!
– Always keep the tent door zipped up. Otherwise you’ll be sharing your tent with bugs!
– Never light a fire or bring a barbecue close to your tent. Many tents will melt if exposed to heat and if the wind continually blows smoke into your tent you are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Always ensure you camp a good distance away from your fire.
– Always bring enough food for the first night. If you arrive late or have trouble setting up you’ll be glad that you have food with you.
– Wear appropriate clothing. Remember you’ll be outside for the majority of the time and it may be unexpectedly cold. Always ensure you have plenty of layers so you can take of or put on clothes accordingly.
– When dismantling your tent reverse the process you used for putting it up. Make sure you have all of your equipment and don’t leave anything behind.
– Make sure your fire is completely extinguished. Use plenty of water and make sure everything is cold before you leave.
– Leave no trace that you have been there! Don’t leave litter and cover up any trace of a fire with dirt.