Choosing the Right Tent

In Articles, Technical by Glyn DemmerLeave a Comment

It could qualify alongside your sleeping bag as the most important piece of equipment you buy,yet so many of us make an ill informed decision and are left stuck with a tent that does not work for us.
To assist our “all-terrainers” we have compiled some pointers to help you when purchasing a tent.

  • Set a budget and buy a good quality tent,it should come with a guarantee and the manufacturer should be able to affect repairs if necessary.
  • Do your homework and consult the community and friends, suppliers often run specials which the sales staff push as they will get commission – they do not always have your interests at heart.
  • Check all the ratings especially in terms of waterproofing as one does not want to end up sitting out a storm in your vehicle due to a leaking tent.
  • Canvas tends to be heavier yet more durable and “larger” if weight and space are an issue then opt for a synthetic fabric.
  • Opt for space – if the tent is for two of you go for a 3or 4 man tent, you will not be sorry. Remember you need space for baggage,lights,reading matter and even stretchers or air mattresses.
  • Look at the ease of erecting the tent and consider that you may have to pitch tent in the dark- be wary in todays day and age of complicated tents. Can you do it unassisted whilst the family lays out the campsite ?
  • My tent came in a lovely zippered bag, I have never been able to get it back into that bag again after it’s 1st outing,it now resides in a wolfpack .
  • Unless you are using the tent for hiking and need to sacrifice space for portability look for a tent that you can stand in, it’s much more comfortable especially when getting dressed.
  • Then check the zips and openings, are you adequately protected from creepy crawlies and mosquitoes?
  • Look for cords inside, they are great when you want to hang a lantern or your toilet bag for easy access,remember never use any lights other than battery or solar in a tent.
  • And lastly does the tent have a few windows, fresh air is important ?

At all terrain we love to hear from our readers,if any of you have additional tips we would love to her them- share your experiences at www.allterrain.co.za

About the Author

Glyn Demmer

My first 4x4 was a Nissan Hardbody thereafter I started travelling all over the country. In 1992 we held a big 4x4 day with hundreds of Nissan families, and then the 4x4 bug really bit. A friend Monty Brett and I started running 4x4 courses at the Hennops Off-road Trail just outside of Johannesburg. At first we offered day-and-a-half courses that started on Friday afternoon and finished on Saturday afternoon. Hannes Grobler the Rally Ace regularly assisted, and we reached a nice balance between our two styles and our skills.

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