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