Camping with your friends and family is one of the most delightful activities in the world.
Camping involves sleeping out in the open forest (inside a tent, of course!), sitting in front of a warm fire and connecting with nature at a deeper level.
Choosing the right family tent is easily the most important decision campers have to make prior to their journey.
Why Is Choosing The Right Tent Important?
For the next few days, your tent will be your only shelter. That means if it rains or snows, your tent is your only chance of staying safe and dry.
Tents play an important role in making your camping trip more comfortable hence, it is imperative you choose the right one for the occasion.
Campers can choose from the following large camping tent according to the number of people who will be accompanying them on their trip.
- 2-person camping tent
- 3-person camping tent
- 4-person camping tent
- 6-person camping tent
- 8-person camping tent
- 10-person camping tent
- 12-person camping tents
- 15-person camping tent
- 20-person camping tent
Small Tent Vs. Large Tent
When camping, you will have to choose between a small and a large tent.
Larger tents are beneficial for folks who will be camping out with their friends and family whereas smaller tents are ideal for people who will be camping out alone.
Here are some pros and cons of both tents.
Small Tent Advantages
- Best suited for folks who will be camping alone.
- Small tents are comparatively less expensive than larger ones.
- Small tents are relatively easier and quicker to set up.
- Generally retain heat and are easier to warm up because of the small space.
- Small tents are compact and lightweight. This makes the tent ideal for backpackers or for campers who will not have access to their vehicles at the campsite.
- Small tents take up very little space when folded and are easier to transport from one place to another.
- Small tents can be set up in smaller spaces.
You can find small tents fairly cheaply for under $100
Small Tent Disadvantages
- Small tents have very little usable space. This is a problem if you are a serious camper and have a lot of camping gear.
- Small tents are not suitable for multiple people and might even rip apart if you put too many things inside the tent.
- Small tents are likely to be affected by heavy rain and winds.
Large Tent Advantages
- Best suited for folks who enjoy camping with their friends and family. Large tents easily accommodate multiple people and are great for people with kids. Invest in a tent a size bigger than you need so that it can accommodate your growing kids next year as well.
- Though a large space is difficult to warm up, it is not difficult to retain heat if the tent is packed with people.
- With a larger tent, campers have more space to fit in their camping gear, allowing everybody to spend the night with peace.
- Larger tents are typically sturdier and more durable than smaller ones. They are generally made using tougher materials and are more resistant to bad weather conditions as the tent is less likely to blow away because of the extra weight.
Large Tent Disadvantages
- Larger tents are typically heavier and need to be transported in a car. This is not much of a con if you have access to your vehicle at the campsite. However, a heavier tent is much more difficult to set up and handle.
- Larger tents need more room to set up and possibly more hands because of the large size.
- Larger tents take a longer time to heat up. This will not be much of a problem if the weather is warm and you have an extra heater at hand.
- Large tents are typically more expensive than smaller tents but are worth every penny if they are durable and can accommodate all your family and friends.
It is advisable that you opt for a tent which is a size or two bigger than what you have planned. You can always use the added room to store luggage or simply feel more comfortable.
Factors To Consider For Large Camping Tent
Here are some important factors you should keep in mind while choosing a large tent.
Number of People
There is no point in investing in a huge tent if you won’t be sharing it with anybody. Only opt for a large tent if you will be sharing it with friends and family.
Aside from the number of people, also take into account the size of the individuals who will be staying inside the tent or whether or not they will be storing their camping gear inside.
The labels on the tents (one-person, two-person or three-person) do not always ensure there will be room for an adequate number of people.
For example, a 6-person tent may not suffice three people if one or more campers are taller or broader than the average size.
Depending on the number of people who will be sharing the room with you, it is a good idea you opt for a tent that features multiple rooms so that everybody has more privacy.
Fortunately, there are several styles campers can choose from when selecting a tent. Opt for a tent that has multiple rooms and is spacious.
When picking a large tent, you must decide on the number of doors you will need along with its shape and orientation.
It is always a good idea to opt for a large tent with numerous doors, especially if you will be sharing the tent if your family and friends.
This makes it possible for campers to walk out of the tent in the middle of the night without tripping on other people.
Cabin-style tents are the perfect option for families. Additionally, do not forget to note how noisy the doors are to zip open and shut.
Opt for zippers that are resistant to snagging and won’t break easily.
Even though a larger tent is bound to be heavy, campers are always on the lookout for lightweight options so that it is easier to set up the tent.
If you won’t have access to your vehicle, it is best you opt for a small-sized, lightweight tent.
However, if your car will be doing the heavy lifting, you will have twice as many options to choose from.
Finding the Best Place to Pitch the Tent
Set up your tent in a wide-enough open space that will offer sufficient room for your tent.
If you are staying at a national or state park, ensure you are unpacking your gear at a designated camping area. The first step to setting up a tent is finding the appropriate campsite.
Ensure that you are not trespassing on private property and are abiding by all the laws in the area you are camping.
Once you have found a flat surface to pitch the tent, the next step is removing twigs, rocks and other kinds of debris.
If you are camping in a ground that is filled with pine trees, try spreading the ground with a thin layer of pine needles to make it more comfortable and soft for sleeping.
Avoid setting up your tent on a surface that is covered with hollows, divots, and swales. Also, stay clear of any surface that is lower than the surrounding area or else it will become a puddle in the event of rain.
Having a water-proof tent will not help you as it will only start floating in such a condition hence only set up your tent on a flat, leveled ground that is elevated compared to the surrounding area.
Before pitching the tent, note the direction of the wind. The side of the tent that features doors should be positioned away from the prevailing wind.
This will prevent the tent from blowing up with air and will reduce the tension on the stakes. If it is incredibly windy, use a natural tree line to make a windbreak. Additionally, you can move your tent closer to the trees to block off the extra breeze.
While selecting a spot to pitch your tent, avoid selecting an area that is near a river or a creek or else you will be left to deal with a nasty flood in case it rains.
Additionally, while camping under a tree might seem like a good decision on a sunny day, things can drastically get wrong on a windy day. A storm can cause branches to drop in your tent without warning.
It is recommended you predict the sun’s path so you do not have to be rudely awakened by sunlight shining down on your face.
During the summer months, tents can heat up like an oven meaning that you are likely to wake up all irritable and sweaty if the tent is placed directly towards the sun.
For summertime camping, opt for a spot that has a shade so that you can wake up comfortably.
Once you have set up your tent, ensure the sleeping area is at a distance from the cooking and toilet areas.
Additionally, if you set up a fire too close to a tent, it could spray sparks, resulting in a horrible accident. Ensure you put out the fire before calling it a night.
How to Set Up The Tent
Driving up to the campsite only to realize that you have forgotten the tent instructions can put an end to your weekend camping trip.
Nobody enjoys struggling with a tent when it is cold and dark outside hence it is essential you learn how to set up a tent properly.
Setting up a tent can become a difficult and time-consuming task you cannot find the right spot on which to pitch the tent and how to take care of it afterward.
Lay the Tarp
Before you put up your tent, lay a tarp down. It is imperative to place a barrier between the bottom of the tent and the ground to protect is from accumulating moisture.
Most good quality tents feature a vinyl or plastic tarp for this purpose. Lay down the tarp, folding it according to the shape of the tent but slightly smaller.
Do not let the tarp hang out beyond the end of the tent otherwise, it will collect water in case it rains. If the tarp is much bigger, fold up the edges and tuck it underneath the tent.
Lay Your Parts Out
Tents are made using several components including, stakes and poles in addition to all the fabric. In fact, some army-style tents also feature additional cloth coverings and complicated poles.
Set aside all the components so that you have a better chance of following all the instructions carefully.
Lay the Tent on the Tarp
Identify the bottom of the tent and lay it onto the tarp. Position the doors and windows according to the direction you would like them to face.
Connect Tent Poles
Depending on the type of tent you have purchased, start connecting the tent poles. They may be numbered or connected using bungee ropes, depending on the particular type of tent.
Connect the tent poles together and then lay it across the flat tent.
Insert the Poles
This is perhaps the most crucial yet challenging step. Insert the tent poles into the respective flaps. Most tents feature two tent poles that interconnect to form an X that serves as the basic frame of the tent.
To fit it inside, you have to insert the end of the pole into each corner via the eyelet and then slide the pole through the small flaps.
It is recommended you read the manufacturer’s guidelines on how to insert the poles properly as all tents feature a unique design from the other.
Assemble the Tent
You might need the help of a friend for this step, as it requires some coordination. Once you have fit both the poles, they will bend accordingly.
It is now time for you to straighten up the tent and turn it something that resembles a small shelter. Some tents may require a bit of coaxing hence you may have to pull the corners apart to ensure tent poles are secure and untangled.
Additionally, depending on how big your tent is, you may find plastic hooks attached to the chords, which are crucial parts of the construction.
Stake the Tent
Now that the tent is in place, it is now time to stake it to the ground. Use the metal stakes to fit it through the flaps on the ground at the corners. Now, push the stakes in place.
If you are setting up your tent on rocky terrain, you might have to use a hard object or a hammer to push the stake into the ground.
Poor-quality stakes are quite easy to bend so do not apply too much pressure or else it could break or get damaged.
Add the Rainfly
A rainfly is a waterproof cover that is designed to protect the roof of your tent in case of rain. Since you can never really predict the weather, it is imperative you are prepared for unexpected rain.
Some rain flies feature tent poles and are more complicated to set than others hence read the instructions before you get started.
A rainfly comes separately and is available in two designs. A camper can either opt for a roof-only rainfly that offers fair rain protection or opt for a full-coverage rainfly.
Full-coverage rain flies offer campers maximum protection from heavy rain and wind. If you are camping with kids, give them simple tasks and involve them in the process.
You can do so by letting them handle the tent poles or hold the pegs. If they are too young to perform any of those tasks, simply talk to them through the process so that they feel involved.
This will most likely prevent them from complaining and will keep them busy. It’s a win-win.
Tips For Setting Up A Large Tent Before You Go Camping
Setting up a huge tent can be quite challenging especially if it is your first time. A lot of first-time campers get intimidated by their surroundings when they reach the campsite.
This prevents them from setting up the tent correctly. Not to mention that things can get worse if you are camping on your own. Here are some useful tips you should keep in mind before you go camping.
Make Sure you have Everything You Need
You do not want to drive halfway across town only to realize that you are missing an important part of the tent. Ensure you have everything you need to set up a tent properly. This includes:
- Tent Poles
- Tent Body (The main structure)
- Tent Pegs
- Tent Fly
Additionally, inspect that all the parts are in good working order and are not broken. Some campers make the mistake of opening their brand new tent only the day of their trip to find out that one of the crucial parts is either missing or broken.
Invest in Other Items if Necessary
Setting up a tent can become a whole lot easier if you have everything you need. For greater ease, invest in a mallet for hammering tent pegs into the ground.
You can also purchase a designated tent peg mallet online. The accessory normally includes a peg remover that makes it easier to disassemble the tent.
As an added tip, also carry a hand-held brush with you. Hand-held brushes are ideal for brushing down the tent or sweeping them out. You may also use it to brush down the tarp at the end of the break.
Label the Poles
This is a very handy tip that can drastically improve your camping experience and help you avoid confusion. Some tents accompany tent poles of different lengths and sizes.
When the poles are all jumbled up, you might find it difficult to differentiate among them. This makes setting up the tent a time consuming and difficult process.
To save time and effort, label the tent poles or place a tape of the same color on tents that are of the same length.
This will not only help you become more organized but will also help you become more efficient.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice makes perfect and there is no better place to practice than in the comfort of your own home.
First time campers may get intimidated by their surrounding environment outside hence, it is best you practice setting up the tent away from prying eyes. You are bound to perform better and do well in a comfortable environment.
Take your time and do not be afraid of making mistakes. If you need some help, call up a friend who is an avid camper to help you out. You can always treat them to lunch later.
Keep these handy tips in mind the next time you go camping with your friends and family.
The perfect tent is somewhere out there so do not hesitate to look for it.
The right-sized tent can make a notable difference to your camping experience.