Tent Guide

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tent A guide to selecting and pitching your tent?

Tents come mostly in sizes depending on the amount on men they sleep (1 man, 2 man etc..) When buying a tent you need to take into account that you need enough space for your bags and equipment aswell, but if you have too much space you won't conserve each others body heat if it gets cold. Its a good idea to always add an extra person when you buy a tent, so if there is 2 of you then buy a 3 man tent,3 of you then buy a 4 or even 5 man tent depending on your size and so on. 
THE BIGGER THE TENT THE HEAVIER IT IS! Think of this when buying as most festivals have a long walk from the car park to the camp site and in some cases a luggage trolley can be handy.
If there is a group of you it can be quite nice to have individual tents so you can form a circle and have a fire or seating area in the middle, a marquis doubles up as extra cover from the rain and a good little storage area. If a group of you decide to buy a big tent then think of one with separate rooms as they often have a reception area in the middle for storage and shelter for eating and changing.
Remember the taller you are the more leg room you will need and unless you want to hang your feet out the door then i suggest having a tent to yourself as this will allow you to lay diagonally and be more comfortable. 
Think of the area when erecting the tent, a nice dry flat surface is always best so be tactful when looking for a pitch and try to avoid getting to close to the pathways as these always get wet and muddy. Self erecting tents can be a lot quicker and easier but these are more common in smaller sizes. Most tents suffer from condensation in the morning but to try and stop this ensure that the outer lining is pulled tight to keep a gap between the inner and outer wall, make sure the vents are open, you will always suffer from a little condensation but its easily removed by airing the tent in the morning.
Check list :
  • TENT!!
  • wooden mallet
  • pegs
  • string lines
  • water proofer (quite often new or used tents may need this as extra protection)
  • torch (if you turn up at night then you are in trouble without it)
  • pillow
  • sleeping bag (although duvet is much warmer)
When you've have finished using your tent and decide to take it home is always a good idea to air it out and dry it of, this is usually easier when you get home, otherwise the tent will more than likely rot and be a great nesting place for mice and insects! If like some of us you cant be bothered to carry it back to the car do not burn the tent, this is very dangerous and frowned upon, if you leave it on site it will most likely be packed away and given to a charity or a recycling scheme that most festivals have set up. HAPPY CAMPING!!

Published on 06 February 2011 by Wayne Feltham

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