Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Features Of A Great Family Tent

Family tents are large, so they take
 a bit of effort to pack up.
Source: Flickr
 Camping has been known to be an excellent way of getting out of your home and doing stuff that you wouldn't do normally. Getting out there will inspire you to do things you wouldn't try otherwise, which will fill you up with energy and give you the vitality needed to live a great and healthy life.

Well, the thing is that camping is not an activity that lasts for only a few hours, it takes at least a few days. You will need a shelter to spend your nights in. The best kinds of shelters are tents in my opinion. Some people prefer to stay in RVs, but I would rather be closer to mother nature, and experience it as much as I can. Sleeping in an RV diminishes the camping experience in my opinion. 

 Good family tents need to have at least one window or a part of the wall of the tent that is made of mesh. This will enable you to look out of the tent. This is a must if you want to experience nature, and see what is going on outside the tent. The mesh wall allows the air to change between the inside and the outside of the tent. 

 The bigger the door of the tent, the more ventilation it provides if you leave it open. It will be easier to get in and out of the tent, and you will be able to put bigger items into the tent. Many people like to sleep on queen-sized air mattresses, these are quite big and you need big doors to put them into the tent. Some tents are so big that you can put a bicycle into it, so it is safer and it won't get stolen during the night.

 The tent also needs to have some kind of front screen area. This can be a porch, which is basically an area that has the rainfly extending over it. You can set up a table and a few chairs and throw a little party in areas like this. 

 Some tents have a screen room. This is basically a huge vestibule for your tent, it has walls covering it from the sides and the top, while it has no floor, so basically you can't sleep in such an area, but you can easily use it for cooking or storing your gear. As I have said it, a screen room is a family tent version of a vestibule. 

 If you are looking to purchase a family tent, you only need to think about what you want from that tent in order to make a great purchase. It is best to take a look at the tent before you buy it, so if you have the chance to try it out or set it up, definitely do so. But if you just think of what you are looking for in a family tent, and you follow the points above, you can not go wrong.

How to Waterproof A Tent

Waterproof Tents
Source: Flickr
 A waterproof tent can be an integral part of your strategy for staying dry during your backpacking trip. First of all you need to have waterproof clothes, like a raincoat or a waterproof poncho. You obviously can't use an umbrella on your backpacking trip because it would get stuck in the branches of trees, and your hand would get exhausted if you had to hold it up for hours.

 A waterproof tent is a great way to provide yourself with a waterproof shelter. A tent is usually easy and quick to set up, and there are very comfortable models out there. The best ones are are pretty light as well, so you will have no problems with carrying it with you to your destination. It gets even easier if you backpack with your friend or spouse, because then you can share the weight with him or her.

 Unfortunately the waterproof coating will peel off the tent through time. As the fabric hits your backpack, the tent carry bag and you bump into it time after time, you will need to reapply the waterproof layer, the coating to the tent. You can buy waterproof sprays and coating materials cheaply through amazon or other online shops. My favorite is the Nikwax water repellent spray. This spray is very cheap, it is easy to apply.

 First of all, you need to set up your tent. You should set it up outdoors, or in an area with great ventilation. Waterproof sprays are poisonous to inhale, so make sure that you are not applying it in a closed room. Get a soft piece of rug or clothing, and wash the tent. Don't use soaps or any artificial material, these can damage the material of the tent, and poison the soil and the natural water supplies. Just get the cloth wet, and wash the wall of the tent. Wait for it to dry up again.

Nikwax waterproofing spray
Source: Flickr
 Soak the wall of the tent in the waterproofing spray, Nikwax if you choose to use that. When it is completely covered - don't leave out any spots - then grab your cloth and apply the liquid to every part of the tent. Leave the tent there for thirty minutes, so that is gets dry again. Don't leave your tent in the sun, because the UV lights can damage the material of the tent. I know, it is quite remarkable how many things can damage your tent. Leave your tent to dry in the shades.

 After the outside of the tent is waterproof again, you need to apply the coating to the inside of the tent. Your cloth will be soaked with Nikwax if you have soaked the outside wall with it enough, and you have applied enough liquid to the wall. Grab your cloth, and apply the liquid on it to the inside of the tent. Then you just have to leave it to dry. You should maximize the ventilation inside the tent so remove all rainflys, covers, open all the doors and windows. Just to be on the safe side you can hold another piece of cloth to your mouth to make sure that you don't inhale the spray.

I hope you see that it is easy to apply a waterproof spray and make your tent waterproof once again. The whole process can be done in an hour, and you will have a great new waterproof shelter at the end of it. I go through this process every once in a while, you should do it once a year ideally.

How To Stay Dry During A Backpacking Trip

 Rain can destroy your great time while you are backpacking. You are strolling around in the forest, you concentrate only on how great it is to be out there, how beautiful nature is and how awesome your life is. And then suddenly it starts raining and you are wet. You have no auxiliary clothes, so you are forced to carry on hiking in your wet, cold clothes. You are doomed. Suddenly you don't like backpacking that much.

 Don't worry, you can prevent this from happening to you. After all we are living in the twenty-first century, we have learned how to prevent getting wet. There are many ways to avoid this disaster, you can wear a raincoat, or if the weather permits you can wear swimming clothes that get dry quickly, or you can use a waterproof shelter that will defend you against the rain.

A waterproof tent.
Source: Wikipedia
 There are many different types of raincoats out there. The most important thing about them is that you need to choose one that fits you. I prefer to choose a poncho, as it can be used for many other things, for example you can use it as a tarp under your tent, it can give you shade, and you can even build a shelter out of it if you have a fishing line, and a few rocks. In order to build an ultralight shelter out of your tent you need to find a place that has no vegetation or stones, because that place is going to be where you will sit or lay down.

You need to find two trees that are a few meters apart from each other. You need to put up the fishing line and put up the poncho onto the line. After that you need to secure the corners of the poncho by putting stones on the corners of the poncho.

 A nice trick, or life hack if you will, is to wear a pair of swimming trousers. This can only be done if the temperature is hot enough of course, but if it is around 25-30 degrees, you should wear swimming trousers. This way you can be in comfortable clothes, and you can get dry again if you get wet in a quick summer shower. However don't wear swimming trousers if you have to hike in long grass, or areas full of bushes where ticks might live. The ticks will attach themselves to your legs, and start sucking out your blood, not a pleasant experience, not to mention that they might be infected with Lyme disease among others.

 Another great way to stay dry is to have a waterproof shelter. You can make such shelters out of branches, leaves and your own clothes, and there are many survival shows on television that show you how to do it. The easiest way - and the one for people like me, who are not great with their hands - is to have a waterproof tent. You can have a tarp or poncho as I have wrote above, and you can make an ultralight waterproof shelter. However a tent will be more comfortable, and a one or two person backpacking tent takes no more than ten minutes to set up even if you have no idea what you are doing. These tents are quite light to carry as well, so you won't consume much energy by transporting it to where you want to use it. You can just pop it up quickly if it starts raining, and you will be safe from the rain.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Different Tent Categories

 There are many different tents on the market, and it can be hard to find the ones that you need. Tents are divided into categories based on their use. The different tents are put into groups based on their intended use. These can differ based many different features. This article will give you a few ideas on how you could categorise tents and find the one that meets your needs the most.

 First of all tents can differ based on how many people can use them. The simple ones are the one people tents. These have space for only one person to sleep in them. These tents have relatively few features compared to a huge family tent, but they need to comply with a completely different set of needs. These tents are light, and very easy to set up. After all one person can’t carry much weight, and can’t set up the tent as easily as multiple people could.

A one person tent.
Source: Wikipedia
 The one person tents are usually used as backpacking tents, or ultralight shelters, some of them are four season tents. These tents are made for winter use, so they have durable, heavy skeletons that can withstand the snow. These models are naturally heavier as the wall of a normal one person tent would crumble under the weight of the snow.

 One person tents need to have a vestibule. A vestibule is a space that is covered by the rainfly, which creates a little space outside the tent, in front of the door. It is a must to have in a tent, because it gives you extra space for storing your gear.

 Two person tents have more space obviously, but they have similar features as a one person tent. The really good two person tents have multiple doors, multiple vestibules and ideally at least two internal pockets. The pockets are ideal for storing little objects that might come handy when you wake up from your sleep. Such equipment can be a lighter, a flashlight or a bottle of water.

 The more people the tent intends to host, the more durable it has to be. The more people use the tent, the more damage will happen to it, and the more it will have to endure. This is why it is crucial to have a tent that is made of durable material.

Different kinds of tents.
Source: Wikipedia
 The most durable material they use for making a tent is silinylon, a material that is basically nylon that is coated with silicone. This material is waterproof, and less prone to tearing as the silicone coating makes it more durable.

 As a rule of thumb it is good to choose a tent that is advertised for more people than you would like take on a camping trip. So for example if you are taking your spouse and two children camping, you should choose a six person tent if you want to make sure that you will have a tent big enough.

Basically tents came in all shapes and sizes, but they can be divided into different categories based on the number of people that can sleep in them, and the situation they are most useful for.