How to choose a tent part 1

How to choose a tent

eureka! 6 person tent

When you decide on what tent to buy there are numerous things you need to consider such as how much space you need and what type of environment will you be camping in.

When manufacturers classify a tent they use minimal space per person to derive at how many people the tent is rated for. The space they use is usually around 16 square foot per person which leaves very little moving around room. I like to figure for extra space so if your family size is 4 people then I would use a 6 person or larger tent so that you have plenty of room to move around and also one with enough height to stand in. Even this needs to be adjusted depending of ages and sizes of everyone that will be sleeping in it. Do not go too small or you will not enjoy the camping experience.

Always go larger if you have small children since they will be growing, but if you have kids approaching 12 then they will be wanting their own tent soon and not have to share space with mom, dad, and younger siblings. Another thing to consider is weather. All snuggled up together might be fun if you have a quick rain shower but what if it’s going to last half the day or longer. All that togetherness will get on your nerves before long and you might begin wondering about how nice it would be to have a smaller family. Not only is the tent your shelter but also a place to spend quality time with your kids in the evenings with protection from all the flying insects. Large vestibules or screen rooms are great for setting up a small table to play cards and other games on in the evenings.

I prefer a tent either with a large vestibule area or a screen room so that I can sit out there behind a bug protected screen and enjoy the evening.

So let’s think about some things you need to consider.

You want to make sure it is large enough. Is there room to stand so that you don’t have to stoop over to change your clothes? Remember don’t go with the manufacturers recommendations unless you want to be cramped up and not enjoy the experience.

I suggest at least a 3 season tent because even in summer or late fall you can get those cold mornings. What if you find a campground in higher elevations, even during the summer you will experience chilly mornings.

How easy is it to set up? You don’t want to spend half your first day setting your tent up. Make sure you know how to set it up before you get to the camp site so you don’t embarrass yourself around your neighbors.

Make sure all the seams are good reinforced seams so that they don’t leak. Many tents have bathtub style floors which is helpful in preventing leaks during hard rains where the water might flood in. If your stuck in the tent during rainy weather make sure the walls are ventilated and breathable.

How durable is the tent? How long will you need it to last or are you planning on getting a new one every few years? If you use it a lot then the foot traffic will eventually take its toll. Something called a footprint is available and can help to make the tent floor last and is cut to the tents dimensions. If you don’t want to invest in a footprint then put a tarp down under the tent floor. Get a tent with aluminum poles, they are more expensive but are stronger and longer lasting.

This is one of our favorite tents : Eureka Copper canyon family tent , have served us well in most of our outdoor adventures 🙂


Cooking While Camping Involves Planning

Cooking While Camping Involves Planning

Don’t find yourself away in the middle of nowhere and discover that you’re missing that pot or large mixing spoon that you need to prepare dinner is lying back on your kitchen counter. Planning alleviates a lot of stress that might ruin you camping adventure. Make a checklist of what you need to bring and keep it where you can review it before you leave the house.
Equipment supplies
Always pack matches and lighter fluid, these are essential for cooking weather it is to light the gas stove or start the campfire. I prefer to only camp at sites that have water and electricity so I take my gas stove and electric hot plate but still I need the matches because the grand kids love the campfire at night for marshmallows. You will need some pots and pans and a good heavy duty cast iron Dutch oven to use for roasting and a wire rack that fits in the bottom of the Dutch oven to keep what you are roasting from the direct heat. To help in cleaning take heavy duty foil with you which is also great for wrapping food in and placing on a campfire like the Boy Scouts do. If you wish to cook over a campfire then take a portable grate with you. If you use the campfire to cook then some long handled tongs are a must.
Checklist (some ideas but by all means not inclusive)
Gas stove and grill or griddle
• Several pots and pans and what I find is essential is a heavy cast iron Dutch Oven
• Long handled utensils for stirring
• Pot Holders
• Heavy Duty Aluminum foil – a must
• Coolers – at least two so that you can use one for items that you use frequently
• Eating utensils and plates preferably disposable
• Soap for washing cookware
• Paper Towels
• Can opener
• Good size tub for dish washing
• Skewers
• 5 Gallons of freshwater

Note: Most of the stuff we have come from Ozark Trail Outdoor equipment . They are inexpensive and durable. Coleman is also a very good brand which manufactures nice outdoor equipment.

Planning the Meals
Always plan you meals out before you leave home so that you have all the spices and ingredients for your meals. Places are limited around most parks that will have whatever you forget and you sure don’t want to have to improvise your menu at the last minute. Anything you can make ahead of time and freeze do so as this will keep it longer and also double as ice to keep other items cool. Use block ice as it will last longer and if you find dry ice, make sure the younger kids stay out of the cooler because it will burn if it is touched. Another thing you can do is fill old milk jugs or your empty two liter bottles with water and freeze them instead of buying ice. Take several coolers with you and use one for drinks and frequently used items so that the one you store your menu items in can remain closed and have the foods last longer. As many items as you can prepare ahead of time such as chopped vegetables do so and keep in zip lock bags.

Places where you can read and buy these outdoor stuff


ozark trail tents 


Which camping gear to take in a hike?


If you are planning a camping trip you might want to think about your packing carefully. The last thing you want to do is pack to much because remember that you will have to carry your equipment all the way. The best thing to do for your expedition camping gear is to go lightweight, it will be lighter to transport and if you plan it well you can easily bring everything you need to accommodate your needs.

The most important part of your packing is to make sure everything you need is in a good and working condition. Before packing you should lay out all your equipment so you can see everything you are bringing with you on your expedition. First make sure everything is ok, second ask yourself if you are really going to use that item. Do this for every piece of equipment in your expedition camping gear. If you don’t think you are going to use it…then leave it.

Typically, expeditions are the  longer hikes , with some going for  three weeks or longer being prepared for most contingencies as well as packing light to be feeling comfy can be a big challenge. The idea here is not just to pack only the light items, but also to pack the items you will really need.

Finding a light weight family camping tent is also necessary, if you are planning on a family camping trip . Look for a tent made just for hiking and backpacking, so they will be easy to transport.

Leave Unnecessary Weight Behind

Before you start replacing all the things in your pack with lightweight items, go through your expedition camping gear and sort out anything you will not really use. If this is your first trip, it can be difficult but if you have been hiking before you know the odds of needing a particular item. If you have not used it the last two times out, you do not need it adding to the weight of your expedition camping gear.

For example, when packing no one considers putting firewood in their pack, knowing they can find that along the trail. While water is really  necessary, think about what is easier to carry heavy liters of water jugs , or water purification tablets? By looking at your camping gear with this type of same questions, you can separate” nice to have” items   from the “really needed” items and lighten your carry load.

If you are interested in making expeditions, you will soon find out that it is not about bringing tons of equipment just for your comfort but rather surviving and doing well with only the essential expedition camping gears for your survival.