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A Guide To Backpacking Tents: How To Choose The Best Tent For You


In this 5-part guide, I'm going to discuss all the important things you must know about backpacking tents. Don't worry, I've kept this brief so you can get all the important information quickly.

Most backpackers consider a tent essential gear, but you should realize there are in fact some good reasons NOT to have one. You'll save weight, time, energy, money. If that's not enough, have you ever slept under an open night sky? It's awe-inspiring and connects you with the natural world like few things can.

As attractive that may sound, a good tent can be crucial for protection from rain, snow, wind and relentless biting insects. The inside of an enclosed tent can be up to 20 degrees warmer than the outside air (10 - 15 degrees is common), which is important for cold weather trips. It's also true that sleeping in an enclosed space makes most people feel "safe", even if it's mostly psychological. With a tent, you have the choice %uFFFD you can always sleep under the stars if you feel the urge.

With that said, let's jump into the specifics of picking a good, quality backpacking tent that will serve you for many years.

Here are some important considerations:
  • Intended use: where and in what season?
  • Structure/features: freestanding versus stakes, vestibule, double or single-wall construction
  • Capacity: how many people and how much gear do you need to fit inside?
  • Weight: your tent should be as light as possible while still meeting your purpose, capacity, structure and cost requirements
  • Price

Although you are certainly free to jump to different sections, I highly recommend you read this guide in sequence.

Next: Backpacking Tents Part 2: Intended Use

Part 1: Backpacking Tents Intro | Part 2: Intended Use | Part 3: Important Features | Part 4: Capacity and Weight | Part 5: Conclusion

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