Questions about the use, selection, and care of portable shelters consisting of poles for support and some form of fabric to protect from the elements.

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27
votes
7answers
8k views

How to deal with condensation in a tent?

I often camp in rainy or very humid weather, and I often have condensation forming inside my tent. What can I do to minimize this? My tent has vents, but I’m not sure how to make the best use of ...
25
votes
8answers
2k views

What are the downsides to sleeping in a hammock on a multi-day hike?

I've read that hammocks are a very light way to travel through the wilderness. You just need the hammock, a cover, and a light sleeping bag, but there must be disadvantages compared to taking a tent ...
22
votes
7answers
3k views

Pitching a tent in the rain?

So I've had the complete and utter luck of never having had to pitch my tent in the rain. However, with needing to pitch it this weekend and the high probability of rain and potential thunderstorms ...
17
votes
1answer
333 views

Why tunnel tents for the poles, Geodesic for the mountains?

I've noticed that polar expeditions seem to favour tunnel tents, and mountaineering expeditions prefer geodesic designs. Is there a reason why one design fares better than the other in its preferred ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

Can/Should I cook in my tent?

When camping in bad weather I'm always asking myself if it is a good idea to cook in my tent with a gas cooker. Obviously there is the danger of fire. But how dangerous is this really? Can you easily ...
16
votes
1answer
6k views

What's the difference between a 2, 3, 4, and 5 season tent?

I'm looking to buy a new trekking tent, a good quality one, e.g. Hilleberg, Fjällräven, Vaude, etc. At Vaude they categorise tents in 2, 3, 4, or 5-season. What's the difference between a 4- and a ...
15
votes
2answers
299 views

What is the proper tension for a tent line

When setting up a tent and staking it out, what is the proper tension for the lines? I generally just make them arbitrarily tight, but have no idea how that would perform in high wind or other ...
13
votes
2answers
488 views

Is my tent pole a lightning rod?

I have used the Mega Mid tent almost exclusively for hundreds of nights out over the last many years. It's versatile, well ventilated, light... but has this pole sticking straight up the middle. Is ...
13
votes
3answers
234 views

To stuff or not to stuff (the rain-fly of a tent)

I have friends who say stuffing your rainfly prolongs the life of the tent, because folding waterproof material over and over is going to make it leak. I have other friends who say folding and rolling ...
13
votes
1answer
283 views

Does any tent manufacturer promise to have replacement parts?

A few years ago I got a 2-person tent for backpacking. At some point, I let the rain fly get too hot. It became sticky and its waterproof coating peeled. I tried to buy a replacement rain fly, but ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Best way to illuminate a tent?

Usually when I require light inside the tent I just prop a torch (flashlight) up somewhere, if it's bright enough then up at the roof of the tent the reflected light gives a nice ambient glow. Has ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Tent placement?

Having found the general area in which to camp, what should I look for when choosing the exact location for my tent? I'm thinking specifically about conditions along the east coast and great dividing ...
12
votes
3answers
11k views

How do I use these “guy line runners” to adjust the tension on my tent's lines?

I was given my current tent and I have to admit to being pretty ignorant of tents, having not done much camping since I was a kid some decades ago. Now when it came time to use the guy ropes I ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Will a tent provide some protection from bears?

When camping in a bear country, will a tent provide an additional protection from bears, as opposed to just sleeping outside or in a hammock? Provided I take the usual precautions of keeping any ...
11
votes
2answers
731 views

What is the difference between single and double wall tents?

Tents are described being either single or double wall. What is the difference and when is one preferred over the other?
11
votes
3answers
4k views

How do you remove mold from a tent?

Of course, the best way is to prevent mold on a tent from occurring by airing, cleaning and storing it appropriately. When doing this I've never had any issues. However, there may well be cases where ...
11
votes
2answers
213 views

What should I look for if I want to buy a winter-proofed tent?

I really like to go snowshoeing during the winter. I'm going up to 3500 meters and when I'm doing long tours I would really enjoy to try out winter camping in very remote areas. Is it a good idea to ...
10
votes
3answers
511 views

What is the true risk of suffocation from different combustion sources in a tent? (CO2, CO)

Aside from risk of fire (which for this question we will assume has been fully mitigated) what is the real risk of suffocation if one were to use a stove, lantern, or candle lantern in a tent? There ...
10
votes
4answers
341 views

Is it worth buying a footprint?

I recently bought a new tent, is it worth the extra $40 to purchase a footprint for it as well? Or are there alternatives that can be found on the trail or even made at home?
10
votes
2answers
275 views

What is the best way to store my tent?

How can I store my tent when I'm not using it for months at a time, so it is still in good condition when I use it again?
10
votes
1answer
990 views

Tent floor waterproof rating

I'm currently looking to buy a new tent. The old one had a floor that was said to withstand a hydrostatic head of 10000 mm, but the tents I find in the stores here go to at most 3000 mm for the floor, ...
9
votes
4answers
186 views

How do I determine if a tent can handle strong wind?

I'm considering to buy a light-weight backpacking tent. My current tent (Hilleberg Staika) is very solid, but also quite heavy (4 kg). I'm looking at various Big Agnes tent models, such as the ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What is a freestanding tent and why should I want one?

What is a free-standing tent? What are the advantages of a free-standing tent as opposed to a tent that isn't, and what are the disadvantages? See also: What is a self erecting tent and why should I ...
8
votes
4answers
417 views

Is it normal for a double skin popup tent to leak in slight rain?

About a year ago I was given a three person dual skin popup tent. Almost new but possibly a factory second. (It's made by "Vango" and I think it could be a "reject" because one of the four guy ropes ...
8
votes
1answer
92 views

How can I make Tyvek less noisy?

So I've made myself a handy dandy tent footprint out of Tyvek. It's durable, packs easy, cheap to replace.... and NOISY. My entire camping group has complained that it wakes them up when I roll over ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What mosquito nets can be used while camping?

When camping in areas where mosquito-borne diseases are endemic, what options are there in terms of mosquito nets? The mosquito nets I've seen are meant to be hung above a bed and tucked under the ...
8
votes
3answers
802 views

How to find new poles for old tent?

I have a nice and small tent I really like that is around 30 years old. It is from Sierra West, but I don't remember the model name. Here is a picture so that you can see the size and general ...
7
votes
3answers
200 views

Why shouldn't I buy an ultra light tent?

I have a workhorse of a tent, an Alpine Meadows, (described in this answer) that I really like. We bought it 30 years ago, and at first we just had way more stuff than we should, and eventually we had ...
7
votes
4answers
522 views

What should I replace guylines with?

I need to replace some guylines on one of my tents. I normally use some paracord lying around but they have been getting tripped over more and more. I found some glow in the dark paracord, but before ...
7
votes
3answers
529 views

How to set up a tent in deep snow

How should I set up a two-layer dome tent for 2/4 people in deep snow (waist height)? Do I need some additional equipment (snow shovel)? Insulation under the floor (further than the sleeping pads)? ...
7
votes
2answers
718 views

In what conditions is a four-season tent needed?

Growing up hiking the southern Appalachians, I've never actually needed a four season tent. However we are starting to look at hikes around the country where the temperatures and conditions get worse ...
7
votes
1answer
68 views

Would 4mil polyethylene plastic make a good tarp tent? Clear Plastic Tarp?

For example the plastic that one can attain from most hardware stores. The heavier plastics that are less prone to tearing, and mainly used for construction. (like here) What are some of pros and ...
7
votes
2answers
263 views

How do I reseal a tent bottom with many pinprick holes

Our tent pan has a LOT of very tiny holes in it. We've never had to use a footprint, and our tent has always kept water out, but that is no longer the case. I don't want to carry a footprint due to ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Do you footprint the inside of your tent, outside, or both?

I've always footprinted outside of my tent but found water inside my tent after really heavy rainfall. This has led me to wonder whether an additional liner inside of the tent would serve useful as a ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Dome tents vs popup tents, are there any inherent pros or cons besides price and ease?

I was lucky enough to be given an almost new double skin popup tent. Where I'm camping right now it's got windy a couple of times and rainy a couple of times. A friend of mine who is camping in his ...
6
votes
1answer
120 views

How can I 'inflate' or plump up my my sleeping bag?

I have a very nice sleeping bag which has been kept stuffed as compressed as possible in a backpack for a couple of months. After reading about the negative effects of such actions, I was wondering if ...
6
votes
2answers
353 views

Big group/basecamp tent

I want to buy a large group tent. I want it to be our communal cooking/dining tent. I'm look at things like the Mountain Hardware Yurtini or Space Station but it won't be used at altitude (so the ...
5
votes
3answers
217 views

Large Tents and Traditional Campsites

I am going to be relocating to the Colorado desert for a long-term research project and need a portable shelter. The only one I've found so far that will conform to my needs in the turtle tuff shelter ...
5
votes
3answers
88 views

Comparing 2-person, three-season backpacking tents

I'm looking for a good starter tent for my wife and I. We primarily do light backpacking (anywhere from 3-5 day trips in summer/fall) and would like a tent that balances comfort, weight, and space. ...
5
votes
2answers
582 views

How often should I waterproof a tent?

Currently I waterproof my tents at minimum once a year and often times 2 or 3 times a year. Other than condensation I don't usually have too much of a problem. On the other hand I live and often camp ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I make a footprint?

I recently got a Marmot Aeros 3P for Christmas, but haven't been able to find anyone currently selling the footprint that goes with it. So how could I go about making one?
5
votes
3answers
213 views

How water proof are these kinds of tents?

I have been living in the US for some time and I was surprised to see that these kinds of tents are pretty common now I was skeptical about the effectiveness of this "partial" rain fly in case of ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is a self erecting tent and why should I want one?

What is a self erecting tent? What are the advantages of a self erecting tent as opposed to a tent that isn't, and what are the disadvantages?
5
votes
2answers
191 views

Do I need to worry about snow covering up my tent?

I have a two-layer dome tent, cheap and not particularly designed for winter. Do I need to ever worry that during a heavy snow downfall during the night that tent might be covered up with snow and I ...
5
votes
1answer
339 views

What can I use an old tent for?

Similar to the question about old ropes. I have an old plastic tent. It is for 3 persons, but is heavy and now not waterproof anymore, with some damage to the small room around the door. How can I ...
5
votes
1answer
65 views

Any ideas about long-term camping in a 16x16 foot yurt?

My husband and I will be retiring soon and will spend 5 months of the year in a bricks and mortar house. The other 7 months, we'll be gypsying. We don't want to deal with the complexities and ...
5
votes
1answer
297 views

Repairing a North Face Tent rain cover

I have bought a North Face RoadRunner 3 tent 10 years ago. It is a great tent, and it served me well during a 9-month trip to South America. The problem is that the transparent part of the rain ...
4
votes
2answers
502 views

Canvas vs Nylon Tent for Car Camping

I'm looking for some input to determine which type to camping tent I should purchase specifically for car camping. I really like canvas tents as many of their features are very appealing but I know ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

Are there 1-person 4-season tents?

I'll be camping in Scandinavia during the winter, but I can't find any 1-person 4-season tents on REI or similar sites. Do these things exist? Could it be that I can't find them because it's highly ...
3
votes
3answers
260 views

Is a tarp necessary if you have a tent with a rainfly and a footprint?

My tent has a rainfly, but I'm wondering if I need to carry a tarp for the extra rain protection. I don't want to pack a wet tent because that would damage the fabric, but I don't know if that is ...