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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45
votes
12answers
23k 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 ...
35
votes
8answers
7k 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 ...
29
votes
8answers
9k 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 ...
24
votes
7answers
6k 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 ...
24
votes
5answers
5k views

Do tent colors have functional purposes?

I'm shopping for a new tent and considering a model that comes in two different colors-- bright orange and dark green. Purely-aesthetic preferences aside (ie, like orange more than green), are there ...
24
votes
2answers
22k 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 ...
22
votes
3answers
4k views

Does touching the tent outer wall from the inside make it leak?

This question about how not to make anything touch the outer wall of the tent implies that doing so lets the outer tent leak water through. I never head this problem with my vango mirage tent during a ...
21
votes
8answers
25k views

How To Quickly Warm A Tent

Some background links to Aravona's question here. Basically I am her other half and over the course of the night the tent was opened many times. As people will know opening a tent in the wee hours of ...
20
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
621 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
19
votes
8answers
9k views

Why do people who backpack sleep in tents instead of tarps?

I know that this has been debated for some time (whether it is better to sleep in a tent or a tarp) but recently this debate came up between my friends and me, and I am just feeling out this possible ...
19
votes
5answers
10k 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
516 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
22k 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 ...
15
votes
9answers
2k views

Considerations for older campers?

I grew up car camping with my parents several times a year, but as they've gotten older (early 60s), they basically stopped camping. Recently, they've expressed interest in camping again but I'm ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I test out my equipment before a backpacking trip?

I'm in the slow process of acquiring all of the gear I think I will need to do a week-long backpacking trip somewhere in the Midwest. Many of the more experienced backpackers I've spoken with or read ...
14
votes
3answers
485 views

Stuff or roll a tent for storage?

When packing a tent, is it best to stuff it in its sack or roll/fold it? I always stuff my sleeping bag so I wasn't sure if it was the same for tents.
14
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
17k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
452 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 that it is still in good condition when I use it again?
14
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k 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)? ...
13
votes
2answers
376 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k 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?
12
votes
4answers
698 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?
12
votes
3answers
223 views

Tent inside of a tent- any improvement in warmth?

I know that a pocket of still air is an excellent insulator. Would placing a tent inside of another tent provide any substantive benefits to warmth? For a concrete example, consider placing a small ...
11
votes
1answer
544 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
167 views

Roof-top tents vs conventional tents?

I have noticed a slow but steady rise in the number of campers using roof-top tents like these and those, among many others. What are the advantages and disadvantages of these over conventional ...
10
votes
3answers
1k 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
873 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

How to straighten a bent tent pole

During a storm one of my tent poles that used to be straight, became bent. Is there a way to straighten the pole again? Or is it a bad idea to try straightening the pole because is would likely snap ...
10
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
3k 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, ...
10
votes
2answers
214 views

Is a mountaineering tent necessary for backpacking Iceland?

I need a tent that will work in snow, sand storms, lots of wind, rain and sun(UV). Temperatures I'm expecting are -2C at night to 15C during the day. I will be backpacking, so the tent's weight should ...
10
votes
1answer
199 views

What features should I consider when evaluating a hammock-tent hybrid?

I have seen a number of hammock posts which replace the traditional tent structure by incorporating a waterproof bivi as top cover. Have any Outdoors.SE used a system of that description and can ...
9
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
441 views

Tent floor length relative to height

What is a good rule of thumb for tent floor length relative to height? I'm tall and looking for a backpacking tent. How many inches more than my height should I look for in the floor?
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Dealing With Sap On A Tent

Basically as the title states. I placed my tent under a tree at the weekend to give a bit of respite against the torrential rain while setting it up. Said rain has mixed with sap laden leaves (which I ...
8
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
236 views

What are the criteria for tent for one person

I consider buying my first tent. I do night-day hiking (once in several months). I am still a newbie. I have very hard choice: either to buy 1-person tent or to buy 2-person tent. Currently prices ...
8
votes
3answers
6k 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
2answers
350 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
788 views

Theft and tent camping [closed]

I used to go tent-trailer camping as a kid ('60s and '70s, west coast US and Canada) and don't recall worrying about people going into our campground and stealing things. Now I'm thinking about ...