Hot answers tagged

38

Absolutely not! Fire is the obvious risk, but carbon monoxide poisoning should be taken seriously as well. If the weather is bad, at the very least cook under the vestibule with maximum ventilation. Others have brought up a great point about bear country. It's recommended to cook and eat at least 100 yards away from your camp site when there may be bears ...


35

If you want to reduce your visual impact on the environment, choose a tent with colors that match the landscape you're going to camp in. Green in forest or other vegetated areas, brown for the desert, white for winter camping. However, if you are in trouble and want to be found, it helps to have a very bright tent that stands out. A tent you can see from ...


29

Outside more room left inside for other stuff. More likely to rip a hole in your gear when you toss your pack down. More options for weight placement (which can lead to off-blanced pack.) More likely to fall off. Inside Better protection from the elements, rocks, branches. Weight is closer to your center of gravity (and usually better balanced). ...


27

If it's raining or very humid you are probably going to have to put up with some condensation, but to try and reduce it, look for ways to minimise water vapour and increase ventilation. The following may help, but obviously not all will be appropriate for the conditions you are camping in. Sources of water vapour: Combustion of fuel in a stove and steam ...


26

I've been a hammock backpacker for about three and a half years now. I love it. There's not a better way to backpack in the summer in my opinion. But despite numerous advantages to hammocking, there are some downsides (tradeoffs): The biggest potential downside, as others have mentioned, is heat loss from the underside of the hammock, something my friends ...


26

I think you pretty much covered it. Advantages of a tent: Keeps more rain/snow out (particularly if you have little skill in tent/tarp setup) Keeps out insects. For me, this is the big one - in spring time when the mosquitoes are fierce, being confined to your sleeping bag with a net over your face is not nearly as pleasant as lounging in your enclosed ...


22

Hammocks are cold. The weight of your body compresses the clothes or sleeping bag, and air circulates underneath you, as opposed to a tent where you usually have a pad and the ground for insulation. It seems like it would be tough to stay dry in the rain in a hammock. It's nice to have a tent to get into in the rain in between hiking/playing and sleeping if ...


22

The answers regarding flammability (and the ensuing death trap) and carbon monoxide poisoning are correct. Even in foul weather, cook outside your tent. If you do lots of camping in bad weather (New Zealand's West Coast?) get a tent with a vestibule. There is one additional problem: In bear country, you never want to cook too close to your tent, because if ...


20

I hadn't seen any of these but a quick Google does indeed seem to bring up a few! From a quick glance around, though this isn't an authoritative answer, it seems that 5 season tents are specifically designed for the harshness of Arctic-like climates, rather than a 4 season tent being designed more for your average winter in non-arctic conditions. I guess in ...


20

There are all kinds of people who put up the fly first, then crouch under it putting up the inside. It's generally a very unpleasant experience from all I have heard, what with the crouching, crawling, and being rained on at least while getting the fly up. I handle it completely differently, because I have a free standing tent. On arrival at a site the very ...


20

For tents that erect outer first, pitching in the rain is no different to any other time, just don't leave the dry inner out in the rain while putting the outer up. The outer will get wet on both sides anyway. To make this easier a bit of forward planning is useful, like pack the inner and outer separately so that you can just leave the inner in the car ...


19

The key advantage of a geodesic design is the pole configuration can support a greater static load. This means they are favoured for mountaineering expeditions because they can withstand a heavy snow fall (compared with a tunnel design that would sag with the weight of the snow between each pole). Tunnel tents are preferred for polar expeditions as they ...


19

Any pole will have a fractionally greater chance of attracting lightning than a piece of flat ground or a dome tent - but this doesn't mean the increased chance is that high. If you are in the middle of an entirely flat field and your tent pole is the highest object for miles, then it will be a slight risk, but some points to consider: If you are anywhere ...


18

No, a tent will not give you any protection from bears that want what's inside. If you want to use one thats fine, but don't go getting a false sense of security. In some ways a tent could be an attractant if: You have eaten anything in it over the last 6 months. You keep good smelling clothes in it (like the ones you wash in nice smelling detergent). ...


18

I suppose the two main factors are how comfortable the location is and how likely the location is to have problems should the weather play an influence. For comfort, the best location will be flat, free from bumps, and objects such as sharp rocks or sticks which can damage the groundsheet. Even with a decent sleeping pad or mattress, it isn't very nice when ...


18

If you are stealth camping, it helps to have a tent that blends in. If you are camping where there is hunting, it helps to have a tent with bright, high contrast so that you can be sure you are seen. Also (thanks to Ben Crowell for the comment) you may want tents that blend in for high traffic areas to disturb the scenery less. High contrast tents can be ...


17

Footprints: Zero? Sure. One? Good. Two? Nice. Three? Great. Four? Bomb-proof! My point is this: if you have a waterproof floor on your tent, you don't need any footprint. The trouble is, you are subjecting your tent floor to the abuses of rocks, sticks, sea-shells, brambles, or whatnot - meaning it will quickly get micro-tears and perforations. Enter ...


17

Basically you should never find yourself in such a situation under normal circumstances. Tents are supposed to keep you warm, and not the other way round. If you are doing that more often then I'd say you have the wrong gear being used at the wrong place. Yet, there may rise a situation when you need to do it, there are ways to do it, but honestly you'll ...


16

The difference between a single wall tent and a double wall tent is the rain fly (or lack thereof). A single wall tent has only one layer of fabric, this layer provides protection from the elements, and is the only walls of the tent. A double wall tent usually has a mesh inner tent with a fly that sits on top to protect you from the elements. The benefits ...


16

My own preferred method is to use a UCO candle lantern attached to the loop in the ceiling, it generates light that radiates outward, and also generates enough heat to make the tent enjoyable when you're settling in for the night. I combine the above with a headlamp for personal reading.


16

Why I use a tent in three easy-to-understand bullets Mosquitoes Ticks Mosquitoes Yes, I could carry netting, but at that point the tarp + netting would be both more hassle and more weight than my tent. (Which is where Ryley is 100% wrong about a tent not protecting me from nature. I've never had mosquitoes in my tent)


15

A trick I've seen recently is to strap your headlamp to a solid water bottle with the light pointed into the base of the bottle. Lay the bottle on the side and you have a substitute for a lantern. The plastic and some water act as a poor-man's diffuser.


15

To test your hiking kit/boots to see if it is all comfortable/fits you can do a day walk but carrying your full rucksack and kit (or stuff of similar weight). This will give you a idea of how your kit fits and the difference in hiking with a full rucksack compared to a daysack to help you judge how far you should aim for. Most of your camping kit can be ...


14

In addition to the fire hazard, cooking food in your tent in bear country is a good recipe for waking up to find a bear trashing your campsite, and/or you.


14

The simplest ones are like this, and even the more complex ones are typically broadly similar. Usage is to have set your peg at a useful distance (ie not too close to the tent, as it won't hold the pole/skin out, and not too far away as you might trip over it) and pop the loop round the peg. Then just slide the tensioner up the guy rope until tight. ...


14

You do not need a tarp in addition to the rainfly of your tent (that's what the rainfly is for). While it's always nicer to pack up a dry tent instead of a wet one, as long as you air dry the tent when you get home you'll have no problems with damaging the rainfly. If you do not dry your tent at home, it will mildew and smell really, really bad. I ...


14

One way I was taught in the uk armed forces (a very long time ago) was to use dry rocks. Heat the rock in your camp fire, then carefully just before bed time, place the rock inside your shelter, the rock releases it's heat slowly and acts very much like a radiator producing a consistent source of dry heat. A word of warning though this method was never ...


13

We quite often cook on a small gas stove in the porch (vestibule) of the tent - as long as you are careful and don't leave it unattended, just be sensible. I have seen a tent go up in flames, and they burn extremely quickly so I'm aware of the danger, but I've never felt at risk. Thankfully in the UK we don't have to worry about Bears...


13

A tent can provide a psychological barrier for the bear - which won't do much to deter it if it smells something it wants inside (food), but can prevent haphazard encounters. For example, if a bear is wandering through your camp on its way to check out your expertly hung bear hang a tent will be a visual obstacle it will naturally move around / avoid, ...


13

When I decided to trash my tent, which was so old and was no longer of any use for active camping, I and my mentor in trekking, firstly used the same tent to teach kids of how to pitch a tent. I also used some part of the tent fabric to make a sort-of a sand bag for me, which I used to tie to my legs during my running sessions. I have also used a piece of ...



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