Hot answers tagged

36

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 ...


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 ...


24

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 ...


23

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 ...


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 ...


20

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


16

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 ...


14

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). ...


14

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)


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

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 ...


13

I wouldn't buy an ultralight tent if you're going to put the tent through severe trauma or require significant space (e.g. to use chairs inside). I do think the main difference in buying is cultural; unless you are poking it with sticks tents shouldn't experience that much damage. The modern ultralights should be good for most any weather outside of ...


13

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 ...


12

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...


12

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.


12

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. ...


12

If the poles of your tent attach to the outer you're in luck. Before you go remove the inner from the outer and pack these separately, potentially wrap them in plastic bags or something so they stay dry. Then when you turn up your first task is to get the waterproof outer up as fast as possible. If it rains while you're putting this up, it's fine. Just ...


12

My other half used Tyvek when he was practicing Archery and one of the factors there was it had to be quiet, they used it for 4-6 hour stints to sit on. This is what he and some others in his club did: Wash it on a cotton / white cycle in your washing machine without any soap or detergent or powders. Wash it three times but let it dry thoroughly between ...


12

Most gear you can test out in your house. Take your boots out on any trail, each time you go out pack a little bit more in your pack and get used to the weight. Come up with a good clothing layer system. Make sure you can get your tent set up quickly. There is nothing like setting up in a downpour minutes before sundown. You can practice this inside. Make ...


12

There are differing schools of thought on this: Rolling/folding is a lot easier to manage in my opinion, easier to keep track of all the pieces, and when camping in dirty/snowy/wet environments makes it easier to keep the ground side of the tent together and the clean(ish) parts away from it. Stuffing results in fewer creases in the fabric over extended ...


12

My wife & I are both in our mid-50's, and we stopped going car camping a few years ago largely because of the lack of sleep and difficulty getting into and out of our tent. Our last trip we were so tired that I was hallucinating on the drive back home & we had to pull over on a mountain road to take a nap before we carried on. Even the nice ...



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