The old saying, “A family that plays together, stays together,” somewhat fits the camping lifestyle as well. When everyone has a job to do in order to create a cohesive camp site, things go more smoothly.

Of course, one of the most important bonding experiences is setting up the family camping tents!

Keep in mind that your tent requirements may not be the same as someone else’s so the first thing you should do besides determining a budget for the purchase is evaluate your primary needs. Here are some questions to ponder:

1.  Who is this tent going to house? The number of people occupying the tent will dictate the size you should buy. Will this be a tent the entire family enjoys from mom and dad to the kids? If so, you might consider a tent which offers dividers to create a semblance of several rooms for a modicum of privacy.

2. What should the size of the tent be? Part of this is answered in question one above. The number of people that will sleep in the tent is the influencing factor but you should also consider what other items you plan to place inside other than a pillow and sleeping bag for each of you.

Do you plan to store your food items in there?

What about backpacks containing clothing? Choose the tent with enough square footage to allow you all to sleep and maneuver comfortably together.

3.  What weather should be kept in mind when buying a tent? The times of year you choose to camp will often answer this question. Winter camping often requires a tent made from stronger materials that can withstand wind and snowy conditions.

If you only plan to camp in the warmer months, you can choose something lighter with good ventilation.

And speaking of ventilation, choose a tent which allows good air flow to dissipate the condensation you create at night when you exhale as well as keep you cool on those hot summer nights.

4.  What type of structure should you choose? Double wall and single wall tents are available for purchase.

The double wall is best as it has more rain protection and will reduce the morning condensation inside your tent as well. Choose aluminum over fiberglass tent poles as aluminum is lighter and will withstand more abuse.

If possible, choose clip style or sleeve style for securing the tent material to the poles as it is faster and easier to install and take down.

Remember, your family camping tent is going to be your little home away from home during your trips so do not skimp on size.

Choose something big enough to hold everyone comfortably and when you buy it, picture one of those inevitable rainy camping nights where everyone is trapped together.

That mental picture should help you choose an appropriate size!

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