Tent Camping

Buying a tent


How to Stay Dry


Know your Gear and other hints




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Stay Dry in Your Tent

The first rule to keeping your gear dry is buy the niceest tent you can afford. After that the object is to remove yourself as far from the ground as possible. Don’t rely on the tent bottom for this. You want to have a water impermeable tarp down first. This will also save on wear and tear to your tent bottom.

If you are buying, most manufactures sell tarps that fit your tent footprint. Aftermarket options are polyethylene, (available at most hardware stores) or a vinyl tarp. The tarp should never extend past the edge of the tent. If it does, it will collect water sheeting off the tent and be WORSE than nothing! I would suggest cutting the tarp to fit your floor plan 1-2 inches shorter than the tent floor. This will keep this major problem from happening. This is a real hazard on those dome type tents as circular tarps are hard to come by. Polyethylene can be cut to the shape of your tent.

The next most important item in the tent is an air mattress. If you are planning on doing any amount of camping and/or backpack camping, I can’t suggest enough a Thermo rest type insulated air mattress. These units have foam inside an airtight nylon cover. Even though they are only about 1” think, they really insulate well. The small volume of air in them makes the easy to blow up without an air pump. I found out how nice they were when I went camping for the first time. I had carpet padding, my husband had a thermo rest. In the morning I rolled over to his side and he was warm I was cold. We bought a thermo rest before we went out again.

One neat item available for the Thermo rest type air mattresses is a couple of figure eight loops that enable you and your significant other to tie two air mattresses together. Keeps them from siding apart in the middle of the night.

Next Step: Knowing your Gear