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Good tent backpacking needs to take into consideration the weight, weather, length of stay, number of people, and location.
The tents available:
1) All Season - used all year round.
2) Three Season - works best for Spring, Summer, and Fall.
Three Season Tent
3) Four Season - works well in all climates, even in cold weather.
4) One person - light weight and small.
One person, Four Season Tent
5) Family - three to six people.
6) Dome - it is very lightweight for its area. It is usually good in windy conditions.
7) Tarp - they provide sun protection and shelter from rain. Tarps have mesh for bugs and lightweight materials. These are excellent backpacking tents.
If possible, find a store that sells tents, and try out the tent for real. Can you imagine buying a car without taking a test drive? Make sure it doesn't weigh a lot and has enough room for your needs. You will be carrying the tent on your back so weight is very important.
Tents can weigh from two to six pounds depending on the dimensions. A lighter tent can mean a tight fit. Make sure you get a large enough tent. Better to have a larger tent than one that is too small.
What can you afford to pay? If you hike a lot, are concerned about weight and features, pay more. If you don't hike frequently, or very far, pay for a lower price range tent.
The three season tent is the most popular tent. It is best for Spring, Summer and Fall, is usually light weight, and has mesh.
Tent Has Mesh Doors
If you will be doing Winter hiking or mountain backpacking, get a four season tent. You won't freeze to death and it is more substantial and can withstand high winds!
You may want a tent with two doors. This way when someone enters and exits, they won't disturb the others. You may not be able to get this on a one person tent.
Tent With Two Doors
Vestibules are sections of a tent's rainfly that create a dry area outside your tent for footwear and gear. They vary in size. Look for high square foot numbers.
Most tents are freestanding. This results in a fast setup and the tents are simple to move, just lift them by their poles and move to a new location.
The more pole sections a tent has, the more complex its setup may appear, but after a couple of setups, the setup of a backpacking tent becomes almost automatic.
Practice at home before your first hike. Tent setup can appear difficult on the first attempt. It's easier to understand setup steps when you're not pressured by an approaching storm or setting sun.
For many, this is enough information to get the best tent backpacking gear. Tent technology is improving all the time to give us tents at lower cost, bigger with lighter weight. Have lots of fun and remember to stay on the trail!
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