Family camping trips are the stuff that memories are made of: roasting marshmallows on the campfire, telling ghost stories, taking an accidental trip through the poison ivy. However, without the right tent your only memories will be of freezing in the rain. Since the tent is such a crucial part of family camping, it is important to arm yourself with information so you buy the right tent.
The most important consideration when buying a family tent is size. Every tent is displayed with a sign telling you how many people the tent sleeps. For most families this number is too small. If you enjoy having some comforts of home with you--things like air mattresses and extra gear--you want to buy a tent that sleeps at least two more people than are in your family. Therefore, a family of four needs a six-person tent. On the other hand, the reason that tents run small is to keep you warm. Sleeping on the ground can make for a cold night in a large tent. Sleeping close together offsets this chill with body heat. To be sure you stay warm, get a tent that sleeps no more than three people more than your family.
To avoid uncomfortable outings look for waterproof tents or tents with waterproof covers. Aside from keeping you dry at night this gives everyone a place to go when it rains. Also, look for tents with mosquito netting at every opening. Not only will this deter mosquitoes, it will ward off spiders, snakes and other creatures.
Cost does not necessarily equal the perfect tent. Most expensive tents are intended for special use in extreme circumstances. For example, tents that are lightweight for backpacking, insulated for the winter or extra durable for frequent use will not likely fit the needs of your family. You will likely find something in the right size and materials in the middle to low price range.
Ease of Assembly
Traditionally a dome-style tent is faster and easier to assemble than a cabin-style one. Single-room dome tents are easier to put together than tent suites. Since family camping trips are about spending time together, not putting tents together, this may be an important consideration when you buy a family tent.
Article Written By Heather Rutherford
Heather Rutherford has enjoyed writing professionally since 2004. Her articles have appeared in ModernMom.com, DailyLife.com, ParentsHut.com, Trails.com and On-the-News. She also works intimately with several small businesses to prepare business plans and other marketing materials. Rutherford is seeking an Associate of Arts in business from North Idaho College.