How to camp in a tent
You may think camping in a tent is obvious, but judging by the huge numbers of people who say
"I hate camping because :
- the bugs eat me up!
- I never get a good night's sleep.
- My back hurts.
- My stuff gets soaked when it rains. "
- and more...
That tells me most people never learned the keys to sleeping comfortably in a tent. And while that does not mean you have to spend a lot of money on fancy gear from REI, it does mean you need to select the right gear, set it up correctly and use it properly.
Here's what you need to know, boiled down to key bullet points;
- Get a tent larger than you need. See this page for tent selection. a larger tent that you can stand up in makes everything easier!
- Stake the tent down so the walls are TIGHT and firm (That helps it shed rain and not leak).
- Bring a tarp to suspend above the tent or at leave cover the tent if it looks like rain.
- BE SURE TO SEE THIS PAGE on how to stay dry while tent camping!
- Get an instant setup tent. They really only take 1 minute to set up and 2 or 3 minutes to take down and put away. AND you can do it in the dark - or rain - mush faster and easier.
- Get a good self-inflating air mattress. See this page. Skip the purely inflatable ones. They ALWAYS leak sooner or later and leave you on hard ground. Even if a self- inflating mattress loses air, it will still be comfy because it still has 3 inches of foam!. Get a self-inflating air mattress that is at least 2 or 3 inches thick. Especially if you are "big".
- Keep your tent's door zipped up at all times except when you are actually going in or out. Otherwise you'll let in mosquitoes and other creepy slithering things that will wake you in the middle of the night.
- Don't ever leave food out unattended. Keep it in the car except when you are having a meal.
- Have your flashlights or headlights handy, just inside the door in the tent for those late night restroom (or rest-tree visits)
- Stick to simple meals that everyone likes and use only one pot., and firm paper plates and disposable silverware for no clean up mess.