What Should Be Your Camping Tent Part 1

Campsites in Alberta | What Should Be Your Camping Tent Part 1

While many people love visiting various campsites in Alberta with motorhomes, trailers and fifth wheels – their home away from home! They can stay in the great outdoors with all their favorite creature comforts. Although not everyone can, or prefers to camp this way. For some people, a large trailer is out of their budget, especially for an economical get away. Others have nowhere to store these large vehicles and trailers when not in use. Others just love the simplicity of camping with all the gear they can fit in their car and go.

Best Camping Tent

When you are not camping with a trailer or motorhome, what is the best camping tent to use? The answer all depends on what kind of camping you want to be doing! Many consider camping to be a summertime only activity, while others happily camp 365 days a year, regardless of weather or snow! And in campsites in Alberta during our long, cold winters, snow is an inevitability! Here are the types of tents campers can buy, and why they should be used – or avoided for campers. Part one of this article discusses six unique tent options, what type of camping they excel at, and their pros and cons.

The Original Camping Tent

Camping tent

First tent type up is the sturdy A-frame tent, these are the camping original! The first standard type of tent. These A-frame tents became widely available when people started purchasing camping equipment for this burgeoning pastime. Coinciding with the invention and subsequent popularity of the automobile, around the turn of the 20th century. Until then, campers travelled to destinations where tents, were already set up. People liked these tents because they were lightweight, sturdy and easy to assemble with poles made out of durable wood or hard metal.

Unfortunately, while popular for a while, these poles fell out of favor with the public because condensation causes the interior of the tent to become wet. And during rain or snow, the moisture will pool on the sagging tent walls, and they don’t withstand wind. While these types of tents remain popular with backpackers, their lack of headroom causes these tents to often be overlooked by most campers.

Pyramid or A-frame camping tent

Camping tent

Second on our list is the pyramid tent, similar to the A-frame for it’s low weight. Because of this, it is popular with backpackers, but other campers tend to stay away for the same reasons as the A-frame tent. Lack of headroom, condensation pooling, and unstable – campers need many guylines to set these up, which is often more work than it’s worth. Unless you’re backcountry camping at various campsites in Alberta, this is typically not the tent for you.

Campsites in Alberta | Choosing Your Camping Tent

The third tent on our list is not technically a tent. The bivy sack is a minimalist shelter, favored by backpackers and extreme adventurers. Consisting of a person sized waterproof sack with one or two hoops, that tent the material off the body. These are lightweight, require no set up, and keep in precious body heat. Fans of the bivy sack love them because they reduce the weight of their pack, allowing backpackers to be more agile and hike farther.

Camping tent

Further, they are great in environments that make pitching a tent difficult; extremely rocky and snowy terrain or small platforms. Campers will pitch tarps whenever possible to shelter themselves and gear, and to keep the sack open for easier breathing and reduce condensation.

Next up are pop up tents, which are extremely popular with newbie campers, as they are very easy to set up. The one or two circular poles are embedded into the fabric of the tent already, and when the camper is ready to set up camp, they pull the tent out of it’s travel case, and it pops into shape. Despite their ease of set up, there are many reasons campers should avoid these while visiting campsites in Alberta. First, they don’t pack well, most pop up tents only fold down into flat discs measuring 70cm across.

Pop-Up Tents Unpopular With Campers

This makes them difficult to pack with other camping gear and inconvenient to carry unless you’re camping close to your vehicle. Pop-up tents blow away very easily and collapse in a windstorm. Their one-layer design means they aren’t very warm, not very waterproof, and will develop condensation inside. The best use for these tents is at the beach or music festivals for shade or shelter from rain. Beginner campers can do themselves a favor and learn how to set up a small, simple and more stable tent instead.

Camping tent

Our next tent on the list is the rooftop tent. Not many tents require a vehicle, however not everyone who visits campsites in Alberta with tents want to backpack in. Benefits rooftop tents are that even if your campsite is rocky or uneven, you have a comfortable tent floor, and fewer animals will be likely bother your tent at night. Set up is generally easy as well, perfect for busy campers.

However, they require a ladder to get in and out of, making this a poor choice for families with small children. They also don’t fare well when it’s windy, and if you want to drive anywhere after your camp is set up, you have to put your tent away before you go.

Are Rooftop Camping Tents Worth It

Camping tent

Similar to a rooftop tent, many people are buying SUV or car tents. These set up on the back of your hatchback car or SUV, which converts your vehicle into a comfortable living and sleeping area. Campers love being able to sleep off the ground, and the added stability of being attached to a vehicle makes this a great choice even during inclement weather. They are also easy to set up, making this an attractive option for new campers. The biggest downside to these tents, is that they are also attached to the vehicle, which means when you want to go somewhere, your tent – and everything in it – must be packed up.

In the next article, we will find out the most common and popular tents for use in campsites in Alberta. What tent should you buy when visiting Elevated Experience Camping? Watch for part 2 of this series and find out!

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