Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Camping Tent Advice

  1. #1
    Chaotic Good
    Mircadius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    1,741

    Camping Tent Advice

    Going to go camping with my wife's brother and his family (of 4). Our party members are my 5yr old boy, wife and myself. Brother in law is an avid fisherman and camper in the PA area. He's a good guy and I get along great with all involved.

    Looking at Amazon for tents, I just wanted any advice on what a solid good family tent should cost, and what one might recommend.

    - Four days in the woods (PA NJ area)
    - Past history suggests it WILL rain
    - The boy and I hate humidity and bugs

    Any and all advice is appreciated!

  2. #2
    Elder Arcanist
    Dramadon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    10,787

    Re: Camping Tent Advice

    I hate tent camping. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I love nature, but tent camping is soooo much work. That said, my wife and kids love tent camping. They love it, they love it, they love it. So, I have to go tent camping every summer. I think the love/hate relationship is directly proportional to the amount of work required for setting things up and breaking things down divided by the amount of sleep. That said, here are a few things:

    A) If you hate humidity and bugs, go rent a cabin. Although my experience is these tend to not be as bad as you think as long as you use bug spray and keep the tent zipped up at all times (otherwise they will crawl inside it).
    B) "4 person" tents only sleep 4 if you don't plan on keeping anything in the tent. It can be done, but it will be cozy.
    C) Air matresses, air matresses, air matresses. Otherwise, plan on not sleeping the first couple of nights because you won't get comfortable. You'll sleep fine the third night because you will be so friggin exhausted.
    D) Any tent you buy now will have a rain cover on it and be designed to endure moderate storms. Place a tarp underneath your tent so the tent is not directly touching the ground. This will also help keep water out of your tent. Make sure you don't set the tent up in a valley. Find the highest and flattest point of your camp site and put the tent there.
    E) You won't be able to put the tent back in the package they give you. Don't even bother trying. We keep ours in rubbermaid containers. That said, you will want to air out your tent and make sure it is completely dry before storing it long term. Otherwise you'll get mildew and other funky things growing on it.
    F) Bring flashlights (duh)
    G) You may want to bring some cover for the picnic table. Like those tailgating tents or whatever. This lets you eat at the picnic table if it is raining. Also, some come with mosquito netting cover for the outside so that can help control bugs.
    H) It sounds like your brother in law is an experienced camper so I'm betting he'll have a lot of the "handy items" that you would never realize you need until you need them.
    I) It can be loud at night, particularly if you go late enough in the year that the night insects are out in force. You might want to bring something to plug your ears if night noise bothers you and you get stuck next to some a-hole college kids drinking two cases of beer through the night.
    J) Finally, don't let the bullshit ruin your fun! While I hate camping, I love being in nature and doing all the things you do when you are camping. I just hate sleeping there. Plus, seeing my kids have such a good time makes it well worth the bullshit I hate about camping.
    Last edited by Dramadon; May 6th, 2019 at 07:44 PM.

  3. #3

    Re: Camping Tent Advice

    I used to go backpacking as a kid every summer with my dad, and tent camping every spring break.

    I probably could not do it now for various reasons, but my wife, for the most part really digs it.

    Most sporting good places have their tents and sleeping bags rated for temperature "+."

    This is how much warmer than the outside air it is rated for.

    If you are experiencing lows of 32, you need a tent of 15, and a sleeping bag of 25 to get yourself up to about 72 degrees while you sleep.

    One of the years we went backpacking, we got valley/mountain bags that when you flipped them over had a thin side and a watm side. As backpacking sleeping bags, they packed down ridiculously small.

    I was never a big fan of air mattresses, though they do make backpacking versions, because they are so bulky and heavy.

    I just always liked those Kaizen foam style roll uos, because they insulated against the ground very well, and as long as you sweep the ground of ragged rocks, you get a nice firm bed on the ground to sleep on, and for me, I sleep better in a tent than on our bed at home.

    Check the cold weather temps for the period you wilk be camping for at night and buy the middle expensive for most of itm

    We used to buy from REI when I was a kid, and they are great, but we were doing high sierra backpacking.

    I have backpacked the Appalachian trail and I believe were in penn outside gettysburg when we were in late june that year.

    I didn't find it bad at all.

    There was a bit of rain, but the nights were so much warmer than the sierras ever were, I just remember it being humid.

    For a tent, just get one with a really strong, easy to work door zipoer that has 4 or maybe 5 poles max.

    Too many poles will drive you nuts. Get a xamping stake hammer, and get a tent with a detachable rain fly with about a foot to two feet for clearance so you can maybe put your boots outside at night.

    Like what dramadon said, your BIL probably has lots of extras. Call him and ask him what he thinks you should buy and what he is planning in bringing for the group to use and plan accordingly.

    I actually really like most of the inexpensive stuff I have purchased from walmart for when my family goes tent camping.

    The coleman sleeping bags are great. The two coleman tents we have are great. The coleman camping stove is handy. I bought interlocking sterile containers that the stove fits in, the tent and bags and mattresses fit in and that, besides basic provisions are the only major provisions that are necessary.

    We ussually get two ice chests, one for milk and one for sausages, etc. We also have horse shoes, etc, and then whatever ghe kids bring.

    I hated if as a kid, but we were not allowed to bring electronics but for the car ride.

    Walky talkies were okay, and in the high sierras and white mountains, you can pick up air force transmissions with them. Those are fun.

    For food, you can do the dehydrated meals for thr fun of it, but unless you are backpacking, stay away from them for all but a couple.

    Buy dehydrated milk for breakfsst cereal, and bring something different and new for that so it can be a tradition if it looks to going that way.

    Get a fishing lisence if you plan on doing that.

    Set everything up a couple times. Set your tent up in the front yars at least 3x before you go. Same ss thr fishing poles. Same as the sleeping bags, etc.

  4. #4
    Chaotic Good
    Mircadius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    1,741

    Re: Camping Tent Advice

    Thank you, both.
    This is a good general info core dump for me to plan with.

  5. #5

    Re: Camping Tent Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Dramadon View Post
    Place a tarp underneath your tent so the tent is not directly touching the ground.
    All great advice, but the tarp is best placed INSIDE the tent. If it rains bad enough the water will pool in the tarp between the tent and the tarp and seep through.

  6. #6
    Elder Arcanist

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    4,990

    Re: Camping Tent Advice

    I cannot stress points A, B & C from Dramadon enough.

    I've never had problems with point E.

  7. #7

    Re: Camping Tent Advice

    Oh woah. I have nevermet anyone who has put the tarp inside the tent.

    Usually, if inability to finding a level spot is an option, or a place away from water forming a small river into the best level spot, we always would dig a trench at the lowest spot between the tent and the hilll and make it drain away from the tent.

    Main reason the tarp goes inside is because it keeps anything shsrp that doesnt get swept away from piercing the more exoensive and important tent.

  8. #8
    Elder Arcanist

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    4,990

    Re: Camping Tent Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinthalas Tigris View Post
    Oh woah. I have nevermet anyone who has put the tarp inside the tent.

    Usually, if inability to finding a level spot is an option, or a place away from water forming a small river into the best level spot, we always would dig a trench at the lowest spot between the tent and the hilll and make it drain away from the tent.

    Main reason the tarp goes inside is because it keeps anything shsrp that doesnt get swept away from piercing the more exoensive and important tent.
    Yeah, I've never heard of a tarp inside the tent either.

  9. #9
    Elder Arcanist
    Dramadon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    10,787

    Re: Camping Tent Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Eremius View Post
    Yeah, I've never heard of a tarp inside the tent either.
    That makes three. Sounds noisy.

  10. #10
    Entropy happens
    Zarbonius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    3,604

    Re: Camping Tent Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Utilaelr View Post
    All great advice, but the tarp is best placed INSIDE the tent. If it rains bad enough the water will pool in the tarp between the tent and the tarp and seep through.
    The rain cannot pool if you have chosen the site for your tent correctly.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •