Tent Camping

Tent Camping: The Ultimate Home Away From Home

Would you like to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life? Well, with tent camping you can! From stunning mountain landscapes to tranquil lakeside retreats, camping in a tent allows you to explore the hidden gems of the great outdoors. The soothing sounds of nature will lull you to sleep and help you clear your mind from everyday stresses.

So, let’s discover why tent camping is the best and why you should embark on this adventure today.

Discloure: Posts may contain affiliate links. Purchases made through our links result in a small commission to us at no charge to you. We only recommend products that meet our brand standards based on testing and first hand use by our authors.

Why Should You Take Up Tent Camping?

Tent camping with a mountain view
Tent camping with a mountain view

First and foremost, let’s get some basics out of the way. 

Why tent camping? Well, if anything, one would ask, why not? To enjoy the outdoors, by this, we mean to make a home away from home; you have a couple of choices. You can set up camp in an RV, a camper van or a car. Or you can set up a tent! Technically, you could also sleep under a tarp or hammock, but that is for the hardcore camper. I would not recommend these options for the beginner camper.

On a side note, I am not quite ready to enjoy the outdoors by sleeping under a tarp or on a browse bed. Sorry, let’s rephrase this. I am ALWAYS “prepared” to sleep under a tarp as this setup is part of the standard carry in my backpack. But it’s reserved for an emergency or survival situation.

However, there is a much better ‘feeling’ of being with nature when camping in a tent. You can feel the temperature, wind and weather as it changes. You can also hear sounds that get lost in an insulated RV. There’s also something primal about not having a fridge, stove and all the usual conveniences we take for granted.

Tent Camping Means Access to Backcountry

Backcountry camping with a guitar
Backcountry camping

Whether camping in a tent in the backcountry or at a reserved camping site, the choice is personal, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Backcountry camping is solitude. You become one with nature, listening to only the nearby wildlife, water flowing and maybe a train in the distance. Yes, there always seems to be a dreadful train, no matter where you are. But it’s ok, that train can be your best friend if you ever get lost. And it also serves as a reminder that you are not alone.

Aside from swimming and hiking, what you bring will determine your activity level. For example, bring a canoe, and you have greater access to venture further in the water. Bring your fishing gear, and you can catch an organic camping meal. Camping in the wilderness allows you to move your camping spot and perhaps try island camping instead. The point is that tent camping grants you access to places no RV will ever go.

A disadvantage and what may make some people weary or uncomfortable when camping in the backcountry are the sounds of a branch breaking or the sound of distant (or not so distant!) steps. These reasons are why some prefer camping at reserved campground sites.

Tent Camping in a Campground

Campground camping usually has people around you, which can be comforting. I find that provincial parks are fairly clean, noise levels are low, and there are many offerings such as playgrounds, maintained beaches for swimming, rentals, hiking/biking trails, activities, and so on. More importantly, they have just the right amount of privacy without the feeling of being anti-social:) And before I forget, no matter where you are tent camping, you’ll sleep soundly on day 2. Your exhaustion from lack of sleep on day one will override any fears.

Further Reading: Is the Attractive Nemo Aurora Highrise 6P Worth it?

Is Sleeping in a Tent Good for You

I would hope so! Not only are you surrounded by nature, which soothes the soul, but you are also breathing in fresh, clean air. I should add, only if you are camping away from the city. As to sleeping, so long as your tent is not sitting on top of protruding roots, rocks or a lumpy surface, you’ll sleep just well. You can make your sleep more comfortable by investing in a quality sleeping pad or a tent mattress for the ultimate comfort. FYI – pair your sleeping pad with a quality sleeping bag.

What is Tent Camping?

Well, a tent is a portable fabric shelter with a rigid framework, usually anchored with stakes using guylines, which keeps the tent from tipping or blowing away. This shelter is where you will sleep or hang out if the weather turns on you.

The great thing about tent camping is that you are pretty much good to camp wherever you see fit – whether in your backyard, backcountry, a campground, off an ATV trail, riverside or so on. The choice of spots is virtually endless, provided you set up somewhere where you are legal to do so.

The Purpose of the Tent in Camping

Tent camping in the winter
Winter camping

Remember that the term ‘camp’ is right inside the word camping. The tent is not for cooking in, nor for storing food so as not to attract wild animals. And so the tent is one element of ‘camp’ when tenting. That being said, I highly suggest you pack a tarp. You will now have an area sheltered from rain, sun, or whatever extremes come your way. This sheltered area will allow you to cook outdoors, do your chores, or hang out no matter the weather.

Further Reading: Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Bring a Multi-tool Camping

How to Buy a Camping Tent?

There are so many factors to consider when purchasing a camping tent, let’s review what some of these factors are:

  1. How many people/pets will this tent need to sleep?
  2. What season(s) are you planning to use the tent?
    • There are 3-season tents as well as 4-season.
    • The conversion from 3 to 4 is generally an add-on layer of fabric to seal things up.
    • There are even camping tents dedicated for winter camping.
  3. Are you backpacking or transporting?
    • Tents made for backpacking or biking are substantially lighter and more compact.
    • Hiking vastly reduces options when compared to overlanding in a Jeep.
  4. Your budget?
    • Under normal circumstances, we have camping tent choices in style, shape, colour and quality.
    • The choices you make will reflect the price. For example, Coleman makes many budget-friendly camping tents that can last many years. They may not have the qualities of a premium tent, but they get the job done and get you outdoors.
  5. Waterproofing
    • Yes, water is your best friend and keeps you alive, but it’s your worst enemy when camping. Misery is when your clothes, bed, gear and everything that comprises your home away from home is soaking wet. In fact, during that rainy but cold season, it can be deadly.

Trusted Brands in Tent Camping

The global supply chain issues are causing quite a disturbance, and tents didn’t go unscathed. Where you once had a choice from a sea of choices, you now have a handful of options based on what is currently on the shelf. Usually, higher-end tents are found in smaller shops or retailers that are not limited to carrying just their own or discount brands. 

Brands like Eureka, MSR, NEMO, Big Agnes, and so forth, independent shops are a great place to start looking. With price at this level of quality, the going rate seems to be about $100 per person.

Remember!

Remember that there are no guarantees that any tent can withstand a weather situation. Price and trusted brands are usually a good indicator of what to expect but by no means a guarantee.

Types of Camping Tents that We Own

Here is a quick overview of the types of camping tents available and our opinion on the style and functionality.

Howling Moon Commanche – 6 Person

Howling Moon Commanche
Tent camping with the Howling Moon Commanche at sunset

In our arsenal is a 6-person canvas Howling Moon Commanche camping tent. This tent is massive, and I am confident you could fit two more comfortably and still have room for your belongings. The tent is separated into three rooms: 2 bedrooms and a main room. Each room has two sets of screened windows.

The tent comes with a fly, which is a piece of material that goes over the tent to shelter it from rain. The fly is large enough to double as a front awning. Being a canvas tent, it is breathable, which is the hallmark of canvas. It’s also water resistant (not proof, as it leaks a little). That ‘resistance’ only comes as long as you remember to reapply waterproofing every year or two. Canvas requires a lot more care and maintenance and is not for everyone.

Unfortunately, this tent has to be transported by a large vehicle as it does not fit into a small car. It is extremely heavy and takes a long time to set up. It renders the tent too cumbersome for general tent camping. Based on size and difficulty alone, this tent is perfect for the backyard, a hunting camp or a situation where it will see use over at least a week. Otherwise, it’s not worth the effort.

Canadian Military Crew Tent – 4 Person

Military Crew Tent
4-Man Crew Camping Tent staked in the woods

Our other tent is a military issue 4-man Crew Tent. I love this tent, but my family hates it. The 4-man Crew Tent is an A-frame style, meaning it’s shaped exactly like an ‘A’ (steep roof line). Generally an old-school shape for tents and is no longer popular in the market – despite a following that still swears by them.

The crew tent has two large screened openings and a very short tub, perfect for looking out. You may be asking yourself, what is a tub? A tub or bathtub refers to the floor of a tent. This thicker fabric curves up to meet the walls or mesh of the tent. Its purpose is to keep the water from entering the tent, particularly as it splashes off the ground. A pet peeve is when the tub is too tall. The view gets obstructed should you wish to lie down and be able to look out at the beautiful scenery you just drove 4 hours to get to.

Military Quality

As with the previous tent, this too comes with a rainfly. Most tents, by the way, are designed to work with a fly. This particular one happens to be nylon, which is a far superior material to polyester. Nylon is usually reserved for very high-end tents. The fly on this model is also completely waterproof. The reason why my family hates this tent is that it is extremely dark inside, and I get it, I really do.

The army crew tent is a perfect example of an overloading tent. Since the tent is big and heavy, its use is in places with car access. Technically, it was designed for use by tank crews. It does set up VERY quickly and ticks off all the boxes of what an impeccable tent should do. It’s unfriendly, maybe even ugly, as it’s military OD green. Unlike the typical surplus items, it comes with a premium price tag for a new one. 

Coleman Galileo – 3 Person

Coleman Galileo Tent
Illuminated Coleman Galileo Camping Tent at dusk

We also have a Coleman Galileo 3-person camping tent, a family favourite as it is super bright, dome-shaped and takes less than 10 minutes to set up. We have four people who slept in it comfortably until the kids grew a bit – now it’s tight. To help you gauge size, it easily fits a queen-sized air mattress.

The Galileo is a very breathable tent. This attribute is far more crucial than most people realize. The Coleman Weathermaster model was a tent we liked but returned as NO AIR seemed to move through it. It was choking on a hotter day. The Galileo tent can get a bit cool at night, but if you stake the fly closer to the tent, it slows the airflow. Or you could throw on an extra layer of clothes. All-in-all, this tent has held up through some wicked rains, strong winds, repeated use and even lengthier setups. If tent camping is on a budget, this one is a winner. Ours paid for itself a while ago, yet it keeps going strong.

Nemo Aurora Highrise 6-Person Camping Tent

Tent Camping NEMO Aurora Highrise 6-person Tent
Tent Camping NEMO Aurora Highrise 6-person tent

Since our children are taller and are active sleepers, we knew it was time to invest in a roomier camping tent. We wanted a bright, breathable and weather-resistant tent. Since it was a pandemic, a 4-person tent was impossible to find. It is a popular size and likely to sell out first. With a short timeline thanks to an upcoming camping trip, we settled for the NEMO Aurora Highrise 6-person camping tent. We will post a full review once the tent has been through several camping trips.

Further Reading: Is the Attractive Nemo Aurora Highrise 6P Worth it?

Essential Camping Supplies Checklist

Camping cook-out in the backcountry

Now that you know why tent camping is the ultimate home away from home and what to look for in a tent – before heading out on your camping trip, there are a few things you should know. 

First, ensure you have all the essential supplies, which you should read more about here. Or you can download the essential camping supply checklist here. This checklist includes items like a tent, sleeping bag, camping stove, cookware, first aid kit, and other necessities. Being well-prepared will make your camping experience more enjoyable and ensure your safety and well-being.

Further Reading: Camping Gear Essentials: The Ultimate Checklist

Finding the Perfect Campsite

Choosing the best campsite can make or break your camping experience. Through trial and error, you will determine if you prefer a secluded spot in the wilderness or a family-friendly campground with amenities. Either way, consider the location, water access, amenities, activities, and nearby attractions. Doing thorough research and planning will help you find the perfect campsite that suits your preferences and needs.

Pro Tip!

When reserving a campsite at a campground, choose a spot further away from the outhouse. For nighttime use, you want to be close, but not close enough that the constant banging of doors awakes you.

Conclusion: Embrace the Adventure of Tent Camping

Tent camping offers a unique and unforgettable way to explore the great outdoors. From the allure of sleeping under the stars to the joy of cooking over a campfire, every aspect of tent camping brings you closer to nature and allows you to rejuvenate and create lasting memories.

So, take the leap and experience why so many, including ourselves, love camping. 

Thank you for reading my post. Please share, and don’t forget to check us out on our social channels.

Bookmark this post on Pinterest for future reference!

Tent Camping: The Ultimate Home Away from Home
Share This Post
Stelios Lazos
Stelios Lazos

Stelios comes from the corporate world where he was a highly successful executive. Inspired by his love for the outdoors he has re-located with his family to live to the BushLife where he blogs about his adventures. Finding inspiration in the never-ending questions from aspiring outdoors people, Stelios aims to share his knowledge, one post at a time.

Articles: 56