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Four Season Tents

Four Season Tents

If you're interested in year round camping a four season tent is the way to go. Also known as an expedition tent or a mountaineering tent the clues are all in the names - these will provide great shelter in a range of testing conditions.

A few years back I wouldn't have considered a four season tent as I thought I was the tough guy but since hitting the wrong side of forty I'll take all the comfort I can get! Some might argue you should 'rough it' and put up with some cold but what the heck! When you go hiking you wear proper boots and wrap up in serious warm, dry clothing. Why would you then choose to slum it in a flimsy tent and sleeping bag!

A quality four season tent keeps the warmth inside and fights back the wind and even snow when it turns really cold. I took a camping trip to the Alpine National Park last year and was really pleased I'd packed my warmest gear and my expedition tent. Without it I'd have been as happy as a boxing kangaroo in a fog as my old man would say! If you don't take the proper gear out in those conditions you've got white ants in the woodwork.

A decent four season tent can withstand testing winter weather because they are usually designed with an extra pole or two to strengthen their outer walls. Even up a mountain with a howling wind these will keep you dry and covered. Most winter tents are made in a rounded dome design which allows snow and ice to slide off rather than build up. A simple design, but it works for the Eskimos! Some four season tents are also designed for camping on mountain ledges or other small areas.

Four Season Tents

So what are the disadvantages of a four season over a three season? A four season tent isn't just about cold weather - they're great for summer trips and hikes where you just don't know what the weather's going to do. The downside is usually the extra weight and bulk. My advice is if there's any chance of hitting some cold conditions or snow, pack your four season. It could literally be a lifesaver. Some mates of mine took a hike to Charlotte Pass in New South Wales a couple of years back and when the temperature dropped they were glad they'd lugged the heavier four season along.

If you like your comfort you'll find four season tents come with vestibules and inside pockets for your storage needs which can be a Godsend. Who wants to sleep next to their wet gear and pack?! They also have one or more doors and windows for easy access, and ventilation purposes. Don't try and be a hero out there or think you are a bushranger - yes a four season tent can put a bit more strain on your back and legs carrying it but man up if there's any chance of temperatures dropping!

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