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How to choose your tent

When I was an ankle biter there was nothing I liked better than when my old man announced we'd be packing our tent and heading off for a camping trip. Looking back, we never really travelled far from home but back then it felt like we were in the back of Bourke!

As I've grown up I still like the outdoors life but am no longer so keen on living like a bushranger. When the weather's warm I'll put up with some basic kit but when it cools down I insist on a decent tent and sleeping bag. It's important to understand the different types of tent for the conditions you're going to use it in - the wrong one will be about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike!

I'll describe what I think are the main types of tent below and what conditions they're good for.

Three season tents

These offer good protection from the elements- waterproof and windproof they let the air flow through but also keep the mozzies out! As the name suggests they are only good for three seasons and it's winter they'll let you down it. When it gets brass monkeys out there a three season tent won't really help! Click here for Three Season Tents

Three season tents

Four season tents

Now we're talking! These beauties are ace on colder nights and give you much more flexibility to plan your adventures. A decent four season tent can withstand harsh weather and if you have a quality sleeping bag and other kit for cold conditions you're sorted. Four season tents are designed with features to keep the warm air in and are reinforced against gales and tough conditions. Click here for Four Season Tents

Four season tents

Bivy sacks

A Bivy - short for bivouac sack - is a great option for hikers, climbers and cyclists. A Bivy is a great lightweight solution and will pack away for easy carrying. It's a tent-sleeping bag combined and they makers focus on them being light and portable so don't expect a great deal of protection from harsh weather! Click here for Bivy sacks

Bivy sacks

Convertible tents

These are pretty flexible all-rounders. Don't rely on a convertible tent for harsh winter nights but most will serve you well on cooler nights if you have a warm sleeping bag. Click here for Convertible Tents

Convertible tents

Solo tents

A few years back I was happy as larry out on my solo adventure weekends - just me, the mountain bike, my solo tent and a few oldies! Easy to carry, easy to rig up, solo tents are ideal for a place to crash. Not exactly roomy, but the point of solo tents is just to give you a warm dry place to bed down for the night. Click here for Solo Tents

Solo tents

Warm weather tents

Not surprisingly, some call these two season tents. Basically, totable canopies that let you enjoy a summer breeze without the bugs biting you all night! Click here for Warm weather Tents

Warm weather tents

Family tents

I have to say I'm a few years away from owning one of these but if you're a family man what better way to enjoy some outdoor life! Pack up the ankle biters and some kit and away you go. Family tents are mini-marquees and have separate 'rooms' to give you all some privacy. The larger ones can only be carried by car so limit the trips you can make but there are portable family tents which pack away to be carried. Personally I'd rather leave the family at home than lug one of these about but each to their own! Click here for Family Tents

Family Tents

Whatever type of tent you choose remember that as in all things in life you get what you pay for. If a tent looks too cheap there may be a reason! Read tent review, do your research and don't rush into anything as a quality tent will last you many years and give you years of adventures.

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