One of the most important articles that a backpacker can have is a good tent, because it provides shelter from the elements and will last for many seasons if proper care is applied. Since this is certainly not a cheap piece of equipment, a one time investment should be good for as long as the item is cared for properly. Most hikers would be lost without their tent, because it provides shelter from the elements and a dry place to sleep. By following the manufacturer’s instructions for care, a good tent has the ability to withstand many years of continual use.
For anybody serious about backpacking, the best possible tent should be one of the first purchases made. It will hold up better than the cheap variety which is made with flimsy materials which don’t stand up to outdoor activity for too long. A better model will be cheaper over the years, when calculating the cost of replacing a cheaper model every year. And since the better models are also constructed a whole lot better, they afford a greater comfort level as well.
This doesn’t mean that the bank has to be broken in order to find a good tent for backpacking. But buying one from a name brand supplier will probably make quite a difference on that long camping trip that is being planned. They will likely be designed for backpackers/hikers, being composed of quality materials and sturdily put together.
It has to be able to withstand a good amount of abuse, since the outdoors has a whole lot of nasty things to throw at it such as harsh sun, high wind, and insects. But this is just one example of the rigors it has to endure while on an extended excursion in the woods.
It is important to pack the tent with attention to detail. In the backpack itself, all liquids should be placed below the level of the tent. Also, any sharp objects that can puncture — such as hunting knives or utensils, should be packed in a separate compartment.
When putting up the tent, it is vital to place it on a hard level surface that has been swept clean of any sharp sticks. If possible, a ground cover should be carried to be put down first. This does add additional weight, so it is an optional item for most backpacking/camping trips.
When there is the possibility of severe weather moving in, it is also a good idea to stake down the tent with poles and guy lines. These have to be even all the way around to make sure that the load is distributed evenly all the way around. A tent should never be placed near the location of a campfire. There is the possibility of sparks landing on the material — burning holes clear through. Another thing to keep in mind is to keep any sharp objects away from the tent. These can easily poke a hole through the fabric, reducing the protection against the elements.
When not in use, it is important to carefully stow a tent away in the backpack. The sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays can cause extensive damage to some of the materials.
It’s also important to keep the unit as clean as possible. Try to keep dirt to a minimum and brush off the outside when it is being stored. Occasionally, this may entail using a soft brush doused with a mild detergent to clean the material. For disassembly, it is best to take down the middle poles first. This will prevent the cords inside from excessive tension which can lead to premature wearing out.
Tents should be kept dry whenever possible. A wet exterior should be dried out as soon as possible. It is vital to never put this unit away wet as this can be the cause of mold — a health hazard. For long term storage, a cool, dry spot is recommended, away from any liquid substances, and sharp items.
A properly card for tent will be available for many fun seasons of backpacking or camping. Since this is a crucial item for those long get a way trips, it is essential that the tent is well cared for and stored properly in order to ensure a long life.