If you are going to buy a tent, you must first consider what your plans are. After all, different tents serve different purposes. There are several things you must take into account when choosing a tent. One of the most important considerations is the season of the year. Normally, you will be choosing between a three-season tent and a four-season tent. Obviously, the key difference between the two is heir suitability for use in winter.
Three season tents, then, are for camping in spring, summer or fall. Normally, they will have mosquito netting or “no-see-um” netting panels that zip up, and in the open position allow for plenty of ventilation without allowing plenty of bugs to get in your tent. You most likely will be able to roll up the nylon panel that covers the netting when you want ventilation, and close it and zip it shut when you want warmth. The roll up panels should be set up to give you a nice cross breeze when they are all open. These tents can handle a variety of weather conditions, and most tents are designed to be weather-resistant.
If you plan to camp in the winter, though, you need a four-season tent. Four-season tents are built for winter camping. They tend to have extra poles to withstand windier conditions. They also have thicker panels. Winter-ready tents may also have an outer shell. Don’t start with winter camping, however. It isn’t ideal for beginners.
Your tent should be suited to what you plan to do, as there are a wide variety of activities that are all called camping. Camping is a fairly broad category and can describe an entire range of activities. For the more dedicated, hardcore campers, survival camping is the way to go, and you should have an appropriate tent because it entails setting off into the wilderness with very little beyond your hiking boots. There are various degrees of need and you must take this into account.
Your tent should be suitable for your type of activity and be able to hold both the right number of people and their gear. Campers often camp as part of some larger recreational plan, which typically involves activities like hiking, hill walking, climbing, canoeing, mountain biking, swimming, and fishing. In tandem with camping, hiking can either be done as an extended backpacking journey, or as a series of day hikes radiating from a central campsite.
If you plan to camp mostly at campgrounds, your tent needs are les demanding than for the wilderness. Many people vacation in permanent camps, with facilities such as toilets, water and electricity hookups, and even swimming pools. Others live off the land, more or less and camp in the wilderness. People who take this approach have a moral responsibility to leave their campsite better than they found it and generally have a profound obligation to engage in environmentally sound practices. The bottom line is that if you are truly interested in camping, you must find the tent that suits you and your goals.