Camping in a tent is a fun and memorable experience for families. Camping vacations are great for relaxing and spending quality time with those you love. To ensure an enjoyable and comfortable outing, consider these tent camping tips.
Always use a rainfly that provides full coverage of your tent. A rainfly is a tarp that covers the top of your tent to improve water resistance. Many tent models include a rainfly designed to cover the windows and doors, allowing them to be opened for ventilation without letting water in during rain.
You will also want to use a groundsheet beneath your tent to protect the floor from water and dirt, as well as sharp objects like sticks and rocks. A plastic tarp will work fine for a groundsheet, just be sure the tarp is the same shape as your tent and a little bit smaller than the tent floor to prevent water from collecting around the sides of your tent.
If you have purchased a new tent or haven’t used your tent in some time, you should set it up and inspect it before your camping trip. Check all the seams and stitching and make sure you are not missing any stakes or poles. Once a year, you should waterproof the tent’s seams with a quality seam sealer and you may consider spraying the outside with a water repellent as well, especially if it has been used in the rain.
When you arrive at the campground, try to select a campsite with a good, flat area to pitch your tent on. Avoid camping on sandbars or in areas that may be subject to sudden flashfloods. Sunken areas of ground or large depressions are not good choices to set up your tent on either because these areas will collect water when it rains, possibly soaking through your tent floor.
Use a special mallet designed for driving tent stakes or a hammer to secure your tent in the ground. Sturdy aluminum stakes are generally the best choice for stability and durability, especially on gravel campsites common to many campgrounds. Be sure your tent is securely anchored before you retire the first night of your trip and inspect the stakes each day.
During the summer months, avoid camping near areas of standing water. Stagnant water is nesting ground to mosquitoes and other biting insects. You may want to consider a screened shelter, like the Coleman Insta-clip Screenhouse, for summer camping. Screened shelters provide protection from insects, as well as sun and rain, and are ideal for mealtimes or just relaxing and enjoying the outdoors.
Always bring along a small whisk broom to keep the inside of your tent clean and free of dirt and debris. You can also put a small doormat or carpet square in front of your tent’s door so you and your family can wipe your feet before entering.
When your camping trip has ended, be sure to shake out any dirt and ensure that your tent is dry before packing it up. Use a specially designed stake puller or a small loop of strung rope to pull out your tent stakes and remember to put all stakes and pole back into their storage bags.