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Tents & Canvas Tents

Tents come in all different makings, styles and uses but choosing  the right ones to use for emergencies and disasters is crucial to have ones that will last. If you were in a cold winter environment then you would want to a choose the $1,000.00 tent that is well built. It would stand up to high winds and the material would not tear because of high winds and extreme cold. However, if you were in a situation that you were on the run in warm weather, than maybe a $29.99 tent should stand up to those elements just fine.  A lot of factors need to be considered went choosing a tent that would be best in your situation.  Here are a few things to consider when purchasing a new tent:

The Floor of the Tent

The floor should be the most water-resistant part of the tent. By putting pressure on the floor of the tent, it absorbs water into the tent through the fabric. This is why most floors are heavily coated with urethane for waterproofness.  Look for a tent that has a one piece floor, it's less likely to seep water than a tent that has seams in the floor. You also may want to consider getting tents that have bathtub floor where the floor actually wraps up along the sides up to four to six inches from the floor level keeping the water out and alleviating of you having to dig trenches around your tent. The bottom of your tent is usually made of reinforced material that is thicker than either its rain fly or tent walls, the ground floor is an abrasive place. To prevent accidental punctures from rocks and the like, lay a plastic ground cover under the tent's floor. Its still not a bad idea to put a tarp under for extra protection. Tent floors made out of Polyweave are good for water repelling but can easily tear on sharp rocks. This is the same stuff you use to cover your trailer or boats. They are heavier than nylon floors and won't pack as small nylon will, which might be a hindrance if having to carry your tent for long distances.  Nylon floors are better abrasive resistance and come in different thickness but if not treated with a urethane base it won't be water proof.  Also make sure your corners on your tents are sealed being that some manufactures don't tape them.

If trying to save on money, use old shower curtains which make great ground clothes. They should notCanvas Bottom extend beyond the edge of the tent; otherwise they will collect moisture or rain which could enter your tent. This groundsheet should be cut to fit the shape of the tent floor-as big, but no bigger. A groundsheet that sticks out from the edges of the tent will channel water underneath, and no degree of waterproofing will stop water from seeping inside. You can buy material for groundsheet at both outdoor-equipment and hardware stores. Plastic from hardware stores is perfectly fine and often cheaper.

The Rain Fly

Most tents come with a rain flys today and it is what usually takes most the beating of the tent weather. According to the fly it may just cover a central part of the roof, or it may extend all the way to the ground. It may incorporate an integral vestibule or annex by the tent door(s), or even a porch-style awning on some family models. It is usually somewhat heavier than the rest of the tent, as the fly takes the most abuse over time from UV light, winds, rains, birds, trees.  They are also good for ventilation being it leaves a double wall between you and the outside for summer time use.  For winter camping you would want something different such as a canvas tent. Its good to have a couple of extra flys for your tent when you purchase it because models change and won't be able to find a replacements down the road. It's cheaper to buy a couple of flys than it is to buy a new tent.  It is also good to waterproof them every so often to help protect your tent and make it last longer.  Some of the modern tents are single walled tents that are made with waterproof and breathable material like canvas.  Canvas tents are more expensive but will last for years to come. You can live winters in them if you had too with all sorts of wind, rain, and snow and still stay dry inside.  Some are made with a special wax coating so that no rain can come in and moister won't build up on the inside walls, keeping things dry inside and preserving your tent.

Size of Tent

Depending on the size of your family, group and gear that you have will determine what size of tent you will need.  Also today's tent manufacturers rate tents for sleeping in only with zero gear.  If you want your gear included inside, minus in half the amount of people that the tent rating says to accommodate it all, and it will be pretty close to the room you need.  Some tents even have a separate "dining room". This is usually a screened-in area for eating and lounging.  Things to consider are the height of the tent;  Are you tall and is there room to stand in it?  Also is there enough room to stretch out to your full length when you are in your sleeping bag?   Can you sit up comfortably and will you be spending a lot of time in the tent? Decide how much room is needed and important to you before purchasing a tent. 

Weight of Tent

Depending on your situation will determine the weight of your tent.  For example, if you knew a hurricane was coming and had time to prepare.  You could have a large tent taken to a camping park out of harms way and have the room needed to live comfortably for a time if having to set up a base camp of sorts.  If you had to go quickly, having a couple of smaller lighter tents might be more ideal in that kind of situation.  Tents can range in weight from a couple of pounds to over 100 lbs each.  It would be recommended to have both kinds handy but if not affordable, cheaper and lighter tents would be better than nothing.

Three or Four Season Tent

Three season tents are usually made to be used between spring and fall where a four season tent is for all seasons.  The three season tents are made of the lighter materials and is what you find in most sport stores and usually cost less. These kind of tents are almost entirely no-see-um netting for ultimate ventilation, which are great for summer camping.   The four season tents are heavier built and are usually made of canvas. They have very little ventilation and sometimes feature a cook hole in the floor so that you can cook inside your tent.  Four-season tents keep you warm or cool depending on the season, whichever the case may be, year-round. These tents usually have stronger poles, heavier fabrics, less mesh, and remain sturdy in the wind and snow. They also have a little more room for gear and cooking.  Basically, the more weather and snow you camp out in, the stronger your tent needs to be and a four season tent would work well.

Tent Poles

There are a few different types of tent pulls to considered all thought most tents you buy today have them all ready included.  Fiberglass are poles are much stronger than aluminum poles but aluminum poles are much lighter and easier to carry.  The fiberglass poles are more common now made and are usually made with the shock-corded poles that have the bungee cord running through them.  They are easier for packing for over all use but in time they do tend to splinter because of weather and would need to be replaced. For long time use they probably wouldn't be the way to go. Aluminum poles bend easier but they are more durable and much cheaper in replacing when needed.  There are different grades of aluminum for them also.  Some of the larger canvas tents are made up of galvanized steel tube.  The weight is quite heavy but nothing will beat the durability of them and are great for the four season canvas tents.

Tent Pegs

Most tents you buy today come with the skinny metal stakes which break easy and are junk.  You want to get the large plastic stakes which are much more durable and will keep your tent securely on the ground.  Have extra ones handy if you lose or brake one, they aren't  very costly.  There are also some good metal stakes you can get also they work fine.   When removing the stakes, for a word of caution, don't use the loops on the tent to pull the stakes out of the ground.  You will end out tearing your loops if you do so.  You can buy stake pullers that do the job very well or some claws on hammer fit well and work great.

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