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Expedition Tents

You’ll definitely need a lightweight tent if you’re going to be carrying your pack – your tent will probably be the heaviest item you’ll have to take, so it’s worth making sure this is as lightweight as possible!

The most expensive tents can be unbelievably light - the likes of Vaude, Ferrino and MSR use thin but incredibly tough fabric, and ultra lightweight pegs and poles. These tents can...

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weigh less than 1kg and pack down to tiny sizes.

 

Choosing your tent

The obvious factor is the amount of people which your tent will sleep. Lone walkers or walkers who like to have their own space will want a one-man tent. If they have lots of equipment they might require a bit more space and opt for a small 2 man tent. Evidently, the more ‘men’ the tent sleeps, the larger the tent, and the larger the tent, the heavier it is, so it pays to be economical with space.  However, the amount of people the tent sleeps is somewhat arbritrary, so you might like to have a look at the dimensions watch a video of the tent to see the scale of it and get a better idea about how much space you’ll have. As with any living/sleeping situation, each person has their needs and preferences so there’s lots of factors in choosing the size of your tent. Any expedition veteran will advocate being careful with weight, but a tent where you just don’t have enough space will inhibit your enjoyment, especially if there’s more than one person in there! (Tip : it’s worth checking the dimensions of the tent against the length of your sleeping mat to make sure it’ll fit in properly ! The same goes with your height : if you like to stretch out while you’re sleeping it’s worth the little bit of extra weight for a larger tent and a comfortable nights’ sleep. If you or your mat are pressing against the walls of your tent, there’s a much higher chance of moisture entering the tent.)

A porch will add extra weight to the tent, but it’s so often worth it. After a wet day of walking, it feels like heaven to take off all of your wet gear and change into something warm and dry. If you have a porch, you can  zip the interior door and leave wet, muddy, smelly stuff there until you can wash it and hang it out to dry. Without one, you have to deal with it in your sleeping area…

On the subject of water, check the waterproof rating of your tent before you buy it. The scale goes from 1,000 to 10,000 – a rudimentary explanation of this scale is that it demonstrates how many mm of water the tent fabric would need on top of it before it starts leaking. A fair weather camper will only need a tent with a lower rating, while a walker who anticipated camping in adverse conditions – i.e. driving rain and wind – would need a tent with a higher value. However, tents with a very high rating will need extra care for them to retain this level of impermeability.

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