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November 2013 Issue
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4 questions to ask before buying your next tent

Buy the tent for the conditions you expect to encounter. Photo: Alistair Hall
Asking the right questions before you buy your next tent will ensure there are no nasty surprises on your tramping holiday. Ben Sinclair from Living Simply shares FOUR vital questions you need to ask

How many people does it sleep, and what is the area and internal height of the tent?
“You will want enough room to sleep comfortably. Consider your height, if you’re extra tall, and whether your mattresses fit within the floor space.”

Which conditions is it made for?
“Where and when do you plan to use your tent?  For instance, will you be summer camping by the beach or climbing mountains in winter? The seasonal rating will cover waterproof ratings of floor and fly, insulation versus venting, type of poles used and strength in high winds. Some manufacturers put all this information on their tents, others don’t.”

How much does it weigh?
“Often, there are two weights specified – minimum and trail weight. Trail weight is for if you carry all the pegs, the pole bags and all the extras. The minimum weight is the bare minimum for what you would need to put the tent up.  What you will carry is somewhere between the two.”

How many doors and vestibule areas does it have?
“Vestibules are needed to store backpacks and boots outside of the sleeping area but still under shelter. Extra vestibules and doors add to comfort, but also weight.”