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Tents - A Quick Introduction
If you really want to get close to nature, then you have to swap the comfort of four walls for something a bit more portable. The idea of heading off into the wilderness carrying everything you'll need for the next few days still very very appeals to many of us, as we look to escape all the stresses and strains of the modern world. State of the art lightweight tents provide amazing levels of comfort and weather protection whilst giving a secure base from which to explore your new surroundings. Our range of tents should match the needs of everyone, from the casual weekender to the hardcore mountaineer.

3 considerations when buying a new tent:

1. Season : It is imperative that the tent you choose can cope with the weather conditions you expect to face on your travels. As an aside, always bear in mind that it does rain during the summer and always pitch your tent as if a hurricane might strike, It makes good sense and practice to use all of the available guys and pegs, even in the mildest conditions.

2. Weight : This is only really a key factor if you are going to have to carry the tent yourself. Sounds obvious, but if you are driving to and from your chosen campsite, then don't worry about finding the lightest one avilable. A lighter tent will generally have less room, particularly in terms of vestibules, making them not a great choice if you are planning to live in it or have a lot of kit. This style of tent is more suited to light and fast trips with a different base every night.

3. Usage : Camping encompasses a wide range of scenarios, from the alpine tent on a rocky outcrop to the comfortable 2-man on the edge of a Cornish beach. An that's the beauty of it! Choose the tent that will suit your needs - balancing weight, comfort and overall size to allow you to adapt to your new surroundings on each night of your trip. For the more adventurous, take a bivi when you haven't the pack size or floor space to pitch a proper tent.

Tell me what all this jargon means:

To the enthusiastic but uninitiated, there can be fewer things more confusing that the technical jargon thrown around in tent specifications - geodesic this, footprint that. The role of the next few paragraphs is to explain the key features of a tent, allowing you to make an informed decision about the model best suited to your needs.

1. Airflow Ventilation : A regular airflow system can reduce the problem of condensation within the tent, and also help to keep you cool on warm nights and humid days. Many tents will feature adjustable systems, allowing you to alter the flow of air and control the temperature inside the tent. Manufacturers offer different systems to try and achieve the most efficient venting.

2. Geodesic versus Tunnel : The two construction styles of tents are Geodesic and Tunnel, with each style having strengths and weaknessess. A geodesic tent will tend to be stronger in high winds and snowy envionments due to it's overlapping pole design. They are also freestanding which makes for easy movement when finding the perfect site. Tunnel tents by contrast are often lighter due to using fewer poles but offer extra head height and often largest vestibules for additional storage and living space. This generally makes them a better choice for low level camping and trekking.

3. Independently Pitched inners : Being able to pitch the inner tent on its own can be extremely useful in hot and dry climates where your biggest concerns are creepy crawlies and flying insects rather than the weather. The inners of many geodesic tents can be self-supporting for convenient pitching, while the tunnel inners will require the use of guy lines. Also, it's worth checking whether you will require additional pole holders when pitching an inner.

4. Treated Flysheets : Treated flysheets will improve the performance of your tent, increasing its resistance to rain and snow, and even helping to prevent degradation of the material, zips and guy ropes from the sun's UV rays.

5. Tent Vestibules : Often a godsend, a vestibule adds extra space for storing kit or cooking and eating during bouts of inclement weather. There are certain tents in on this site that come with the option of extended vestibules for even more storage. This is particularly handy if you're planning a cycle touring holiday as an extended vestibule can often take two bikes. However, be aware - condensation and moisture will come up from the ground, not a great place for stashing your packs.

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