Camping Tips and Trips


Tents, Camping and Fun


By Linda Perry

When trying to decide which tent to purchase, the camper needs to first know where he will camp out, the time he will camp out, and the weather circumstances, and a few other things.

During my experimentation with many different kinds of tents, I've found that the best beginners' tent is a very inexpensive one that is usually available, in season, at Target stores.

The tent is called the Expedition Trail Authority tent. If you purchase this tent 'off- season" you can pick it up for under nineteen dollars.

The tent area on the floor is seven feet by seven feet, so that's plenty space for one or two people.

This tent is easily set up. You don't need two people to set it up because the tent center height is at a reasonable height. All you do is assemble the shock-corded poles and install them. Stake your tent down. Add the tent fly, and you are ready to go.

When using this tent, I use an inexpensive waterproof tarp under the tent, and another inexpensive waterproof tarp over the tent. Now , I'm set for all kinds of weather camping.

I've found that if you want to have a pleasant, non-working camping experience, you'll need to leave the large tents and the family tents back at the house or in the garage. Those larger tents, though they afford more room and more center height, are not fun to put together. And, on a windy day, they are almost impossible for one person to put them together. So, the smaller you go, the better you'll feel and the best and most carefree camping experience you'll have.

Two of the most important tenting helpful hints that I can share are these:

1. Never leave a tent unattended that has not been staked down. I've had the experience of leaving a large tent [seven feet high at the center] literally fly away after I moved about six inches from the tent to grab the stakes. The tent was completely put together-with the fly attached, and in one split second, on a day that had 'no' wind, a slight breeze came by and grabbed the tent up into the air.

I was surprised to see such a large tent fly away. If I hadn't seen it myself, I wouldn't have believed it possible. After all, how many of us have tried to get little kites up into the air with not much success? And here is this seven foot tent flying by.

I chased the tent [it flew OVER a fence] and brought it back to my campsite, and started all over. This time I kept a hold of the tent until I had put one stake in the ground and anchored it to the tent.

Now I know how some people get little holes in their tents [They've probably retrieved the tents over sharp fences while the tent was flying away].

So, number one, hold onto that tent until it's properly secured to the ground.

2. Never bring food inside your tent. Food attracks animals. You and your tent will be safe if you don't bring your food or snacks inside your tent.

Some of the best places to buy good tents are close to you. Try these:

Sports Authority Target Walmart or online at

I'd steer clear of the children's pop-up tents. These seem harder to fold up than the larger regular tents. Sure, the tent pops open very quickly. But after that you can spend as much as thirty minutes trying to figure out how to pop it down and fold it up to put it back into its' carry bag. A regular child's or adult's tent can be just as cheap if you search around for the best buy or if you wait until 'off-season" to purchase your tents.

For serious campers, and those who will be camping out for the rest of their lives, I recommend EUREKA tents. These are wonderfully, beautifully-created tents that will make you smile. They are almost easily set up. And most of them will have that nice material floor instead of that hard crinkley floor that most other tents have.

Eureka tents are all material and no plastic. That makes a difference in your camping experience.

Eureka tents can be expensive. But if you purchase off-season, you can get as much as fifty percent off the original price of a Eureka tent. And, the tents are brand new , not used.

Some items that will make camping easier:

Cord - lots of cord. Make sure you bring enough cord to hold your tent down, plus a little extra.

Tent stakes - That will prevent your tent from rolling or flying away in windy weather.

Flashlights - You'll always need one of these even if you like camping in the dark. In the middle of the night if you are looking for something in your tent, you'll not find it without a flashlight. And, if you hear a noise in the middle of the night, the best thing to do is immediately put your flashlight on. This lets everyone know that you are in your tent, and that your equipment and tent is being watched.

Water, bring lots of water to drink. Camping is the easiest way to get started on a new healthy way of living. With the stores and the soda pops far away , you have no excuse to not drink water. So , hydrate yourself and keep yourself healthy.

Extra set of car keys: You don't want to get locked out of your car on the last day of your camping trip. [Yes, that's when it will happen]. Keep the extra set of car keys ON your person , not in the car.

Majic candles: Remember those trick birthday candles that you used to use when you were a child? Well, these candles are the perfect things to bring along on a camping trip. When you are lighting your lanterns or lighting your fires, it will be convenient if you light them with a candle instead of a match. These 'majic" candles won't blow out. So, even if you are camping on the windiest day of the year, with these candles in your supply box, you'll surely get that fire lit and maintained. These candles are available at Target stores and at novelty stores in your neighborhood.

Back to tents: Please know that you can go camping without spending lots of money. Just use your imagination, and you'l find a great way to go camping in a great campgrounds or state park.

Linda Perry, though new to Ezine articles, is not new to writing. She has been writing for a number of years. And she has about 3 years camping experience, in the state parks and in private campgrounds. She is a graduate of an Outward Bound wilderness survival course.

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