Going camping is always exciting, and it gets doubled when it’s with family, right? If you’re embarking on a group trip, choosing the right family tent is an essential part of the trip.

The right-sized tent determines the comfort level throughout the camping trip for you and your family, but choosing the right size isn’t an easy task. To help with the process of how to choose a family tent, we’ve assembled this guide.

Tent Size – Why Is It So Important?

The tent’s size holds the utmost importance for your camping trip. Its size determines your trip’s comfort level, not just for you but for your family as well. No matter the family size it’s better to get a slightly bigger tent than you need. Otherwise, you and your family members will feel cramped inside throughout the trip.

If you don’t select the right-sized tent for the family camping trip, you’ll face discomfort while staying inside. Not only that, you won’t have enough room to move around and sleep comfortably.

That’s why it’s crucial to choose the right-sized family tent. However, as mentioned at the beginning it’s not as you might think. Without the right know-how, you might miss something that’ll ruin the whole trip.

Not to worry, our following segments will help determine the right-sized tent for your family trip.

Different Types Of Family Tents

As we mentioned earlier, there are quite a few types of tents but not all of them are well suited for your family and conditions.

In the following segment, we’ll have a brief discussion about a few types of family tents, which will help you have a better understanding of your needs.

Pop-Up Tents

A typical pop-up tent with external flexible poles

A typical pop-up tent with external flexible poles

The Pop-up tent is the most portable tent on our list. It’s built with light aluminum looped framing which is confined with a tension strap.

When you release the tension strap from the framing you’ll have your tent ready to set up. Once the tent is popped you need to locate the braided loops at the bottom of the tent.

They are the stakeout points of the tent. Just stake out the braided loops and you’ll have your tent ready for camping. It’ll take about 2 to 4 minutes to complete the setup.

Yes, it’s true that pop-up tents are easy and quick to set up. However, it has a significant drawback, which is that it can’t withstand bad weather conditions. Because of its light aluminum framing, it can’t withstand bad weather such as heavy rain, wind, and snowfall. So if you know it’s going to be bad weather where you’re going then the pop-up tent is probably not the one for you.

Instant Cabin Tents

A large 'instant cabin' style family tent

A large ‘instant cabin’ style family tent

Instant cabin tents are square or rectangular-shaped tents that provide a huge vertical space.

The instant cabin tents are structured with large aluminum pole framing, which makes them sturdy. That makes them withstand bad weather with ease.

It takes roughly 5 to 7 minutes to set up this type of tent for a single person. However, the larger cabin tents are harder to set up and require at least 2 people.

One of the major drawbacks of this type of tent is that it’s hard to carry because of the large size even after being folded in a box. So if you wish to use the instant cabin tent then you’ll need a much larger space inside your car.

Dome Tents

A typical dome tent for families

A typical dome tent for families

Dome Tents are the most popular tent, the reason being they’re widely available, unlike the other tents, also they’re very cost-effective.

That being said dome tents are designed with versatility in mind. That means these tents can easily withstand any kind of weather.

It’s because of its structure. Dome tents are made from a flexible interlocking frame that supports the main body of the frame and helps withstand bad weather conditions.

One thing that makes the dome tent different from the other two is that it’s a double-wall tent. This means it’s both properly ventilated and well protected at the same time.

The only drawback when you choose a dome family tent is the setup process, which is quite complex. One missed alignment will make your tent set up unsuccessful.

So if you are planning on using the dome tent for your family camping trip you should learn the setup process.

Factors to Consider When Choosing A Family Tent

As we mentioned earlier, determining the right size of your family tent depends on many structural factors as well as your personal situation.

The variety of tents available on the market can easily overwhelm you if you don’t know what you’re looking for. In this segment, we’ll review the factors you’ll need to consider while choosing a family tent for your next trip.

Tent’s Shape

The tent’s size and shape is the factor that will influence your comfort throughout the camping trip. Tents come in different shapes, and not every shape will provide the best support for you.

No matter the size of the tent, if the shape is not suited to you, it’ll cause hindrance to movement freedom and thus lead to discomfort.

So make sure you choose the right shape along with the size that’s suited to your needs and comfort for the tent. It’ll help ensure a successful trip for you and your family.

Living Space for a Family Tent

A family tent will offer plenty of space for the group

A family tent will offer plenty of space for the group

When you’re choosing a tent, you must consider the living space, and while considering the living space, you must include a few things. Such as:

  • Family members (How many members of your family you’re bringing along)
  • Trips duration (How many days are you going to stay for camping)
  • Whether you’re spending a lot of time inside the tent or not

According to these considerations, you must choose an ideal living space for your family tent. The rule of thumb is to plan for at least 20 square feet in the tent for each person. But if you plan to spend more leisure time in the tent, you will want to allow for even more space.

Entry Points

Along with shapes and sizes, there are different types of entry points that you can leave open or close as per requirements. You might be thinking that fewer entry points on the tent would be good for better protection of your tent. Well, just like living space, it depends on your needs.

Most tent doors are designed with nets that will keep the insects out and will let you enjoy the view without opening the whole door.

While choosing the entry points, you should also consider the number of members using the tent. For example, if you’re buying a large tent for 16 people, you should look for a tent with multiple entry points on each side.

Ventilation System

A proper ventilation system is necessary to allow for proper airflow inside the tent. Just having a few entry points can’t provide the required ventilation for you and your family.

So it’s a good idea to choose a tent with several windows. It will ensure the necessary influx of air, which will provide the proper ventilation system inside the tent.

Ease of Set Up

Setting up a tent can be easy or hard according to the methods. Some tents have an easy setup system that can be done by one person and some are so hard that it needs more than two people to set up properly.

So unless you want to go through a complex tent setup process you should choose an easy-to-set tent. It will not only save you a lot of hassle but also your valuable time. It’s also a good idea to run thru the setup process before your trip.

Organizational Features

Keeping your necessary items organized inside the tent is a hassle, especially if you have children.

You should know that there are tents that come with features that help you better organize your essential items and tools. If this is something you’re interested in, look out for tents that have organizational features like vestibules, gear lofts, and tent dividers. This will help keep the interior of your large family tent organized and make your camping experience more enjoyable.

Portability

It’s ideal for a tent to be portable, and as we all know, portability makes traveling much easier.

Before you buy a big family tent, you must consider its portability as well. Otherwise, you’ll face trouble and complexity while traveling.

Logically, a bigger tent takes a lot of space even after being folded in a box. So make sure you plan out enough space inside your vehicle for the large tent.

Rainfly

The rainfly is a water-resistant material that stops the rain or condensed water from coming inside the tent. If you’re looking to buy the cheapest possible family tent, the quality of materials may not be the best. If the rainfly material is of poor quality, it can lead to water condensing inside the coating, causing water to leak inside the tent.

On the flip side, buying a tent with a proper rainfly will help prevent the heavy rainwater from getting inside the tent, which is especially important if you’re faced with bad weather conditions. While buying your family tent make sure to check reviews that mention the rainfly.

Durability

Family tents need to be much more durable than your regular tents. The more people who will be using the tent, the more wear and tear will occur. The sturdiest tents are those built with aluminum framing. These are more resistant to damage.

Just so you know, aluminum frames bend if stressed, however, they can be easily repaired and you don’t need any special expertise for it either. So while buying a tent make sure you get the one with aluminum framing.

Final Considerations for Choosing a Family Tent

Not only is it important to choose the right-sized family tent, but there are also plenty of factors to consider before making your purchase. Luckily, now you can follow the above-mentioned factors and easily find the right tent for your family camping trip.

The only thing more impressive than brand-new backpacking equipment is gear that’s survived multiple seasons and has taken on a rugged, well-loved appearance. Dented coffee mugs, frayed backpack handles, and boots with mismatching laces tell a story of adventure and are direct evidence of a life spent in the backcountry.

Of course, if you properly care for your backpacking gear, it should last a long time. Backpacking equipment is built to last and should stand up to being dropped, stepped on, and thrown about.

However, that’s only true if you put some thought into the proper backpacking gear storage. Even the sturdiest tent can be undone by mildew and no amount of TLC will save a camping stove that’s been broken in storage. This means you need to learn how to properly care for your backpacking gear to ensure that it lasts a long time.

How to Maintain Your Backpack

Good backpacks are expensive and choosing the right backpack for you takes time and effort. This means that you have to give your backpack plenty of love between trips so that you don’t worry about its sturdiness while you’re on the trail.

Get yourself a rain-proof dry bag when you purchase your backpack. Rain-proof covers are cheap and easily stretch over your bag. By stopping moisture from getting in, you reduce the chances of mold forming later on.

After every trip, give your backpack a gentle scrub to remove any dirt and hang it to dry in a sunny, warm spot. Be sure to open all the pockets and remove any waste you find. When it comes to storage of your backpack, make sure it is in a well-ventilated, dry place to avoid any mold or damage by pests.

How to Take Care of Your Hiking Boots

Hiking boots may be the most important backpacking gear you own. Uncomfortable or misshapen boots can quickly lead to blisters and no amount of duct tape can save boots that are falling apart while you’re hiking.

You can prevent the worst boot mishaps by properly washing your shoes between every adventure. Remove any dirt that has accumulated on the soles and use a little disinfecting spray to kill off any bacteria that might be lurking in your insoles. Make sure you store your shoes in a dry space and give them a good look over before you lace them up.

It is worth bearing in mind that hiking boots can be repaired by a good cobbler. Shoe repair shops are ideal for things like resoling your boots, and many big-brands partner with particular repair shops that specialize in outdoor backpacking gear and shoes

Proper Care and Storage for Your Tent

Tents are infamous for mildew and mold. There’s simply nothing worse than getting your tent out before an adventure only to find a large patch of black goo has formed on the ground cover or fly. Fortunately, you can avoid the worst by storing your tent properly.

Proper backpacking tent storage and care start from the moment you start breaking down your camp. Shake out every layer of your tent to remove any dirt or waste that may have accumulated, and pack the tent away in its original bag.

When you get home, take the tent out and wash it down with soapy water. Next, hang the tent in a sunny spot — washing lines are ideal for this purpose. When you’re certain that the tent is bone dry, you can re-pack it into the bag.

Properly Store Your Sleeping Bag

Many of the rules that apply to your tent also apply to your sleeping bag. However, unless your bag is waterproof, it’s not a good idea to hose it down between every use.

Instead, invest in some disinfecting spray and hang the bag, fully unzipped, in direct sunlight. UV light from the sun can kill bacteria and stop an unwanted microbiome from forming in your sleeping bag.

As always, make sure you store the bag in its intended packaging and inspect it before you throw it in the trunk with the rest of your backpacking gear.

How to Store Your Camping Gear Between Trips

Camping gear like stoves, tin coffee cups, and plates make backpacking that much more convenient. There’s simply nothing better than firing up the cooker after a long hike and eating your fill of dehydrated hash browns and beans.

But how do you care for your backpacking gear between adventures? Just stuffing this all-important equipment into the nearest closet is not the answer. Instead, you should create a dedicated space to store all your campground gear.

Attics and basements make for ideal storage spots. But, if you’re working with limited space, you can always make extra space in small closets by decluttering and getting creative with clothes wracks, tack shelves, and compression bags.

When the time comes to store your camping gear put the hardiest equipment on the bottom and more fragile equipment on top — this is particularly important for gas canisters and stoves which can easily break.

Conclusion

A restful break in the woods can quickly turn into a wilderness nightmare if you don’t know how to properly care for your backpacking gear between trips. Before any trip, take a quick inventory of your equipment and test it to ensure that it is in full working order.

You should also create a dedicated storage space for all your outdoor backpacking gear. This space should be dry, secure, and well ventilated to stop critters and creepy-crawlies from ruining your next trip to the campground.

The starting point for any DIY dehydrated backpacking meal is a selection of dehydrated or freeze-dried ingredients. Both of these methods remove the water weight from your food supply, helping ensure the lightest weight in your pack, and transforming perishable ingredients into a long-lasting food supply. But what is the difference between dehydrated vs freeze-dried ingredients, and how does it affect your meal plan? Read on to find out!

Cooking Time

The cooking time varies significantly for dehydrated vs. freeze-dried ingredients. Freeze-dried ingredients are actually much easier to rehydrate than dehydrated ingredients.

While the method is generally the same (just add boiling water), the time to cook varies between the two. If you’re planning to combine freeze-dried and dehydrated ingredients, keep in mind that freeze-dried ingredients will rehydrate pretty quickly, taking an average of 5 minutes or less.

On the other hand, dehydrated ingredients can take closer to 10-20 minutes to fully rehydrate. 

Shelf Life

The shelf life of dehydrated vs. freeze-dried ingredients may also be a concern, especially if you plan to keep the meals as part of a survival pack in your home. If you intend to consume the food within a couple of months, dehydration should be sufficient. However, if you’re thinking much longer term, you will want to go with freeze-drying. With the right storage conditions, freeze-dried ingredients have a shelf life of up to 20 years!

Nutritional Value

The other tradeoff between dehydrated backpacking meals vs. freeze-dried food is the nutritional value. Freeze-dried ingredients retain more of the nutrition compared to DIY dehydrating. Luckily, there are plenty of options for freeze-dried food from Trader Joe’s, Amazon, and even Costco.

Cost of Dehydrated vs. Freeze-Dried Ingredients

While freeze-dried ingredients seem to have a clear advantage in the above categories, there is one area where dehydrated ingredients take the cake: cost. In the stores, dehydrated ingredients are significantly less expensive than freeze-dried ingredients. To save even more money, you could even buy your own dehydrator to DIY. 

Still, if you’re set on buying freeze-dried ingredients, you can save costs by buying in bulk. Amazon has a variety of freeze-dried meat, vegetables, and fruits in bulk.

So which is better? Freeze-Dried or Dehydrated Ingredients?

DIY Backpacking Meals

DIY Backpacking Meals

As you can see, if you have the budget, freeze-dried meals are superior to dehydrated meals in terms of nutritional value, shelf life, and time needed to rehydrate (which translates into fuel and water costs). You can read more about the differences between freeze-dried and dehydrated ingredients here

Now that you’ve earned the difference between freeze-dried and dehydrated ingredients, maybe you’re ready to start assembling your own DIY Backpacking meals or cold-soak meals for your next trip. Enjoy!

Going out in the wild and isolating yourself from the city noise and your ordinary life is so freeing, but terrifying at the same time. There is so much you need to learn about backpacking outdoors, and tons of small details that can make your first time the best one ever, or the most disastrous one. The following article is made specifically for you and your needs. 

In the following, you’ll find out nearly everything you need to know to experience an ultralight backpacking adventure. We say nearly, because there is so much to talk about, and we cannot possibly fit that in one article. You’ll be making small mistakes along the way, but we’ll make sure that they won’t ruin the whole experience for you. 

Grab the essentials 

Backpack 

Investing in a comfy backpack is really important because it’s the main thing that you’ll be carrying with you all the time. The backpack should be adjustable, with foamy cushions to avoid any pressure points, and preferably a strap that will wrap around and support your torso. The material should also be high-quality, and bonus points for you if it’s waterproof. 

Ideally, the backpack should have one main compartment and multiple smaller ones. This will help you organize better, and you won’t have to unpack everything just to see where the matches are. Small compartments are also important for storing snacks that you can enjoy along the way.

Tent 

The tent is a long-term investment, so don’t be afraid to spend a bit over the top for it. Of course, you shouldn’t just barge in the store and purchase the most expensive one. Find a tent that will suit your needs. Do you want to share it? Are you going to hike in the winter? Do you want the light to enter it? Once you know your personal preferences, you can even pick the color.

Tents that are bigger are more expensive but they can fit you and another person or two. Smaller tents will give you more warmth, as well as enough space and comfort. The tent should also be made of waterproof material and should be thick enough not to get ripped by the tree branches surrounding it. 

Sleeping bag

Sleeping bags come in a variety of shapes and sizes and they are the second important long-term investment you’ll be getting. You don’t want to spend the night sleeping on the tent’s flooring because it will be cold and you’ll feel every stone and branch under the material. Not to mention the back pain you’ll experience in the morning. 

Sleeping bags vary in terms of their usage. You can opt either for a camping sleeping bag or a backpacking one. If you plan on pursuing both activities, then you should invest in the latter one. It’s a lot lighter and you can fold it to better fit in your backpack. The second major difference is in the filling. You can choose between down-filled or synthetic sleeping bags, depending on your preferences. Also, it’s up to you what shape of sleeping bag will you take, but we suggest you the mummy one for the snuggling feeling.

The right clothes

Don't underestimate the importance of having the right clothes on your backpacking adventure

Don’t underestimate the importance of having the right clothes on your backpacking adventure

Forget all about denim and your favorite cotton tee with a cute application in the front. You should also avoid no-show socks, dark colors, and silky outfits. Opt for breathable materials such as merino wool, nylon, polyester. Light colors will absorb less heat, and especially during the summertime, that’s exactly what you want. No matter the weather, it’s a great idea to wear a waterproof jacket with you. An extra set of clothes in your backpack is mandatory, especially if you sweat a lot.

In terms of shoes, hiking sandals or boots that cover your ankles work the best. Depending on the terrain, you can also choose to wear comfortable walking shoes. The shoes should be comfortable, and the right size for you. During your walk, your feet will swell, and you don’t want your boots rubbing your feet and forming blisters and wounds. 

Don’t forget the details

Small details can make it or break it for you. Apart from enough food and water, you need to pay close attention to small things that should find their way in your backpack. On your list, you must have a power bank for your phone. Matcher or lighter should always be stored in your smaller compartments unless you feel super confident about starting a campfire without them. A pocket knife can find many uses out in the wild as well. 

Bringing a basic first aid kit and knowing emergency first aid can be of great use, no matter if you’re backpacking alone or with friends. There are articles online, and your local hospital would gladly walk you through a quick course of first aid. You may not need it at the moment but might find yourself in a situation where somebody needs help.

In life, there is nothing more pleasing than hopping on a plane and jetting off somewhere exotic. If a beach vacation is on the cards, creating a packing list can be difficult. You don’t want to bring too much, but at the same time, you don’t want to leave any essentials behind. To ensure you’re ready for the beach and the sunshine, here is everything you need to pack for your upcoming beach vacation.

Swimwear

Of course, when you’re going to the beach, you’ll need to be in the right attire. Whether you go frolicking in the sea or prefer to sunbathe close to the waves, packing a good amount of swimwear is essential. How many you pack for your beach vacation will depend on how long you’re going away for. It’s always best to bring an extra couple of pieces to ensure you’re fully covered.

Sunglasses

As you arrive at your destination and enjoy the glorious sunshine, you must protect your eyes in the process. We understand not to look directly in the sun, but if the rays are beating down and becoming a nuisance, add a pair of sunglasses to your beach vacation packing list. To make you stand out and look stylish, you may want to invest in a designer pair of shades. 

Tank Tops

Even if you spend most of your vacation on the beach, you can’t exactly walk into a restaurant in your swimwear! Therefore, make sure to pack plenty of tank tops. You can wear them to and from the beach and if you’re going sightseeing.

Evening Dress

Once the sun sets, you may decide you want to head out for a bite to eat. If you’re going on a trip for a special occasion like a milestone birthday or wedding anniversary, it’s wise to pack a couple of evening dresses. That way, you will look stylish and classy, especially if all eyes are on you!

Shorts

When it comes to casual daywear on your beach vacation, you can’t go wrong with wearing a pair of shorts. However, no matter how stylish they look, a pair of jean shorts isn’t the most comfortable choice for a day at the beach. This means you’ll need to pick the right material for your getaway. It’s recommended to stick with all-cotton as they’re considered light and breathable. Make sure you pack shorts that have pockets to store your essentials too.

A Good Book

If you’re going on a beach vacation to fully relax and unwind, add a few books to your packing list. Whether you’re sitting by the pool or lounging by the sea, having a book to read can be a great way to relieve stress and get the best experience. Just ensure you have a few options to choose from. You don’t want to bring a book that you’re bored of after a few chapters. 

Slides and Sandals

Your feet go through a lot during a vacation. Even if you plan to spend a lot of your time lounging around under the sun, bringing the right footwear is important. While you may think of throwing any old sandals or slides into your luggage, you may prefer to push the boat out and opt for some Gucci Sandals or Gucci Slides. You can check out www.ssense.com, which sells a plethora of stylish sandals and slides that are sure to look fabulous on your feet and keep them protected throughout your beach vacation. SSENSE also sells luxury clothing and accessories that can be teamed with your slides and sandals. 

Sunscreen

Wherever you’re heading to in the world, if you’re going somewhere roasting hot, packing sunscreen is essential! You need to look after your skin during your time away, so make sure you pick a factor that is suitable for your skin. Wearing sunscreen not only lowers your risk of sunburn, but it can prevent the signs of aging too. While many of us like to get a tan while on vacation, should you not wear sunscreen, this can increase your risk of skin cancer, inflammation, and skin discoloration. While you may be able to buy sunscreen once you arrive at your destination, it’s always best to bring some with you just in case. 

Hat

Understandably, the main reason to pack a hat during your beach vacation is to protect you from the sun. However, there are more benefits to wearing one than you may have first thought. For starters, the right hat can complement your overall look for all the right reasons. Secondly, a hat means you won’t have to worry about any bad hair days! 


If a beach vacation is on the agenda, having all the essentials on your packing list is important. From basics to extras, toiletries to luxury relaxation, as long as you pack all the above, you can be confident you won’t leave any necessities behind.