How to guide from Fjallraven
Choosing a campsite
Componants of a tent
Classic tent design has two separated layers, the inner tent and the outer flysheet. The layers are separated to provide a condensation gap reducing the risk of getting wet! Some designs allow the outer tent to be erected first and the inner tent is then hung from the underside.
Ultra lightweight tents generally have a single skin that attracts condensation.
The position of the tent when pitching a tent can reduce condensation issue by providing through draft from the prevailing wind.
Outer Tent (Flysheet)
Depending upon the design the outer tent (flysheet) will be erected first or last. Tents that allow the outer layer to be erected first provide protection to the inner sleeping compartment especially when erecting the tent in inclement weather.
Groundsheets in modern tent designs are sown in to the main sleeping compartment both in single skin and traditional two layer designs
The porch is the area in front of the inner layer, that is still under the outer layer (flysheet) of the tent and is typically used for storing your boots and rucksack and as a kitchen when the weather is wet. Some designs incorporate a groundsheet in the porch, others don't!
Midge nets are normally provided as a second door in order to provide a barrier against flying pests. The construction of the midge net can also provide welcome ventilation.
Most modern tents have lightweight alloy poles with shock-cords through the middle that allows them to be snapped together easily and folded up after use.
Guy lines and peg fixing points
When you return to your camp site at the end of a long walk you want to find that the tent is still there. That's why guy lines and peg fixing points are essential.
Guy lines are usually cord with a slide control to adjust the length and normally extend out from the upper regions of the outer layer (flysheet).
Peg fixing points are normally elasticated loops at ground level on both the inner and outer tent. Some inner and outer layer loops will share the same pegs.
Most tents either come with simple lightweight skewer type pegs or a more robust aluminium V shape. Other pegs are available to purchase separately for more specialist uses such as snow and ice.
Most of the weight of modern day tents is in the fabric. Check carefully before purchasing your tent especially when looking to backpack. Some three man tents on the market today can weigh less than another's one man!
Dependent upon the size of the group one, two or three man tents are ideal for backpacking especially if you can share the load between the party. Check beforehand though that a three man tent can actually fit three, plus all the gear that goes with!
Below are links to more of the major tent manufacturers supplying the European market. Please, please let us know if we've missed any!!!
Hilleberg we've linked to the USA site because we can't find one targeted at the UK market