Tent Camping is for Togetherness!

Jul 21, 2008 (Updated Jul 23, 2008)

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The Bottom Line If you choose a family tent for everyone, be prepared to be WITH each other, so bring a game to have some fun while in the tent!

Epinions asks:

What should I know about family tents?

Well, first of all, what you really should know is that when you go camping, you are closer to your family then you will ever be when at home.

Reason being is that there is no type of electronics to distract you from each other. No TV. No video games. You might have a radio, but other then that, it's all about you, your family, and Mother Nature.

Now, with that said, you have to decide what type tent, or tents, you want. Do you want to have one big tent, where you, you husband (or wife) and kids will all sleep together? Or, do you want a tent for the parents, and a separate one for the kids?

Let's say you decide to be totally together, as in just one tent. You have to make sure that it will fit all of you. We have a tent that is supposed to fit 8-10. It doesn't. It fits the four of us, barely. Do not go by what the packaging of the tent says, as the only way these tents fit what they say is if you all sleep side by side, and do not toss or turn in the night!

Now, do you want one of the tents that claim they are two separate rooms? Don't be misled, the "separation" is just a flap of fabric that you either zip, or velcro in the middle. This is ok, if you know that is it just a flap of fabric. Then, you and your spouse can sleep together one one side, and the kids can be on the other. These type tents are good for if you have young children, or children who are scared to be in a tent alone. That way, you can hear if they wake up and try to go outside (for the young children) or, for the older ones, they can wake you if they need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. And they will. Kids seen to think it's great fun to wake in the middle of the night and use the bathroom!

Oh, a couple things that you absolutely need to do are:

#1. Set the tent up in your yard. This way you know how to set it up and won't be having a hard time when on the campground. This will also let you see how many sleeping bags will fit inside.

#2. Buy some of the seam sealer and use it. This will help to keep moisture out.

When you take your tent camping, make sure to bring a tarp that will fit under the tent. This helps to keep the floor somewhat dry from morning dew. You may also want to bring an extra one, in case it rains, to put over the tent/rainflap. We have found that in some cases, the rain flap isn't that great, and having the extra tarp keeps the interior drier.

Also, when you are camping, you have to know one thing, in the early morning, never ever touch the sides of the tent! The early morning dew (condensation) gathers on the tent, and if you touch the side, it will seep into the tent. You can use the tent weather-proofing to help to stop this, but even using that, eventually it wears off and again you have some wetness inside. It isnt really bad it is more annoying then anything else.

The main thing about tent camping is to be together with your family, enjoy the sights and sounds of nature and to have fun!

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