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How to Choose the Best Vintage Canvas Tent for Backpacking

Do you want to wake up to the mesmerizing view of sun-kissed mountains overlooking a lake right when you unzip the tent door? All you need is a mug of coffee to complete this dream!

There’s a reason backpackers never get bored with their passion; nature has so much to offer and in so many variations you simply can’t absorb it all. The same place looks so different at different times of the year. And when it isn’t the season playing games, it’s the weather that doesn’t remain calm.

It is when you get off the beaten tracks that you discover the real beauty. But this doesn’t mean you go unprepared. An enthusiastic backpacker’s primary luggage comprises a vintage canvas tent as a general rule. You’re never really sure where you’ll be camping for the night so it’s always handy to keep it on your shoulders. And while the contents of your backpack are a topic of another day, here’s everything you need to keep in mind when choosing a vintage canvas tent.

1. Size

This can be tricky. You have to consider the size of the tent when it is closed, and the size of the tent when it is propped open. Whether or not you’re a frequent backpacker, your luggage will comprise essential gear besides the tent. If you’re selecting a tent that occupies a lot of space even when it is closed, chances are you’ll get irritated with it quickly. There’s only so much you can carry on your shoulders or in your hands.

As a rule of thumb, look for compact options that offer utility, mobility, and doesn’t compromise on other aspects. This also depends whether you’re a solo adventurer or someone who’ll have the family accompanying them.

2. Weight

As a backpacker, especially if your route involves more hiking and less driving, the weight of the tent matters a lot. You don’t want your vintage canvas tent to be the thing pulling you down or stopping your progress while you’re hiking. Even if you’re going for car camping, you must lug your tent to the campsite. If you’re investing in heavy materials, it will kill the purpose of backpacking.

Look for light-weight, modern and compact materials that offer the utility you are looking for. Vintage Canvas Tents are popular these days for their light-weight cotton exteriors and dynamic design.

3. Capacity

How many people will use the tent? If you’re a solo hiker, you need not worry about space. But if you’re backpacking with family and/or friends, you need to plan for not only housing them but also accommodating their gadgets and luggage. Typically, invest in a tent that can accommodate one extra person than the numbers on your trip. You’ll be grateful for all that extra space you’ll use for everything else.

4. Protection

There are so many kinds of tents available in the market that offer different levels of protection. For example, there are a few that’ll keep you warm and cozy on a rainy night. Then there are a few that let the sunrise awaken you. Some of these come with additional protection against bugs and insects. You definitely don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night because you’re cold or bug-bitten.

There’s the single-walled tent that is breathable and lets you see the world before you sleep. Then there’s the double walled tent that offers heightened protection against the weather. A detachable rain-fly works best for tackling different weather conditions. Some companies are selling three or four season tents that claim adequate protection against extreme weather. If you’re a frequent camper, you might want to consider these.

The whole idea of having a sleeping tent is the protection against the wild. It is like taking a piece of home with you. If you’re not comfortable during the night, it kills the purpose of the tent. You’ll still have the experience to talk about though – highly NOT recommended!

5. Design

Although the design doesn’t really matter when it comes to utility or spending the night comfortably, you might want to give it a look if you’re in love with taking pictures. For one thing, the Vintage Canvas tents look classy and pro, a difference that the other nylon and cotton tents can’t match. But it’s not only about the looks.

There are some tents that have two doors and a window that keeps the interior ventilated. This also means you don’t need to step over your tent-mate to reach your side. Some come with a stylish rain-fly and footprint that make even the most amateur backpackers look utterly seasoned. If the other major luggage in your backpack is a camera, it wouldn’t hurt to focus a little on the design of your tent.

6. Setup

How easy is it to set up your tent? After a long day of hiking and/or driving, the last thing you want to be worried about is setting camp. Ideally, setting up your tent shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes. Unwrap, adjust, prop up, and you should be done.

There are freestanding tents you can set up by joining the pieces and you wouldn’t have to worry about what’s there or not in the surroundings. Then there are non-freestanding tents you can only setup when there’s ample support available nearby. Whatever you choose, make sure you can mantle and dismantle it in minutes so you can enjoy your experience of the wild!

7. Durability

For the most part, you won’t be purchasing a new tent for every trip. You’ll want to reuse your investment till it has lived its useful life. The durability of your tent depends on a lot of factors including the material of your tent, the usage and frequency, the weather conditions and general care. Consider how long your investment will pay off and how much it’ll accompany you on your adventures. Remember, tents are not onetime use only.

Last but not the least, the price of your tent is a major factor that influences your purchase decision. You can’t bust your budget on the tent alone; there’s so much else you need to have on the trip. Also, your investment should offer the returns you are looking for. As stated previously, tents are not onetime use only.

Most of the modern ultra lightweight tents come with a hefty price tag because of their material and engineering. The simpler, heavier, and not-so-fancy alternatives have a more attractive price tag but may offer less utility. The idea is to find the perfect balance that doesn’t hurt your pocket and still gives you the shelter you need.

Evaluate your options against all the pointers mentioned here and you’ll be able to find something that’s perfect for your backpacking trips. All the best!

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