Going camping or bivouacking allows you to spend a privileged moment with nature. Lovers of nights under the stars will tell you that there is no more beautiful place to sleep than in the middle of nature. But, to take advantage of these excursions in an optimal way it is important to know how to choose its equipment and in particular the tent.

The difference between a camping tent and a bivouac tent?

For bivouac, it is better to choose a lighter tent, because you will have to carry it every day. The goal is to have a tent that is easy to set up and take down and doesn't take up too much space. The interior space and the number of storage spaces are often less important than for a camping tent.

On the other hand, for a camping tent, you should look for comfort and space above all. Think of it as a surrogate home in which you should feel comfortable.

Choosing your camping tent

Living space

First of all, you have to determine the average number of people who will live in this tent. The objective is to meet the needs of the whole family in terms of space and storage. Indeed, the optimal size of the living space is necessarily linked to the number of people who will be present during the stay. It is always possible to use an awning or a vestibule to enlarge the space. It is generally recommended to consider that a person should have a minimum of 60 cm in width and 2 meters in length to feel comfortable.

The shape

If you are looking for a family tent with several rooms, it is best to start with a tunnel or geodesic tent.

The tunnel tent is lightweight and has very good wind resistance (low height and shape). This type of tent often offers a pleasant and comfortable living space. However, this type of tent is not self-supporting and therefore cannot fit in a sardine or guy rope. It is therefore impossible to move it without having to dismantle it completely. With these crossing poles, the assembly can sometimes be more difficult but with a little training nothing insurmountable.

The geodesic tent is recognizable by its igloo-like shape. Thanks to the use of multiple poles, this type of tent is particularly stable, which allows it to resist wind and snow. It is often said that this type of tent is comfortable and spacious.

Waterproofing

It is extremely important to pay attention to this factor, because during a stay, whether long or short, you will appreciate staying dry even in bad weather. Refer to the Schmerber rating to see how many drops a fabric can withstand before water seeps into the tent (the higher the rating, the more waterproof your tent is).

Protection

This criterion is absolutely essential, especially if you are staying for several days. In summer you'll appreciate the coolness and in winter the warmth. Polycotton tents offer better insulation against both cold and heat. Cotton is a very breathable material that allows you to keep a pleasant temperature whatever the weather outside.

Remember to check the UV resistance of the tent. This will prevent you from experiencing high interior temperatures or fabric deterioration. Cotton is the unbeatable material for dealing with the damaging effects of UV. Then you can also choose a polycotton tent, which remains an effective material. Polyester is the least resistant to the sun's rays.


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ADVICE FROM PRODUCT EXPERTS:


It is preferable to choose a waterproof tent, which will prevent moisture from remaining inside. Indeed, the difference between the inside temperature of the tent and the outside temperature can cause condensation to appear.

Nicolas - Camping world buyer Malaurie - Camping world buyer


Choosing your tent for bivouac


The essential criteria to choose a tent for bivouac are: lightness, resistance and capacity to be compact. The goal is to leave with the lightest possible backpack.

Aesthetics and comfort

The choice of the color is much more important than you imagine. Indeed, the lighter the color of the tent, the more light you will have inside the tent, even in dark weather.

It is essential to choose a tent in which you feel the interior space is comfortable. Also, look for a model that is easy to pitch and durable for rougher nights.

Insulation

It's always best to choose a model with vents to allow for air exchange and to limit the occurrence of condensation. Don't forget to choose a floor mat that is resistant and capable of making rough terrain more comfortable.

It is advisable to choose, when possible, a tent with a double roof that provides better insulation against the weather. On the other hand, single-roof tents are lighter but condensation forms more easily inside.

Two-season tents are more suitable for spring/summer use, three-season tents for warm weather and autumn and four-season tents for extreme conditions and temperature differences. For a trekking or mountain outing, choose the 4 season tent.

Waterproofing

The same criteria as for camping tents apply. The fabric of the tent is considered waterproof when the Schmerber level is at least 1500, but this is more appropriate for a classic hike or a week of climbing during the summer and spring. A well waterproofed tent ensures that the humidity does not penetrate the tent and does not cause too much condensation.

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TO KNOW :


It is advised not to exceed 1.5kg per person. For a 3 person tent for example, limit the weight to a maximum of 4.5kg. This will allow you to distribute the items evenly so that each person carries as little weight as possible.

As you have noticed, choosing a tent is not always as simple as you might think and requires you to respect several criteria.

TO REMEMBER :

  • Take into account the lightness criterion

  • Choose a tent adapted to the climatic conditions

  • Do not neglect the importance of comfort (living space, number of bedrooms...)

  • To ensure optimal comfort, choose a waterproof tent