shelter - tent

Getting into your tent at the end of a long day’s effort. Bliss. Finally into your cocoon.

There’s some lightweight options: tarps, hammocks etc. Forget it. Try to find a tree out there.

There’s considerations other than weight that should take precedence when you are going to spend time on the road.

Size for one. Having it bigger than the absolute minimum will pay off if you ever get trapped inside one rainy day. The ability to store your food inside can be handy to avoid those relentless ants.

With many hot dry evenings the ability to put up just the lightweight inner layer is required. Then lay back and watch the shooting stars. The greatest show on earth. With no city lights around and clear skies the stars are bright even on the horizon. In what’s essentially a mozzie net with a sealed in floor even slight movement to sultry air brings some relief. You can camp for months like this in the far north during the Dry Season.

Putting it up, and taking it down, everyday needs speed and simplicity in the tent’s design.

Having a triangulated pole system keeps it up in strong winds. That suggests a minimum of 3 poles.

Avoiding the necessity to use pegs might not be obvious but the usual Australian campsites don’t allow peg penetration of more than a centimetre. Sproinnngggg. Even the caravan park sites. Specially the caravan park sites.

Look after those zips. They are the only thing between you and those critters out there, large and tiny. If they start to wear it’s usually due to the metal slider becoming worn. You can get a few months more life from a zip by squeezing the metal wings carefully with your Leatherman pliers.

So, not convinced? Look at the blogs of happy travellers on long distance treks and the only point of agreement about equipment is that they all rejoice in having a big enough tent.