Your Guide to Choosing the Best Tent for Vancouver Island

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Camping is an extremely popular activity on Vancouver Island, and it’s easy to see why. Our island offers an abundance of fantastic places to camp — both public and private. With so many types and sizes of tents available, it can be tough to decide which one will work best for you. Don’t worry, we’ll guide you through some easy questions to help you choose the best tent for your next great Vancouver Island camping adventure.

How Much Space Do You Need?Two different tent sizes

You’ve probably seen tents that claim to be suitable for a certain number of people, but before you buy a two-person tent for two people, you need to consider a few things:

First, know that most tents are measured by how many sleeping pads will fit inside. Sleeping pads aren’t large, so a two-person tent could actually be cramped for two people.

Second, you need to think about how much gear you’ll have with you. Since you’ll likely keep your backpacks and other equipment in your tent, this will take up space. In most situations, you’ll need to consider at least a three-person tent for two people.

When Will You Be Camping?Tent in snow

As we said above, quite a few people camp during different seasons on Vancouver Island. And as you know, some of those seasons can be cold, windy, and rainy.

The most common type of tent is a 3-season tent. These tents are lightweight yet sturdy enough to shelter you during rain and light wind. They’re also quite breathable to keep you cool during the warmer months, and they keep out bugs.

You can also find specialized tents for camping in harsher seasons. They generally come with more poles and are made from a heavier fabric. They’re great for withstanding more fierce weather, but aren’t as breathable as 3-season tents.

Where Will You Be Camping?Tent on the beach

If you’re driving directly to your campground, it won’t matter much if your tent is big and bulky. But if you’re hiking to your campsite and have to carry your tent for more than a few minutes, you may want to look for a tent that’s as light as possible.

Freestanding tents are the most common types of tents — they contain poles and are easy to set up almost anywhere. However, they’re heavy, so they’re not the greatest for packing around.

Non-freestanding tents don’t contain poles and you must erect them using stakes. This makes them a little trickier to setup, but after you’ve done it once or twice, they assemble just as fast. These tents are significantly lighter, so they make great hiking tents.

What Style Do You Want?

Some tents are lower to the ground and are meant for simply crawling in and sleeping. Others have a large dome roof so you can easily stand up and move around your tent. Some tents even have separate “rooms,” generally separated by mesh or canvas flaps, to offer some added privacy within the tent. Thinking about your preferences will help you choose the right tent for you.

Have You Visited Capital Iron?

Once you have an idea of the type(s) of tents you’re looking for, head down to one of our convenient showrooms to try some out. If you have any further questions, our qualified camping experts will be more than happy to help you out. We carry all different types and sizes of quality tents and all other camping gear at prices that fit any budget.

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