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Tents and tarps selection

Selecting a bushwalking tent or tarp can be a daunting experience. There’s a plethora of information on gear websites advertising specific brands, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out what is really important in a tent verses a new fad or fashion.
To help, we’ve produced this article. We are not going to tell you which tent to buy or even go through specific tent brands. Instead, you will learn about all core aspects of tents and tarps so you can choose a shelter that best suits your needs.

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Capacity and price

How many people does it hold and does it provide value for money?

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Season

What weather conditions does it typically work well in

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Weight and pack size

What is the total weight including all pegs and poles, and how much volume does it pack down to

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Doors and vestibules

Where are the doors located (one entrance or several) and is there a vestibule area to store wet and dirty gear

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General ease of use and liveability

Is it generally comfortable and can you see yourself being able to bunk down in it for some time in bad weather?

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Single and double layers

Is the fly and inner two separate parts or is there simply one waterproof outer layer? Does this match well to the typical conditions you’ll face? I.e. wet and humid (double) or cold and dry (single)?

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Ventilation

Is there good ventilation to prevent condensation but also provide protection against windy conditions?

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Materials

Are the materials lightweight and sturdy enough to meet your needs?

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Pitching options

Are there different ways to pitch the tent to match the needs e.g. additional vestibule entrances?

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Shape

How streamline is the shape and does it match the conditions you are likely to face?

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Accessories - pockets etc.

What other perks does the tent have?