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Backpacking across the Australian country is a great way to adventure and really get to know the outback, other campers and the locals. Having a great tent to curl up in under the stars can make the difference between a well slept and exhausting trip. Get to know a bit more about backpacking tents and what you’ll need for your trip.
One general rule of thumb is that you can spend the money on a good quality, durable all weather tent and it will be good in the summer or in the winter. There are a ton of options for hikers and backpackers when it comes to tents and it all comes down to size, weight and performance for your needs. Sometimes a mere tarp will do, while sometimes you’ll be thankful you spent the extra money on a good, breathable waterproof tent.
The shapes and structure of a backpacking tent can make all the difference, depending on what type of weather conditions and terrain you’ll be staying in. There are a few different types of backpacking tent structures:
A geodesic design has poles crossing and is generally a free standing tent. These tents are optimal for top strength for heavy snow conditions. These tents come with a full fly which can be left behind, leaving you an airy tent, in dry, warm conditions. The disadvantage is that they’re not very aerodynamic and will need to be pegged down should you face windy and stormy conditions.
A tunnel design is optimal for backpacking. The poles don’t cross in these tents and they’re usually different sizes, fitting the structure to form an aerodynamic tunnel. While there may not be much wiggle room in these tents compared to a geodesic design a tunnel shaped tent allows the storm to blow over you and they’re often lighter to pack.
An upright pole tent uses pegs to keep the sides up and while they can be light to pack—you can use walking sticks or logs to keep the tent stretched—they’re a pain in the butt when it comes to stormy weather, or if one of your pegs comes loose in the night and you wake up covered in condensation from the tent wall.
REI is a great place to find high end backpacking tents for a variety of expeditions, be them arduous or overnight. Their Half Dome tents are geodesic designs that are lower to the ground and sturdy.
MSR is another popular international brand that has a great line of hardcore tents. Splurge on something like the Stormking (but be aware all those poles mean for more weight) or try the Dragontail, a two man tunnel tent which weighs just over four pounds ( around 2kg).
OZtrail Backpack tents in Australia, offers an Outer Limits tent series with a single pole backpackers tent. The inner tent is mesh fabric, so this tent can be packed for summer or winter camping. This is a lower priced tent compared to other brands but still works if you’re doing lightweight outdoor camping or are camping in agreeable weather.
Backpack camping is a lot of fun, especially when you have the right tent to call home. With a little guidance you’ll find that perfect backpacking tent to call yours under the stars.