Camping in a tent is the most basic form of camping. Unless you consider under a blanket using a saddle bag as pillow by a campfire in the old west. From the simple 2 person Pup-tent romanticized in military movies used by the Army, to larger self supported multiperson tents with an integrated floor – camping in a text is the very essence of connecting with nature. For the record – there is nothing romantic about an Army pup tent for 2 or Army GP Medium for 16 personnel.

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It is also among the most cheapest and simplest way into the camp out life style. It serves as a natural extension of the base camp where you park the motor home / RV or stay in a cabin to the backwoods multiday hike in the wilderness. Modern tents are often easy to assemble, water proof and wind resistant. Some have built-in flooring to keep the moisture out. If placed over rocks, it will still hurt like crazy and will not provide any insulation from the cold ground. But that is where a sleeping bag pad can be useful. Many also have built in zipper-to-close bug screens to allow fresh air in on warm nights but keeping the mosquitoes at bay.

While tents are obviously available in large sizes to accommodate 8, 10 or even 12 people, when it comes to hiking and backpacking generally 1, 2 or 3 person tents are desirable. Many tents are poll supported, but others are designed to be held up by ropes secured to near by trees. Those without poles are over all less weight and easier to transport. Those requiring trees or external support systems are only useful if you can find a suitable area to spend the night with dry level ground and available tie points for the ropes.

Emergency single person tents are also available. Extremely compact, often bright red or orange to assist in locating in the underbrush, these tents can fit in an oversized pockets or fanny packs. They are ideal for solo hikers that are not expecting to be out overnight but having with them in case of unique but possible change of circumstances.

Below we are breaking down tents in to four groupings to provide you with some ideas on stocking up for your ventures.

Single Person Tents

One or Two person tents

Up to Three person tents

Emergency Pocket Shelters

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Courtesy S. Ward – Mountains towering above the desert