Why Go With A Canvas Tent?

You might associate a canvas tent with the big top at the circus. And you are not too far off as the two are closely related and share many features despite the discrepancy in size. You see, canvas tents have not fallen out of favor despite the rise of synthetic materials like nylon, because they still offer characteristics that are considered desirable for many applications.

When weight and heft are your primary concerns, like when backpacking and hiking, then a canvas tent is not practical. It is heavy and has considerable bulk no matter how you fold it. But when your campsite is reachable by car, then you are in for a treat when you opt for a canvas tent. Once you have answered the question on how you will use it, your next concern is actually buying one.

More easily bought from military surplus outlets that from sporting goods stores, you still have a few options when looking for a canvas tent. Coleman, the camping equipment manufacturer ought to have a few models up for sale at its bigger stores or online. If you want colors other than olive drab or desert camo, then Coleman tents are your best bet.

When buying, see if it can accommodate what you intent to bring to camp – camping tables, camping chairs, and others have to fit. If not, you just wasted energy lugging around something heavy when a light pop up tent can do as good a job.

In closing, a canvas tent is also prone to compromises. You gain capacity and durability while giving up portability and your ability to go deeper when camping. As with anything that makes you choose, you have to make the decision based on your intended use for a tent. If the strengths of a canvas tent is suited to your situation, then you are in for an enjoyable outing.

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Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Go Camping

Yosemite valley, Yosemite National Park, Calif...
Image via Wikipedia

Not everybody is sold on the idea of camping.  Whether they just prefer the luxuries of home and not roughing it or they are concerned because they have never been before.  However, regardless of what is holding you back you shouldn’t rule out camping just yet.  There are a lot of advantages to camping and here are just a few of the reasons you should move a little bit out of your comfort zone and give camping a chance.

The first reason you should give it a try is because camping is relatively cheap.  All you need is the proper equipment and then you will have it for years to come.  You will be able to continue to use it every year as long as the equipment is properly maintained.  One of the most expensive pieces of equipment is the tent but many brands sell relatively cheap tents.  One of these brands is Wenzel tents and they are by far one of the most affordable brands out there.  Also, you can find very affordable tents from Coleman that will last for a long time without sacrificing quality.  One tent to check out is the Coleman Sundome 2 man tent.  It’s not too expensive and will keep you protected from the elements.

The second reason you should consider camping is that it is a great way to see some beautiful places in a way you can’t any other way.  National Parks and State Parks are some of the most beautiful areas in the country and they provide affordable campgrounds to view some of the most spectacular places like the Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone and Yosemite.

Lastly, there is nothing to help you escape the hectic ways of life and get some much needed quiet time like camping.  You can escape the cell phones and email and enjoy the outdoors without any interruptions.  It is also a great way to spend time with your family.  You can sit around the campfire and talk without the constant beeping of cell phone calls and text messages.  Most likely it’s a trip you and your family will remember and talk about for a lifetime.

Camping can seem scary if you have never done it and are just worried about what roughing it entails.  However, there is a lot of camping gear now that is aimed at making you comfortable so that shouldn’t be a big concern.  Camping is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors and one of the best ways to see some of the most beautiful places in the country.

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Coleman Tents Vs. Kelty Tents


A secondary form of shelter is essential when an emergency strikes and evacuation is necessary.  Camping tents are a great shelter option.  Besides, camping can be a fun family activity.  I get out every summer multiple times to backpack and camp in the western Rocky Mountains.  But if you look at the prices of some tents on the market, you might be shocked to see that a three-season tent can cost you upwards of $300!  For someone on a limited budget looking to invest in an emergency preparedness shelter, this is not feasable.  What about Wal-mart Coleman tents?

The Test:

2 night camping trip to the Uinta Mountains in Northern Utah in September 2010

First night – Slept in a four man Kelty Grand Mesa 4

Kelty Grand Mesa 4 Backpacking 4 Person Tent

Second night – Slept in a three man Coleman 7’x7′ Sundome tent

Coleman Sundome 3-Person Tent (Green, 7-Feet x 7-Feet)

All other variables were kept the same, such as:

  • tent placement
  • sleeping bag
  • floor mat
  • ground cloth

I decided to set up an experiment to determine if the expensive name brands are really ‘worth’ $150 more.  For this test, I chose the Kelty Grand Mesa 4 tent because it was situated somewhere in the middle of the price range for mountaineering tents.  I have used Kelty tents in the past and I like them.  I packed up my camping gear, the two tents to be tested, and my trusty sidekick Radar (black lab).  We went to a favorite camping area up in the Uinta mountains in Utah on a weekend in late september.  We stayed 2 nights and switched tents each night.  The sleeping bag I used was a North Face Goliath, which is rated to zero degrees.  The first night I slept in the Kelty Grand Mesa 4 tent (for testing purposes, I couldn’t sleep in the each tent the same night, so I chose to sleep in the Coleman tent the second night.  It reached 40 degrees.  I was comfortable all night.  I didn’t get cold, and only woke up a couple of times.  In the morning, there was moisture in my tent, around the edges on the floor, and on the tent walls.  I had the rain fly on because it was overcast, and it rained.  I was a little surprised by the amount of water in my tent, especially because I bought the tent based on the idea that the seams would not allow water in.  The second night I slept in the Coleman sundome tent.  It also reached 40 degrees.  As with the Kelty tent, I was comfortable all night, only waking up a few times.  As with the Kelty, I had the rain fly set up, and it rained again.  There was about the same amount of moisture in the Coleman tent as the Kelty tent.


I got two nights of restful sleep with both tents.  Both were tested in the same temperature range with rain.  Both the Kelty tent and the Coleman tent had roughly the same amount of moisture within the tent.  (A side note:  the water may not all be becasue of leaky seams.  The rain fly was up, trapping moisture from exhaling.  The low temperatures caused this water vapor to condense on the walls and floors of the tents by morning.)  I thought the Kelty tent was a little easier to set up, especially since I was by myself (my dog could only bark).  The coleman tent took longer, but both were set up easily enough.  The Kelty tent was marketed as a four man tent, with roughly 55 square feet plus vestibules.  The Coleman tent was marketed as a three man tent, with 49 square feet.  Both would make great two man tents.  You might be able to squeeze three men into the Kelty, but four is a stretch at best.  The Kelty tent weighed a lot less than the bulky Coleman tent.  But durability could be an issue with the Kelty three season if left up for extended periods of time through incliment weather.


For the price, the Coleman tent can’t be beat.  I thought it performed as well as the Kelty on my experiment, and would be a valuable asset for survival preparations.  Check the coleman tents home page for discount coleman tents online, or look for cheap coleman tents on amazon.com.