Category Archives for "Camping"

What Indicates that Foul Weather is Approaching?

No matter if you are camping, fishing, or outdoors, in general, it is important to be able to tell if bad weather is approaching. Luckily for you, there are a lot of different signs of possible foul weather coming. All you have to do is pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of things. If you are an outdoors person, then this probably won’t be too hard for you to do. Read on to learn all the different things that indicate that foul weather is approaching. That way the next time you are outside and the weather is changing you will realize it and be able to prepare yourself.

What Indicates that Foul Weather is Approaching

What Indicates that Foul Weather is Approaching


You do not need to know the science behind weather changing to notice when bad weather is approaching. Normally bad weather comes from two different fronts running into each other. You have high pressure and low-pressure fronts and when they collide bad weather comes, but you don’t need fancy tools to be able to measure these fronts changing. Other signs in nature can give you all the clues you need. Having a barometer can help you tell that bad weather is approaching, but there are a lot of other ways to tell too, and anyone observant can identify when the weather is changing.


The first way to tell if bad weather is approaching is by paying attention to the sky. That is because rain and other weather come from the clouds in the sky. The type of clouds in the sky, matter though. Tall clouds are more likely to contain bad weather or storms. If you notice a rapid buildup of clouds, especially in the west, then the chance is a different front is forming.

Weather movement

To the west is important because most areas have their weather come from the west. Winds normally move from southwest to northeast or northwest to southeast. Warm air will move in from the south and push cool north air out or cool air will push in from the north and mix with the south warm air. This is what causes storms to pop up. Knowing this will help you notice if bad weather might be coming.


The wind changing direction can also be a major indicator of bad weather coming because what we have said about different temperatures of air mixing and causing storms. If you notice that the wind changed direction, then there might be a chance of bad weather. Sometimes you can’t always feel a breeze though or tell which direction it is coming from. If that is the case, then you can look to the trees for help. It is important to pay attention to the tops of the trees to get a true idea of what direction the wind is blowing. That is because the tops of the trees are closer to the clouds and will give you a more accurate reading of the overall wind direction.

Choppy Water

If you are boating or near water, then you can use that as an indication of possible weather changes. That is because choppy water can show you if the wind is picking up. Also, it can show if the wind changed direction. If you are near water and see it is getting choppy or wavier, then chances are good the weather is about to change and it will likely get worse. This is especially true if it is combined with the cloud build-up and other signs. That is because something is making the water choppy and it is most likely a storm.

Temperature change

Another sure sign of the weather about to change is if the temperature changes rapidly. If it gets colder or hotter quickly, then the winds have likely changed and a front has moved in from the north or south depending on the direction of the change. This means that warm and cool air are mixing, which gives the atmosphere the energy needs to pop up storms. Have you noticed that it is normally cooler after it storms, well this is why. Cool air moved in, causing a storm and cooled things off. Then, as the water evaporates, it gets hot and humid again, which sometimes leads to another wave of storms.


The high humidity normally always comes before storms. Sometimes it is so humid that fog will form. Fog is water near the ground that is in a visible gas state. If you notice that it is getting extra humid, then a storm might likely be about to happen. That is because all the humidity and moisture in the air will condense and become rain. That is because the humidity is water. A barometer is a tool that reads humidity, but there are signs in nature that can tell you it as well. Leaves curling or turning over can indicate high humidity. Curling or frizzing hair can as well. If you notice any of these things, then it is likely humidity is high. Pine cones also stay on the trees when the humidity is high and fall off when it isn’t.


Besides trees and plants, animals can also be a good sign of weather about to come. If birds are flying low, then that means there is a pressure in the upper sky causing them to avoid it. Other animals such as cows or sheep get restless and gather together. If you don’t notice insects such as bees or butterflies, then that means heavy rain is approaching. Other animals seek high ground when storms are approaching. If you notice ants building tall mounds or turtles moving up hills, then heavy rain is likely coming.


Plants also release their waste when storms are coming. For plants that is oxygen. That means the air gets more oxygen in it. This can sometimes smell like compost. Some people say they can smell the rain, which is true. If you notice a change in smell, then it is likely to rain is coming. Again, this is especially true if combined with these other signs.

How far

Lastly, if you see lightning and hear thunder, then a storm is coming. You might be wondering how far away this storm is though. Well, there is a simple math trick you can do to figure that out. All you have to do is start counting seconds to yourself when you see the lightning. Then when you hear the thunder stop counting. You take the number you got and divide it by five. The result is roughly how far the storm is away in miles. That is because light travels faster than sound, so you see the lightning before hearing the thunder even though they occur at the same time.


So, now you know all kinds of different ways to know when foul weather is approaching. By knowing these signs you don’t need fancy equipment or knowledge of the science behind it. Instead, you can just observe nature and let nature tell you if bad weather is coming. Normally multiple of these happen at the same time to give you a good idea of the weather changing. If you see dark clouds forming, winds shifting, and animals acting different, then chances are good a storm is coming or the weather is about to change.

How To Heat A Tent Without Electricity

Camping and spending time in nature is something that many people enjoy doing. In fact, camping is a hobby that can be done all year round. The only spoiler is the moment that the temperature dips below freezing and you have a very chilly tent.

Take heart. There are ways to heat your tent, without using electricity. After all, there aren’t any outlets in Mother Nature. To help keep you warm next time you go camping, here is a list of ways to keep your tent toasty.

How To Heat A Tent Without Electricity

How To Heat A Tent Without Electricity

1.Get the hot water bottles ready

This is an idea also used by farmers. Huge greenhouses are often heated with the help of some barrels and water.

So how can you use this idea for camping?

You will need some hard plastic bottles or metal bottles. You will need to heat the water to close to boiling, so any ordinary supermarket plastic water bottles will not work. Make sure that you have a boiling pan or something similar to heat the water.

Once the water is at a high temperature, safely transfer it into the plastic/metal bottles. Then spread these bottles around the inside of your tent. If done correctly, they should release heat for many hours, slowly bringing up the temperatures inside your tent.

Because the water is so dense, you will probably wake up, and the bottles will still be warm. If you get chilly during the night, you can pull the bottles closer to your body to help warm you up. This is a very safe method to use.

2. Get some stones to heat up

Get some stones to heat up your tent

Get some stones to heat up your tent

This method follows the same principle as the water bottles, but with a different approach. This method will heat the tent even faster than the water bottles, but there is a caveat. Stones will not store heat for a long time.

This is how you use this method. Find some stones around your camping spot. If you are having trouble finding them, the best spot to find rocks is usually close to a stream or a river. Now, start a fire and place the stones very close to the fire.

About 30 minutes before you plan to go to sleep, wrap the stones in some cloth. Keep in mind, the stones will be very hot. Spread the hot stones around the inside your tent. Try to spread them out as much as possible. It is a good idea to place them in the corners and places you are less likely to touch them. If you wrap them correctly, they should be very hot, but the cloth will protect them from damaging anything.

Remember, the stones will go cold in about 3-4 hours, but they also release heat faster than the water bottles. Depending on how cold it is outside, you might end up with comfortable temperatures until the next morning.

3.You can insulate your tent

It is very possible to insulate your tent during the winter months. In fact, insulating your tent should be done along with the hot water bottles and hot stones. These methods complement each other very nicely. A little trick is to use your mylar blanket for insulation. Simply duct tape it to the ceiling of the tent in order to help reflect heat back down to you.

Other ways to heat your tent without electricity

Insulated Pads- These pads trap heat and help preserve heat without the use of electricity and gas. All you have to do is put the pads on the floor of the tent and then place the sleeping pad on top. Once this is done, you will sleep well at night without worrying about getting cold.

A good tip on buying insulated pads is that you want to get pads that will cover the whole floor of your tent. The greater the area, the more heat that will radiate throughout the tent. If you are on a tight budget, then you should choose an insulated pad that can provide the most warmth per budget.

Gas heaters-Here’s an easy method of heating your tent- gas heaters. Gas heaters are incredibly easy to use. In order to use a gas heater, you need only two things- is a gas bottle and a gas heater.

The caveat to this method is that if you leave the gas heater on all night, you risk poisoning everyone inside the tent because of the carbon monoxide that is created from the heater. It is definitely recommended that you shut it off for the night.

The other downside is that gas heaters are not as portable as the insulated pads. The gas bottle and the heater itself can be pretty heavy, which adds to your camping load. However, considering that they are effective at heating a tent with no electricity, this is a fair trade off, especially if you are camping in the winter.

Watch what you wear -You should always wear a knit hat while you sleep. Most of your body heat is lost through your head, so a nice knit cap will help conserve heat. In fact, it is better to wear a hat then stick your head inside your sleeping bag. When you enclose your head in the sleeping bag, your breath creates condensation which will ultimately make your body cooler. You should also always wear clean and dry socks. Even socks that are slightly damp will cause your body to lose heat. In the same way, do not bundle up too much or you will start sweating, which will cause your body to cool down.


Camping is an enjoyable activity and one that allows you to take full advantage of the beauty of nature. However, in order to have a successful time camping, you need to be properly prepared. You can also continue to enjoy camping during the winter months, just make sure you plan ahead for warmth, and you will be ready for a great weekend.

How To Dry Firewood Fast?

Having dry firewood is a key part of building a successful fire. In this article when we say dry, we aren’t just meaning dry from rain or water. We are talking about dry all the way throughout the wood. Another term for the dry firewood we are referring to is seasoned. In this article, we are going to talk about the best ways to dry firewood fast. This way you will have wood to use in the winter to burn to warm your home or cook. It is always important to keep a large supply of seasoned wood on hand because it does take some time for the wood to dry properly, even if you are using faster methods.

How to Dry Firewood Fast

How to Dry Firewood Fast

Type of Wood

Before going into detail on how to dry wood fast we are first going to talk about some factors that affect how long it takes wood to dry. The first of those factors is if the wood is a hardwood or softwood. You may have heard of hardwood before when it has come to talk about furniture and the type of wood it was made of. A lot of times nice, heavy furniture is made of hardwood.

Hardwoods are great for furniture, but they are also great for building fires. This is because they are thicker, denser, and take longer to burn. This means they will provide warmth longer. Some common hardwoods are your oak, locust, and black maple trees. There are many other kinds of hardwood though. The downside though to hardwoods is that it is harder to work with.

The main reason hardwoods are harder to work with is because they take longer to dry. The other reason is that it is harder to cut and split into good firewood size pieces. For firewood, you don’t want large pieces because it won’t fit into the fireplace, but you also don’t want tiny pieces because they will burn to fast. Since hardwoods are harder to work with a lot of times people use softwoods for firewood, but you don’t have too. If you have some good hardwood logs that are the right size for firewood, then you can use them. You just have to remember to give them more time to dry.

Softwoods are easier to use than hardwoods and they can be found anywhere. Another reason why people like it for firewood is that it is cheap. Softwood burns faster though, so you need more of it. The big perk though is that it dries a lot faster. So, that is the first tip, if you need dry firewood fast, then get softwood. Both still take time though. Hardwood takes around 18 months to dry while soft takes 6 months depending on the method that you use.



Green vs. Seasoned

So, since it takes so long to dry you may be wondering if it matters. The answer is yes it does matter. Greenwood is moist wood that has not dried. It is the state the wood is in when you cut a living tree down. The moister is from the sap in the wood. When you burn green wood it does not burn well. Also, it does not produce much heat. That is because the heat is being lost into smoke from the moisture. Greenwood just sizzles.

Seasoned or dry wood, on the other hand, burns well. That is because there is no moisture in the wood to turn into smoke. On top of burning well, it produces a good amount of heat. That is important because when you are burning wood, it is the heat that you want to produce.


So, now that you know why it is important to dry out firewood and season it before use we can get into the three main methods of drying firewood. The three methods are

  • Natural Drying
  • Ventilation Drying
  • Kiln Drying

We will talk about what is involved with each type of drying and also cover which is the fastest way to dry firewood.

Natural Drying

The easiest way to dry firewood is natural drying. However, this way is normally the slowest of the three. With the tips we are doing to cover though, it will help make the natural drying way faster. For our explanation and tips on how to dry firewood, we are going to already assumed that the wood is split and ready to dry. To get the wood ready to dry it needs to have the branches removed and log that is the size you would stick into your fireplace or fire.

To dry firewood naturally, all you do is stack it. To make the drying faster though you can stack it in a specific way. Use these tips to stack the firewood, so you can have dry wood in a season. To dry firewood naturally it is best to cut the tree in the spring, so the wood will have a couple of seasons to season. Then when you begin stacking you want to stack it in a spot with a lot of sunlight. That is the first key thing. Next, when it comes to stacking the wood you don’t want it to be perfectly fitted together. Instead, you want holes between the wood. This will allow for airflow and faster drying.

One key tip to remember is also don’t stack the wood directly on the ground. This will prevent airflow and cause moisture to raise throughout the stack. Instead, stack it off the ground on top of something such as a pallet. This will help it dry faster. Also, the spot where you stack the wood should be away from your living area so bugs won’t come in. The next question is should you cover the wood. The answer is yes if you have too. You don’t want the wood to get rained on, but you also want to let it breathe. Only cover the wood with a tarp when you have too and uncover as soon as you can. Also, only cover the top of the wood. The best thing is to have a roof hut or shed built around the wood stacks to dry the wood in.

The rest is just a matter of time when it comes to drying firewood naturally. If you follow these tips though you can have dry firewood in as little as a few months if it is softwood. If it is a hardwood it will take longer though especially depending on how much it rains in your area. Just stack the wood in as sunny of a spot as you can though and make sure it has good airflow to dry the wood out fast.


The next method focuses on airflow, and that is the ventilation method. This method uses forced ventilation and airflow to speed up the drying process. However, it is not a cheap method.  To dry wood using this method you still stack the wood in the same way as the previous method. This time though you are going to put ventilators in the pallets under the wood stack. The ventilators will move the air around. Another thing with this method is that the humidity has to be below 75% if it is greater then that, then you can rewet the wood.

The ventilators should also be turned off at night, when it rains, or if it is foggy. This all ties into humidity. You don’t want moisture considering on to the wood stacks. The increased airflow with the ventilators does lead to faster drying though when done right. This method is costly though as you have to buy ventilators and also it uses electricity. You will have to determine how much the quicker drying speed is worth it to determine if this method is the best method for you.

Kiln Drying

The last method is the most costly at first, but also relatively simple and a lot faster. That is using a kiln to dry the wood. A kiln is a device that produces heat, like air vents, and you can control the humidity. It is used to dry wood and also can be used to fire pottery which is where you might have heard of a kiln before. Nice kilns have moisture meters, so you can see exactly how much moisture is in the firewood.

The thing is, if you don’t have a nice kiln with a meter, then it might not do you much good to kiln dry your logs because you still won’t know exactly how dry they are. On the other hand, though a kiln can dry out logs in a matter of hours or days deepening on the type of wood and the way you have it set up. That is way faster than any other way. If you are drying a lot of wood, need it fast, or want to sell wood, then investing in a kiln might be worth it.


The fastest way to dry firewood is with a kiln. The next fastest and easiest though is probably just drying it naturally with the stacking method. We don’t recommend the ventilation method with ventilators because it cost too much and runs the risk of rewetting the wood too much. If you follow the tips we have for drying wood naturally, then you can have dry firewood fast. Drying firewood isn’t hard, but it is important. As we have said seasoned wood burns way better and provides more heat than moist wood. That is why it is important to dry our your firewood and season it before use.

How to Keep A Wood Stove Burning All Night?

Wood stoves are a great source of heat. Some people have to rely on them to heat their house all the time, while other people just use them in emergencies such as power outages. No matter why you are using a wood stove for heat, it is important to be able to keep it going. In this article, we are going to look at how to keep a wood stove burning all night. Nighttime is the time where you are asleep, and you don’t want the fire to go out and wake up to a cold home. However, most people don’t want to have to get up during the night to feed the fire either. With these simple tips, you won’t have to get up or worry about your fire going out.

How to Keep a Wood Stove Burning all Night

How to Keep a Wood Stove Burning all Night

How does it work

Before going into detail on how to keep a wood stove burning all night, we are first going to make sure everyone knows what a wood stove is. We don’t want you to get confused and think that it is a fireplace. While the techniques we will talk about will mostly work with a fireplace, wood stoves and fireplaces operate differently. A wood stove is a stove with a large pipe that runs through the whole house. It is with this pipe that smoke and heat is transferred to the house. A fireplace is designed to only warm one room. Wood stoves are also metal, while a fireplace normally is built-in with stone around them. So, now that you know the difference, we can move on to how to keep a wood stove burning all night.

Wood stove

Wood stove


There are only a few steps to get a wood stove ready to burn all night. They are.

  • Preparation
  • Setting up Wood Stove
  • Restarting Fire

In the following sections, we will look at each step in detail.


The first step is preparation. To get a wood stove to burn all night you need to have it in the right condition. A lot of times, the reason a wood stove will not burn all night is that people have it too hot before bed. The way to prevent this is to start letting the wood stove burn down and cool off in the early afternoon and evening. Depending on when you plan to go to bed will determine when you should let the wood stove start to cool down.

It is generally a good idea to let the stove cool for a few hours before setting it up for the night. You want the wood stove to be empty of large pieces of wood before bedtime. Once you are about to go to bed, you can then move onto the next part of preparation. That is getting the inside of the stove set upright.

When you open the stove, you will see a lot of ash and coals. The coals are the small bits of wood that are glowing. The key to getting a wood stove to burn all night is to get the bed of coals set upright. You want all the coals in a pile in front of the stove. The coals are hot and can ignite wood, so you want them in a pile so it ignites the new wood that you are going to add slowly, instead of all at once. As you get the coals into a pile with a shovel or other tool you can remove the ash. Getting the ash out is key to help not smother the fire.

Setting up the inside of the stove

Once you have all the ash out, and you have the coals in a pile in the front it is time to finish setting up the inside of the stove. All you need to do to set up the rest of the stove is to add logs into the back of it. Since you are trying to keep the fire burning all night, you want to add logs that are going to take a while to burn. To do this you can add hard, and big logs. Depending on the size of the logs, you will probably want to fill the stove up.

The number of logs can vary based on the size of the stove and the size of logs. Normally five to seven logs are enough, though. You want to make sure that the logs are tightly packed and that only the front log is touching the coals. That way it is the only one that will ignite at first. Using this method will make sure that only one or two logs burn at a time and the next log won’t ignite till it touches the coals. This will keep the fire going longer and help ensure it burns throughout the whole night.

Once you have the logs setup, you can close the door of the stove gently. It is key to do it gently, so the logs don’t fall. Also, it is a good idea to close the damper. This will reduce air going into the stove and help it burn slower.

Restarting Fire

Once, you have the fire burn throughout the night the last step is restarting it in the morning. This is simple. All you do is add seasoned fry wood onto the coals after smoothing them out and getting the ash out. If there are not a lot of coals, you can add kidding into the stove first to get it to ignite before adding big pieces. You can also reopen the damper to let air in and get a nice fire going for the day.


Keeping a wood stove burning all night is that simple if you know what you are doing. The key is to make sure the stove isn’t too hot before bed, and to make sure you add the right wood properly. You want to make sure the coals are in the front of the stove. Then you want to add hardwood into the back. Using this method will keep your wood stove burning all night and keep your house warm.


Understanding Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings

Have you ever gone camping and been cold, or have you decided not to go camping because it was too cold? Well, if you understood sleeping bag temperature ratings, then you might not experience these issues. Sleeping bag temperature ratings can get fairly complicated, however. Luckily for you, in this article, we are going to look at sleeping bag temperature ratings and break them down. We are going to focus on what a sleeping bag temperature rating actually means, and help you understand them. This way if you go camping in cold weather you shouldn’t get cold again. Read on to learn all you need to know about what sleeping bag temperature ratings are and how to understand them.

Understanding Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings

Understanding Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings

What is Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings ?

So first, what is a sleeping bag temperature rating? Well, it is a rating that says a sleeping bag should keep you comfortable up to a set temperature. The first thing to remember though is that sleeping bag temperature ratings are generally given in ranges and each part of the range has different meanings. Most bags will have a bar that gives you the range. You have the T-comfort zone and the T-limit zone. Along with this you typically have the words comfort, transition, and risk along the bar with the different numbers. Before getting into what all these different things mean though, on the temperature rating, we are first going to look at how temperature ratings are determined.

Determining Temperature Rating

Determining Temperature Rating

Determining Temperature Rating

So, in the early days of sleeping bags, some companies put temperature ratings, but there was no set method of determining them. This means that you could not compare bags from one company to the next. This changed when the industry decided to have an independent lab do the testing. When an outside lab started doing the testing this brought about the EN or ISO ratings which you see on bags today. Today the testing is all standardized and is an exact science.

The way sleeping bags are tested for temperature today is that a dummy with a lot of sensors is put into the bag. The bag is then put into a room where the temperature can be controlled. They drop the temperature of the room slowly and pay attention to the mannequins sensor readouts. They pay attention to when certain areas reach certain temperatures and mark it down.

Then, after the experiment, they compile the data and assigned the bag a temperature rating on the scale. This is a simplified explanation, but it is a good enough one for you to understand temperature ratings of sleeping bags. Normally multiple of the same bag is tested at once to check for quality control of the bag and get an accurate average. However, one thing to remember is that labs can simulate real-world experiences, so the temperature rating that is assigned should just be used as a guide.


So, now we can start talking about the scale and the different zones and different numbers. First, we have the comfort rating which is always the larger number. This is the number that a cold sleeper can stay warm or comfortable in the bag. It is the number used on women’s bags. Then you have the lower limit rating. This is less than the comfort rating and it is the temperature that a warm sleeper can stay comfortable in the bag. It is the number used on men’s bags.

So, now that you know what the numbers mean, what do the ranges mean? Well, the comfort range is the temperature at or above where a “standard” women feel comfortable and are able to sleep in a normal relaxed position. This means they don’t have to bundle up in a ball. The transition range is the area of temperature where a “standard” man is bundled up in a ball and at thermal equilibrium. This means they aren’t shivering and with the bags help they aren’t losing heat, but they are having to hold all their own heat in. The transition range is the limit of the bag for safe sleeping. Below that you get the risk range. Another name for this range is the extreme range. In the extreme range, the sleeper is under extreme cold. They are shivering and at risk of hypothermia. A bag should only be used in this range in an emergency.

Temperature Range Aren’t Rules

One key thing to remember though is temperature ranges aren’t rules. They just range base on a lab test. Labs, however, can not factor in real-world things. For example, they don’t know how much everyone that is going to be using the bag weights. If you are heavier or have more meat on your bones, then you will put off more heat. Also, sleeping bag testers can’t test what you are going to be wearing. If you are wearing warm clothes, then you will stay warm in cooler temperatures faster then if you aren’t dressed warmly. Your tents insulation also plays a big role in how effective your sleeping bag is. Lastly, your sleeping bag fit is important. You want one that is snug, but not too restricting. This will help hold in most of your body heat.


Understanding sleeping bag ratings can be complicated. This is especially true if you are looking at older bags that don’t have ISO numbers or EN numbers. If the rating is not one of those, then it is pretty much useless because it wasn’t formed with the standard test. However, now you know how to understand ISO numbers and EN numbers. You also know what each range means. You know that the comfort rating is the lowest temperature a cold sleeper can stay comfortable and sleep in a normal position. You also, know that the lower limit number is the coldest it can be for a warm sleeper to sleep in a ball position and stay warm. Lastly, though you know that temperature ratings are just a guide and not rules. They don’t factor in everything about each individual such as is and what they are wearing. Now, that you know how to understand sleeping bag temperature ratings though you should be able to camp in cool weather and not get cold.

Freestanding vs Non Freestanding Tent. What’s the Difference?

When you go camping one of the most important things you will bring with you is your tent. That is because it is your tent that protects you from the elements and outside. You want to have a good tent with plenty of room on the inside to help keep you comfortable while you sleep. When it comes time to buy a tent there are two main types that you will encounter. Freestanding and nonfreestanding tents. In this article, we will explain what both kinds of tents are as well as the pros and cons of each type. Read on to learn everything you need to know about freestanding vs nonfreestanding tents.

Freestanding vs Non Freestanding Tent

Freestanding vs Non Freestanding Tent

What is Freestanding vs Non Freestanding Tent?

Before getting too deep into the freestanding vs. nonfreestanding tent discussion it is first important to make sure you know what is meant by the two terms. A freestanding tent is a tent that can stand on its own. In other words, it supports itself. This should make sense based on the name, but it is best to be clear to make sure you know what is meant. A nonfreestanding tent, on the other hand, will not support itself. It needs help in order to stand up. We will go into more detail a little farther down on what exactly is meant by needs help, but for now, all you need to know is that a nonfreestanding tent will not stand up or keep its form on its own.

Freestanding Tent

Freestanding Tent

Freestanding Tent

So, to get into more detail on what a freestanding tent is. For most that are looking at tents freestanding is going to be the type you see. They are the most common kind sold in stores. A freestanding tent is the one with the poles that snap together and you feed them into the tent. A freestanding tent does not have to be stacked down making it easier to move, however, it is a good idea to stack it because wind can carry it off. Freestanding tents actually take longer to put up compared to non-freestanding if you are experienced because freestanding tents have more parts.

Getting into the pros of freestanding tents now though, one of the biggest pros is that a freestanding tent is more versatile and can be put up anywhere. Since you don’t have to stack it you can set it up on hard surfaces. The setup is faster for inexperienced campers, but as we have mentioned that reduces with experience. Another positive about freestanding tents is they are easier to move. That comes back to the fact that you don’t have to stack it, so you can just pick it up and move it if you need too. Another big benefit to a freestanding tent is you don’t have to carry a bunch of extra gear with you for your tent when camping. A freestanding tent compacts nicely and fits into its bag for carrying. The fact that it compacts down also makes it easy to clean off. You can shake out debris before putting it up.

More pros to a freestanding tent are that there is more space on the inside usually, and the vestibule is bigger. This means you can fit more things inside your tent to keep it out of the weather. Also, the rainfly is removable, so if it isn’t going to rain, and it is hot you don’t have to have it on there and that can reduce heat inside the tent. These are the main pros to a freestanding tent, now we will move on to some of the downsides.

The biggest downside is that freestanding tents are heavy compared to non-freestanding ones. That is because you have all the extra poles that act as a skeleton for the tent. They are also more prone to bad weather conditions and getting damaged. Wind can do a number on them, especially if they aren’t stacked down. Also, they aren’t as waterproof as non- freestanding tents, especially if not set up well. The poles are also difficult to replace and getting replacement poles can be costly. Depending on how big of a freestanding tent you got and if it has multiple rooms, it can get really complicated to set up. You have to make sure to feed the polo thru exactly the right spot. Also, they are less warm, especially if it is bigger because the extra space takes heat away from you.

Non- freestanding Tent

Non- freestanding Tent

Non- freestanding Tent

So, moving on we can now look at what a non- freestanding tent is in more detail. We already know it is a tent that requires something else for support. The main support comes from trekking poles, ropes, and stacks. You use the poles to hold up the walls and tension to help keep the walls up. The tent has to be stacked down to give it support. Once you get the hang of it, it is fast to set up a non- freestanding tent. They also weightless because the trekking poles are lighter. You can also choose how many to bring depending on how you plan to set the tent up. non- freestanding tents are naturally waterproof because of how the walls of the tent are constructed. We will get to wall construction in a few moments. non- freestanding are also easier to repair and more durable. They keep you wamer as well, especially if small and outside of being more waterproof, they are also more windproof.

The downside to non- freestanding tents though is they have to be stacked. This means no set up on gravel, rocks, or other hard surfaces. Stacks may come out as well causing your tent to collapse, and the learning curve is harder for setting up non- freestanding tents. They have less space on the inside and can be hard to move because you have to take the whole tent down to move it. They can also be harder to clean and are less sturdy overall. These are the main differences between freestanding and non- freestanding tents.


The other big difference between the two is wall construction. Most freestanding tents are double wall meaning more ventilation, and cooler. However, they are less waterproof from the extra seams, have a permeable bottom meaning you need a footprint, and more complicated. non- freestanding tents, on the other hand, are normally single wall constructed. This means they are less complicated and have fewer seams making them more waterproof. The bottom is a bathtub bottom, so you don’t need a footprint and they are warmer. The cons to a single wall are there are less ventilation and more condensation. What works best for wall construction really depends on the temperatures outside and if you need to keep warm or not.

Camping with tent


So, now you know the pros and cons of freestanding and non- freestanding tents. More importantly, though you also know what the two are. You know what is meant when one says freestanding or non- freestanding. You know freestanding are the more common ones and will support themselves, while non- freestanding need something to support them. Now that you know the difference between freestanding vs non- freestanding tents you should be able to make an informed decision on what type of tent to get and bring with you the next time you go camping.

What Is A Tent Footprint And Do You Need One?

Are you new to camping and trying to figure out everything you need? Well, one of the things that you might have seen that you need is a tent footprint. Some people have mix opinions though on if this is actually needed. Well, in this article we will look at what a tent footprint actually is. We will talk about what it does and the function it serves while camping. Then we will talk about if you really need one or not. Be sure to continue reading this article to learn everything you need to know about a tent footprint and have all your questions answered before you invest in one or not.

Do I need a tent footprint?

Do I need a tent footprint?

What is Tent Footprint?

So, before getting into if you need a tent footprint we will first talk about what it is. It is actually really simple. A tent footprint is a tarp like ground covering that goes on the ground under your tent. You can actually use a tarp as a tent footprint if you want to save some money and not buy a specific tent footprint. The good thing about actual tent footprints over just using a tarp is that they tend to fold away better which makes it easier to backpack and carry one on your camping trip.

Kelty Salida 2 Tent Footprint

Kelty Salida 2 Tent Footprint

What does it do

So, now that you know that a tent footprint is just a basic ground covering that goes under your tent you may be wondering what it does. Well, the key thing that a tent footprint does is it protects the bottom of your tent. If you are being a responsible camper you are setting your tent up on a hard and possible rough spot to not erode or damage the environment. This rough surface can cause the bottom of your tent to wear out faster. Yes, tents are designed to be on the ground, but rough surfaces over time can cause a lot of wear to your tent. Having a tent footprint is like having a phone case on your phone. It is an extra layer of protection to keep your item nice. A tent footprint is a lot easier to repair or replace if it gets ripped. If the bottom of your tent gets ripped, then it is a lot harder to repair and might mean having to buy a new tent.

Extra Warmth and Dryness

Another reason to have a tent footprint is that it provides extra warmth. That is because it is another layer between you and the ground. Every bit of installation can help, especially if you are camping in cool weather. If the ground is cold it will come right up into the floor of your tent and make the floor of your tent cool. By having an extra layer between your tent and the ground, it will help keep you warm. A tent footprint just provides more comfort in general. The extra padding can also help back out any rocks or roots in the ground that you didn’t get out of the way. You generally want to move all the rocks that you can so they don’t rip your tent, but if you have a tent footprint you don’t have to move the rocks as perfectly.

Also, by using a tent footprint it adds more waterproofing to your tent. Most tent bottoms are waterproof, but it never hurts to have extra protection. Also, if the ground does get wet, then it isn’t your tent that is right in the water. That means that you won’t have to worry about the water or mud damaging your tent. Also, it means that you can pack your tent up easily and not have as much cleaning off. If the mud got on your tent you would have to clean it off before packing it up. If mud is on the tent footprint you can rinse it off and not have to worry as much about it being perfect. Also, if you have a cheap tent footprint or homemade do it yourself one, then you can just toss it out if your camping trip is over and make or get a new one.

Easier Set Up

One benefit that you may not think about with having a tent footprint is that it can make setting up your tent easier. That is because you can get a tent footprint made specifically for your tent. If you are using just a tarp, then you won’t get the benefits as much from an easier setup. The reason that having a tent footprint makes set up easier is you know right where your tent is going to end up as you are putting the footprint down. That means that you can start stacking as you set the footprint out. This will speed up the process of securing the tent when it comes time to do that.

Some downsides

The reason why some people say you don’t need a tent footprint is that it is one more thing to pack. Also, it is one more thing you have to buy which can be a problem for some people. Also, they add extra weight when hiking which some people feel isn’t worth it. Some of these problems though you can get around by making your own tent footprint. We already mentioned that you can just use an extra tarp that you have as a tent footprint. You can also make one yourself. We aren’t going to get into the specifics of a DIY tent footprint here, but most start with Polycryo sheets. These are a plastic type sheet that you can cut into the size and shape that you need.

Do i need a tent footprint

So, now that you know what a tent footprint is and what it does the question comes to do you need a tent footprint? Well, the technical answer is no. You don’t have to have a tent footprint, but it is a good idea to have one. That is because using a tent footprint is like an insurance policy for your tent. It will keep your tent from wearing out as quickly and will keep your tent from getting major damage. Also, it will make your sleeping in the tent more comfortable. If cost or size is an issue you don’t have to buy a specific tent footprint, you can just make your own.


Now you know what a tent footprint is and our recommendation on if you need one or not. You know that a tent footprint is a ground covering that goes between the ground and the bottom of your tent. You can get ground coverings that are specifically tent footprints and even made for your tent or you can make one yourself if you want to save money or weight. Your tent footprint doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Any ground covering between your tent and the ground will give you the benefits of using a tent footprint.