I love spending time outdoors and it is great that there are so many options now to make camping and hiking more comfortable. It is wonderful to spend time in nature but if you are not enjoying yourself, then it can turn into a not so great experience.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to speak with Andrew Sutherland, Public Relations at MEC. Andrew shared the top tips for choosing the right tent and how to make camping super comfortable.

What can help tents be super comfortable for camping?

Sleeping pads have come a long way since the blue foams of the past. The new sleeping pads have features that make you wonder, “Why did it take so long for this?”. One of the features I love is the double valves. Yes, two air valves instead of one, so blowing-up your sleeping pad and deflating it takes half the time. Smart! The single has the double valve and can also be attached to another pad, creating a double pad. Integrated high quality Velcro keeps them together, so it’s super easy to double-up when wanted.

Another great tip doesn’t involve camping specific product. Don’t be afraid to bring your favourite blanket or pillow from home with you. There’s nothing like your own pillow. If you’re camping with kids bring a couple of their favourite stuffed toys or other items that provide comfort while sleeping.

How do you choose a sleeping bag?

First of all decide where and when you’re likely to use your sleeping bag. This will help determine if you need a winter, 3-season, or summer bag. Compare each bag’s individual temperature rating. Ratings give a general idea of insulating performance and are a useful point of comparison. People’s temperature when they sleep can differ, but ratings are generally realistic for most people in most conditions. However, choose a warmer bag if you tend to sleep cold.

How do you avoid a humid tent?

I remember waking up in my dad’s canvas tent as a kid feeling sticky and hot from the condensation. It definitely got me out of bed! Breathing is what leads to condensation but we don’t recommend that you stop breathing so instead ensure the tent you’re using has taken ventilation into consideration. Tent designers incorporate vents in their tent’s design while keeping them completely waterproof. Look for a space between the tent roof and the exterior fly cover, this will allow air to escape without rain coming in.

Storing wet clothing in your tent can also add to the condensation, rather store wet clothing and gear in your car or outdoors if it’s not raining.

Anything else to consider when planning a comfortable tent?

If you choose to camp with your family or friends in one tent you may want to think about noise. I’ve got some epic snorers in my family, but the noise is nothing a couple of ear plugs can’t fix. Noise can also be avoided by choosing the right camp site. Some camp sites have separate family areas, so you won’t be surprised by late night neighbours or neighbours who don’t have the same patience for kids as you do.

I will continue to enjoy the outdoors and share my experiences. If you have ideas or questions about the outdoors, please leave a comment below and I will do my best to find the answer for you.

Your suggestions are always welcome, as I continue on my journey to enjoy life to the fullest. Let’s have the very best 2015!

Tents Can Be Super Comfortable For Camping

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