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1st Time campers: What Tent should I buy?

Michael aka Mac

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Michael aka Mac

So if you are reading this thread then you are already on the right path in your upcoming adventure.  I am a freelance gear reviewer and outdoor enthusiast and have over 40 years of camping experience. Over the years I have owned and used a huge array of tents, and I am bringing this hands on knowledge to share with you the perfect type of tent for 1st time campers.

We have all heard the saying "If I only knew back then what I know now..."  One of the most time consuming parts of my adventures in camping always was putting up the tent.  Depending on the tent I was using, the suggested time to setup a tent ranged from 5-20 minutes. Some tents took longer then others due to the accessories, rain fly, and tent pole assembly.  I should note, the suggested time to setup a tent is based on someone that has repeatedly used and setup that tent before, and 1st time installation of a tent is always much longer then how fast an experienced camper that has used the tent before can set it up. 

I have seen countless outdoor forum sites where a person is explaining how it took them an hour or more to setup their tent. First time experiences like this in camping tends to deter people from wanting to go on another camping trip. It wasn't until 15 years of camping that I bought the most easiest tent I have ever setup and I am introducing this type of tent to all of Trailgroove's readers.

The Pop-up Tent

Of all the tents on the market, the Pop-up tent is by far the easiest and fasted tent you will ever setup.  There are two main styles to pop-up tents, the instant pop-up tent which is setup by removing tent from the zippered sack and throwing it up into the air only to have it completely setup by the time it hits the ground.  The other type of Pop-up tent is erected by pulling the tent top up from the center pole and pulling the tent all the way up the center pole until it snaps/locks into place.

The instant pop-up tent is by far the lighter of the 2 tent styles, and takes only a few seconds to have setup, not including pounding in the tent stakes, this tent is ideal for backpack camping.  The other Pop-up tent that uses a center support that erects the tent is significantly heavier, but also more sturdy and can handle greater wind speeds,  this is ideal for campsite camping.

The lightweight nature and flat design when stored makes the Instant Pop-up Tent perfect for backpack camping.  The tent can be strapped to the back of your backpack, and at the 1st sign of bad weather, this tent can be deployed instantly, shielding you and your family from the harsh elements. Once you get the hang of packing back up the tent,  you will be dismantling the tent in under 20 seconds. So a recount, 5 seconds to setup, 20 seconds to pack up.

The Center Erecting Pop-up Tent is the tent to get for campsite camping. These tents tend to be much larger, and much heavier, and  has a wider and larger form factor when stored, and therefore not suitable for backpack camping.  These tent's are much more sturdy and many can be altered to be used in all 4 seasons  unlike the instant pop-up tents which are only 2-3 seasons.  With more physical space inside the tent and a higher ceiling, some of these tents  one can even stand in, while others  some may have to hunch a little.

Down below is a link from Amazon of thier inventory of different Pop-up tents for sale.


about the author

Michael aka Mac, (his Trail name, short for MacGyver), is a Survivalist and outdoor enthusiast with over 40 years of experience in the great outdoors. His background is in engineering & physics and he brings this knowledge into his gear inventions and outdoor experiences.  Now Michael aka Mac, when he is not in the wilderness, spends his free time as a Freelance gear reviewer of outdoor gear & gadgets, an outdoor Blogger,  and teacher of outdoor non combat survival skills.

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