One of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll need for survival is a reliable and heavy-duty tent. When it comes to survival, the best shelter will not only keep you protected from the elements, but it will also give you a comfortable place to take cover for the night.
Every keen survivalist needs a well-designed tent. However, tents come in all shapes and sizes, so you’ll need to do your research before you pick one up.
There is such a wide variety of tents on the market, making it difficult to know exactly what to look for when choosing a tent for survival purposes. A tent to last in any survival situation needs to do more than stay put against the wind.
Take a look at our tips to find out how you can choose the best survival tent for you!
Strong and Sturdy Materials
Some might argue that durability is the most crucial feature of a good survival tent, and we can’t really disagree too much. However, how much a tent can withstand all comes down to the materials used for its construction.
There are several materials survival tents will be made from, but you can typically expect to find either canvas, nylon, or polyester designs.
Nylon and polyester are more commonly found, and they’re ideal for survival and wilderness environments due to their lightweight feel. These materials might not be heavy, but that doesn’t stop them from delivering a heavy-duty performance. They are generally highly resistant against tears and rips, and usually have a water-resistant layering to add to their toughness.
Polyester is also an excellent choice if you’re looking for something with UV resistance, as this material often has a UV-resistant coating already built-in, preventing your tent from suffering sunray damage.
Canvas, however, is often considered to be stronger and sturdier than plastic materials. However, it is worth considering the difference in weight compared to other tents. Canvas tents will be heavier, and are likely to take up more space in your bug-out bag. When it comes to survival, you’ll need to consider whether this would be an issue for you.
As well as being durable and long-lasting, the best survival tent will be breathable and well-ventilated. Ideally, your tent should have windows and more than one door if it is built for over two people. This will help to allow the air to flow properly inside, and allows the temperature to be better regulated.
Lightweight and Compact
As we’ve discussed with regards to the material of the tent, the weight should be a factor to look for when choosing a tent for survival.
You should consider how long you’re likely to be in the wilderness for as a way of determining how heavy your tent can be. Generally, the longer you’re going to be traveling, the lighter your tent will need to be, as you’ll have to carry it around with you for longer. You won’t want to exert too much energy by carrying around an unnecessarily heavy tent for days on end.
Many modern tents are built with this in mind, and will be made as lightweight and compact as possible. Some tents will be specifically designed to fit inside a survival kit, and can roll up easily for a comfortable carry. However, I’d advise being slightly wary of these tents, as their focus on being lightweight can sometimes mean a lapse in quality, and they can instead feel flimsy and useless.
The overall size and shape of the tent also shouldn’t be overlooked. Not only should it not weigh your bag down, but it should also be able to actually fit inside. You might be thinking that a tent will be the heaviest and largest piece of survival gear you’ll have to carry around, but with the compact tents available on the market right now, that isn’t necessarily true.
This will also depend on the amount of people you’re planning on having in your tent, as a larger group will inevitably require a larger tent.
Resistant to Water and Wind
A tent that isn’t able to handle heavy rainfall might as well not be worth having. There are many ways a tent’s waterproof capabilities are enhanced, and one way is through the seams. Look out for taped seams, which ensure that no water can seep through and you can remain dry inside the tent.
Many tents’ waterproof level is indicated by a ‘Hydrostatic Head’ rating, which can usually be found in the tent’s specifications. A higher Hydrostatic Head rating highlights a stronger tent that can handle greater amounts of water.
In addition to being waterproof, a sturdy tent will of course be able to resist blowing away in the wind as well. Try to find tents that use sturdy poles for their construction, preferably made from metal such as aluminium. This will prevent the tent from collapsing at the slightest breeze.
Number of People in Your Group
You’ll need to consider how many people are going to have to sleep in the tent, as this will be a determining factor in deciding which tent is right for you.
However, whether it’s a single-person tent you’re looking for, a family-sized one, the tent will need to be comfortable and spacious to allow for a rejuvenating sleep in the wilderness. It’s important to consider the height of the tent, as while a taller tent provides more room to move around freely, it can be more noticeable in the outdoors, which isn’t great if you’re trying to keep a low profile.
If you’re anticipating being in a survival scenario with a large group or with several family members, then there’s no escaping the fact that you’ll need a big tent. However, you may find it’s more efficient to go with two 2-Person tents, as opposed to carrying one family-sized shelter instead.
Although 2-Person or single person tents are a convenient choice, you’ll need to consider how breathable and comfortable they are. Look out for smaller tents made from materials that promote ventilation, such as nylon or polyester, for a less restrictive feel.
Useful Extras for Survival
Many of the best, high-quality survival tents will come equipped with extra features to make your life easier in the outdoors.
Ideally, your chosen tent should have additional storage space included, often in the form of mesh pockets. These can be used to store smaller items that you’ll need easy access to, such as a flashlight or a folding knife. This helps to keep items within easy reach, but also saves you from unnecessarily using floor space for gear storage.
Another common feature found with survival tents is the addition of one or more vestibules, depending on its capacity. While vestibules may seem like a weighty extra to fit into your survival backpack, they will be incredibly useful in the wilderness. You can’t always anticipate the weather conditions, and this feature helps to shelter your survival gear from the elements.
For survival purposes, you should also consider a tent with a reversible fly. This is a useful feature to have, particularly in the wilderness, as the option of a darker or lighter color means you can change the color of your tent’s exterior to camouflage with the environment. This can also help to protect you from potential threats, as well as giving you privacy when you need it the most.
A survival tent is one of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll purchase in your preparation for survival, so it is essential that you know exactly what to look for. If you’re serious about survival, it is undoubtedly worth investing in a high-quality and well-constructed tent, that you can be sure won’t fall apart during tough times.
We hope this guide has helped you in making your decision, and now you know just what to look for in a survival tent! If you’re interested in reading more of our articles, check us out at Survival Front for more survival-related tips and product reviews.
Thanks for reading!