Across America folks are clamoring to get outside. It’s been one wet and cold weekend after another, but take heart, it’s nearly summer! Bulbs are popping with color, trees are blooming and the grass is growing too fast to keep up with already. It’s time to start planning your road trips, backyard-grilling parties and, most importantly, your camping trips.
Camping is one of the best ways I know to live in the moment—away from the hubbub of everyday life—where virtually anyone can find entertainment in what Mother Nature has to offer. Fishing, hunting, swimming, horseback riding and campfires are rights of passage. That’s why camping trips are the kinds of experiences that we remember forever—far longer than a trip to the mall or an expensive getaway.
Family Camping in the Big Horn Mountains, Wyoming
To make the most of your outing, research your destinations well and begin gathering your gear now. Just a modest amount of planning and preparation go a long way in creating a camping experience you’ll want to repeat throughout the summer and early fall.
While other gear and goodies, like sleeping bags, stoves and a cooler full of the best grilling ingredients are crucial to a good time, the right tent can make or break your experience. For maximum comfort and enjoyment generations of outdoorsmen have relied on classic canvas tents. The most common types of canvas tents on the market are traditional wall tents and range tents or teepees. Both have an excellent old-school, western feel to them and are simply more charming than a lightweight nylon tent. More importantly, they’re more comfortable, warmer and sturdier.
By investing in a well-made canvas tent, you’ll enhance your comfort and happiness quotient ten-fold.
Camping is an American pastime. If you want an authentic camping experience that brings you closer to the land, buy an American-made tent. Some American tent makers are craftsman—they’ve been making tents for decades or even a century, like Wyoming-based Sheridan Tent & Awning. Our tents that honor classic tent making techniques and stand up to the elements for years to come. Unfortunately, some American tent companies are now outsourcing their tent making to India or China. Ask where your tent was sewn before you buy.
How many people and bed rolls will live in your tent? Will you have a stove? How about a table with chairs for meals and games? If you plan to own just one tent, select a tent large enough for your largest outing. When shopping, ask how many people your potential tent will sleep comfortably and how much extra space you’ll need for the other stuff you’d like to have at your side.
If properly cared for, a well-made canvas tent should last a decade or more. Because quality craftsmanship and fabric type are crucial to durability, choose wisely. Sheridan Tent & Awning’s canvas tents are often handed down to the next generation, which speaks volumes to our attention to detail and durability.
Choose a tent made with grade A canvas. Not grade A-B, not grade B. Grade A canvas is the best quality, tightest weave canvas on the market. Tent makers pay more for this fabric so some may try to convince you it’s all the same, but it’s not. In fact, the tighter the weave and the better quality the fabric, the more water repellent, breathable and durable your tent will be.
Will you camp for short stints or weeks at a time? Will you be hunting or fishing? Alone or with others? A canvas wall tent is best for weekends or longer where comfort and space is important. A range tent or teepee is better if you’re camping solo or for just one night because it can be set up and taken down quickly and easily by just one person. A wall tent isn’t difficult to put up; it just takes more than one person.
The desire for comfort while roughing it is universal. This isn’t really as new of a concept as Glamping enthusiasts might think. Look for a grade A canvas tent that affords you the space to do what you wish, and the water repellency and breathability to keep you comfortable any time of the year. Be sure to add a screen window with a sturdy zipper, a screen and a zipper for the door and a stovepipe ring for a stove. Even if you camp in the summer, it can get a little nippy in the mountains at night, so why not be prepared, not to mention happy and comfortable?!
If you’re camping in the winter, you really must have a grade A canvas wall tent. There is no other tent that keeps you as warm and allows you to safely cook and heat your living space. A wall tent is also large enough to accommodate the extra gear needed for cold weather trips. If you’re camping in the summer either a wall tent or a range tent will suit your needs, but a wall tent is more versatile.
How will you get to your campsite? If you’re using a vehicle or a pack animal, you’ll have no problem transporting your canvas wall tent, range tent or teepee.
A western style wall tent sets an entirely different tone than a nylon camping tent. Canvas tents have a charm and a nostalgic feel that transports you to a simpler time—when folks appreciated the land in a different way. Virtually everyone hunted or fished for their food back then.
The west wasn’t won in a flimsy nylon tent, so don’t be surprised if you feel a bit like Bill Cody as you step out of your tent one morning in the woods with a cup of coffee in a tin cup.
This is probably the most important consideration when choosing a canvas wall tent, range tent or teepee. Look for a company that’s been making tents for many years that has an excellent reputation for quality and craftsmanship. Sheridan Tent & Awning has been making tents for 111 years and is well known for their quality and commitment to customer satisfaction. We stand behind our product and we’re here for you for the long haul.