Four Season Tent Buying Guide

Basically, the difference between 4 season tents and regular tents is that a 4 season tent is tighter, with heavier and tougher outer walls. When it is all zipped up, there is no space anywhere for the ruthless natural elements to get in and disturb your peaceful sleep. In addition, 4 season tents are often more durable so that they can shield you safely from extremely heavy storms if need be. This does not mean, however, that you cannot use 4 season tents in more pleasant weather. Many styles of 4 season tents come with the option to unzip the outer fly so that you can catch cool breezes on summer days, while still being able to endure Ice – Age -type of temperatures in the winter.

Basically, the difference between 4 season tents and regular tents is that a 4 season tent is tighter, with heavier outer walls. When it is all zipped up, there is no space anywhere for the elements to get in. In addition, 4 season tents are often stabler so that they can resist extremely heavy storms if need be. This does not mean, however, that you cannot use 4 season tents in nicer weather. Many styles of 4 season tents come with the ability to unzip the outer fly so that you can keep cool on summer days, while still braving near-arctic temperatures in the winter.

You will find, however, that the more extreme the conditions for which it was designed, the more specialized a 4 season tent will be. For example, some true mountaineering 4 season tents are not things I would advise you to bring for camping on a warm summer night. The ventilation panels are narrow and the end result is that it will be stuffy and hot at night if you are camping during the summer with them. Additionally, they are made of heavier, stronger stuff, and as a result are an added weight for your normal camping trip in which lightness is a virtue.

And of course, good 4 season tents can come at exorbitant prices, running up to $500 dollars and more sometimes. Compare this to an ordinary 1-2 person summer tent that you might grab at your neighborhood camping store. I got mine for a tiny sum of $30 dollars and, although it provides little warmth, it gives me all the comfort I need during the summer when combined with a decent sleeping bag.

The truth of the matter is, it is important to think about what you will be doing before you go out and buy expensive mountaineering equipment and 4 season tents that you will not need. You must make sure that your equipment fits its purpose.

Giving the Perfect BackCountry Gift

Does the thought of buying a gift for a friend or relative make you smile or does it stress you out? Is there a hiker or camper on your gift giving list? What can you give to the someone who already has everything? The secret of gift giving is not always the ‘what.’ Many times the ‘why, when and how’ make an ordinary gift the Perfect Gift. Continue reading to discover 5 sure-fire steps to giving the perfect gift to the outdoor enthusiasts in your life.

Step 1: Do Your Homework. This is the toughest of the 5 steps. Doing your homework means thinking about your outdoor enthusiast and what he or she likes about being in the backcountry. Are there any current or past outdoor interests? Perhaps he likes to fish or she likes to climb. Maybe you overheard the comment ‘I remember when I used to go camping every long weekend. I miss those days.’ Our personal shopper service receives hints like this all the time. Chances are you already know their interests, so take a few minutes to think prior to shopping. There are loads of great outdoor gifts available.

Another part of your homework is to understand the relationship between you and your gift recipient’s outdoor hobbies. Last year I was camping with a dear friend who got mildly lost. After about an hour, he showed up in camp a little embarrassed ñ but safe. So the perfect gift for him before our next trip was a GPS unit. I also included a hand written coupon good for one free lesson and an extra set of batteries. The relationship we had allowed me to have a little fun with the gift giving. I did provide him with a quality gift and he uses it all the time.

Step 2: Speaking of High Quality. The best way to get the most enjoyment out of our backcountry experiences is to have good gear. When giving a backcountry gift, be sure it’s high quality. There are two gear buying rules to live by. First, only give gear you would use. And secondly, buy the best gear you can afford. Nothing derails good times in the great outdoors like bad gear.

Step 3: The Right Way to Give Certificates. Gift certificates can be an excellent choice for a gift. Here’s a great use of a gift certificate – I was fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of this story. A friend living across the country knew I loved to hike. He also knew from his own experience that you can’t just buy a backpack for someone else. Backpacks are a very subjective purchase. Instead of buying a me a pack and giving me the task of returning it in order to get the right one, he sent me a gift certificate AND he told me what to buy with it. So now I get the backpack I want and my friend has proven once again how well he knows me. I loved the gift. When giving gift certificates, tell the recipient what to buy with it.

Step 4: Seek Out Customer Friendly Retailers. This is especially important when purchasing a gift on-line. Make sure you are purchasing from a store with visible customer satisfaction and return policies. If your gift recipient needs to exchange or return a piece of gear, the process needs to be hassle-free. If the return procedure is clunky, the perfect gift just became imperfect.

Step 5: Timing is Everything. The best time to get ‘the birding binoculars I always wanted,’ is not on your birthday or at Christmas time. The best time to get them is just before you go birding. The new backpack is a more thoughtful gift just prior to hiking the Grand Canyon than it is for graduation. The value of a gift is greatly increased when given at the right time. Surprise someone with a perfectly timed present.

Giving the Perfect BackCountry Gift is easy to do. Determining ‘what’ to give is important, but so is knowing ‘why, when and how’ to give. Make your next gift giving experience a good one. The outdoor enthusiast in your life is counting on it.

Use this information and you’ll Get It Right The First Time. Get Outdoors!