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Choosing Tents and Shelters
Unless you’re up for sleeping under the stars, you’ll want a tent for your next camping trip. Tent styles range from small solo shelters to huge, structured tents designed to withstand gale-force winds while mountaineering. You’ll need to consider seasonality (three or four-season) and size when you make your choice.
For most campers, 3-season tents are the way to go. Intended for relatively mild conditions, these tents have mesh panels to promote airflow and employ rain flies to keep you dry.
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Designed primarily for winter, 4-season tents feature heavier fabrics and more poles than 3-season tents. This adds weight but is essential for withstanding fierce winds and heavy snow.
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Bivy sacks and tarps are extremely lightweight, compact shelters preferred by mountaineers, climbers, and minimalist backpackers who need shelter but want to conserve as much space and weight as possible.
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Trail mix and granola bars get old pretty quickly, so if you want to improve the culinary aspects of camping, you'll need to get yourself some camp-kitchen equipment. This broad category includes everything from basic stoves for boiling water to full-on ovens and frying pan sets. If you want any kind of hot food or drink while you're backpacking, you'll need a camp stove at the very least. There is also a wide variety of pots, pans, grills, griddles, and accessories that allow you to cook just about anything you might make at home when you're out in the wilderness.
Ranging from lightweight, self-contained units to large grills and ovens, camp stoves come in many styles and sizes to accommodate everyone from the minimalist backpacker to the car-camping family of four.