Shelter is something that you need to have in order to survive. Being able to have shelter means that you are going to stay dry, warm, safe and in privacy. But, being able to get shelter is not always as easy as it would seem to be in during a survival situation. Sure, you could get lucky and find a dark cave, that hopefully doesn’t have any type of animal in it, or you could possible build a shelter using logs and branches if you have survival expert training, or you stumble into an empty cabin, that hopefully doesn’t reside any where near Camp Crystal Lake. There are some really simple survival shelters you can build with a tarp as in the video below but a survival tent is a much better option.
There are many possibilities. Those are all valid options for getting shelter, but it is simply relying on pure luck that is a pretty bad idea. For most people, building a survival shelter is just not feasible and that basically means that you will want to have a good option for shelter on you. I am not telling you to get an RV or a mobile home that is super handy, I am talking about having a survival or emergency tent.
They have been used for over 40,000 years and to give a bit of understand on this, humankind learned how to make portable shelters before humankind even learned to cultivate agriculture and there has been plenty of time to perfect the technology of tents. Today, emergency tents have gotten much more sophisticated, specific and elaborate, but that is the real issue. There is too many to pick from. There are tents that range from single person to group tents that will sleep more than 8 people. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, there is a tent for that situation. So, we get what a survival tent is, the next question is what makes a good survival tent?
What to look for in a survival tent
When you are searching for an emergency tent there are many features that you may want, but we will just cover the most important ones.
- Durability – you need to look at the durability of the tent. The modern fabrics that have been made for tents are quite durable, but there are some tents that are bomb proof when compared to others, so you need to find a tent that is going to be very durable within an extreme environment.
- Weight – you need to check into the weight. Heavy tents can be a real pain, especially if you are carrying it in your pack. Every single ounce will matter on a long journey. So, when it comes to survival, you need to have a portable, light weight tent that is best. Even if it is just for a camping trip with your family, if everything else is equal, take a light one.
- Folded dimensions – A really popular option is a tube tent because they end of folding up so small.
- Ease of set up – check to see how easy it will be to set up. There are some tents that make it feel that you need to have a degree in engineering to put it up. These tents are really time consuming and can push a person over the edge to where they rather burn the tent for heat and sleep on a pile of leaves. It is best to look for a tent that will be easy to setup. Being able to set your tent up quickly and without all the hassle that makes you want to live like a naked cave dweller is best in survival situations.
- Color and shape – Shape is not really that important unless you plan to be in an area that has really high winds such as on the side of a mountain. In these situations, it is best to have an aerodynamic low-profile tent. However, when it comes to survival, color is going to be a strategic choice. It will depend on if you are wanting to stay hidden or if you are wanting to be rescued. If you are wanting a tent where rescue is going to be important such as trekking in high altitudes on a side of a mountain, then you are going to want to have the brightest orange possible. Now, if you are in a situation where you happened to land yourself in hostile territory, such as in the jungle in the middle of a war, then you are going to want a natural colored tent that can blend in with surroundings.
- Weather proof – Check for rain protection. If your tent doesn’t have a rain fly, then it needs to be made of a waterproof wall. Nothing sucks more than waking up sleeping in about 3 inches of water inside of your tent. So, you want to make sure that you are checking into all the waterproof properties of the tent that you purchase.
- Size – Then you need to know how many people you are going to fit into this tent. If you happen to be planning for doomsday and the zombie apocalypse with your family, then your survival tent is going to need to be pretty big. It has to be big enough that everyone can fit inside of it. Personally, I like 2-person tents as it is spacious enough for a single person, but it can fit another person if it is needed. There are people that like single person tents, but that seems almost like sleeping in a coffin. The decision for this is going to be based on your preferences and needs. Just make sure it can fold up into a small size like a tube tent.
- Price – There are some survival tents that will cost you an arm, a leg, and your first-born child, while others are pretty inexpensive. You need to fit the tent you want into your budget but remember when it comes to survival gear, you are going to get what you pay for. If you go super cheap, then you are most likely going to get really cheap results. Now let’s get into the best types of survival tents on the market right now.
- Warmth – How warm is it and can it keep you warm?
Best Survival tents
Arctic Oven with Vestibule
This tent is great if you are planning on being in an area that is super cold, such as traveling on an arctic trek to see the northern lights. This tent is super warm, and it is very spacious as well. This tent is so well insulated, that people have stated that in negative degree weather, they started sweating and stripping down to their skivvies. That is perfect. The tent also comes in a lot of different sizes and the prices are a bit steep ranging from a couple hundred to thousands. Then again you are going to get what you pay for. These are not really that great for carrying in a backpack as it weighs about 110 pounds, so if you are in the arctic, then you most likely have a sled and it can be carried on that.
High Peak Outdoors Maxxlite Tent
This tent is great for trekking. It has a bathtub bottom that will seal out any snow or rain and it can be used in any temperature and it works great in negative weather. It has aluminum poles that provide the structure of it. It is only a 2-person tent, but it does have a rain cover that provides a vestibule at an end of the tent to store you gear. It is also pretty light weight as it weighs less than 7 pounds.
ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 1
This tent is high quality and light weight which is great for backpacking. The walls are mesh, which allows ventilation and are best for muggy nights in the jungle when you need to feel that breeze that may slip through. The design of the tent is just enough space to sit up and the door is perfect for making exiting and entering a breeze. It also comes with a storage space and a 2-pole design which means easy assembly. The package even comes with a repair kit if your tent gets ripped during your travels. The only thing is that it is not meant for any winter weather and there isn’t a lot of privacy, but it is great for those overnight treks.
Mountainsmith Genesee 3 Season Tent
This tent is great for families and even those who just like having a bunch of room. It is perfect for windy and rainy climates. It has a fully enclosed rainfly that has protected top vents. It also has super fine mesh that will keep out those pesky insects and the reflective guy lines happen to include plastic tighteners.
When it comes to choosing a tent, for whatever you plan to use it for, it doesn’t have to be hard or super time consuming. We have provided you with guidelines that can help you to pick the tent that is best for your situation. If you follow them then you are sure to find the tent that is going to best for you and your lifestyle and you will have a tent that you would be proud to use in any circumstances.