As it is the general rule of thumb, backpacking calls for a tent that is not only strong enough but also comfortable and easy to erect. More often than not, you will find yourself at a crossroads when it comes to choosing between 3 and 4-season tent.
Generally, a few distinctive features separate the two. You will even realize that one type of tent can be changed into another type.
Can I use a 3-season tent during winter?
Of course, yes. However, drizzles, shedding snow, low temperatures and strong winds characterize winters. You will need to customize your tent to meet several merits before setting out for the camping session.
Numerous factors are taken into consideration when coming up with a winter tent. The tent should not mimic their summer counterparts that are made with light poles, light materials and lots of ventilation.
When customizing the small house, give keen attention to:
The steepness of the slope
During winter, whenever the temperature falls, it starts to freeze and snowfall follows. 3-season winter tents feature either double walls or single walls.
The single wall is a robust and durable fabric that is typically heavy-duty, waterproof and snow-proof. On the other hand, double-walled winter tents are made with two layers. The breathable outer layer is the tent itself. The inner fabric is the snow-fly or the rain-fly.
3-season winter tents are made with taut rain flies. This is mainly to withstand the downpours and the shedding snows that can turn the event into another hell.
However, the type of tents is not ideal for heavy downpours that are accompanied by harsh storms or heavy stones. The fabrics are always vulnerable to damage from the intense storms.
Therefore, be well versed with the weather reports before choosing the best vicinity for your 3-seasoned winter tent picnic.
Where you are going to use the tent for the first time, it is always prudent to set it up and test it first. Your backyard can be an ideal place. During this process, focus solely on the steepness of the tent while making sure that it does not show signs of wrinkles and overlaps.
Remember, any valley on the slopes of the roofing fabrics can lead to the accumulation of either water or the frozen stones. When such happens, the tent will automatically go down.
Condensation in the tent is one of the awkward occurrences that can make you hate winter camping for life. It comes in the form of frosts or drops of moisture in the inner surface of the tent.
Where you do not properly vent the tent, you will be woken up to moist and wet clothing and the inner gears. Unlike the single walled-3-season tents, the double-walled fabrics are free from condensation. They are the best option when it comes to tents ventilation.
However, even with that, you must put into place several precautionary measures to eliminate risks to condensation in your camping tent.
- Don’t prepare meals in the tent
When preparing a meal, water escapes in the form of moisture. In winter, the escaping water usually results in a Turkish steam bath. The only option to eliminate the awful occurrence is through preparing, and even taking the meals outside the tent.
Where the weather is too crappy, dig a hole under the tent’s porch and cook while keeping the door of the tent tightly closed.
- Do not exhale in your sleeping bag
One cardinal rule to remaining properly insulated throughout the camping session is through sticking your head outside the sleeping bag. This will not only allow you to catch the fresh air during the sleeping period but also eliminate condensation that results from the accumulation of moisture from breath.
Remember, any moisture in the sleeping bag cannot be removed or wiped easily. As a result, any accumulated moisture can be an added burden to keep in the back for the whole trip.
- Dry the tent
Whenever the sunrises in the clear morning sky, dismantle and spread the fabrics to dry up. You will realize that many 3-season winter tents are made with a black inner coating specifically for heat absorption.
By doing this, you will be allowing for the accumulated moisture in the surface of the fabrics to evaporate hence enhancing its insulation.
- Reduce snow in the tent
The surface in the tent has a slightly higher temperature than the outer word. By bringing any snow in the tent, chances are high that they will melt and evaporate into the tent’s inner fabrics. This not only undermines the insulation aspects of the fabrics but also results in condensation.
Therefore, wipe the boots, gloves, and clothes before stepping your feet into the tent for the sleep.
3-season tents are light-weight as compared to the 4-season ones. This is accompanied by a thin body and ultra-lightweight materials for the flooring materials for less bulk.
The tent features aluminum frames that are also thinner and lightweight. However, being lightweight doesn’t mean the tent can easily be carried away by the wind. With all the features, the tent is strong enough to survive the hurdles of mild winds.
Whether the tent will stand the strength of strong winds entirely depends on how the fabrics are attached to the poles. And, of course, how the poles are grounded.
You can use clips to attach the fabrics to the poles. The poles are then steadfastly pegged on the ground and supported with additional ropes. You can stay on point by using the lighter trekking poles.
Three season tents are the most lighter, convenient and flexible tent to use for any camping trip. However, depending on the overall set-up, they can be either strong enough to stand the strong winds, hails and the dropping stones.
However, when it comes to storms, a 4-season tent is the most appropriate.