Many people love to experience the outdoors in different ways. Whether it’s camping, hiking, or backpacking through different destinations, they’re all amazing ways to explore nature and challenge yourself as well as your family. It can be really enjoyable if you are completely well prepared for it. None of these activities are possible without having a tent with you.
If you’ve never done it before, then the prospect of having to carry a whole tent on your back for hours and days can seem quite intimidating.
This is why it’s important for you to understand the difference between trail and packed weight, which are the two most common weights available for tents.
Trail weight is also known as the minimum weight of the tent. This means that it is the weight of the tent without any extra- which means the body of the tent, poles, and the rain fly. It’s important that you really understand the value and the calculation of your minimum tent weight using a guide for trail weight because this will affect the way your whole experience goes down. Understanding what goes into it is crucial.
It is not uncommon that when a tent package the trail weight, that it is not entirely accurate. This is because when you go camping, there are other items that the tent needs, and so needs to be added to the weight. This includes the stakes, which of course you’ll need to hold the tent down, and these are sometimes not included in the trail weight. In this event, it is always a good idea to invest in stakes that are lightweight so that it doesn’t add too much to your load.
Having a rain fly for your tent is extremely important because it keeps the snow and rain away from disturbing you while you rest in your tent, and it helps to keep it dry. Many tent manufacturers don’t include the rain fly and so it’s not added to the weight either.
Lastly, you’ll find that most backpackers prefer to have the tent put in their backpack rather than have its own cover, but with the passage of time, tent manufacturers have created carry bags for the tents that are convenient and lightweight- those, too, would probably not be included in the trail weight calculations. So basically, the trail weight is the calculated weight of only the essentials of the tent- not including anything else.
This may be a good option for you if you do opt to carry the tent in your backpack. And this just may be the best option for you as you travel as a family because you need to carry as little as possible considering how many you are.
The packed weight is often also referred to as the maximum or the packaged weight, and it pretty much speaks for itself! It is the total weight of everything included in the tent bag. And this means it includes the so-called extras that we have mentioned above, such as they carry bag, the rain fly, and the stakes.
What it means, in a nutshell, is how much your tent package should weigh including all of its necessities. The difference between packed and trail weight, is that you won’t have to doubt the calculation provided in terms packed weight, because it gives you the completely accurate weight of the whole tent bag, every single thing included. How packed weight can be beneficial as you prepare for your trip for your family, is that there is the probability that you will need more than one tent on your trip. Having the packed weight allows you to know exactly how each and every item will affect your overall carrying weight, and most importantly, if it’s doable for the length of your trip.
Either way, especially if you’re new to the camping game, then it’s important that you keep in mind the things that are not included in the weight details. You will need a tent repair kit, in case something goes wrong, and you also want to make sure that you carry extra stakes. While many backpackers opt for carrying the tent and its tools and extras in their backpack, you need to be experienced when you do that because it can be quite a hassle if you don’t.
If you’re not experienced, and if you’re travelling with your family, then you’re probably better off relying on the packed weight details, because it rounds off the total weight of every single component you will need to carry. Regardless of whether you’re an experienced backpacker or camper or not, it’s advisable that you get a portable weighing device so that you can do this right. Backpacking requires a lot of details and you cannot miss a beat- that is, if you want to have a successful and stress free trip! Putting up and putting away the tent can be quite a challenge, especially if you haven’t done it before.
The good news is, if you’re traveling with your family, having the extra helping hands definitely helps- both in the amount of weight that can be carried, and also in the process of putting things together for the tent. Since you are traveling with the family, try to go for the packed weight bags that carry the body of the tent, the rain fly, the stakes, and also the repair kit. This way, you will have everything in one place and won’t have to panic about anything going missing because it will be assigned to its own bag. Doing this with your family should definitely be meaningful, fun, and exciting. So make sure that you understand how to balance the weight in all of your backpacks and make sure that you consider each person’s body weight and ability, as well as their fitness levels, because they’re not just going to stand there and carry it for a short while! It’s going to be for the whole trip! Once you understand the difference between trail and packed weight, you’ll be better equipped to make the right decisions for everyone.