Photo by N-sky via iStock
There are many reasons why people love to head out camping. Perhaps the most common one is that it is inexpensive. You can head out on a multi-week or even a multi-month holiday around the country without paying for expensive hotel rooms. This enables people to explore even if they do not have the funds needed.
In addition to the lack of cost, camping can be a great exercise due to the places we get to hike through and explore. It can also provide knowledge, quality family time away from screens and distractions, and even unforgettable campfire meals that are both tasty and inexpensive.
As explained in the video above by Lets Go Now Adventures, there are many other reasons to pack up and head to the wilderness for a camping trip.
For the above reasons alone, this is a worthwhile activity to pursue. However, you need to ensure that you use the correct gear to keep it comfortable and sustainable.
This article focuses on tent accessories for camping that will make the whole process much easier and more comfortable.
Table of Contents
- First, You Need a High-Quality Tent
- Keep Your Tent Toasty Warm
- Have a Reliable Off-Grid Power Source
- Give Yourself Room to Prep & Eat Food
- Tent Camping Mistakes to Avoid
- Final Thoughts
First, You Need a High-Quality Tent
Obviously, we cannot start talking about tent accessories for camping without first having a good quality tent.
One of our favorite options is the SMRT Summit Suite by SMRT tents.
Firstly, this is a hard-shell tent which is very important. In case you didn’t know, rooftop tents come in two forms – soft-shell and hard-shell. As the name suggests, soft-shell products have a soft fabric outer surface, while hard-shell ones have a hard surface at the top and bottom.
Hard-shell tents are more durable, easier to set up, and more aerodynamic; therefore, the Summit Suite is already on a good start.
This tent can house three people and will add 160 pounds to the roof or bed of your vehicle.
The Summit Suite includes some very cool features. One of them is the fact that it can also be used as a roof rack with a maximum load capacity of 175 pounds when closed or 80 pounds when open. The problem with most rooftop tents is the loss of roof storage capacity; however, this issue is partly eliminated with a rooftop tent like this one. You also get 360-degree upper and lower mounting channels that enable tent hardware and additional accessories to be attached.
To ensure that this product will last for many years, the outer shell is made from powder-coated heavy-duty honeycomb and extruded aluminum. High-quality weather stripping provides a seal between the upper and lower shells when closed. The hardware and handle are stainless steel, further eliminating rust and longevity issues.
Further tent features are mentioned below:
- Two sets of ladder-mounting brackets offer multiple options for entry points
- The included 8.53 ft. telescopic ladder is highly adjustable to accommodate different mounting points
- Breathable and quick-drying 280 g ripstop polyester/cotton canvas tent material with a 1,900 mm PU coating and UPF 40 rating resists weather, mold, and mildew.
- All openings come with both canvas panels and mesh windows for ventilation
- Features an elastic cord that pulls in tent fabric as you close it for easy, seamless pack-up
- Toggle-and-loop fasteners hold all entryway canvas and mesh neatly out of the way
- One functional canopy with tension poles at the rear entryway can be stowed up and out of the way by utilizing the side zippers and toggle-and-loop fasteners for better views
- Sleep comfortably on the high-density 3-inch EPS open-cell foam mattress that provides comfort and water resistance.
- Removable mattress cover for easy cleaning
- Two internal pockets let you stow your flashlights, cell phones, and other camping accessories
- A large internal mesh storage pocket on the tent ceiling holds your clothing layers, hanging lights, etc.
- Also includes 2 shoe bags with “S” clips
- Slim profile (just 6.3 in.) reduces drag; the flat roof also provides an ideal location for adding solar panels (not included)
- Compatible with the Cross Rails, Shower Kit, 2m Straight Awning, Awning Brackets, and other add-ons (these accessories are not included)
Tent Accessories for Camping: Keep Your Tent Toasty Warm With a Diesel Heater
One of the biggest hurdles for any camper is staying warm during winter. There are plenty of effective ways, like heated blankets and good sleeping bags; however, none of these products actually change the ambient temperature in the tent. They only keep your body warm, and that may not be enough in very low temperatures. Breathing cold air for a whole night can lead to a blocked nose or sore throat, which is annoying.
A great solution for this is a diesel heater. These heaters are great as they eliminate any possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning because the hot air is completely separate from the heating process.
Of all the options out there, our favorite choice is the Planar 4kw Portable Diesel heater.
Planar Heaters is a Canadian company and is considered one of the world’s best diesel heaters producers. Their products have kept people warm in the harshest of environments, whether that is while ice fishing, camping in remote mountain cabins, or normal tent camping.
This heater comes in a crashproof rain-resistant case and runs on diesel or kerosene, plus 12-volt power. It’s also equipped with a silencer, remote controller, and air intake filter.
Fuel usage is 3-4 liters per 8 hours, and it can operate at altitudes of up to 8200ft. This system will have no issues heating your tent and will absolutely transform the way you sleep during winter – no more dreading those cold nights.
If you have a look on the internet, you will also come across some cheaper diesel heaters; however, we would not trust those units – especially in nature. They are built from very cheap materials and won’t last long.
They also have a huge fire hazard as these heaters work on internal combustion. The last thing you want is setting a forest on fire. Finally, the cheaper products also lack accessories like a controller, meaning that you will need to wake up and exit the tent to adjust the heater during the night.
We firmly believe that when it comes to camping, you should buy quality and buy once. In the long run, you will save money as these products last a long time. You will also avoid the headache of dealing with an unreliable unit that offers fewer features.
Tent Accessories for Camping: Have a Reliable Off-Grid Power Source
Having electricity off-grid is one of the biggest hurdles campers have faced for years. However, with new technology come innovations, and products like the ALP 1000-watt propane generator enables us to have power as long as propane is available. Unlike the old days, this generator won’t take up the whole truck of your vehicle. In fact, this generator is so small that it only weighs 30lbs.
Even more impressive are the features that come with such a small package:
- EPA & CARB approved
- 60 hr run time on 20 lb tank, 3 hr run time on 1 lb tank
- 30 lb portable and lightweight design
- Powers most refrigerators
- 2X power output when running parallel ports
- Ultra-bright emergency LED light
- Multiple charging options
- Pure sine-wave technology
- Low oil auto shut off to protect the motor
Aside from the portable size and weight, this is also one of the most silent units you can get. At just 52db you can sit down and relax without listening to a whining engine – especially if you place the generator a bit further away than your actual hang-out space.
Here are some further specifications about the ALP 1000:
- AC Rated Wattage: 850W
- AC Max Wattage: 1000W
- Engine: 53.2cc OHV 4-Stroke
- Run Time @ 25%: 60 hr (20 lb tank) / 3 hr (1 lb tank)
- Outlets: (2) 120V AC
- Charger: 12V DC / 13.8V Regulated
- LED Light: 2W
- Parallel Ports: 1 Set
- USB Ports: (2) 2.0A
Our experience with this product has been great since it eliminates the issue of carrying smelly gasoline in your vehicle to power a normal generator. The propane bottles are portable and convenient, and they offer plenty of power.
You will also receive a 1-year limited warranty if you choose this product.
Tent Accessories for Camping: Give Yourself Room to Prep & Eat Food
Camping tables are an item that is often overlooked for camping. Many believe that a cheap plastic-top table will do the job, but the truth is that it takes a lot of space in your vehicle, is a pain to set up, and won’t be able to handle the heat of stove cooking.
In our opinion, the best setup combines a good quality table to sit around and a smaller steel table on which you can cook.
The Tire Table is the perfect product for this use. It’s easy to install and requires no tools as it mounts directly on your car’s tire. You only need approximately two inches of clearance between the tire and the fender.
The Tire Table is made from powder-coated aircraft grade 6061 aluminum which is lightweight, rust-resistant, and can hold up to 50 lbs.
Its dimensions are 29” long, 23” wide, and 1.5” thick. It only weighs 5.5 lbs., too!
The best part about this table is that it remains stable regardless of ground conditions as it mounts on your tire wheel. This makes it the perfect safe cooking station.
Our ultimate camping setup would use this table for the stove and hot pans and a separate table to prep the ingredients for cooking. The Tire Table alone may offer enough space if you are camping alone or cooking just for yourself.
This is a product that will also work great with camping trailers. While you set up your camper trailer kitchen, you can mount the Tire Table on one of the rolling wheels or even the spare tire (if you want it higher off the ground). This will provide additional space to rest cooking gear, ready meals that are still in hot pans, or can just serve as a second platform for your mates to hang around and place their drinks on while your tasty meals are cooked in the trailer kitchen.
The additional uses and convenience a small steel table like this one can offer are endless if you get creative!
Tent Camping Mistakes to Avoid
Photo by fstop123 via iStock
The first tent camping mistake people make is buying a cheap, low-quality tent. This leads to a couple of issues. Firstly, cheap tents are a pain to set up. When arriving at camp, you will need to unroll the whole thing, set up the poles, secure it to the ground and find a way to put a comfortable mattress inside. Air mattresses will take too long to inflate and may start leaking after some usage, and good quality ones are expensive to buy, which nullifies the purpose of buying a cheap tent.
When leaving camp, you will have to do the whole process in reverse. This isn’t the case when using a product like the SMRT Summit Suite, which folds down with all your sleeping gear inside. Setting up camp with low-quality gear will get you fed up with camping quickly.
The second problem is the fact that cheap tents won’t last very long. The fabric gets torn, and they lose their waterproof abilities, which means you will have to go out and buy a new one.
Finally, many people that are new to camping tend to set up their tent at the wrong angle toward the sun and wind. When arriving at a campsite, make sure to set up your tent in a way that it is sheltered by the sunrise (that is, if you want to sleep in). Also, if it is a windy night, point the hard-shell part of the tent towards the direction of the wind. This will reduce fabric noise during windy nights.
Photo by Peerapat_Lekkla via iStock
When tent camping, it’s important to get into the mindset that this isn’t an activity that will be as comfortable as sleeping at home. However, it is a necessary process that enables us to wake up at a location only seen by a few people.
That being said, you can drastically increase the comfort levels of your experience by investing in good products that eliminate issues like cold weather and camp set-up times.
If you have any further questions regarding tent camping or anything off-road or overland-related, head to the forum section of our page.