The tent has been a form of accommodation for an astonishing number of years. Having thought to have been invented way back in 40,000BC, it is little wonder that there has been plenty of room for development.
Where tents were once made from mammoth hide, over the years, many different and innovative types of tent have come to the forefront. There are more types of tent than you could care to shake a stick at, but on the whole, there are between 15 and 25 types that are most commonly used.
In this article, we are going to be exploring some of the most common types of tent camping; from glamping to backpacking and everything in between.
Types Of Tent Camping
Camping is nothing if not diverse. Much like permanent accommodation types such as houses and apartments, tents cater to a range of needs. There are those that are compact and lightweight for people on the go through to full family-sized tents with multiple rooms, serving as something of a home from home.
When you buy a tent, one of the first things you will need to think about is how you will use it and this will help you in deciding which is the right type of tent camping for you.
With that in mind, let’s explore the different types of tent camping and what the benefits of each might be.
There are some methods of tent camping that conform to the norm; whatever your normal may be. These include family camping holidays and solutions for adventurers.
If you have a large family, particularly if you have young children, getting out into nature is a great way for little minds to explore the world. Not only this, but these getaways create lasting memories. But one of the most important things is that you have a comfortable roof over your heads.
Family tents are designed for several people and are typically used for pitching in a single location for a lengthier period of time. Perhaps if you are heading away on a family holiday for a week.
This type of camping provides adventurers with ample space for all aspects of outdoor living. The family tent may come in either as a large dome or in the shape of a tunnel. Our recommendation is finding a family tent that combines both of these design aspects for the best of both worlds.
Bivvy camping is often done by people who are travelling solo. This is a popular choice for people who might want to spend a few nights on the side of a lake, fishing or for single hikers on a weekend adventure.
The bivvy is a lightweight tent with a wedge-shaped design. They often fold down to be quite compact and this is another reason that this type of tent camping is ideal for solo travellers.
Note: It can also known as Cowboy Camping.
Similar to family tent camping, a pod tent provides a lot of space but on an even bigger scale. These tents offer various rooms as well as one communal area where campers can gather in the day.
Pod camping is great for families but also for groups of friends who will be camping in a single location. This type of camping would not be suitable for those on the go owing to the sheer size of the pod tents.
That being said, since these tents are made up from separate pods, all of which do not need to be pitched at once, they are extremely versatile.
Inflatable Tent Camping
Pitching a tent is what puts a lot of people off going camping. Many of us have memories of our parents trying, unsuccessfully, to pitch a tent and this is enough to have us running to the nearest hotel. But there is nothing greater than spending time outdoors so if you struggle with a conventional tent, an inflatable tent or quick pitch tent might be a wise investment.
An inflatable tent uses air-filled poles and quite often, they are made from excellent quality materials making them much more durable. However, because of the design, if you need to move the tent, you will have to move it as one structure, short of deflating it all together, of course.
Extreme Camping In A Geodesic Tent
If you are the type of person who wants a real adventure then camping in the extremes always sounds like fun. A geodesic tent is designed in such a way that the poles cross over the central point giving it an excellent degree of stability.
This design is perfect for extreme weather such as high winds and is favoured by those who go exploring the far reaches of the world A geodesic tent is ideal for ‘out there’ pursuits such as climbing Everest.
However, there are also semi-geodesic tents that offer a slightly lesser degree of stability and are great if you want an adventure that is a little less extreme.
Trailer Tent Camping
If glamping is a little too luxurious for your outdoor adventure, but you still would like something with a little more than a conventional tent, then trailer tent camping is a fantastic middle ground.
A trailer tent is a sort of pop-up camper and typically features a fabric tent within a trailer and with a collapsible and towable design is ideal for campers on the road.
If you prefer something even more stable, then there are hard-sided pop-up campers which have solid walls as opposed to a canvas tent.
Summer Camping In A Teepee
A teepee is a conical-shaped tent that was largely made famous by traditional, native communities, especially in the movies.
However, in modern time, these small yet convenient tents make the ideal temporary accommodation for summer camping.
The teepee is incredibly lightweight and easy to erect since it only uses one pole in the centre of the structure. Furthermore, owing to the thin fabric and single layer, the teepee is an excellent choice if you are camping in hot weather.
Vis-a-vis Tent Camping
If you want a tent that has a relatively small footprint but a great amount of headroom as well as plenty of space for you and your friends, then a vis-a-vis tent is likely the best choice.
These tents are great for small groups and feature two bedrooms that face one another, situated on either side of a central area.
The only downside to these types of tents is that they can be pretty heavy so they might not be suitable if you are camping on the go. However, if you have decided on a single location for your camping trip, this style of camping may suit your needs very well.
The idea of backpacking appeals to a lot of people. Touring the world with only what you can carry and enjoying a laid-back lifestyle is a thing of dreams. But if you are going to realise this dream, the correct camping equipment is a must.
A backpacking tent is small and lightweight making it perfect for when you are on the road. These tents are incredibly easy to put up too.
It is important to remember, however, that because backpacking tents are designed with weight and compactness in mind, they tend not to be very roomy.
If you are backpacking, you will likely only use your tent for sleeping, so if you want to hang out, it is a good idea to pitch somewhere with room for outdoor seating.
Unconventional Tent Camping
If sticking to what everyone else is doing doesn’t appeal to you, then you might be interested in some of the more unconventional types of tent camping that will add a sense of excitement, luxury or uniqueness.
In recent time, glamping has gained a tremendous amount of popularity. This is a modern type of camping that is done in a static, permanent tee-pee style tent. Glamping is a much more luxurious experience than regular camping and with power outlets, full-sized beds and wood-burning stoves often found inside the tent, this is a great option for people who want to camp with all their creature comforts.
However, glamping may not be the best tent camping choice for people who want a conventional and rugged camping experience.
While it is perfectly reasonable to purchase your own glamping pod, these can be very sizable and take an extremely long time to set up so it is unrealistic when you are outdoors and want to get your home from home ready as quickly as possible. However, there are more and more glamping sites popping up all over the country where all you need to do is turn up with your bags and (temporarily) move in.
There aren’t many other things in life quite as rewarding as camping on the beach. Waking up next to the water and experiencing nature at its most raw is a real privilege. However, this type of camping requires a special kind of tent that will protect you from blowing sand and the wind that is often experienced by the ocean.
A beach tent may not have a front door and so may only be suitable for those who are happy to camp out while exposed. However, if you are camping out for the day, this is a great way to shield from the sun and stay cool. We've been asked is it illegal to camp on a beach so many times we wrote an article.
Car Tent Camping
When you think of the different types of tent camping, you could be forgiven for omitting camping on the top of your car; but this is a very realistic and viable option.
If you hit the road and need somewhere to sleep on a long journey, then a car roof tent could be just what the moment calls for.
These tents can look a little strange but they are hugely convenient and can be set up, as their name may suggest, on top of your car.
In order to install this type of tent, your car must be fitted with an appropriate roof rack and it is important to consider that setting the tent up can often require more than one pair of hands. However, on the plus side, car top camping gives you the advantage of being off the ground. You can also camp in your car, which is an experience in itself.
If we asked you to imagine a hammock, you would likely think of a piece of material suspended between two points. This very closely resembles a hammock tent but rather than having to sleep in the open, these hammocks are fully enclosed.
A hammock tent is great for adventurers and hikers who will be walking for days and need something compact, lightweight and convenient.
Much like a traditional hammock, the hammock tent connects to two points, most commonly two trees and takes minutes to erect.
If you want to stay off the ground where it will be warm, dry and free from pests, a hammock tent is likely going to be your best bet.
In days gone by, tent camping may have been restricted to a typical A-frame tent, squashed in with family members. But those days are long gone and the choices that campers have is mind-blowing.
Whether you are looking for a type of tent camping that gives you all the comfort of home, something that will stay stable on a mountaintop or a tent that will house all your loved ones, there will be a solution.
In this guide, we have discussed just some of the types of tent camping; there are many other types. In short, if you can camp underneath it; it’s a viable option!