What is a 3 season tent and can I use it during the winter? Don’t worry, I am going to answer your question of “what does a 3 season tent mean” as well as other tips to help you find the right tent for you and your family.
What Does 3 Season Tent Mean?
3 season tents are nothing more than a tent that is designed to use specifically in the spring, fall and summer months.
They are generally lightweight but provide great protection from the outdoor elements.
They are built with many different dimensions and can be used in various degrees of temperatures. Some can even be used in the winter months, you will just need to know how to keep your tent warm.
As long as the tent provides you with protection against the heavy winds, you may be able to use it during the winter months.
Which Tent to Buy?
When shopping online or offline, it’s so important to make sure that you do your due diligence.
Are you the type of person who spends a lot of time outdoors during the warmer months?
Maybe you’re the type of person who enjoys camping year round?
Do you live in a part of the country where it rains all the time? Or do you live in a desert state where there is hardly any rain and it’s so hot and humid you can barely breathe?
There are so many different things to take into consideration when shopping for a tent, it’s virtually impossible to tell you which tent to buy.
All I can do is provide you with some tips that will help you can take into consideration when shopping for your next outdoor camping shelter.
Do I Really Need A 4 Season Tent?
If you’re the type of person who doesn’t spend a lot of time outdoors but likes to get away and unplug every once in a while, there’s absolutely no reason to invest in a cold weather tent.
Your three season tent will be sufficient if you can take these tips into consideration when shopping for your camping gear.
I’m going to assume that you are not a die hard camper and you just like getting away with or without the family once in a while.
This means that you won’t want to invest in an REI four season tent for your next winter trip.
You’re just looking for a small outdoor tent that won’t break the bank and will keep you comfortable regardless of what Mother Nature throws your way.
What to Look for When You Get A Tent
You don’t want to find the cheapest 3 season tent you can find. Instead, you’re looking for the following qualities that will help keep you warm and dry while sleeping outdoors.
Freestanding Tents or Instant Tents
When you are camping in the snow, it’s hard to stake your tent down like you normally would. The ground is frozen solid and can make it virtually impossible.
If you don’t have an all season tent, but planning on spending time outdoors in the cold, you may want to consider a freestanding or instant tent.
A freestanding tent can be set up instantly without any issues because of the frozen ground. Instant tents are basically the same thing, they can be set up without any issues.
Extra Tie Downs
Most will come with tie downs that you can use to help you add more durability against high winds. I’d recommend purchasing a few extra ones if you’re planning on camping outdoors in the winter.
You can never have too many tie downs when the ground is frozen and the winds get high at night.
Most people only think about vents or windows during the warm months. Having adequate ventilation during the cold weather can prevent condensation from building up inside your sleeping area.
Another great tip is to set up your sleeping area under some trees. Make sure that the ground is dry before you set up camp. Never set up your sleeping shelter on wet ground, otherwise, you’ll just be asking for trouble.
Top vents or side windows that can be opened or closed are perfect, like the one on the Mountainsmith Morrison 3 season tent. There are plenty of places that sell tents like this like, Walmart, REI, Amazon and any outdoor sporting goods shop.
How to Winterize A 3 Season Tent
Now that you know how to shop for a new tent, it’s time to learn the steps you can take to winterize your old one so that it holds up in the cold elements.
Unfortunately, there really isn’t a lot you can do to winterize one if it is not designed for extreme weather.
The big difference between tents that are designed for winter is the type of material weight/strength, poles and mesh panels.
As long as it has a good frame system, it should be fine to use in the cold winter months.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t use it in the winter, just be prepared in case it doesn’t hold up as well as you had hoped.
Bring Plenty of Warm Clothing
Nothing is worse than trying to sleep in a tent that you can’t keep warm.
Bring extra layers you can sleep in and a sleeping bag that is designed for cold weather.
You can always heat the tent before you call it a day that way it is nice and warm before you get in it.
You might even want to look into buying some tent insulation that will add protection from the elements.
No tent is actually going to keep you really warm in the winter. The purpose is to keep the wind and snow off of you.
Once you’re in your sleeping bag everything will be fine and you will sleep like a baby.
Spending time outdoors can be a blast, especially, if you have the right gear.
If you’re planning a trip in the cold winter months and plan on using a 3 or 2 season tent, you will want to make sure that you dress warmly for it.
I’d recommend setting up your equipment out in your backyard and spending the night in it.
This way you’ll actually be able to stay warm and comfortable throughout the night. You’ll also find out if it holds up when it gets windy or not.