Buying camping furniture for your tent
See also: Choosing the right gear
Kit yourself out with some decent camping furniture and your tent really could be a home from home.
But what kind of furniture will you need? The answer, as always, depends on the type of camping you plan to do and who you will be camping with.
For long summer holidays in a large family tent you will need a dining table and chairs, kitchen storage cupboards and bedroom furniture.
Side tables and bedside cabinets can add even more luxury and convenience to your camping experience.
If you will only be spending a couple of nights under canvas, then you might be happy with a table and chairs.
And if you are backpacking or lightweight camping, it’s unlikely you will want to take more than a lightweight foldaway chair and a mini table to keep your stove off the grass.
There’s certainly no shortage of ideas out there with a huge variety of tables, chairs, wardrobes and cupboards available.
Think of them as ways of keeping things tidy in your tent, especially if it’s the whole family – including kids – that you’re catering for.
The ability to stash even a few things away out of sight and tidily can make all the difference to your camping comfort.
What do I need to think about when choosing camping furniture?
Will it pack away OK?
Setting up should be pretty straightforward for all camping furniture products – and packing away again should be likewise. The smaller it packs the better for transporting in your car.
And it’s always best if an item of furniture is accompanied by its own carrybag – not just for portability but it also lessens the likelihood of losing essential items.
Will it carry a load?
When you’re researching furniture check out the load capacities.
These are suppliers’ own figures, but at least give a guide to the stability and durability of their products.
How long will it last?
Few suppliers make much in the way of claims for longevity. But there’s no reason they shouldn’t last as long as possible with a bit of due care and attention. Fortunately, maintenance is minimal.
Keep an eye out for any early signs of corrosion to steel parts. A wipe down with warm water and a sponge should suffice for most fabrics. Otherwise, it’s just down to light housework!
How should I store it?
As always, ensure your furniture is clean and dry before you put it away at the end of the camping season or for any lengthy period of time.
What types of camping furniture can I buy?
Some back-to-basics campers might be perfectly happy to sit cross-legged on the floor or perched on a handy log, but for most people, comfortable chairs are an essential part of the camping kit.
The range of folding chairs out there is huge, so shop around to find models that you find comfortable for both lounging and dining around the table.
Prices can range from under £10 for a basic, light camping chair but you can easily spend more than £100 for something that provides more comfort and support.
Features designed to improve comfort levels include lumbar support, height adjustable armrests, built-in cup holders and neck rests.
If you’re expecting to spend a significant proportion of your holiday lying around in the sun, splash out on a couple of recliners, some inflatable settees or even the ultimate in summer laziness – a full-blown hammock.
Read more about camping chairs here
For family holidays, a camping table is an vital piece of kit. Like the kitchen table at home, the camping table can be the focal point of your tent, where meals are eaten, plans are made and good times shared.
They come in a range of sizes, but a big table really comes into its own if the weather is bad or you are camping early or late in the season and spending more time inside.
They can have a variety of uses; sitting around and eating, playing card games and browsing the internet on your laptop are just a few of them.
When not in use, a camping tables can either fold flat or collapse in on itself, with roll-up slats to make up the table top. The latter is the easier style to transport and store, as it takes up less space.
The size of your table will be determined by how many people will be camping and the amount of living space you have in the tent.
More information about camping tables here
Folding kitchen cupboards
For storing food and your cooking equipment, kitchen cupboards fold flat during transit, but can be assembled in seconds to provide instant storage space that keeps the tent much tidier.
They also provide you with useful worktop space for food preparation, and some models have features like built-in sink bowls, utensil hooks and waste bins.
You can certainly cope without these, but like electric hook-up and tent carpets, once you’ve got used to them, you won’t want to do without them.
Tent bedroom furniture
Family tent bedrooms are expanding in size, with the increased floorspace providing opportunities to add storage furniture to your sleeping space.
Wardrobes and cupboards allow you to store clothes on longer holidays without having to rummage around in a holdall every time you want to find a clean pair of socks.
Other items of furniture that perhaps wouldn’t be considered essential but will certainly add to your camping comfort include bedside cabinets and laundry baskets.
Want more great camping equipment information?
Our "Buying camping equipment: How to choose the right gear for you" is full of great kit buying advice.
Expert Camping advice to your door!
Camping magazine has been the voice of campers for over 60 years!
Camping is the UK's only magazine devoted to the wonderful world of life under canvas and the freedom it brings. Every issue is packed with inspirational travel, the top camping sites to stay on, reviews of the latest tents, camping gear reviews, practical help and much more to help you get the most out of your camping adventures.
Want to know more about Camping Magazine?About Camping Magazine