Whether you are on a wilderness canoe tour in Värmland, sea kayaking in the Stockholm archipelago or hiking in the mountains of Lapland, wild camping is a central feature of many Nature Travels Sweden holidays.
For all our activities featuring wild camping in Sweden, tents are either included as part of standard equipment or are available to hire as optional extras. In most cases, Hilleberg tents are used – a Swedish brand and one of the world’s best-known quality tentmakers. Hiring a tent will not only ensure that you are using equipment suitable for the experience but may also be the most convenient and affordable option. If you do not already have suitable equipment and do not plan to make regular use of your tent after your holiday in Sweden, buying your own may not be cost-effective. Hiring a tent also reduces your luggage when travelling and may also allow you to avoid baggage charges if flying with low-cost airlines such as Ryanair.
However, if you participate in outdoor activities regularly, a good-quality tent is an essential investment. In this article we give an overview of different tent designs and discuss the pros and cons of each, discussing some points to consider when choosing a tent for your holiday in Sweden:
The “classic” A-frame tent design, stable in high winds and also less likely to sag in heavy snow if camping in winter, but often rather heavy and bulky and generally not suitable if you will be hiking and carrying your tent for long distances.
Dome tents have flexible poles which meet at the tent’s highest point. This is a spacious design given ample sleeping and storage area, but are not so stable in high winds so may not be the ideal choice for camping in exposed mountain areas.
Tunnel tents have two or three flexible poles which are used independently. They are usually lightweight and provide ample legroom for taller campers, but can be unstable when exposed to wind from the side.
Traverse Hoop Tents
This design is often extremely lightweight, using one or two interdependent poles. However, traverse hoop tents will also be unstable in side-on winds.
Using four or five flexible poles to make a self-supporting frame, geodesic tents offer an attractive combination of space and stability, but can be heavier than traverse hoop or tunnel designs.
Flysheet first or inner tent first?
Tents which pitch flysheet first have the advantage that the inner tent stays dry when erecting the tent in wet weather. There is also the option of using the flysheet by itself as a tarpaulin if weather conditions are suitable.
Tents pitching inner first generally give more space for sleeping as the inner sheet is stretched more tightly. If conditions are hot and dry, the inner tent can be used by itself.
What to think about when choosing your tent:
It may be useful to consider the following when choosing which tent is most suitable for your active holiday in Sweden:
- What kind of terrain will you be travelling in? Are conditions likely to be particularly windy?
- What time of year will you be travelling? What temperature range are you likely to encounter?
- Does the tent have spaces for cooking and/or luggage storage? Being able to cook in one of the entrances can be useful in bad weather, but bear in mind that tents are not flame-proof and can catch fire very easily.
- How important are the size and weight of the tent? Is luggage space limited? Will you be carrying the tent for extended periods?
- Which of the basic designs described above is likely to suit your needs best?
- How many people will sleep in the tent? Bear in mind that a tent rated as a 4-person tent may nevertheless feel rather cramped when filled with 4 campers plus luggage!
Whichever option you choose, Sweden is one of the world’s top destinations for wild camping, whether you are on a 3-day sea kayaking tour, an 8-day wilderness hiking expedition or a 2-week canoeing holiday.
The Nature Travels Team