4 Season Tents For Survival

4 season tents come in all sizes, this one is a 4 man tent.

Are 4 Season Tents Needed For Survival?

If you live in a part of the world that has severe winters, you should consider having 4 season tents for emergencies.

A  4 season tent (also known as a winter tent), is a piece of equipment that can save your life during a severe winter storm. These tents are very well made and are much more durable than other tents. Four season tents are meant to function well in the worst weather nature has to throw at us. This means that they are a good choice for shelter, no matter the time of year, and no matter the weather conditions.

4 season tents can withstand extreme weather only up to a point. Don’t expect to survive a tornado or a category 4 hurricane while sheltered in a tent!

Four season tents do three things very well:

4 season Tents Shed Snow

Any tent, whether it’s meant for all four seasons or not, will keep light snow off of you for a while. Heavy snow, however, will cause problems for all but 4 season tents. If the tent doesn’t shed the snow off of its sides quickly enough, the weight of the snow will make the tent bow inward and can even snap poles causing the tent to collapse from the weight. That’s a recipe for disaster! Four season tents are designed with snowfall in mind, and will withstand heavier snow weight while continuously shedding snow off the tent to avoid collapse or bowing. You are much safer having winter tents on hand in case of heavy snow, rather than trying to cope with a three season tent and hoping for the best.

4 Season Tents protect better than 3 Season Tents

Because a four season tent is built for all seasons, the tents material is designed to withstand bad weather better than the material used in other tents. Three season tents don’t insulate as well as a 4 season tent when dealing with a cold, windy environment. Anytime you need protection from the elements, a 4 season tent is the best choice.

4 Season Tents Are Built For Survival

Because four season tents are more durable and are better built than 3 season tents, they are better for survival. Four season tents are designed to shed heavy snow, insulate well against cold weather, and are generally much better suited to handling windy conditions than other types of tents. These tents are great for survival whether you are camping, hiking, or participating in any other outdoor activity.

Here is a great video highlighting the merits of a 4 season tent.

Buying advice for 4 season tents.

Some things to keep in mind when choosing a 4 season tent.

  • 4 season tents can be either a single or a double wall shelter.
  • Single wall tents are generally lighter, more compact, and are easier to pitch.
  • Double wall tents provide more layers between you and the elements and are generally stronger than single wall designs. 2-wall shelters have an outer waterproof layer and an inner water resistant layer that breathes. This inner layer allows condensation from inside the tent to pass through to the outer layer where it condensates and drips down in between the two layers. That way, neither water or ice will fall on you while you are sleeping.
  • 4 season tents can be pitched either from the inside or the outside. Tents that pitch from the outside are better when their is inclement weather because the snow and rain will be kept out. On the other hand, tents that pitch from the inside generally are tighter on the frame.
  • As a general rule, the more guy points on the tent, the stronger and better the tent is.
  • Inside pockets are nice to have to store gear. Big pockets are more desirable than small pockets.
  • Vestibules are a nice feature. A vestibule is sort of like a mudroom for your tent. If you are wet and muddy you can climb into the vestibule to change before you enter the main part of the tent. They are also great for storing your gear out of the way. Vestibules are usually an add on that must be purchased separately but some tent manufacturers include them with the tent design.

Pack for the worst weather imaginable.

When hiking in the mountains it is often prudent to carry a 4 season tent.

Wise hikers often include a 4 season tent with their gear when hiking in the mountains.

As a general rule of thumb, when you stock your survival kit or when camping and hiking; you should include a tent that will handle the worst weather conditions that you might encounter. For this reason it is important to know the weather conditions of the area you travel in; no matter whether you’re in your vehicle, hiking, or camping. For example, if you are hiking in the mountains during late autumn, you may think you can make do with a three season tent since autumn weather rarely goes below 50 degrees. However, because you are traveling in the mountains, you are more likely to encounter colder weather and perhaps even a early snow storm—making a 4 season tent the better choice.

Even though four season tents may weigh more and are generally more expensive to purchase, they are often the best choice when deciding on a tent. It is much better to have a durable tent that will serve you during any season than to be stuck with one that is inadequate during extreme weather. When winter survival is at stake, a little more money or weight is nothing!

4 season tents aren’t going to be for everybody. They are more expensive, weigh more, and are more involved to pitch than other tents. However, if your life depends on a sturdy, durable shelter that will keep you out of the harsh winter elements; they are a great choice.

  1. Jules
    Jules12-15-2011

    It’s worth the extra weight to to with a 4 season tent, especially if you are traveling into areas or camping in areas where the weather is very capricious, or can take an extreme drop in temperature, snow, wind, etc. It’s better to be safe than sorry, I know it sounds like a cliche, but it’s true. You don’t want to freeze to death when you could have bought a 4 season tent and made it thru a weather crisis.

    • James Sorick
      James Sorick12-19-2011

      I agree Jules. The whole idea is to survive, not become a human Popsicle.

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