Camping in the wild is legal in New Zealand. If one decides to go on an outdoor adventure and spend a few days in the arms of Mother Nature, it is important to carry the right gear. After deciding on the place, may it be a forest, canyon, or a mountain to trek, the people can decide on choosing and buying the outdoor gear. Irrespective of the place chosen, a tent is crucial for outdoors. Three different types of materials are used to make canvas tents: cotton, plastic, and polyester. Cotton canvas tents in NZ have a lot of advantages added to them. In this article, we’ll talk about the benefits of cotton canvas tents, the types of canvas tents, and how they hold up against each other.
What are canvas tents?
Canvas tents are shelters that can be made to stand on a forest or outdoor terrain with the help of stakes or pegs. It can cover various degrees of area, depending on the canvas size. NZ has a lot of well-known spots for camping, namely Whitikau Campsite, Urupukapuka Bay Campsite, Robin Hood Bay, and Poukaraka Flats.
Synthetic Tents Vs. Cotton Canvas Tents
Cotton canvas tents in NZ have a lot of advantages over synthetic or plastic tents.
The breathability of canvas tents made out of cotton is high due to which sweat and heat generated from the stove can escape easily, unlike nylon or synthetic tents. Synthetic tents tend to be hotter than outside as all the heat generated due to the activities inside a tent stays locked in, and the humidity increases.
Fire Hazard inside a tent made of cotton is low and the use of a camp stove is not risky. On the other hand, a plastic or nylon camp can catch on fire easily if the camper is not careful with the fuel or stove.
The average rainfall in New Zealand is high and it’s quite likely that the camper will face a spell of rain when camping in the wild. A cotton canvas tent can soak the rain in its fibers and later on deflect the raindrops due to the tight surface tension it has gained. It keeps the inside of the tent dry. Plastic tents can let the drops settle on their surface and become saturated. This can affect the humidity inside and restrict the breathability of the tent.
Cotton canvas tents in NZ can be repaired if damaged and resistant to tear. Canvas tents are more durable than plastic ones and are more prone to tear and rip. It is impossible to repair a plastic tent if it gets ripped or torn anywhere on its surface.
A cotton canvas tent has windows, and vents that come with a mesh layered on them for privacy. Vents increase the breathability inside tents and allow for sweat, and head to escape efficiently. Plastic tents don’t have any windows and the synthetic fibers of these tents do not breathe. There are only vents present in plastic tents and can get blocked by sleeping bags, which reduces breathability and causes discomfort.
Cotton canvas tents can be pre-treated to withstand UV rays and prevent cotton fiber damage or discoloration as a result of standing in the sun for prolonged hours. Whereas plastic tents get easily damaged due to UV rays and slowly penetrate the fibers and break them which can cause problems to the structural integrity of the plastic tents
Canvas tents tend to be heavier than plastic tents, but it’s not much of a problem if the camping is taking place near the camper’s home.
Maintenance of a canvas tent
In the wilderness, the tent is the camper’s shelter, so keeping it safe and as good as new can save the person from a lot of threats from the surrounding environment. The main enemies of a canvas tent are fungal mold, rats, and mites. Here are a few tips to keep the canvas tent safe and make it last for years:
- Store the canvas tent in place when not in use which is not damp. Keep it at a height so that rats or other pests inside a home can not reach it.
- The tent was wet after a heavy downpour outdoors, while returning lay it out on the car trunk to dry. Packing the tent in a wet condition can cause damage.
- If the tent is not going to be used for a long time, keeping it inside a nice and clean garbage can that has a lid can solve the problem.
Tips for a beginner camper
An inexperienced camper or outdoor adventurer may be confused about the proper precaution to take before the journey starts. A checklist is needed to check if the camper is carrying the necessary equipment like a head torch in NZ, stove, matchsticks, bottle, knives, and insect repellant, buying a big enough camp, reaching the campsite early, and planning the meals ahead of time to carry adequate portions, and not carrying an excessive amount of clothes as they take up a lot of space.
To sum it up, cotton canvas tents in NZ can be useful for outdoor activites and a reliable shelter which has many benefits compared to its synthetic brethren.