To Tent or Not To Tent?

That is the question

I am carrying on the countdown, 28 days to go…. and our tent is on order! Better late than never! It took a little while for us to decide whether we were going to stick with just hostels as our main accommodation whilst on our travels. As you probably know from previous posts, we are heading round the world (In case I haven’t said it enough). Some of the countries we will be travelling too are lot more expensive than others. For example, the USA, pretty pricey for the average backpacker! All be it that we are only spending a few weeks there, prices of hostels and transport to different cities are already looking £££ compared with lets say Bolivia/Peru. Being located in England, I know how the price of transport can get excessive when travelling from one place to another. So what I’m saying is, how are we going to cut costs? There are many campsites around the world where you can pitch up a tent for a small fee, or if your lucky someone’s backyard for free! We noticed, that not many travellers how given their experience of camping whilst backpacking the world. Maybe I have been looking in the wrong place? IF SO, LEAVE A COMMENT. It might be that hostels are so cheap, that pitching up a tent doesn’t seem worth while.

So while having the tent in South America might not save many pennies, the cost of a tent would certainly pay for itself in the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Decision made.

One tent on order.

We’ve decided to purchase the Vango Banshee 300, its spec looked pretty impressive! Apparently perfect for backpacking! It weighs only 2.82kg and can be reduced to 2.59kg if you subtracted the spare pegs and extra packaging. Win! It’s made from polyester that’s meant to be breathable. It measures in at 46cm x 17cm, we plan to share the load by one of us taking the tent fabric and the other the poles and pegs.

It takes 7 minutes to set up

We found the cheapest version on amazon for £ 129.99 (usually retails £160). As you may have noticed, it is a 300 version, that means it is suited for 3 people sharing. We’re hoping it will give us enough room to sleep and leave our bags to the side. Comparing to the 200 Banshee, the weight difference wasn’t a lot, so the decision became easy!

Once the tent arrives, we plan to do a test run in our back garden to make sure all the equipment is there and we don’t get any leaks in the night! We bought two thin self inflating mattresses from our local Go Outdoors shop. They are easy to inflate and come with a sack and emergency repair kit. The mattress weighs 1.04kg. It is more heavier than other styles, however having tested them out on the shop floor we thought we would get a better nights sleep with the Hi Gear mattress than a roll mat. And I think sleep is important, it really sets you up for the day!

If your still stuck deciding whether you should purchase a tent for your travels, below I have listed our Pros and Cons that we came up with:



  • Accomadation fees cheaper
  • Your own space (not in a shared dorm)
  • Back to basics living


  •  Extra weight to carry around
  •  No access to electricity/heating
  •  Security – no lockers for your possessions if your out and about for the day
  •  Risk the tent being stolen

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