American bushcraft dates hundreds of years to the first explorers and adventurers, both European and Native American. However, all aspects of bushcraft living have come a long way since then, none more so than bushcraft tents.
Original bushcraft tents included teepes, lean-tos, and speedily constructed structures made out of tarps, leaves, and anything else available. This article will look at how far tents have come and help you decide which is the best bushcraft tent for you based on your specific needs.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Bushcraft Tent
Water-resistance is critical if you plan to spend multiple nights in your bushcraft tent. Rain is a certainty in nature, and you’re bound to get wet if you don’t have a waterproof tent.
You also don’t want an overly heavy or oversized tent if you plan to go on long hikes. Every pound matters for backcountry camping and hiking, and choosing a lightweight but durable tent is crucial.
One of the many worst-case scenarios in camping is when there’s a storm rolling in, but you know it’ll take time to set up your tent. You should set up most bushcraft tents in minutes rather than half an hour. Lengthy setup time also eats into your hiking and leisure time when you’re spending time in the woods.
The biggest factor that determines how durable your tent is is the fabric that it’s made of. Quality tent fabric should be waterproof, lightweight, breathable, and durable. It should also have the ability to keep the warmth in and the cold air out during winter camping.
The last thing you want is to be investing in a new tent every year because your old one keeps giving out. The odds are that if your tent isn’t durable, it also won’t be effective at keeping water and other elements out.
While having a lightweight and portable tent is essential, it’s equally as important to have one that’s the appropriate size. If it’s just you, then almost any size tent will do. However, if you’re camping with a group of friends or your family and all want to fit into the same shelter, you must choose a tent large enough to accommodate.
Your tent’s size and weight determine portability. For most circumstances, the best bushcraft tent should be small enough to fit into or attach to your backpack and shouldn’t weigh more than a few pounds. Portability is vital for backcountry camping and extended hiking trips.
Your budget is ultimately what determines the best bushcraft tent you end up with. The last thing you want is to blow your entire budget on a tent when there are other accessories to be considered. Remember, your tent is extremely important, but so are your sleeping bag, sleeping pad, knives, axes, and all the other things you need for successful bushcrafting.
Overall Best Bushcraft Tent
1. Kelty TV 2-Person Tent
It only seems fitting that the winner of our overall best bushcraft tent goes to the Kelty TN 2-person tent, the winner of numerous awards from various outdoor magazines. The Kelty is one of the best bushcraft tents that you can use for survival situations, backpacking trips, or leisure camping.
It’s lightweight at roughly 4.5 pounds, is easy to set up, and is easy to carry from place to place. It’s also a double-wall tent, with the outer layer being 100% waterproof and the inner layer being insect-proof. This tent is about six feet by four feet and has two entry doors.
- Waterproof and insect-proof
- Very lightweight and easy to carry
- Easy setup and takedown
- Innovative fly that allows for three different features
- The storage vestibules are handy for extra storage and provide more room in the tent
- It’s only a three-season tent, so it’s not ideal for winter camping
Best Bushcraft Tent for Cold Weather
2. Russian Bear Winter Tent
If you do a lot of winter camping, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better tent than the Russian Bear Winter Tent. You can tell just from the name that this tent means business! This best bushcraft tent is built by the Russian Bear tent company responsible for producing some of the most heavy-duty and innovative tents on the market.
The Russian Bear Winter Tent comes with its own frame, a zipper, tie-down straps, and a carrying bag. It also features a waterproof floor, mosquito nets, and a stove with a chimney so you’ll never be cold during winter camping. It also sleeps up to five people and features two doors and windows.
The tent itself is completely waterproof and features two layers to keep the heat inside and the cold outside. Be forewarned that this tent isn’t ideal for hiking trips but rather for extended camping in the same location due to its heavy weight. However, if you plan to spend an extended amount of time in the woods, this tent will keep you warm and safe during all seasons.
- One of the most durable and longest-lasting tents on the market
- The accompanying stove will give you the ability to stay warm and cook indoors during cold times
- Completely waterproof and insect resistant and includes a warm, waterproof floor
- Surprisingly easy to set up and take down considering how large it is
- Very much on the heavy side at right around 50 pounds, including the stove
- Also very expensive as this tent runs in the vicinity of $2,500
Best Bushcraft Tent – Large
3. Cabelas Ultimate Alaknak
When it comes to size, value, and durability, it’s hard to compete with the Cabelas Ultimate Alaknak. This beast of a tent made it onto this list of the best bushcraft tents because it looks more like a tiny home than a tent when it’s set up with the accompanying stove and chimney. Many consider it to be one of the best if not the best survival tents on the market for families of up to six.
It’s also one of the most durable tents available and is the kind of product that you pass down to your kids once you’re done with it. At just under $1,000, it’s also surprisingly affordable for its incredible quality. Its 12 feet by 12 feet in size and stands four feet tall at the walls and just under 10 feet tall in the center peak.
This best bushcraft tent features ten perimeter poles to make it one of the most stable and secure tents out there. Be warned, however, that setting up this bad boy takes some time, so be patient and don’t plan on taking it on a backpacking trip. If you’re looking for a high-quality survival tent to spend a week in with your family, this tent is for you.
- Extremely durable, stable, and steady once it’s set up
- Includes a wood-burning stove making it ideal for winter camping
- Extremely spacious and roomy for the whole family
- Waterproof and insect-proof
- Includes cupholders, roof protectors, and condensation vents
- Very heavy, weighing in at just under 70 pounds total
Best Bushcraft Tent for Backpacking
4. River Country Products Trekker Tent
Now that we’ve looked at some of the larger best bushcraft tents available, let’s get back to the smaller side. The River Country Products Trekker Tent is a delightful little tent that’s lightweight and ideal for backpacking trips. This tent was created by a Washington-based company that specializes in backpacking products and tests each of their tents in the Pacific Mountains.
This tent is extremely lightweight, weighing less than 3 pounds, and it’s also spacious with measurements of 7′ x 5′ x 42 inches tall. While it can certainly fit two people, it’s ideal for a single person who’s carrying extra baggage and packs with them.
The only real downside of this tent is that it doesn’t have a rainfly, so you’ll have to plan around that. Good options to get around this problem would be to purchase a rainfly separately or carry a waterproof tarp with you. However, based on the size, price, and quality of the tent, it’s definitely one of the top options available.
River Country Products Trekker Tent 2, Trekking Pole Tent, Ultralight Backpacking Tent - Green
$64.95 in stock
- Extremely lightweight and easy to set up
- Surprisingly spacious for a one to a two-person tent
- Perfect for camping, backpacking, or hiking
- Not waterproof
- Won’t hold up well in extreme conditions such as wind, rain, or cold weather
Other Best Bushcraft Tents
5. Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 Tent
If you have a decent tent budget and value quality above all else, the Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 Tent is one of the best bushcraft tents you can find.. No matter what type of conditions you expect to run into, this tent can stand up to it.
It’s fully waterproof and is considered a 4-season tent, meaning that it’s great for winter or summer use and everything in between. It’s made of a combination of nylon and nylon taffeta, which makes it extremely durable and able to withstand wind, rain, heat, and cold. Keep in mind that this is only a two-person tent, so don’t try to fit your whole family in here.
In spite of its durability and strength, the tent only weighs 9 pounds and measures eight by 24 inches when packed down. However, the tent becomes surprisingly spacious when you set it up, with floor dimensions of 92 by 66 inches and a 12 square foot vestibule. In terms of quality, comfort, weight, and ease of setting up, the Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 Tent are at the top of the list.
- Includes tons of internal pockets and holders to store your equipment
- It’s very well ventilated despite how well it does in cold weather
- Completely wind-resistant and waterproof and meant to withstand snowy mountain adventures
- Relatively lightweight and easy to set up for its durability and quality
- While it’s fairly lightweight, it’s still on the heavy end for long hiking trips.
6. ALPS Mountaineering Extreme 2-Person Tent
There are few companies that cater most of their products specifically to bushcrafting and rugged outdoor living, like the ALPS Mountaineering company. The ALPS Mountaineering Extreme 2-Person Tent lives up to the company’s reputation as extremely durable and perfect of bushcraft.
This two-person tent weighs in at just over seven pounds, putting it slightly on the heavy side of things. However, in order to have a quality bushcraft tent, the materials and fabrics need to be slightly heavier to ensure quality and durability.
This ALPS Mountaineering tent uses an aluminum three-pole design, which is strong, lightweight, and easy to assemble. It’s made of polyester, which makes it both water and UV-light-resistant, and you can use this tent in sunny or rainy environments. It also includes excellent storage and ample space for two people and their belongings.
The dimensions are roughly 5′ x 7.5′ with a center height of 42 inches. The carrying size is only 20 inches by 6 inches, which is small enough to fit into most backpacks.
- Lightweight yet durable and extremely easy to set up
- Surprisingly roomy and spacious
- UV-resistant and waterproof
- The mesh has been known to break down from time to time
Wrapping Up the Best Bushcraft Tents
There really is something for everyone when it comes to the best bushcraft tents. No matter what your budget is or what type of camping or hiking your plan to do, there’s always an option available. When choosing the best bushcraft tent for you, the most important thing to remember is what you plan to use it for and how many people you’ll have with you. As long as it’s big enough and meets your needs, any one of the tents on this list will do.
Do you know how to safely heat up the best bushcraft tent or any shelter with fire? Read Survival Shelter: Heating With Fire to find out.