A new study has revealed how our lifestyles and new technologies could impact the tents we use for camping in the future.
And the results are varied, from mind-boggling self-repairing tents and all-weather protection, to life-saving lightning-proof tent poles, it looks like there could be options for even the hardiest campers through to part-time glampers.
CampingGuidance.com, the company who conducted the research, set out to discover how tents of the future could solve every inconvenience that comes from sleeping under the stars. Some of these tents in the list have been designed but failed to earn enough funding to be made, and some are a little further off from being reality but based on solving those most common inconveniences of camping. CampingGuidance.com then asked an AI tool (MidJourney) to illustrate what each tent would look like in the future.
Liz Ho, founder of CampingGuidance.com, has tested 1000’s of pieces of camping equipment over the last ten years. She said: “If we look back over the past 50 years and the ways camping has changed significantly, new technologies have played a huge part in that. Lightweight material meant camping became more popular with hikers and backpackers, and tents with more home-comforts meant ‘glamping’ (glamorous camping) persuaded people who had never camped before to give it a go.
“When we researched what the tents of the future could look like, there was a common theme of solving those problems that are yet to be solved in 2023 – extreme weather, equipment failing and increased safety for those choosing more extreme camping locations. The results show that the future is looking very exciting for camping, and I hope it encourages more people to get outdoors and have their own adventures”.
5 Future tents predicted
Camping can leave you exposed to the elements, so any protection against extreme weathers would be welcomed by most campers. A lightning-proof tent is a real concept that sadly never received funding to launch, and while no tent can be completely lightning-proof, certain materials and design features could help mitigate the risk of injury from a lightning strike.
The tent would be constructed with a metallic framework or have a metallic coating and this metallic frame provides a path for the electrical current to follow to the ground. The frame would be continuous from the top to the bottom, with no gaps or insulators in between.
The material of the tent would be made from a synthetic or natural fiber material that is non-conductive, such as polyester or nylon. This means it will not conduct electricity, reducing the risk of injury to those inside.
To further reduce the risk of lightning strikes, the tent should be placed in a low-lying area, away from tall trees and it’s essential to avoid setting the tent up near water or wet ground as water is a good conductor of electricity.
Self- repairing tent
There’s nothing worse than a camping trip being cut short due to a rip in your tent material. Or worse, finding that rip in the middle of a night time rainstorm. But there could be an innovative material designed in the future that would prevent that from ever happening again.
The Nano Cure Tent was a product that was launched on Kickstarter and was advertised as “the world’s first self-healing tent”, designed to repair small punctures and tears in the tent fabric without the need for patches or glue. It was described as being lightweight, waterproof, and durable, with a compact design that made it easy to transport and set up.
The tent was made from a special material that contained microscopic capsules of a fluid that could be activated by rubbing the affected area. When the capsules were ruptured, the fluid would be released and would flow into the puncture or tear, filling the hole and sealing it.
The market is saturated with tents for all seasons and locations, but what’s needed is a tent that is truly versatile for all eventualities. By combining a colder weather shoulder-season tent with a summer tent, this could be created using multiple rainflies for the same tent. In summer it would have an airy partial rainfly that’s shorter and exposes more mesh (for ventilation), and in winter, this could be changed out to a full-length rainfly to cover the entire tent instead, to keep the warmth in. This could mean longer trips across countries and seasons with the same tent.
Proper ventilation is essential in both warm and cold weather conditions. In warm weather, good ventilation helps to prevent the buildup of heat and moisture inside the tent, while in cold weather, it helps to prevent condensation and ice buildup. So a tent with multiple ventilation options, such as mesh panels, windows, and adjustable vents, can be used in both warm and cold weather. An all-season tent like this would need both UV blocking and waterproof fly sheets.
The shape and size of the tent would also have an impact, as a smaller tent with a dome shape would be better for colder weather, as it helps to retain heat, while a larger tent with a tunnel shape can be better for warmer weather, as it allows for better air circulation. Combining the two into one design, along with removable elements would ensure it stays truly versatile.
As the world becomes more conscious of sustainable living, the concept of camping on the roof of electric cars has emerged as an exciting prospect. The camping tent of the future, therefore, should be compatible with being on the roof of an electric car.
Roofbox tents are growing in popularity, but one made specifically for electric cars has yet to reach further than the design stage. Compact and lightweight tents would be essential for electric cars that rely on battery efficiency and smaller storage space. To reduce wind resistance while driving, the camping tent should be designed with an aerodynamic profile. This will help to prevent drag and improve the car’s fuel efficiency.
Comfort and convenience would still be high on the agenda, combined with high-quality materials designed to withstand harsh weather conditions. A camping tent designed for use on the roof of an electric car should be easy to install and remove, without the need for any special tools or equipment. Ideally, it should be possible to set up the tent in just a few minutes.
To be truly sustainable, a camping tent designed for use on the roof of an electric car could also be equipped with smart technology, such as temperature control, lighting, and voice-activated controls. This would allow campers to adjust the tent’s features from inside the car, making it even more convenient and comfortable.
Smart technology tent
Smart technology has the potential to enhance the camping experience by providing more convenience and comfort to campers. Many camping tents already have built-in speakers, but smart technology could take this to the next level. It could be equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, allowing campers to easily connect their smartphone or other device and stream their favorite music. The tent could also have voice-activated controls for adjusting the volume or skipping tracks.
Camping in extreme temperatures can be uncomfortable, but a smart tent could help regulate the temperature inside. The tent could have a built-in thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature based on the outside weather conditions. It could also have a fan or air conditioning unit to help cool things down in hot weather.
A smart tent could also be equipped with voice-activated controls, similar to virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. This would allow campers to control various features of the tent with their voice, such as adjusting the temperature or turning on the lights.
Liz added: “Just like the changes we’ve seen in the past 50 years, we look forward to seeing how technology and our lifestyles impact camping in the future. The results of our research and the AI predictions are super exciting, as it shows camping is likely to become more convenient, sustainable and comfortable for everyone.”