Since Wild camping has become a popular idea, there has been a lot of debate over the best shelter. Some bushcrafters and wild campers prefer creating havens with tarps with natural resources instead of stealth camping tents.
I prefer using a small tunnel, a two-person tent with a camouflage tarp that blends into the surrounding landscape. I like being self-contained and out of sight as much as possible. Whether you want tents or a move back to the natural form of wild camping, tents, as long as they are compact and camouflaged with a low profile, are an adequate shelter for a wild camp.
Examples of stealth camping tents in action
My personal setups include a camo tarp fixed with either para-cord or Bunjees over the tent at an angle to (attempt to in Ireland) provide a dry workspace at the tent’s entrance. The tarp also helps you camouflage your camp area. I use depressions in the ground, fallen trees and natural hollows to help conceal my camp location. I prefer the idea of keeping my backpack inside my tent or under my tarp at the entrance to keep my gear as dry as possible.
This is why I like a small two-person tunnel tent such as the Mountain Warehouse. It is big enough, even for my 6ft 4 frame, to move around with my gear but compact sufficient to blend effortlessly into the surrounding landscape. The advantage of a low-profile tunnel tent means you can easily conceal the tent’s silhouette.
I sometimes use a camo net with vegetation thrown over to make the camp invisible. I also find these tents have a broken angular outline, unlike more common dome or pitched tents, which are easier to spot. (delete?)
When wild camping, there are a couple of features that make some tents more suitable for the job than others:
Effective wild camping tents should have a low profile and irregular shape. I prefer tunnel tents to the more common dome and pitched tents as they generally stick out less.
The colour of your wild camping tent will be the difference between staying hidden or sticking out like a sore thumb in the landscape. Greens, browns and blacks are best for this. However, again this is a personal decision and subject to the purpose – We have a bright red two ma tent, similar to the Berghaus Cheviot, for camping on trails – Better to be seen in on these.
The weight of your tent is an essential factor in wild camping. Due to most wild camping spots being off the beaten track, the lightest tent possible is best for these trips.
The best wild camping tents should be quick and easy to put up and take back down. Due to wild camping’s nature of leaving no trace, setting up and clearing your site should be easy and, if possible, rehearsed.
Below are links to some of the best tents for wild camping:
Best Tents For Stealth Camping
The Coleman Lightweight Back Packing Tent comes in two sizes for 2 or 3 persons and is perfect for the long-distance hiker or wild camper. This tent can comfortably take over mountainous terrain on your backpack with minimal condensation build-up and its highly engineered, lightweight, breathable outer lining sheeting. The robustly built frame means it can cake very high winds, even extreme mountain conditions, ideal for a pitch longer than a few days. If you plan on backpacking or stealth camping over a distance, The Coleman Cobra is a tent for you.
The Coleman Lightweight tent is a highly robust well-built tent perfect for wild camping or camping out in our extreme conditions here in Ireland. This tent is well built with a structure and shape designed for strong wind and exposed sites such as elevated terrain and coastal areas. The tent has a lightweight outer sheet with a dry porchway area for keeping muddy boots dry. The tent comes in 2 person sizes, but most reviews mention it is more of a spacious 1 person tent.
The GEERTOP Lightweight Bivy Tent is only 1.5 kilograms, perfect for stealth and wild camping.
The camouflage colour option means it can go unnoticed within woodland or an open landscape. The aluminium poles add to the tent’s lightweight and flexible strength, ideal for strong winds and stormy conditions.
This one-person tent has two ventilation windows and an extra waterproof outer sheet with double stitching for extra durability. This tent is a favourite of the wild camper. Check out the GEERTOP ultra Light Tent below for additional reviews.
The Hoolie ETC is engineered for carrying long distances with maximum comfort and weather protection. The exceptional tent design is highly efficient regarding weight and packs mass. This tent is a typical wild camping trip, bicycle tours and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participants. The spacious extended porch means you can store your gear separately from your sleeping quarters, and the two-person design means this tent can go unnoticed. This tent weighs under 3 kilograms and is easy to pack away, taking up minimum space.
The Banshee 300 from Vango. This Banshee is lightweight with a small pack size, so it would be ideal for first-time wild campers. With its two-pole system, pitching this tent couldn’t be any easier.
The Banshee has a 5000 HH (hydrostatic head), so it will keep you nice and dry no matter the weather. The poles are colour coded, so there is no reason to stick the bar in the wrong section of the tent (unless you have had a couple of beers).
The Banshee also features Vango’s TBS system, giving you excellent security even on the windiest days. It’s not surprising it’s recommended by the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
The Wild Country Zephyros 1-man tent is light and compact! At only 1.5 kilograms, this tent is lightweight and easy to carry, too far off stealth camping locations. The tent is easy to pack away and has a dark green colour, effortlessly blending into wild landscapes or deep undergrowth. The design includes Superflex alloy poles, and the tried and tested wild country high-performance flysheet and groundsheet fabrics. This tent is just the correct size for a man and a backpack, making it the perfect tent for stealth camping.
The Eurohike Tamar is extremely quick to use, light and a tactical joy to the stealth camper. Although dome tents are harder to conceal as they are higher space and comfort, the inside environment gives you a risk worth taking. It is easy to set up with a short and quick erection time just before the sun goes down. The dark green colour is perfect for blending in, especially within woodland or a woodland backdrop.
The Fjallraven Abisko Endurance 3-man tent is exquisite camping hardware suited for an expedition-based wild camp. This complete-height tunnel design has a spacious vestibule that can easily house three backpacks keeping gear and people out of the extremes wild camping can bring. The entrance can also be utilised to cook and prepare meals meaning you can still live comfortably in the most extreme conditions. The tent weighs 3 kilograms which is extremely light considering its size and robust specification.