A camping tent is the first line of defence to shield you from the worst of what Mother Nature has to throw at you. It therefore needs to be fully waterproof, but breathable to allow moisture to escape.
A tent is your first defence against the elements, so it is important you choose a good quality tent that is up to the job.
Camping Tents in a Range of Shapes & Sizes
Camping tents come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The smaller varieties include dome tents, in single skin as well as 2 skin models, and most will have integral groundsheets.
Some are inner pitch first, while others are fly pitch first.
The main advantage of pitching the fly first is that if you are pitching your tent in the rain, the inner will not get wet.
Single Skin Camping Tents
Single Skin Camping Tents are usually cheaper, smaller and lighter than 2 skin tents, and will be quicker and easier to pitch.
The disadvantage is that they will not be as breathable.
Ray Mears Tarp & Hammock
Ray Mears, on his expeditions, uses a tarp with a hammock to keep his pack load to a minimum. An Army Basha is basically a tarp, so can be used in this sort of way, as can a flysheet.
The Hennessy Hammock provides the complete setup of hammock with flysheet.
As with all outdoor equipment, a tent needs proper care and maintenance - always keep your tent clean, never leave it packed when wet or damp, and occasionally retreat with a good quality reproofer.