Last Updated on January 16, 2024
Sleeping in a tent in a desert is a unique experience one must try at least once: a trip to the desert is not complete without a few unforgettable nights camping under the stars, completely free of light pollution in the vast desert wilderness.
Setting up a camp in the desert may seem like a daunting task, but it is surely worth the effort.
Picking the right desert camping gear can surely make the task easier, and opting for a quality camping tent is definitely the top priority when you are travelling in harsh environments subject to extreme weather conditions, as in the case of most deserts.
Below, a selection of top quality tents and tent stakes for desert camping.
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Best Desert Camping Tents
Coleman WeatherMaster Tent with Screen Room
Free Space 4-Seasons Outdoor Camping Bell Tent
Snugpak Scorpion 2 Camping Tent
- Spacious 6-person tent has enough room for 2 queen-size airbeds
- Separate floorless screen room offers bug-free lounging
- WeatherTec system with patented welded floors and inverted seams to keep you dry
- Measures 11 x 9 feet with 6-foot 8-inch center height; Screen room measures 9 x 6 feet
- Rainfly and expandable carry bag included
Kick back, relax, and watch nature unfold before your eyes with the Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Tent with Screen Room.
Great for car camping and extended camping trips, this outdoor tent has a separate floorless screened room that offers extra ventilation on warm days, protected storage, and a bug-free place for meals.
This camping tent is designed with the WeatherTec system that features patented welded floors and inverted seams to help you stay dry and includes a rainfly for extra weather protection.
The tent offers enough room for 2 queen-size airbeds and comes with storage pockets to help you keep your things organized. The angled windows improve air circulation without letting water in.
A hinged door allows you to effortlessly enter and leave the tent, while an E-Port makes it easy to bring electrical power inside your tent. Made of durable Polyguard fabric, this 6-person tent will last season after season.
The Coleman WeatherMaster 6-Person Tent sets up in about 20 minutes and packs away securely in the included expandable carry bag that lets you tear away the rip strip for easy packing. An overall very versatile tent for the desert.
- Diameter 13.1ft (4m) bell tent: door height 59in, top height 98.4in, side wall height 23.6in, the stove hole center from floor is 15.7in. It can fit 1 queen-sized bed and 2 twin-sized beds.
- Durable and breathable 100% cotton canvas in beige color and water Repellent. Double Stitch Reinforcement: All our seams are double stitched, corners are reinforced for added strength.
- The tent allows you to roll up the sides of the tent so on a scorching afternoon you can lounge under canvas, enjoying the breezy shade beneath. There are 4 windows and 4 vents. Every tent comes complete with windows and vents covered in no-see-um mesh to keep the bugs out while providing ventilation and airflow. Our half-moon windows have zip up covers to allow you to customize your desired level of ventilation and privacy.
- Groundsheet: Our super durable Regatta Bell Tent features a sewn-in PE groundsheet for those who would rather want their groundsheet attached as it’s easier to set up and less fussy. If you are looking for instant setup, this tent is ideal. It is an added level of waterproofness, a solid wall of defense that keeps your tent clean and in tip-top condition. Easier to clean – just hose or wipe off.
- The camping canvas bell tent is stability, breathability and water-resistance. The coolest feature is the zip-away floor that transforms your tent into a canopy for outdoor events such as festivals, Family Camping, weddings, Picnics, parties, Luxury Camping and group campouts.
Bring a new sense of adventure to your next glamping trip with our classic camping bell tent. This classic camping bell tent is roomy inside and packed full of smart features.
Waterproof and breathable because of the strong treated cotton canvas fibers that repel water and provide comfort that gives you the best blend of all season protection and airflow.
Enjoy a dry, comfortable indoor family experience. They have also included extra-strong pegs, making this tent sturdy in windy weather and bad conditions.
These tents are easy to set up with a simple two pole assembly. The oversized door makes loading and unloading your gear quick and easy. You’ll love the tent as your home away from home.
Why not accessorise your tent and complete the experience with a variety of camping furniture – from chandeliers to sound systems, tables to bedding, rugs and plenty more – perfect for taking your camping experience.
A great choice of desert tent for most terrains and weather.
- Inner tent dimensions are 81 inches long, 51 inches wide, and 41 inches tell; built to accommodate 2 people
- Compact pack size is 17 inches long by 7.5 inches wide; trail weight is 4.93 pounds, pack weight is 5.83 pounds
- Equipped with DAC Featherlite aluminum poles with press fit connectors; comes with 16 alloy stakes; suitable for all 4 seasons
- Flysheet is 210t polyester RipStop with 5000 millimeter waterproof polyurethane coating with taped seams
- Includes a basic repair kit; contains metal pole repair sleeve, tent guide rope tensioner, spare cord, elastic loop, patch materials, and a storage bag
- 1 Doors / 3 Vents
- 50D Polyester No-See-Um-Mesh
- DAC Featherlite NSL anodized poles
- Alloy Stakes (14 + 2 Spare Stakes)
- Comes with a Basic Repair Kit
The interior of the Scorpion 2 is lined with No-See-Um Mesh and is protected by a PU coated Fly Sheet that provides an external, seal-able porch space to store gear.
Ideal for a semi-permanent camp, the Scorpion 2 provides a large amount of floor space to provide ample room for two people to sleep in a top-toe sleeping arrangement.
The RipStop waterproof Fly Sheet combined with the heavy duty, waterproof bathtub-style Ground Sheet provides you with a durable design that can withstand prolonged exposure to the elements. A sturdy, durable tent highly resistant to desert winds.
Best tent stakes for desert camping
Finding the best tent for desert camping is only half of the task, for you are going to need to set it up correctly.
The ideal tent stakes for hard terrains are long and sturdy. V- and Y- shaped stakes are the top choice as they can provide the most support against high desert wind, although they can also be a bit tricky to push into the ground.
Below, a selection of the sturdiest tent stakes for desert camping.
15 x Heavy Duty Steel Screw in Camping Garden Tent Stakes/pegs with Glow in The Dark Heads + Bonus Canvas Carry Pouch + Hex Drill Bit.
Your best option for staking a tent to a hard desert ground, such as that you will find in Utah, is to use these steel screws. Just make sure to have a cordless drill available – everything else is included in the kit. [Check Price]
How to pick a Desert Tent
Sturdy against strong winds
When you are camping in a hot desert environment, you may think that rain won’t be a problem, but flash floods and storms can actually happen so you may need to pick a waterproof tent.
It is also very likely that you will have to deal with very strong winds and potential sandstorms.
Because extreme weather is to be expected, the ideal tent for desert wind comes with plenty of poles for increased resistance.
The type and material of your tent stakes will also greatly affect how resistant your camp is to high winds, and tents in desert tend to be subject to all sorts of weather conditions.
For high and low temperatures
Every desert environment is different, but most deserts are subject to extreme temperatures that fluctuate greatly during the day.
The Sonoran desert in Arizona, for example, has a summer air temperature ranging from around 100F (40C) during the day, to a slittle as 50F(10C) at night.
The best tents for camping in Arizona need to account for these sharp drops in temperature, and this is true for the majority of hot deserts out there.
If you are in a high desert like the Mojave desert which partly has the characteristics of a cold desert, you will be even more subject to cold temperatures and in extreme cases, even snow (yes, it does snow in the desert!).
It is therefore important to check in advance the conditions of the location where you are going to be travelling.
Color of the tent
Don’t sweat it. While it’s true that in the desert is best to wear bright-colored clothes because they reflect UV rays, the color of your tent really is not that important.
Even if you pick a dark colored tent and it absorbs heat during the day, the time you will be needing it the most is at night when you actually want to warm up.
How to Set Up a Tent in the Desert
Choosing the Right Stakes
When setting up a tent in the desert, the most important thing to consider is the type of stakes to use.
The sand in the desert is loose and won’t cling to tent stakes very well, which means you need to use stakes that are longer and wider than average.
These stakes should be able to go deep enough into the hard sand to secure your tent properly.
We also recommend anchoring the stakes with heavy objects, such as rocks or sandbags, to keep your tent in place during windy conditions.
Positioning Your Tent Correctly
Once you have chosen the right stakes, the next step is to position your tent correctly. It is important to pitch your tent with the door facing downwind.
This will prevent sand and dust from entering your tent through the door.
Additionally, using a tarp under your tent will help prevent abrasion between the sand and the tent floor, which can cause tears or holes in your tent.
Dealing with Sand Inside the Tent
Despite your best efforts, some sand may still make its way into your tent. To deal with this, we recommend removing your shoes before entering the tent and setting up a welcome mat outside.
This will prevent sand from sticking to your shoes and getting tracked into the tent. Additionally, bring a brush to sweep any sand out of the tent swiftly.
Using Dark Room Technology Tents
If you are looking for a tent that can help keep you cool during hot desert days, dark room technology tents can be a great option.
The Coleman desert tent comes with this technology, and the Quechua’s interior walls are black, even though it is not advertised as dark room tech.
The dark walls help absorb sunlight and heat, keeping the tent cooler during the day and darker at night.
Dealing with Desert Critters
Desert habitats are home to a variety of critters, including spiders, scorpions, and snakes.
To deal with these, it is important to keep your tent doors closed at all times to prevent them from entering.
Bring a fly swat to whack any bugs that manage to make their way in, and always carry bug spray with you to keep them at bay.
- Camping Tent
- Sleeping Bag
- Desert Backpack
- Desert Hiking Boots
- Plenty of water
- Food for desert
- First aid kit
- Travel insurance covering desert activities
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