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How to Choose the Right Camping Table
Published: July 14, 2021
Before you buy a camping table, there are several things you need to consider, such as its features, weight, and size. A buyer should always check these in order to properly complement their activities.
To choose the right camping table, you should know the types of camping tables that are available on the market, as well as their features, and how to clean and maintain them. For the features, we suggest you examine the intended use, material, portability and weight, stability and durability, size and shape, and extra features.
We will be discussing these in the different sections of this article. These are the details that you should ponder before you buy a camping table.
Knowing the types of camping table
When purchasing a camping table, you should first know the different types of table that exist, which will come in handy when you are going to use yours. Types of camping tables include dining, cooking station, soft top outdoor, folding camping, roll-up tables, small tables, and lightweight camp tables.
The following are the different types of camping tables.
- Dining tables
These are foldable tables with either wooden or plastic top surface, which is great for obviously, eating purposes. Note that they are not surely durable, and the legs are a bit shaky, unlike the dining tables you have at home.
- Cooking station
Not all cooking stoves have an attached table to place the food you are cooking on, or a stand to elevate the stove, so this is the kind of table you will be needing in order to battle these issues. Some of these tables also include storage.
- Soft top outdoor
The surface of these tables is made of nylon. These are mainly used for simple social recreational activities, like board games. However, they are not suitable for placing food and drinks on top of it, as it can easily get spilled. These tables usually include cup holders to prevent such incidents from happening.
- Folding camping tables
Those are common tables that are usually utilized by travelers for camping. They are collapsible, and can be used for any type of activities. We advise you to look for easy-to-fold and effortless backpacking.
- Roll-up tables
Aside from fixed foldable tables, camping tables also include roll-up types. The top surface of these tables can be rolled down and up during assembly and packing. This kind of table requires you to transport it by vehicle, as it is not advisable to carry it inside your backpack because the table and legs are separated.
Although this looks like compact equipment, we can say that this is quite bulky, and less durable than folding camping tables.
- Small tables
Small and foldable tables are good for packing, and easy to carry. The only drawback is the limitations of their use. Of course, you can’t use those as your main table, especially if you are with a huge group, as it cannot cater the amount of items you want to place on top of it.
However, this is just the perfect choice for two people, or it also can be used as an extension table.
- Lightweight camp tables
All of the tables we have enumerated can fall in this class, as long as they are originally made to be lightweight. Clearly, the reason why they were created to be light is to reduce the load of your pack.
Factors to consider in picking a camping table
There are factors you should consider while picking a camping table. You should look for its intended use, material, portability and weight, stability and durability, size and shape, and extra features. Apply these to the type of activities you will be partaking, and the amount of companions you’re travelling with.
The factors are the following.
- Intended use
The first factor you should contemplate is where you are going to use your table, and for what type of activity. As we have previously mentioned, there are different kinds of camping tables, each with a specific use.
The most common use for camping tables is for food preparation, dining, simple recreational activities, and also for many uses that require a table.
- Wood – This material has been used for several types of equipment — like tables. It has been used for a long time, and it is the original material to build tables. Rust cannot form on wood, and it can resist numerous negative elements that can form on other materials.
- Metal – They are made of aluminum, steel, or iron, and look more durable. This material is dependable, as it is indeed stable, even under intense weather conditions. The downside is the formation of rust if you don’t conduct regular maintenance on its parts.
- Plastic – Probably the low-cost type of materials. Plastic tables are lightweight and easy to carry, but they are unstable compared to wooden and metal tables.
- Rattan – This material is vulnerable in many aspects. If you use this in different temperatures, there are possibilities that there will be molds formation. We suggest you cover it when used.
- Portability and weight
The more durable a camping table is, the heavier it becomes. If you noticed our discussions on the Material section of this review, plastic is lightweight compared to wood and metal. However, it is also unstable.
We advise you to be attentive to the kinds of activities you are planning, as it tremendously affects your carriage capacity. You should not carry tables heavier than 10kg if you are going to hike; but for activities that involve a group of people, and that do not require you to travel to far places, you can proceed with packing heavier tables.
Transport it with a vehicle, as it is not good to carry that alone.
- Stability and durability
You should always ensure the characteristics of a camping table, and that entail its stability and durability features. Just like what we said in the Portability and Weight section, durable tables are more stable. They are made of materials that have many resistance and capabilities.
We suggest you go for metal or wooden tables, as they are indeed sturdy. But don’t forget the kinds of activities you are going to be conducting. Hiking requires you to carry lightweight materials, for instance, so you should double-check the build of the table.
- Size and shape
- Dining – These kinds of tables contain adequate space that is preferred for a huge group. When going on a camping trip with families and friends, you will be needing larger tables. Sometimes, there are dining tables that have a maximum capacity of 12 people.
- Extendable – If your dining table lacks space to fit all of the individuals in your group, this is the best equipment to solve your problem. Extendable tables can be adjusted and expanded if needed, as their name suggests.
- Bistro – Those are good for 2 to 4 people. They are smaller than dining tables, and are available in circle and rectangular shapes.
- Extra features
Apart from the size and shape, you should also check the height, which should match that of the chairs. The stability also needs to be solid, so that it can hold whenever a strong wind blows. Lastly, get camping tables with added features, like cupholders, pockets, and storage.
Care and maintenance on your camping table
There isn’t any preferred cleaning and maintenance method applied to tables. All we can recommend is to wipe them after using them. Be careful about the substances you want to use to clean your camping table though, especially for wooden and metal tables, as it may result in damages and in the formation of bad elements.
While wiping the table, always clean the top surface, and also the legs. Make sure to dry your table if you put any substances on it.
Choosing the right camping table for your activities involves a lot of requirements and things to consider. You can’t just automatically pick a certain table you just saw, because of its beautiful design. You have to know the kinds of activities, features, types of tables, and materials you need. These are factors that greatly affect your carriage.