Whether you're preparing for your first family camping trip or a backpacking journey on the Appalachian Trail, the most important step is choosing the right tent. I have camped all across the continental United States, learning firsthand the "do' and don'ts" of camping and backpacking. In order to narrow down your tent choices there are several questions that you have to ask yourself: How are you going to be using the tent? Where and when are you going? How many people will be sleeping in the tent? How much money are you willing to spend?