Juliette Smith | |

Party tents are not just for parties. As well as accommodating 10 people standing, they are a great as shelters for camping or on the beach. We had a look at some for you.

We have found party tents that are easy to set up, practical and weatherproof. Be warned, they are pricey.

Shelter Systems party tents are geodesic domes made out of strong plastic-based fabric. The walls can be rolled up for air and light; or rolled down and clipped to the frame for shelter. Prices start at $460. For a 30- day trial see their website. They claim it is risk-free.

Eureka! Camping make lightweight foldable canopy tents. UV, water and flame resistant. Because they are canopies only they look unobtrusive and delicate. Expect to pay around $300.

Marquees can look cheesy, but if you really are actually having a grand party, then here is where to get one from:

To rent, Celina Tents have marquees of all sizes.

And partypop.com is a directory of all rental places in the USA.

You can buy your own small marquee for 240 the price of a weekend rental of a large marquee- from www.cdselection.com

tents-direct.co.uk also have a large selection of marquees, prices starting at �250

Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site

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