Choosing our Tent
With a couple of trips under our belt and Jason thankful for my new found love of camping, we were now faced with the task of kitting up for camping. Jason and I had been together twelve years by the first time I went camping. Although Jason has camped his entire life and been in previous ownership of all things camping, over the years, his supply had dwindled. No tent, no mattress, no stove a camping trip does not make!
Choosing a tent is a daunting task, the variety on the market is inexhaustible. Finding your needs in the right price bracket, colour considerations and ease of erection are but some of the things on the tent buyer’s checklist.
Two Christmases ago we camped with some friends at Lake Eildon in Victoria. We flew in from Queensland so had nothing but financial aid (and wit and awesome company) to contribute to the trip. They had a gigantic tent, I’m sure on the packaging there would have been a pictorial of 30 black silhouettes lined up in every nook and cranny inside the seams.( Do tent manufacturers really think this is how people want to experience camping, hop scotching over bodies?) Anyway, huge tent, with four rooms but only one entrance, no fire exit! Although we didn’t sleep thirty that week, it was still extremely inconvenient for the children in the corridor to have us stepping over them as we entered and exited our rooms at oddly hours of the night. So, tent pre-requisite number 1 – we wanted two rooms with a separate entrance on each room.
I wanted a cooling colour i.e.; not red! Pre–requisite number 2
By now Triff & Steve had upgraded from tent to trailer and Kath, Mark & Connor had upgraded long ago, bypassed the trailer and moved straight to the caravan. Hence the name of our blog, “The Tent, The Trailer and The Caravan”.
Like air-conditioning and mobile connectivity in a new car, so too is the importance of quick tent erection! re; Camping protocol number 2, set up one’s own site then sit and drink beer/wine and amuse oneself whilst watching fellow campers set up theirs. This is a spectator sport and assistance is only allowed in the event of, begging, sobbing or if risk of severe injury is paramount.
It is very important that tent erection take no more than one-quarter of the overall time it takes to set up site completely, or you risk certain embarrassment and camp shame! It is one thing to be heckled by your fellow campers, but rest assured there will be other, unfamiliar onlookers eagerly waiting your failure! One of the reasons you don’t get bored camping is cause there is always something to see. It is next to impossible not to watch the comings and goings of other campers. You do see the most interesting things sometimes, like the time Triff and Steve saw another camper pull out a spirit level to check his tent poles, with wife and children standing gruff on the side lines. Looking into a strangers trolley at the supermarket, is as equally fascinating as seeing how other people camp. We’re a curious race and this guilty pleasure must be forgiven. Enter pre-requisite number 3, quick erection.
Awnings, ventilation and decent tent poles are all considerations. Your tent must be compact when not in use, it cannot take up too much room in the vehicle nor should it at home. Never pack your tent on top of your esky! Your esky must be accessible as soon as you arrive or you break camp protocol number 1 re: Upon arrival at campsite one must remove only that which is in the way of the esky (with exception of seating) and have a beer, after at least one beer, one is then able to continue with camp setup. Should another join your party at any stage of set up, one must stop what one is doing and have at least one beer before any more set up continues.
With all of these considerations Jason and I settled on a Coleman Instant tent in fawn/grey tones. It has two rooms, four doors and two additional windows creating fantastic ventilation and is quick to put up! Although impossible to compete with the Caravans set up speed, we’re not too far behind the Trailer when they’re taking it slowly. As it stands we do not get the opportunity to heckle our own. One day, although unlikely, we might actually be the first to arrive in good enough time to sit back, relax and mock, cheer, or bum steer our fellow camping companions…. good times.
Rose and Jason – the tent
Pop up Marquees and Gazebos are a great idea for quick camp set up. Visit Altegra Marquees and Gazebos