Many, many years ago I swore I would never sleep in a tent again. Far too many wet festivals in a crappy 2 man £20 special from Argos. I still have nightmares about sleeping in puddles. One too many freezing nights in a stinky sleeping bag. Never again will I wake up with my face stuck to nylon.
NO NO NO!
For those that follow the blog you may remember our big adventure round Spain
this summer in our trusty van, (or not so trusty on this occasion). Rob and I left the world of tents behind us in our early 20’s and have never looked back. The luxury of camping with a real duvet and space to make a cuppa have now become the norm. So when friends asked us to go camping a few weeks ago and the van was still waiting to be fixed after the Spanish breakdown (hint to husband), initially I said no.
‘But that’s not fair!’ shouted the kids. ‘Why can’t we just sleep in a tent? It will be fun!’
A TENT? Memories of teenage years crammed under smelly canvas sent a shudder down my spin.
But then I realised. My eldest daughter is now 10 and she’s never actually slept under the stars. Yes, we camp all the time in the van, but it’s not quite the same as actually sleeping outside. I felt a bit bad. (Just a little bit mind).
I was never taken camping as a child, (I know, poor me). Probably explains why I couldn’t get enough of it as soon as I was old enough to convince my mum I was at a friends overnight. We’d pack a bag of goodies and off we’d go to sleep in the local park with nothing more than a couple of old fur coats. Class.
‘OK, let’s do it’.
Surely a bottle of rum and plenty of chocolate would mean I could sleep anywhere still?
Off we went. Four adults and five kids. Across the downs for a bit of great British family camping. Basic style. (eeek!!)
The tent was remarkably light and packed in a bag that I could easily carry. We all took a duvet and plenty of treats. I was slightly worried that we were all going to fit in this rather small package but I needed have been. We had a few drinks before we got started with the erection. Probably a few too many to be honest. We hadn’t noticed the instructions in the bag and it’s some years since I’ve put a tent up but we found it pretty easy.
I’m sure if you actually followed the instructions you could put this up within 5 minutes. It took us a little longer and a few more drinks but we got there. (and then found the instructions).
The wind picked up a while later and we discovered no one had put the guy ropes out. So where did we put those tent pegs? After a long search one of the kids found them under the tent (note to self for next time).
We had such a great time all getting involved. There were three sleeping pods that we managed to comfortable fit 2 adults and 1 little one in each. The bigger kids all shared the third pod and there was still plenty of communal space in the centre. We liked the good head height, especially as the other family are both very tall.
I’m no tent expert but our friends really liked the sewn in ground sheet and thought it was the easiest family sized tent they had ever put up. The poles looked pretty sturdy and the little porch section provided a little shade or shelter. Although we didn’t get rain in the night it was pretty cold and damp in the morning but we were nice and dry.
Our only downside? Getting it back in the bag!!
We had a great night out on the Downs and will certainly do it again. Admittedly I think the rum and hot chocolate kept me warm in the night but the kids seemed toasty too. They loved the back to basics camping.
Torches, cards and midnight feasts.
The thing memories are made of.
We were asked to review Skandika XXL tent Silverstone by Skandika and thought is was brilliant.