One of the first things we did after meeting (nearly 12 years ago now) was to go camping.
And one of our first purchases together was a tent.Â We spent hours choosing a tent together.
I remember the occasion like it was yesterday.
I wanted a tent that would have enough room in the front vestibule that you could cook a meal, sit on the ground and hang-out if it just poured for the days you were camping.Â Chris wanted a tent that you could almost/mostly stand up in.Â We had very limited funds.Â And no car: so whatever camping we were doing was by public transport or the generosity of friends.
Our first trip we lugged the new tent across to Stradbroke Island from our house: walk, train, bus, ferry, bus, walk.Â Â It was a brilliant trip.
And it has been a brilliant tent that has served us really well.Â For almost 12 years.Â In rain, it was big enough to hang out in the front and cook and play cards.Â I think we even managed to squeeze 6 of us in for a card game one rainy trip.Â Without getting wet bums.Â You could mostly stand up inside.
And it has stood the test of innumerable camping trips: beaches, mountains, raining, really raining, sunny, torrentially raining, sandy, muddy, festival-ly, across the harbour in choppy water in a very overcrowded boat…
But last time we went camping it seemed that for a growing family of four, things were a little tight.Â Tight like waking up with a sleep-moving toddler draped across your face.
So we’ve upgraded.Â After a lot of thought, we decided we wanted a tent with lots of room, that would still fit a standard national park / camping ground campsite size, and that would have a separate sleeping/eating-playing-whatever-when-it-is-raining area in…
And the test-drive was good.Â Nice trip for a few days, “glamping” at Lake Moogerah with a Grandma and a Barry close by in a shed.Â Good relaxing.
Not sure that it will stand up that well in a really wet camp (we opted for size and configuration over our second-choice tent which was much better quality).. But hey, that just makes for a better camping story. Right?
P.S. If you are looking for a new family tent, I’ve done my research… For reference, we got the oztrail sportiva lodge combo but there were a few more we really liked too