There is more out there to choose from then ever before and while it would seem rather silly to complain about having too much choice it can lead to much head scratching. Luckily help is on hand with this short but hopefully useful guide.
Over the years we have seen a lot of equipment brought along to Swiss Farm, we have watched grown men and women weep at the sight of the mass of poles and canvas laid out before them.
We have seen the look of utter bemusement on faces at the prospect of erecting what was sold to them as ‘easy assembly’. We have also seen the smug looks of those with ‘pop up’ tents who, within minutes of arriving on site are sitting with their feet up sipping a nice chilled beer and watching their neighbors wrestling with a marquee.
So, first things first, what ever your needs, don’t pay too much attention to the number of berths advertised as these are always very optimistic. Visit a retail outlet or camping exhibition where you can actually get in a tent and see for yourself. If comfort is important then look to see if the bedroom will be able to fit that super delux air bed you intend buying.
If you are going to be sharing the tent with older children or friends then maybe think about having bedrooms at opposite sides of the tent. Paper thin walls leave nothing to the imagination! You may wish to have younger children in an adjoining bedroom with a zip between the two.
Living space is important! You will need enough space for all of you to be able to eat, move about and store all your belongings. A family tent should be tall enough to stand up in at least in the living area.
Make sure you will have enough help to erect the type of tent you purchase. The instructions should tell you this information. If you plan to use this tent for your main family holiday then it may be worth spending a little bit more and purchasing things like (and I am not kidding here) fitted carpet for the sitting room, and porch/door extensions. The carpet will give a cosy feel to things and will add to the warmth of the tent. The porches and extensions will increase the space for boots and cooking gear which will make your trip much more enjoyable.
If you are just going to use your tent for the occasional weekend break then keep it small and easy to put up. There are now pop up tents that join up in ‘pods’.
Why waste your short weekend sweating needlessly?
Make sure it is waterproof. It has been known to rain from time to time on camping trips (even in Oxfordshire) It may sound obvious but some cheaper tents really don’t keep the rain out.
With the Outwell Montana 6, you can add on porches and extensions for added comfort and semi outdoor cooking. This type of pole tent can be put up with one person but two is preferable.
Whatever you choose remember- Practice putting it up before you set off!
We would love to see you at Swiss Farm Camping & Touring so once you have chosen your kit why not visit our beautiful campsite in Henley on Thames (Oxfordshire).