Recently I’ve found myself thinking about my love for camping and I’ve realised that one of the biggest reasons I love it so much is the amazing friends I have made because of it. Many of these friends I met through social media groups where we arranged a group camp.
In any other walk of life you would not consider turning up in a field with a group of strangers to spend a weekend with them. But this is one of the amazing parts of camping.
It was with some trepidation that we booked and turned up to our first group camp. I had joined a camping group on Facebook and found everyone there to be very helpful and happy to give tips and advice to me as a relative newcomer to camping.
We were the first family to arrive and this meant that we could get our tent pitched before the others arrived. As the other members of the group started to turn up, we quickly realised that our fears were completely unfounded and an amazing weekend had begun. Long-standing friendships were forged, not just amongst the adults, but the children too.
It was with very heavy hearts that we struck camp that weekend, but we knew that this would be the first of many weekends with some truly wonderful people and since then we have gone on to meet more friends.
As a new camper, you quickly realise that there is nothing better an established camper likes to do than talk about camping. Well, other than actually camping of course… and it probably won’t come as much of a surprise to learn that the most important bit of kit that you will need is the tent.
Different types of camper will need different tents of course, but as a family camper, the most important thing I look for is space. Always go for a tent that has more berths than people that will be using it if you can. There are usually only three of us but I tend to look at four or five berth tents to give us plenty of space in the bedroom pods, as well as enough living space for us to be comfortable even if the weather is bad and we need to stay inside with our son.
It is also a good idea to think about where you might cook in the event of bad weather. Cooking inside the tent is not a good idea so some kind of shelter for cooking under is a must. A simple tarp will provide plenty of shelter for this. This can also act as a way of stopping rain water running into your tent when you’re entering or leaving in heavy rain.
A great tent to consider is the Regatta Vanern tunnel tent. This comes as a four or six person tent and even the four person one is spacious enough to suit my family. It has some great features, the darker bedroom pods would appeal to anyone that has younger children as it helps to stop the very early morning sun disturbing you and may help to keep you all in bed longer.
Most tents have storage pockets on the front of the bedroom pods, but one of the plus points with this tent is that two of them are actually inside the bedroom pod itself. They’re at a good height to reach to store things in, particularly if you prefer to sleep on a camp-bed.
At the front of the tent is a small canopy area which provides that all important shelter for cooking and keeping rainwater at bay. For those of you that have already seen my previous blog, you’ll know that I need my electric hook up, and thankfully, there is the all important cable entry point so don’t forget to pack those straighteners! 😉