Author Topic: Tell me about camping...  (Read 2937 times)

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mime

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Tell me about camping...
« on: February 13, 2014, 08:35:46 PM »
BG / what led me to my question:
 
I'm in the market for a new tent. My DS is 9 and I have taken him camping since he was 2 years old (mom-and-son weekends).

In my online search for a new tent, I've noticed a few things:

If I were looking for a rugged, intense, braving the elements kind of tent, I have a lot of options, both in the US and the UK. (and elsewhere)

If I were looking for a simple dome-style tent to sleep a handful of people (anywhere from 2 to 8 ), I also have a lot of options.

There are differences though, in larger tents (that don't necessarily have to endure severe weather). I'd like more than one room since I may start to include DS(3) or DS(9)'s friends. I'd also like to set up living or sitting space in the tent in case the weather isn't nice. There are great options in the UK for that. Much less so in the US. Even Coleman--a US company-- has tents I really like that are only available in the UK!


End BG

This makes me wonder: is the camping experience different in the UK than in the US? I'm not thinking of rugged hiking cross country for a month type of camping, but more casual vacation-style family camping. My experience here is that people just sleep in tents then hang around outside, at the lakeshore, around the bonfire, in a boat, etc. It is usually no more than a long weekend. It is typically in the woods or a campsite, definitely a nature-filled setting.

Are these aspects different in the UK? I'm trying to figure out why your tents look so much better than ours!  ;)
I'm about to spend $100 for the shipping alone just to get one.

And this: I really wanted a tent like the Weasleys had in "Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire", but it doesn't seem to exist. Not even in Europe. *sigh*

ETA just formatting to try to de-emphasize my shopping experience and focus on my question.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 10:03:45 AM by mime »

Harriet Jones

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Re: Tell me about camping...
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2014, 08:59:39 PM »
Have you looked at Walmart's website?  I have a relative who bought a 3 room tent from there.

Edited to add: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-20-x-10-3-Room-Tent-Sleeps-10/22954579

PastryGoddess

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Re: Tell me about camping...
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2014, 09:17:25 PM »
I car camp, I don't do much backpacking.  So I carry more equipment than someone who has to carry everything on their back.  I also abide by the car campers guide to tent size. 

2p tent is for 1p
4p tent is for 2p
6p tent is for 3p
8p tent is for 4p

I have this tent for sleeping: http://www.rei.com/product/828150/marmot-limelight-3p-tent

I also have a large screened in shelter for hanging out during the day away from bugs.  http://www.sportsauthority.com/product/index.jsp?productId=21650066&cp=2287066.2279642&parentPage=family

I'm not a huge fan of coleman as I think their setup is overly complicated compared to other brands. 

8 person tents
Marmot http://www.rei.com/product/863990/marmot-limestone-8p-tent  My fave brand
Big Agnes http://www.rei.com/product/779627/big-agnes-flying-diamond-8-tent My second fave brand
REI http://www.rei.com/product/810168/rei-kingdom-8-tent-2012  This tent took about 30 min to figure out, but once we did, it went up in about 5 min


Eureka makes a decent 12p tent http://www.rei.com/product/831232/eureka-copper-canyon-12-tent that is really easy to put up

Anything larger than that and you'll be looking at coleman I think

Hillia

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Re: Tell me about camping...
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2014, 09:32:00 PM »
Try Cabelas.  They sell a wide range of tents from backpacking to luxury safari, in a variety of price ranges.  We have a great 8x12 cabin tent which has a panel that you can zip in to make 2 rooms.  The setup is not too difficult.  I think we paid $179 for it.

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Wittyone

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Re: Tell me about camping...
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2014, 09:33:33 PM »
I don't know much about specific tents.  But have you ever considered letting DS9 and his friends have their own tent?  That way you wouldn't necessarily have to have a huge tent, and the boys might love having their own tent.
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JenJay

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Re: Tell me about camping...
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2014, 09:40:09 PM »
We camp like you do - for about a week, sleeping in tents but otherwise around a fire, hiking, swimming, etc. We have a two-room tent and we love it, it worked for us and the 3 kids for years. Just this past year we went ahead and bought a 2nd "4 man" tent for the kids and now the bonus side of the big tent is used for storage and having an area of escape in case it rains. We got ours at a sporting goods store and we've had it for at least 10 years. We don't get to camp every year, though, so it hasn't been used as much as it sounds.

We also bought a 12' pop-up canopy with a wrap around bug screen that we put around the picnic table and coolers.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Tell me about camping...
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2014, 09:41:12 PM »
Pitching the tent and staying in one spot, or car camping, means you can go with a bigger tent and luxuries like air mattresses to sleep on.   :D

What you have to consider, though, is what the prevailing weather is like.  If it is a windy area, you want to get a tent that isn't too high.  I've seen taller tents collapse in storms.  Including one I was sleeping in!  If you are camping in a spot that gets a lot of rain, you want a fly that will go all the way down to the ground and not just be like a little hat on the top of the tent.  But if you are camping in an area that is really dry and hot, you'll want a tent that has screen on the top so you can leave the fly right off and get some good air flow.  And if you are camping when it is cold, the smaller the tent, the warmer you'll be.  You do need to leave a window or air vent slightly unzipped, though, or it is even colder.  Too much humidity from exhaling, I think.

My current tent is just a 3 man.  It is made by Roots, here in Canada.  It has an extra large fly that gives you an anteroom where you can store stuff in Rubbermaid bins, instead of having it right in the tent with you.  I have seen a larger version of my same tent that is supposed to be a 6 man plus the anteroom.  It would be comfortable for 3 to 4 people, I would think.  And this tent would be high enough that you could put a little table and chairs in the anteroom.

For a bombproof tent, you can't beat the hexagonal Eureka's.  Mine is quite old but it is considered a true 3 season tent.  You are still reasonably warm, even when it is below freezing.  Their 4 season version has been used on Everest.

I have owned Coleman tents.  I found them very easy to set up but I find that they aren't fantastic quality.  If you are going to be taking it up and down several times over the course of a season, I'd spend a bit more money for a better quality tent.  My Roots one seems to be better quality.
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Ontario

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Re: Tell me about camping...
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2014, 09:51:48 PM »
We always used multiple tents versus big ones. DH and I have a 4 person tent that the kids slept in with us till they were 4 & 6 then they moved to a two person tent and then to their own tents. If we thought we'd be at the campsite a lot, we might also bring a pop up canopy and set up the kitchen and relaxing area in there.

My nephew just bought a two room tent like this because his wife needs a higher ceiling height than you get with pop up styles.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BF0JXZM/ref=asc_df_B00BF0JXZM2970507?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&tag=pg-1300-86-
20&linkCode=asn&creative=395097&creativeASIN=B00BF0JXZM

marcel

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Re: Tell me about camping...
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2014, 10:05:42 PM »
It looks like people are ignoring the OP's question and instead are talking about tents now.

To answer the OP, yes, camping is different in Europe. Here people go to campings, which are much bigger and more organised with facilities then in the US. Off course camping is more primitive then a hotel etc. but campings are more luxurios then the US camp sites.

People will easily set up their tent at a camping for a 3 week vacation and then just stay there, just hanging on the camping and visiting the nearby beach/park/lake or whatever is around where they are staying.

Look at the picture of this camping for an example of what it can look like: http://www.schoonbron.nl/kamperen-valkenburg.html
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Tell me about camping...
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2014, 10:30:04 PM »
Campgrounds in Ontario vary greatly.  The most basic give you a spot to pitch your tent and a fire ring, with outhouse (portapotties) facilities and a communal source of drinking water.

Others will supply drinking water directly to each campsite, as well as an electrical source, although these tend to be for trailers (caravans).

Still others will have communal washroom buildings with flush toilets and sinks, and if you are lucky, showers.

Where the campsites are varies greatly, too.  Most of the sites in Ontario will have access to a beach.  Some sites are canoe access only.  These ones are even more primitive - no drinking water source.  You have to bring your own water filter or other method to disinfect the water.  And they won't have a full outhouse; it'll be a box where you lift the lid and the hole is right there.  They are usually set up so that the lid blocks the view to the campsite.  And the box may be shared between two or three sites.

I was camping with friends at Joshua Tree National Park in California.  It was basically dessert so no beach, no grass even.  There was a washroom building available but no showers.
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Ontario

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Re: Tell me about camping...
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2014, 10:42:06 PM »
It looks like people are ignoring the OP's question and instead are talking about tents now.

To answer the OP, yes, camping is different in Europe. Here people go to campings, which are much bigger and more organised with facilities then in the US. Off course camping is more primitive then a hotel etc. but campings are more luxurios then the US camp sites.

People will easily set up their tent at a camping for a 3 week vacation and then just stay there, just hanging on the camping and visiting the nearby beach/park/lake or whatever is around where they are staying.

Look at the picture of this camping for an example of what it can look like: http://www.schoonbron.nl/kamperen-valkenburg.html
Wow, they all seem so close together! I've camped around California and never seen that tight of accommodations.

Our campgrounds look more like this:
http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/lodgepole.htm
and the overhead layout looks like this:
http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/buckeye.htm

Each group has a designated camp site (usually w/ a fire pit & table). There are neighbors, but they're usually not close enough to have a normal volume conversation with ;)

PastryGoddess

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Re: Tell me about camping...
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2014, 11:17:17 PM »
It looks like people are ignoring the OP's question and instead are talking about tents now.

To answer the OP, yes, camping is different in Europe. Here people go to campings, which are much bigger and more organised with facilities then in the US. Off course camping is more primitive then a hotel etc. but campings are more luxurios then the US camp sites.

People will easily set up their tent at a camping for a 3 week vacation and then just stay there, just hanging on the camping and visiting the nearby beach/park/lake or whatever is around where they are staying.

Look at the picture of this camping for an example of what it can look like: http://www.schoonbron.nl/kamperen-valkenburg.html

The OP said that they were in the market for a new tent, hence the responses regarding tent suggestions

marcel

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Re: Tell me about camping...
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2014, 11:42:50 PM »
The OP said that they were in the market for a new tent, hence the responses regarding tent suggestions
I know, but that was background to the OP's question regarding differences in camping between the US and Europe, she did not ask about recomendations and since this is the "trans-atlantic knowledge exchange" forum, it is not the place for recomendations. It was simply noticeable that the first 7 postst neither answer the OP, nor stay within the subject of the sub forum, which I believe is caused by people misreading the OP. For this reason I decided to emphasise in my earlier post that this was not the subject of the thread.
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JenJay

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Re: Tell me about camping...
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2014, 11:56:37 PM »
The OP said that they were in the market for a new tent, hence the responses regarding tent suggestions
I know, but that was background to the OP's question regarding differences in camping between the US and Europe, she did not ask about recomendations and since this is the "trans-atlantic knowledge exchange" forum, it is not the place for recomendations. It was simply noticeable that the first 7 postst neither answer the OP, nor stay within the subject of the sub forum, which I believe is caused by people misreading the OP. For this reason I decided to emphasise in my earlier post that this was not the subject of the thread.

I actually thought she was asking about tents, I certainly wasn't intentionally ignoring her question or trying to throw off the thread. I just re-read the OP and it still reads to me as being curious about different tents and how they might be set up with regard to different styles of camping. My apologies to the OP if I was completely off.

Harriet Jones

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Re: Tell me about camping...
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2014, 12:04:35 AM »
Yes, the OP kinda buried the lead -- her opening paragraph was about tent shopping.  Her actual questions didn't start until paragraphs 6 & 7.