eightbitlife Travel & Real Life

Getting into camping. An honest guide.

You have probably heard from¬†copytyper, we have¬†recently become the proud parents of not one, but two tents and started camping. Successfully purchasing a tent a year isn’t something we like to brag about, but when you are wanting to find the perfect tent for your camping trips then the key is to keep shopping.

We’re finally happy with a decent sized six-man tent, that only ever has two people in it.

Making camping comfortable. How many “men” should be in the tent?

It’s the astonishment I get back on the phone when I book a site with our tent. No one can really understand why two people turn up with a six-man tent. Why would you need such a big tent?

My reply? Why wouldn’t you need such a big tent, especially when you are spending more than two nights somewhere?

Reason dictates that a two-man tent is a perfect size for us, and I would agree but only when there are just two people using the two-man tent. If you think carefully about it, tents are known for their ability to become compact and they are still kind of compact when they are pulled right out.

So to get up to the requirement for a six-man tent this is the maths: 2 people + luggage + food + chairs and a table (we now have two tables), realistically you aren’t going to be fitting comfortably into a two-man tent.

Which is why we immediately didn’t purchase one, we looked around and found a wonderful four-man as a cheap starter tent with standing space and a bedroom at the back. However, there were a couple of problems. It wasn’t aerodynamic so the wind really hit it which we found out visiting Mortonhall Campsite during the Edinburgh Fringe and the cold air and water got into the main eating/sitting area.

We took it camping three times before we realised it wasn’t fit for purpose, for many reasons but two things stuck out: Storage, even though we had a size up we still struggled, and the groundsheet, it wasn’t attached so it let in a lot of water and cold air if the weather was bad.

So we went back to the drawing board with our tent.

A four-man is too small? A two-man would be tiny! We’ll try a six-man tent, surely we’ll have better luck with this one.

A picture of our camping set up, some nice lights to mark our tent out and six-man berth so we have room for storage, beds, and sitting space.

Sure enough, we were right. A six-man tent was so much better. We had two bedrooms, a lifesaver when you have lots of stuff to take camping (alright, glamping). One bedroom for sleeping, the other is great as a cupboard keeping your main area empty.

Not only that but it keeps the main area free from annoying tables, chairs or other objects you might fall over when you are desperate for the toilet in the middle of the night. No one wants that surprise in the darkness.

Make sure you take lights, so you don’t fall over your tables in the night.

It happens and it hurts! Although they are incredibly handy for the daytime, when we have them in the tent in the evening and sometimes forget to put them away.

We have a variety of lights to keep our place illuminated, it helps to have an electrical connection too so you don’t need to worry about batteries running out. Saving torches and other lamps for either outside sitting, or running to the loo.

My final point: electricity.

Many people I know go camping to break away from the world. Spend some time recharging their batteries. However, we came across a problem when we first went camping.

We took our cameras and phones, to grab some memories and I won’t lie, some Instagram shots and we noticed that although our batteries were recharging. The batteries in our devices, they were not.

Since then we swapped to an electrical hookup and we’ve not gone back since. Having the ability to charge everything so we’re fresh and ready in the morning (this includes the ability to use straighteners and a hairdryer) is an excellent move.

This post is regularly updated with new things as I learn. So bookmark it and keep checking back.