Monday, October 22, 2012

Instant Tent: Truth or Fiction?

(Putting up our new instant tent, Blackberry the dog is helping.)

My husband and I grew up camping.  He got to go to state parks with fishing lakes while I had the pleasure of camping out with my family on our various properties around East Texas.

Some men collect caps, books, or guns; my father collected out-of-place cheap acreage.  We spent most weekends visiting one of our three properties, and the only one that had a house (at that time it was a rat-filled hay-storage building) was in Henderson.  I blogged about it here.  The other two properties (11 and 29 acres) were very rural and we had to bring our tent.

But the fun did not stop with tent-camping.  We first had to hack out a trail to our camping site.  Then we had to take our machetes and hack out a clearing for our tent.  Trees and undergrowth grow quickly during East Texas summers, so every month we would have to clear it.  Yes, I grew up using hatchets and machetes and managed to never kill myself.

So I have mixed feeling about my childhood camping.  We never camped anywhere exciting or beautiful, at least in my eyes, and I remember being dirty, sweaty, and exhausted.

So when I was old enough to drive, I started camping at state and national parks with my friends and husband and I discovered a true love of camping (at least 80% of the time).   But once we had babies, I decided to hold off camping until they were a bit older and didn't need constant diaper changes.

Our first (and last) camping trip was to Enchanted Rock several years ago.  Duke was four and Imp was almost 2.  It was in January which can be very temperate in central Texas.  Unfortunately, on the weekend we went the night temperatures were in the early 20's, which to this southern Texas girl is very cold.  We had thin sleeping bags, no tarp or pad, and no extra blankets.  I couldn't sleep because my body was frozen and I was convinced the boys were going to freeze to death, so we piled everyone in the car at one in the morning and drove to Fredericksburg and checked in a Super Eight.  I had never been so happy to be in a warm hotel, but the boys kept on telling me they felt fine and wanted to go back to the tent.

Later that year we put the tent up in the backyard so the boys could play in it and the cats completely destroyed it in a few hours.  So our camping was put on hold for a while.  But I started getting itchy feet once again.

Our CC class is having a camping trip next month to a local park with a lake, so I signed up with the intent of forcing myself to buy a new tent.  I hate putting up tents.  I hated doing it when I was a child and we had this giant tent with aluminum poles that had to fit together, and I hated putting up a tent as an adult when I had dome tents with those blasted stringed poles.  I hate putting up tents so much I haven't camped in years.

I read what seemed to be a million reviews and finally decided to try a Coleman 8 Person Instant Tent.  It was a bit pricey, but it is a large tent and sounded easy to put up.  After all, it was called an "Instant Tent".  That sounded right up my alley.  I just hoped there was some truth in advertising in this case.

We received the tent this Saturday and watched a few You Tube instruction videos, and managed to have it completely up within a few minutes.  Yes, it is really that easy.  And also simple to take down.  I love this tent.  I would marry this tent if it could make coffee.

Today we decided to seal the seams, so the boys wanted to put it up themselves.


They needed Daddy's help.   See Daddy in the last photo?  What in the world is wrong with my family...

Can't wait to go camping!

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3 comments:

  1. My family owned this tent a year ago but we returned it. We camped through heavy rains and it leaked. Although it's very convenient, you might want to consider getting a rain tarp of some sort for it. Otherwise.. love this post! Camping is the best. Good luck. :)

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  2. I live in Henderson (small world, huh?). I've got the camping itch myself. My kids are grown now, but we did camp with them when they were younger. If I had one thing to do over, it would be to camp more enjoy every minute,of it! Also come on up to Henderson the second Saturday in November for the Syrup Festival. You'd love it.

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  3. I so enjoy reading about your family and the photos always make me smile. You look like such a Fun Family!! You've all figured out what life is for and about. I'm 55 years old and wish I could convince you all to adopt me.

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