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Thank you all for your suggestions, got loads to think about here, unfortunately much as I like them I think a pop up is a no go, I just need more space, and I've got to consider when the dc get bigger. oh I'm so confused
I go on my own with3 DC. DD is the eldest at 11 and helps me to put the tent up. I have a Vango Samara which we can manage just about on our own. I recommend watching the pitching videos on youtube first before buying your tent. Some are definitely trickier than others to do on your own or with a DC.
I haven't attempted it but am due DC2 in the summer and think I could reasonably manage a toddler and a baby while camping and I have mobility problems.
Try and get a pop up (a good one) and practice putting it up and down in the garden. Look for the huge quechuas, you should be able to get one on ebay for a decent price and a couple of them have built in lights too.
Tesco sell blow up beds that have a fitted sheet and sleeping bag feel duvet that zips on and they are reasonably cheap. You could always put the 2 youngest in that and they are pretty comfy.
That style isn't too hard too put up as long as not too windy. There will be five poles normally colour coded to match five sleeves on the tent. Push the poles through the sleeves then wrestle them onto a stick type thing on each side (this is probably the hardest bit and needs some determination, having the fabric equally spread along re pole helps) you then just go along pegging it out section by section. It's really not too difficult however you wouldn't regret a practice run ;)
I would go for the best you can afford,.look for second hand on Ebay or gumtree. One with a sewn in ground sheet will be warmer. If you have two separate tents you would usually have to pay for two pitches which would put the cost up. How about a tunnel tent (usually the easiest to put up) that has 2 small rooms for your oldest ds and dd to have their own space and 1 big room which you can share with the little ones. I'll have a quick look now and see if i can link.
thanks oddslippers. My eldest is 13 but he's autistic. He's very practical but gets stressed easily so I'm not entirely sure how he will manage in the tent with the two smallest. I may have to buy 2 smaller tents.
My eldest dd is 10, dd2 is 5 dd3 is 3 in may.
Any ideas on easy cheapish practical tents? What about equipment?
How old are they? If you've got a handy older one they can help you get the tent up. I regularly go with 2 on my own and we have a great time, I tend to choose a sitem where you can see the play area from the pitches and family bathrooms are also handy. If you manage at home there's no reason why you won't manage camping. Go and have a great time creating memories