Pitching my Bell Tent on my own this weekend. Please tell me it'll all be ok!

(20 Posts)
shirazplease Wed 05-Jun-13 09:25:48

Says it all really! Due to gorgeous forecast I've decided to book to go away this weekend. However, due to late notice DH won't can't get out of work early, so plan to take the 2 girls (6 and 16 months) after school and he'll meet us after work.

I've got a 5m Soulpad, I know how to pitch it as we were away at half term, but am really concerned about 2 things

1. Beastly children being a pain
2. Not being strong enough to get the pole up.

Any pearls of wisdom from you lovely ladies?

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 05-Jun-13 10:21:11

I have done ours on my own once, It ended up a bit wonky and DH moaned he had to redo it himself when he got there. However, in my defence, I was pitching on a slope and it is hard to be sure you are at the centre of the tent when you have noone to stand back and look.

So maybe, if you haven't already, you could get the groundsheet out and mark the mid-point so you know where to aim for when you get there. Other than that, it is not difficult to do by yourself although it is a bit more of a heave to get all the canvas up on the centre pole. I am only 5'4" though and I was ok.

You may want to get the 6 year old to distract the little one while you are doing that part and then maybe they can help you with carrying the pegs and passing them to you as you go round doing the guys?

Good luck and have a lovely weekend envy grin

VivaLeBeaver Wed 05-Jun-13 10:23:30

I'm 5ft2" and can get my 5m soulpad up ok on my own. Only thing I had to get help with was zipping the groundsheet onto the tent prior to pitching. Next time I'll make sure its done (by dh) before I go.

TobyLerone Wed 05-Jun-13 10:34:20

I can do ours by myself.

paneer Wed 05-Jun-13 11:06:39

I have a 4m and on my own and it's fine (is the 5m much heavier?).

Get them in the car to play if they are going crazy.

SalomeD Wed 05-Jun-13 11:53:42

You'll be fine, I always put our 5m one up by myself (DH leaves me to it as he'd just get in the way).

When you have laid it out, pegged it (not too firmly) and opened the doors ready, make sure you 'waft' the tent first to get some air in, so its not so much of a vacumn inside.

I find it easiest to have the pole in one piece to erect, rather than lifting it and then slotting the lower end in place.

Position the pole in the apex of the roof, then push up until you can't lift it anymore, then walk it into place - it's sort of lift and push, lift and push with the pole resting against your shoulder and pushing the lower end towards the centre until its up in position.

shirazplease Wed 05-Jun-13 13:11:27

thanks so much for the tips!

Particularly like your description SalomeD I shall be muttering 'lift and push, lift and push' to myself whilst heaving it up grin

Just hope I don't have too much of an audience. I'd rather have 'wow, look what she achieved on her own' rather than 'what a fool!'

paneer Wed 05-Jun-13 13:38:12

shiraz don't under estimate yourself! Of course you can do it. And bell tents really are the most easiest tent to pitch.

Pimpf Wed 05-Jun-13 20:55:18

Easiest tent ever to put up, I frequently do ours by myself.

Once you've pegged the ground sheet out and put up the pole and a-frame, I do the front but rope first, then the one at the back. I do this all the way round doing the opposites to keep the tension right.

Have fun!

Blu Wed 05-Jun-13 22:28:14

It sounds as if I keeping your toddler under surveillance will be the hardest part. Strap her into her car seat with a biscuit while you get the tent up?

shirazplease Thu 06-Jun-13 11:02:09

exactly right blu I'll perhaps bribe the big one to keep small one entertained.....

I've been watching the soulpad youtube videos and I'm beginning to get things together. I refuse to get stressed about this, otherwise what's the point?

Pootles2010 Thu 06-Jun-13 11:25:02

Portable dvd to keep them entertained in back of the car? Could you have a practise in your back garden with the tent?

shirazplease Sun 09-Jun-13 20:49:05

Just back from a fabulous weekend! I literally pulled up to the site, dragged the tent out and a lady dashed over immediately and offered to help.

So no panicking was necessary.

Although initially I did try to get the pole up alone, and I just couldn't quite manage it.

More practice is necessary.

Blu Mon 10-Jun-13 11:25:51

Great news. Glad you had a good time.
People have always helped me - folding the tent was always my solo camping Achilles heel until we got the pop up. And I would always offer help if I saw someone on their own with kids.

SilverSixpence Mon 10-Jun-13 14:57:58

which pop up do you have Blu?
i think the 5m soulpad may not work for us based on this thread, as I also have 2 small dc and am not v tall myself!

shirazplease Mon 10-Jun-13 14:59:07

Funny you should say that Blu. On Saturday a lady with a little girl came and pitched next to us. She was alone, so I volunteered my services and spread the camping camaraderie!

Blu Mon 10-Jun-13 18:50:06

SilverSixpence - our pop-up is for short trips with 2 or 3 of us so is a modest sized tent - it's a last year's Decathlon tent - a 2Seconds XXL lll. Reasonable porch, good sized inner.
I haven't got storage, car boot or drying space for a bell tent (much as I think I would love one) , and was bored with all the threading of poles through holes in our bigger Vango tent!

Blu Mon 10-Jun-13 18:58:05

Silver: Like this but in the older model like mine the whole of the sleeping pod is full height, it doesn't taper down. I don't know why they did that - It gives ore flexibilty being full height throughout. Mine was £89 in the end-of-line sale, too! But the new models have more strorage pockets and nifty touches.

I can easily manage to fold it down by myself.

Blu Mon 10-Jun-13 19:00:58

Wow - and those Decathlon tents are much cheaper direct from Decathlon!

SilverSixpence Mon 10-Jun-13 21:29:41

Thanks Blu, the website is sold out of the one I'm interested in (4.2) so will go to decathlon to check them out. Nearly bought a soulpad this morning as there was a fantastic bargain on eBay but spent too long being indecisive hmm

We have a small car though so it might be just as well.

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