Outwell Bear Lake 6 for 5?

(10 Posts)
ImpYCelyn Sun 11-Sep-16 08:35:07

Hi camping geniuses,

This summer we camped for 9 days with my cub pack as a family of four (new for more than 2 nights). We have a Decathlon 4.2xl pop up. I've got to hand it to it, we had force 9 gusts and torrential rain and it didn't budge, DH pegged like a champ! But... there is no freaking room inside it, and I got no sleep because I was convinced it would leak or be blown down. From next summer we will be a family of 5 with new jobs and a lot less money in the future for holidays. DH is therefore saying camping is the way forward as the boys loved it so much. But I have set some rules, the first being a tent I can stand up inside of, put up a table for games in, eat in, and generally survive in with three children. We coped on that trip as we were on Scout and Cub camp, so there were shelters galore, but I need to be able to do it on our own.

The scout leader has an Outwell Wolf Lake 5 and it is a thing of beauty! He completely sold me on polycotton. We know it's huge and heavy, we have a large car, a roof box, and a trailer, so that's not bothering us. Admittedly we've never needed anything but the car for camping before, but we can adapt. The biggest polycotton in the current range is the Bear Lake 6. I'm not convinced it's necessarily big enough for us and the three boys. Can anyone advise please? Also, even with the extension the front looks a bit crap...

In reality it's going to be used in two places, the SW of England in July holidays, and France (all over) in August. For 7-14 nights each go. So I'm sold on polycotton and steel poles as being able to handle both the potential downpour of Cornwall and the heat of the south of France.

I'm considering new, there's one store with amazing reductions on it, but also looking on eBay. Also on eBay is the Wolf Lake 7. But some people seem this think it's too big, especially for pitches in France. Wdyt? I've not camped in France before and DH did it as a child and wasn't paying attention. Is the WL7 too big?

Would love any input on this as it ps obviously a big outlay! Thanks so much!!

(Then I can move on to rules 2-16 about cooking equipment and camp beds... grinwink)

profpoopsnagle Sun 11-Sep-16 09:12:34

How old are your children?

We have 3 kids, and when they were smaller, a big living area was important. But as they get older, IMO if is less needed as they are happier to read/play on the tablet when raining which they prefer to do on their beds.

Then you mention camp beds. Whatever you sleep on, check the bedrooms are big enough. When the children are small, they can sometimes squash up in a pod- we used to lay SIMS down to cover the area. Then as the children grow you could take along a pop up, which is one way of expanding.

Think about what 'furniture' you might want- if you cook outside then you could add on a tarp which saves on space inside. How will you store clothes/stuff? We were always happy to have bags and place these in the bedrooms in the day and in the living area at night to give us more room but some folk want things set up more permanently.

Having camped for some years, I think there has been a big trend to go big- lots of people say add at least +2 to the tent you 'need' and use a bedroom for storage. But then you take more stuff, it becomes more of a faff and pitching/striking takes an age, it can lose the joy. I have noticed quite a few people reversing this now, and downsizing/minimising.

ImpYCelyn Sun 11-Sep-16 09:37:55

Thanks for replying!

Next summer they'll be 6, 5 and 7 months. So I definitely need indoor space, they're still at the "rolling cars all over the floor" stage. It was a real pain in the pop-up where everything was crowded into the middle. They love board games though. I don't mind the odd film on the tablet, but they won't do it for hours, they'd rather play.

The bedrooms on the BL6 are pretty big, so in the small one DH and I could have a double camp bed with our existing sims on top. The boys would be sticking with their usual nest of mats and blankets. The bedrooms are really long, so I definitely don't need a whole one for storage, there's room at the far end for everyone's bag of clothes ( I'm actually put off by the wardrobe in the Wolf Lake, I'd probably take it out and have more car rolling space grin). Next summer might have to be different because of a 7 month old, who I wouldn't put in with the boys, so it might be two years before I get my camp bed grin

Definitely cooking outside, I'm much too scared to do it in the tent! I'd just need to bring stuff in at night to store it. So I thought I'd get a decent size "kitchen" piece of furniture, and then the table and stools, and perhaps one "cupboard", or just stick with boxes for now.

I think that's what's got me worried. People talk about the +2 thing, and so a 6 man doesn't sound like it'll be enough. But we don't have EHU, so there's no fridge, we can make do with regular shopping and an ice box, and we can cope with not much stuff. It's the fact there will be 5 of us I need space for, not to fit stuff in.

The WL6 has a room for 4 which is 240cm wide. That's 60cm each which seems about average for other tents, and we will only need to get three boys in it.

BombadierFritz Sun 11-Sep-16 09:53:35

we took the same pop up all over france, family of 5, and it was amazing. if you will be moving round a fair bit I would not discount the ease of putting it up and down. also in france in august you are better off with a tarp cover for extra outdoor space as it will be too hot for any tent. we had a pup tent for extra sleeping area but never used it in the end
if you do decide to get rid, they sell for a fortune on ebay, so dont just give it away/dump it
I love my pop up!

ImpYCelyn Sun 11-Sep-16 10:11:37

Oh we're still keeping it for weekends! But we realised we like putting up for a week or so and visiting around the area, so I'd rather more space for that. We won't be going any further south than Bordeaux in August. DH is from Marseille and he knows I won't go properly south in the summer! But that's still south to me, we live in Normandy! It's Cornwall and Dorset I'm more worried about for the weather. In France we just need somewhere to sleep!

MissWimpyDimple Sun 11-Sep-16 22:38:38

Personally I like a decent porch. So basically you have three areas. Bedrooms for sleeping and storage, living room for table and chairs and playing/drinking etc etc and then porch for wet muddy things and for cooking in the rain.

I must admit I can't recommend one in cotton, but to give you an idea, I'm currently keen on the Kampa Daymer. The porch is covered and has rhe option of a door but not enclosed like the living area.

MissWimpyDimple Sun 11-Sep-16 22:42:17

Actually it's the Kampa Croyde 6 that I was thinking of and that does come in polycotton

ImpYCelyn Mon 12-Sep-16 10:01:24

Thanks MissWimpy I'll have a look at that. I am really not keen on the BL6 covered front.

Obviously, as inevitable when looking at cotton, I've now also started looking at bell tents, which was what I wanted when we bought the pop-up! I'm just not sure it's as practical.

A proper porch sounds great!

ImpYCelyn Mon 12-Sep-16 11:05:23

Think I'm coming to the conclusion that the stooping and floor level stuff involved in a bell tent would just be a pain, as much as I love the idea of it, and the kids would love it. Not sure I want to mess around with a tarp etc.

I've a BL6. We camp in France with it. In August you'll need the canopy for shade but seeing as its zipped it gives you options if the pitch is tight.

I book large pitches, email owners ahead of booking to stress that I need massive pitch.

Me, hubby and small dog in BL6, my teens get their own large pitch next to ours, my dd has a 4 berth outwell and ds has a 3 berth outwell, they moan that they aren't polycotton, just can't please them.

If you don't plan on taking much furniture then there should be enough room for you all. I take a shedfull of stuff (table top fridge, three kitchens, plus fans. Chairs for everyone including the dog. We all end up in the BL of an evening reading, chatting and playing cards and its tight but ok.

I also take an event shelter, the table stays outside, one kitchen gets carried out in the morning and hauled back in of an evening.

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