Is it just me who doesn't 'get' bell tents?

(128 Posts)
millimat Mon 24-Jun-13 21:53:10

I just can't see the appeal? Why go for just one open room?

professorpoopsnagle Mon 24-Jun-13 22:12:53

I think they have their advantages- cotton, good head room, feel good factor. But I camped in them as a Guide so getting one would remind me of that, which is my main reason for not getting one. I have also read that people say they can put one up on their own, but I can't see how, surely you need someone to hold the pole whilst you get a couple of guys sorted?

They do look nice though, especially when you see them on glamping sites ready made with nice beds.....

pookamoo Mon 24-Jun-13 22:14:40

Ours has an inner with a SIG, so it is like a huge porch and a sleeping compartment.

MummyPigsFatTummy Mon 24-Jun-13 22:23:16

We love ours but I can definitely see why someone wouldn't. Because you only have one room, they get messy quite easily. If you are a tidy person you would have to work quite hard to keep one tidy, particularly with children.

But the feeling of space is lovely and they are a lot cooler in the warm weather (not that that has been a particular advantage recently).

You can have one or two inners in there as well, as pookamoo mentions. We bought one but, for us, it ruined the feeling of space so we will probably only use it for really cold camping, or sell it even.

You can definitely put one up on your own because you peg out the edge of the tent before you put up the central pole and A-frame (a the entrance).Then you do the guys afterwards. I must admit, however, that whilst I used to put up our 4m on my own easily, the 5m is harder because the extra canvas makes it much heavier.

hillbilly Mon 24-Jun-13 23:18:02

I really liked the idea of them knowing full well we could not have one because our garden is not big enough to dry it out if packed away damp. However then we camped with friends who have one and I was really put off by the mess and the fact that you can't stand up in much of it......

SignoraStronza Tue 25-Jun-13 00:36:22

I like the idea of one for the garden but surely you'd need a trailer to take one camping with you. Also (if camping with dcs), isn't it just one room? How on earth would you find private shagging time and space?

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 25-Jun-13 10:07:00

They are not as enormous packed as you might think. No bigger than any large family tent really. THey are heavy - 25kg, I think - but so are most family tents.

In the evenings, we generally sit and relax outside the tent when DD is asleep - either under a tarp or event shelter or nearby round a fire with friends.

For "private time", I think the advantage of sleeping pods is largely psychological. Obviously, that wisp of cotton between the pods means you can't be seen by your children but you can certainly be heard (by them and the rest of the site) so you would have to be quiet anyway. In that case, you won't wake them whether they are screened off or just on the other side of the tent.

That said, we have only really been in our bell tents for long weekends, it has been freezing most nights (so I am swathed in numerous inpenetrable thermal layers) and DD sleeps between us, so all this is pretty much theoretical for me.

pictish Tue 25-Jun-13 10:08:20

I have one. They are lovely and ambient, and not all dark and sweaty like nylon.
You can buy toom dividers for them if you want...not that I bothered.

I love ours.

duchesse Tue 25-Jun-13 10:11:58

I don't understand the attraction at all, having camped in uncomfortable and heavy tents with a central pole in the 70s with my parents. I have two theories: 1) it's nostalgia for the 60s/70s in a certain demographic and 2) it's being driven by "glamping" and being presented as a more upmarket version of camping than high-performance lightweight tents. As for hauling carpets, heaters etc to festivals for your bell tent, words fail me.

Give me modern camping any time!

pictish Tue 25-Jun-13 10:30:28

I haul rugs, cushions, heaters, fairy lights, tealight chandelier, lanterns and duvets to festivals and all other camping trips too. It's my choice and my lookout - why do words fail you? It's up to me isn't it?
I like to be warm and comfortable, and relaxed. I like ambience.
So what?

pictish Tue 25-Jun-13 10:33:02

And to add - we spent years camping in the traditional way....nylon tent, roll mats, sleeping bags and being fucking cold. We had an unexpected windfall four years ago and laid out for a bell and all the glamping kit to accompany. Best money I ever spent. We have a complete holiday home to take wherever, and whenever we like, without slumming it.
It's absolutely brilliant!!

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 25-Jun-13 10:39:21

I agree with you pictish (although I never seem to be able to fit in all the glamping kit, which is very saddening).

pictish Tue 25-Jun-13 10:41:28

In fact, I am awaiting delivery today of a new chandelier as we are off camping next week. Our old chandelier got accidentally smashed last year when dh dropped it.
We didn't want to go without one as it just wouldn't have been as good. There is something truly lovely about sitting in a tent with the multi coloured flickering of candles, while the rain pitter patters on the roof.

My name is Pictish and I am a glamper.

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 25-Jun-13 10:41:34

And the other great thing about a bell tent is being able to fit in a superking-sized airbed with huge duvet and proper pillows - bliss (and probably explains why we have no room for sofas/cushions/proper rugs/wooden tables/chests etc)

pictish Tue 25-Jun-13 10:42:52

mummy we struggle to fit it all in too, but we always manage somehow. wink

duchesse Tue 25-Jun-13 10:43:46

But, but, but, it's not proper camping if it's comfortable! Surely the whole point is to be mildly uncomfortable, and to live on your wits and with the small number of things you have with you, so that Home seems so lovely and so comfortable when you go back there? Not recreate a mini-mansion in a muddy field?

I think maybe there are two schools of thought in camping...

pictish Tue 25-Jun-13 10:44:28

YY to that. When we are all snuggled up in warmth and comfort in our great big king sized bed, with duvet and pillows, we feel like life could not be better.

pictish Tue 25-Jun-13 10:45:35

Duchesse - I have done plenty of what you I've earnd my camping stripes a hundred times over.

I don't have to now, so I don't ta!

TwasBrillig Tue 25-Jun-13 10:47:09

Presumably you'd need a van or trailer for all the associated paraphernalia?

I can post of red the appeal if you were to turn up at a ready made glamping site. Not sure I'd want to spend the whole of the first day setting it all up myself!

TwasBrillig Tue 25-Jun-13 10:47:32

Sort of see even!

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 25-Jun-13 10:49:08

I think you are right duchesse - there are definitely two schools of thought in camping. And the great thing is, whatever type of camper you are, everyone always seems to agree on the essentials - wine, marshmallows and a fire - perfect!

TwasBrillig Tue 25-Jun-13 10:49:10

Ah we do 'real' camping but do take our duvet so are nice and warm. No point being cold . . .

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 25-Jun-13 10:51:09

We manage in a Zafira with a roof box TwasBrillig, but we are starting to eye up towbars...

NotWilliamBoyd Tue 25-Jun-13 10:51:16

Hmm must admit I don't see the appeal either. I do understand the advantage over sweaty nylon tents, which is why we've got a polycotton (Bear Lake) but we have a lot of v useable space - ie, that we can stand up in - plus compartments etc, useful for hiding all the crap in during the day keeping everywhere tidy.

pictish Tue 25-Jun-13 10:51:36

Nah - we've got an ordinary car.

As for setting up - all part of the fun, making your nest for the next few days or week, while the kids run around outside tiring themselves out. The satisfaction of when it's all done and looks pretty pretty pretty.

Ahhhhh...I just love it.

pictish Tue 25-Jun-13 10:53:00

Oh and I can well imagine other campers looking over at our palace and thinking we are wankers. We don't care. We don't do it for them.

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 25-Jun-13 10:54:26

It's funny really. We go camping with friends with modern family tents and they admire our bell tent (but don't want one themselves) and we admire their tents (with all the lovely rooms and storage pockets) but don't want one of theirs either. It is definitely a case of horses for courses.

We do all seem to share a taste for Quechua tarps and Coleman event shelters though...

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 25-Jun-13 10:56:58

Pictish - I missed your post about chandeliers upthread. Sorry to hear of its accident. I have always fancied one but not yet splashed out. Can I ask where you got yours?

pictish Tue 25-Jun-13 11:01:37

Pocture on profile of dh and ds1 sitting in the tent, and another one further down of the outside of the tent.

The old chandelier (in the picture) was from a place in Edinburgh that sold Moroccan style stuff, and it was lovely.

this is the new one due today.

pictish Tue 25-Jun-13 11:06:09

I am a real tentophile btw and always admire other people's tents. The design, the functionality...the space. I LOVE tents!

But mine is better.

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 25-Jun-13 11:14:12

That chandelier is seriously lovely, pictish. Might have to ask for one for my birthday in September (might even get a camp in with it this year if I do). I really can't justify any more camping spend this season.

Since March, we have acquired a Coleman Xtreme coolbox (fab), a 5m flagpole (great fun) and an Obelink kitchen (really crossing the divide with caravanning now, but I love it).

No wonder we need a trailer...

pictish Tue 25-Jun-13 11:18:04

ooo swish!

We have something a bit similar but not as posh. It houses the stove and the lamp and doubles up as a worktop as well.

blueshoes Tue 25-Jun-13 11:25:42

Why do people need rooms in their tents? Do people actually have sex in a family tent?

PiHigh Tue 25-Jun-13 11:25:58

pictish Your tent is gorgeous.

I would love a bell tent but realistically there's no way we'd manage without having to fork out for a trailer or really huge lorry something. We only just manage to take essentials atm. Dh knows far too well how much stuff I'd want to take if I had a bell tent and how much fabric I'd buy to make blankets/bunting/cushions. The kids loved one at a campsite last year because it had bunting grin

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 25-Jun-13 11:26:00

Yes, it is great. It was DH's Father's Day present (luckily he loves camping and is really into cooking too). But I must admit, this weekend, it was me who was finding places for the utensils and enjoying hanging things from hooks (slightly sad I know). I don't get any such kick out of arranging the kitchen at home - weird.

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 25-Jun-13 11:27:57

PiHigh - don't miss out on the bunting and fairy lights because you don't have a bell tent. All tents look great with plenty of decoration and you can always fiond a space for it somewhere (even if you wind it round yourself/DCs under your clothes grin.

pictish Tue 25-Jun-13 11:29:23

I think having seperate rooms contains the mess a bit, rather than just having a rabble everywhere. You can dump anything you're not using in a room and zip it up.
I don't know about privacy as such.

I didn't want rooms in ours, as I felt it would detract from the feeling of air and space inside, so I have camping storage furniture instead, in which I tuck everything away.

pictish Tue 25-Jun-13 11:30:52

mummy I totally relate - I take great pleasure in organising the tent, and much less so in our actual kitchen.

pictish Tue 25-Jun-13 11:31:18

Thanks pi x

millimat Tue 25-Jun-13 11:48:03

For me, the idea of rooms are not for sex - heaven forbid (its banned when camping did you know?)- but the idea of tidiness. Also, when dcs go to be we don't have to sit in the pitch black.

LifeofPo Tue 25-Jun-13 11:51:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 25-Jun-13 11:51:24

I get the tidiness thing, but you don't have to sit in the pitch black in a bell either. Once DD is alseep we can turn lights on in the tent without her waking, or you could get an inner for DCs to sleep in if that is a problem. But it is far nicer to sit outside the tent round a fire anyway grin or under a tarp if it is raining.

pictish Tue 25-Jun-13 11:54:34

Once our three are asleep, they stay asleep. We can sit chatting, with the lanterns and candles burning away, and there's no a murmer from any o them.
Sitting in the pitch dark? No need!

blueshoes Tue 25-Jun-13 12:16:01

I did not know sex, even whilst in tent, is banned when camping, not that I have tried as I have a bell tent and young children.

Will that be in the camp site rules?

shirazplease Tue 25-Jun-13 12:23:46

I too am bell tent convert after having earned my 'roughing it' stripes. I reckon it's the difference between a Travelodge and the Ritz....admittedly, car trips are rather uncomfortable, but completely worth it.

Whilst we were away at half term there was an awful rainy day and the kids were all in our tent (maybe that isn't such a good thing!) playing twister and in the warmth (fan heater blush ) the cream canvas just makes it such a lovely bright environment even in horrid weather

re chandeliers, I have this one which I now see is in the sale angry


and before the fire safety brigade wink jump all over me, I have some lovely flickery battery tea lights off Amazon.

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 25-Jun-13 12:56:49

Oh shiraz, having said I would have to wait for my birthday to get a chandelier, your link made me cave blush. A White Company chandelier is winging its way to me now. Now to source VERY cheap battery tea lights....

shirazplease Tue 25-Jun-13 13:05:27

Oopsy! Sorry MP! PS don't skimp too much on the tea lights, I did my research and the cheapie ones produce v little light. Settled on these

tealights in the end, as well as a spare set of batteries for when they (inevitably) burn out.

Although, admittedly I've been a little disappointed as I've not used them that much as the sun is up so late, I've not really needed to light the chandelier. Boo.

hazeyjane Tue 25-Jun-13 13:11:46

Pictish what sort of camping furniture do you have?

We have a bell tent, but haven't furnished it yet.....ogling tea light chandelier!

pictish Tue 25-Jun-13 13:18:50

The main thing we have is this.
I see it's on spesh atm, so a good time to buy!

It folds up, and can be at coffee table height (perfect for the bell) or dining table height. It has two very large storage compartments and pockets on the end for utensils.
I am tempted to buy another for the other side of the bell, for all the clothes. It really is excellent.

We also take some garden tidies like this which squash down flat for transport, and are great for popping wet wellies, or dirty laundry and so on into.

shirazplease Tue 25-Jun-13 13:24:36

Oooh I like that garden tidy Pictish. We've used a pop up laundry hamper, but that's a bit more substantial.

*add to basket*

hazeyjane Tue 25-Jun-13 13:29:26

Ooh, I am excited now - birthday at the weekend, and my list now contains

1 x chandelier
1 x table with storage
2 x pop up garden tidies

I can't wait to go camping!

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 25-Jun-13 14:30:54

Shiraz - good tip about tea lights, thanks - I would definitely have gone for the cheapest. I am liking the ones you linked to, and also the ones on the same page which change colour - nice.

pictish - that is a great price for that Regatta storage table. We have an almost identical one and I am pretty sure it set us back a fair bit more. They are great for bell tents.

TheABC Tue 25-Jun-13 15:13:45

Just to jump in - I am another hard-core camper with a bell tent. After several years of nylon tents, we finally bought our five metre bell because;

- they are easy to put up. Ours has a stitched ground sheet attached to the canvas, so you just peg out and put up the pole.
- they are indestructible. We go camping in all weather and on rough sites. There have been times when every modern tent has been flattened after a rough storm, but the bell tent is still standing. In addition, you can patch tears in the canvas; much easier than the nylon equivalent. One of our friends has inherited a 20 year bell tent that is still going strong...
- they allow you to sleep in. The thick canvas keeps the early morning sun out, stopping you from sweating under the blankets. Conversely, they are brilliant for keeping heat in when out in the cold and we have yet to spring a leak, even in torrential rain.
- they appear to work well for families. We know of families that use inners and others that use pop-up tents (inside the bell) to give their toddlers a space of their own (and a place for the toys). When we asked about privacy, the parents simply said the kids end up in bed with them by morning, anyway! We are due to have our first baby shortly, so I will have to report back on the "mess" situation. :-D
- they are pretty. Especially with comfy camp chairs and a chandelier!

There are disadvantages, such as the weight and the drying time, but the benefits outlined above more than make up for it. I don't see it as any more pretentious than towing a caravan around the country - and its a lot more fun. Hey ho, each to their own. At least we all agree on alcoholic drinks around the campfire. :-)

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 25-Jun-13 15:21:51

Absolutely right - TheABC. We do the thing with the pop up for DD too, but she also ends up in with us regardless. It's a nice space to play in during the day at least.

Interesting what you say about the bell tents still standing after storms. We were in Devon a couple of years ago and the winds were so bad I was convinced the tent would just blow away from above us (ours is a separate groundsheet version). But no, everything was just as secure and safe the next morning - not much sleep for us though and I spent the night holding onto DD's travel cot - just in case.

MinimalistMommi Wed 26-Jun-13 09:38:13

Couldn't agree more TheABC the only way I would ever get a nylon tent now is if it was a tiny back packing tent for taking for flying abroad. There is no way I would camp in a nylon tent in the UK or abroad. They get so hot in warm weather!

MinimalistMommi Wed 26-Jun-13 09:38:59

Or car camping in France I meant!

hazeyjane Wed 26-Jun-13 09:41:45

Ok have ordered chandelier and table as birthday presents for myself - yay!

Now which are the nicest battery tealights these or these ??????

pictish Wed 26-Jun-13 09:45:20

Agree mini once you've gone over to canvas that's it - no more dark sweaty nylon.

pictish Wed 26-Jun-13 09:48:55

I think the second set hazey because you have a recommendation for them on here, and you know The White Company add a few £s onto everything because they are a known pretentious name.

I think their chandelier is beautiful btw - what a bargain! I like clear glass, but dh and the kids want multi coloured so I went with the majority.

I can tell you that christmas in as annual battle with dh and kids wanting tinsel and multicoloured everything, and me wanting white and tasteful.

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 26-Jun-13 09:59:42

I agree with pictish, hazeyjane. if you have ordered the White Company chandelier, you will need 12 tea lights, which is what the Amazon ones include for £12.99. Nearly half the price of the WC ones, and they come recommended.

I must admit, much as I would like to be white and tasteful, I have a tendency to the gaudy myself and may end up going for these: <coughs apologetically>.

They are the same brand as the ones Shiraz recommended so hopefully will still give out a decent light and we can use them at Christmas (to go with all the tinsel and multi-coloured baubles, (ahem)). That should stop one or other of the Grandads knocking over the real ones and burning the Christmas table cloth for the nth year running!

pictish Wed 26-Jun-13 10:06:41

Those are rather nice! My dh would love them! He has a big 'thing' about multicoloured lights. We have fairy lights all over the house as well, and if I let him have his way it would look like Santa's grotto 365 days a year!

pictish Wed 26-Jun-13 10:08:33

Oh and I just wanted to grin at this thread initially being about how bell tents are a bit rubbish, and had ended up being an enthusiasts thread!

hz Wed 26-Jun-13 10:20:57

Ha, ha. Think it's hilarious this thread ended up being a bell tent admiration blow out! Each to their own I guess but I must admit I love being in a bell tent. Have not yet managed to persuade the husband that it is reasonable to have a bell tent AND a campervan though!

pictish Wed 26-Jun-13 10:23:53

Now that would be our ultimate! Bell tent and campervan - heavenly!!
Can't afford one. Booooooo!!

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 26-Jun-13 10:28:58

We used to have a bell tent and a VW camper. The camper just became too expensive and unreliable, particualrly since DD came along, so had to go sad. To be honest, by that point, we were mainly sleeping in the bell tent, and the camper was just a glorified transporter for our gear. So beware the camper/bell tent combo - it can lead you astray.

SalomeD Wed 26-Jun-13 10:32:38

The White Company ones are twice the price but I did notice that they are good for 200hrs compared with 24//48hrs on the cheaper ones

hazeyjane Wed 26-Jun-13 11:01:29

ooh, I was sorely tempted by the multicoloured ones, but called dh at work and he said he thought maybe plain ones to start and then treat ourselves to multi coloured ones at christmas (he too is a big fan of the fairy light, and is far more of a 'glamper' than me, ogling rugs and throws).

Thankyou for all the hints and tips, can't wait to go camping with new bits.

pictish Wed 26-Jun-13 11:04:43

We got our rugs from bell tent uk, and I have to say that although I find them a bunch of exploitative rip off cunt buckets in general, adding ££s to everything just because they can, the rugs were actually very good value for money.

shuts eyes and repeats to self that crappy two man nylon tent is fine for me and two dc

MinimalistMommi Wed 26-Jun-13 11:15:01

I want to go camping! We're meant to be going to France but I've done little research...I just sort of what to pack up and go but at this point I don't even know which ferry port to go from.....

MinimalistMommi Wed 26-Jun-13 11:15:37

scone, no, no it's not! Save your pennies and get a bell! grin

MinimalistMommi Wed 26-Jun-13 11:16:06

Oh, and we have passports so I guess that's something hmm

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 26-Jun-13 11:18:13

That is a very good description pictish. I refuse to buy anything from them because of their rip off deal with Obelink over bell tents and now other canvas tents too (for some reason I blame Bell Tent more than Obelink and remain happy to buy from Obelink, as if they were inncoent parties forced to agree to this outrageous breach of EU law).

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 26-Jun-13 11:19:47

I suppose I should add that I THINK it is an outrageous breach of EU law and if it isn't it should be IMO - I haven't actually gone so far as to actually research this properly, or at all.

I really worry that I wouldn't be able to put one up by myself. I already own bunting, rugs and chandelier

Do people camp with their dogs in a bell? That might persuade me if they do...

Bumpstarter Wed 26-Jun-13 11:26:02

To the original question..... Just wait for a strong ABC says, they are far more secure in windy conditions.

Am going camping soon, and as it's just a weekend, we are taking 2 nylon tents. Also travelling in. Peugeot 106 with 4 passengers means we need to be really slim on equipment. Next time we go camping for a bit longer though, I will be borrowing the family bell tent. I think it is 7' tall, so really roomy, but wood take up most of the room in the boot.

I think bell tents are ideal for certain circs, and other tents good if it is a short or mobile camp.

Personally really fancy a force 10 for my next tent. It is far more expensive than any tent I have bought previously, but I have seen it stand up to conditions no other small tent has, and it is comfortable.

MinimalistMommi Wed 26-Jun-13 11:27:14

scone you can, but it will be heavy when you crawl in with pole and lift that as the canvas is heavy but totally do-able.

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 26-Jun-13 11:29:35

Yes Scone - there is a woman on UK campsite who posts regularly about her bell tents (very much in the plural) and I think she has a labrador that she camps with. So it is done.

Her blog is here btw:

NonnyMuss Wed 26-Jun-13 13:20:02

We take our dog, used to take his cage when he used to be cage trained but now we just pop his bed down and he completely ignores it and snuggles up with whoever he feels like snuggling up to. grin

dancinglife Wed 26-Jun-13 13:41:13

We've got 2 bell tents - a 4m and a 3m - and would never go back to nylon now.

We put the kids and clobber in the 4m bell (which takes me 15 mins to put up even if on my own) and dh and I go in the 3m bell on double matt with duvet.

Also have huge canvas sheet which hooks onto the tent-opening pole spike and makes a canopy over the table - that's our adult chill out space in the evening sitting round the fire bowl (logs or BBQ fuel) - we cook on it too and boil up kettles for hotwater bottles and cocoa.
Lots of battery fairy lights and storm lamps (no horrible cold white camping lamps...). plus the essential thermal coffee press for the morning...
We have a fab time and have noticed out tents do not blow away in high winds like others do (we put the awning down though!).

We have an ordinary family car and roof box and fit it all into that.

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 26-Jun-13 13:55:28

Wow dancinglife. Your set up sounds fab. What a brilliant idea to have a separate bell for the children (might have to consider that once DD is old enough.

hz Wed 26-Jun-13 14:57:45

MummyPigs, Oh my word - that 'Bell and Labs' woman sure does have a LOT of tents!

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 26-Jun-13 15:19:07

She does, doesn't she? I am open mouthed at some of the things she has made though - the detail in the Gruffalo tent is amazing. DD would love it (sadly for her, I have trouble sewing on a button, so I don't think I shall be showing her the pictures).

pictish Wed 26-Jun-13 15:53:28

The new chandelier has arrived!
<does little dance of glamping inspired happiness>

TheABC Wed 26-Jun-13 16:15:14

Mmmmmnnn...nice one, dancinglife. I may have to persuade DH to get a
canopy for our next trip. Cocoa mugs at ready! Can you imagine what it would be like if there was a MN camping weekend?

shirazplease Wed 26-Jun-13 16:19:08

Which chandelier did you go for Pictish?

pictish Wed 26-Jun-13 17:05:25

this one

shirazplease Wed 26-Jun-13 17:18:17


dancinglife Wed 26-Jun-13 23:45:17

ABC - we got ours from Karma Canvas 3 years ago - its still going strong.

I'm after a Frontier Stove now - next on the list!

VivaLeBeaver Wed 26-Jun-13 23:52:02

It has one pole and is therefore the easiest tent I've ever had to put up. I camp with dd, no dh, and was fed up with struggling with Outwell tunnel tents.

pictish Wed 26-Jun-13 23:59:22

We're off on Monday for a week - the schools break up here on Friday.
We haven't had the bell out this year yet! Can't wait!
Piece of piss to put up.

I wish I could afford some of those roll up beds...the quilted type affairs. Even if I could afford them, we'd never fit them in the car. They look well comfy.

zanz1bar Thu 27-Jun-13 08:46:21

Scone I camp with Bell tent , family x5 and very muddy springer fine, but i do have a seperate ground sheet, easier to keep clean and never had a problem with floods and bugs.

It is the easiest tent to put up EVER.

millimat Thu 27-Jun-13 09:06:02

Pictish - you break up this week?! We have 4 weeks left! When do they go back?

Are you in NI Pictish? My nephews break up this week over there.

Right. I am going to start saving my pennies for the bell tent. It will need to be big enough for me, dc aged 9 and 7 and two Labradors. And possibly the chicken that thinks it is a dog.

I quite like the marmitey lotus tent on the blog ^^ blush

MinimalistMommi Thu 27-Jun-13 09:24:38

You need a 5 mm then grin
Remember it is a pain to dry and it is heavy but it is worth it!

TheRealMBJ Thu 27-Jun-13 17:24:08

Just saw this convo

I HATED (I mean HATED) camping as a child and as a student in crappy, cold nylon tents. And when we got married I point blank refused to ever go camping with DH. However, 2 kids and a mortgage later, we cannot afford hotel holidays, and rather than spend every holiday with my ILs, agreed to camping but only if I could be reasonably comfortable.

I LOVE our 5m Souldpad. We've only done a couple of weekends (going again this weekend) and will do a week in Devon/Cornwall and 2 in France later in the year.

Am still building up our glamping supplies, but getting there slowly.

Where can I get one of those awnings? They look like just what I need.

shirazplease Thu 27-Jun-13 18:28:14


Is this what you're after?

TheRealMBJ Thu 27-Jun-13 18:51:09

Yes, thank you

TheRealMBJ Thu 27-Jun-13 18:54:57

That's a good price, I'm on my phone so struggling to see. Do they ship the tarp to the UK?

shirazplease Thu 27-Jun-13 19:20:00

Yep they do. Think postage was only about €7 too.

I believe it's the same as the malu tarp on the Belltent site?

SalomeD Thu 27-Jun-13 19:37:23
dancinglife Thu 27-Jun-13 23:21:19

Yep - that's the same as ours! We couldn't do without it, especially if it rains.
Their tents are much cheaper than over here too..

Lavenderloves Fri 28-Jun-13 11:38:22

Great thread!
We have a bell tent and love it.
We take sheepskin rugs, massive sofa cushions, down duvets and even a coffee table ( big one)

My DH was of the you must suffer to be camping school of thought. I have converted him.

They are lovely to camp in such a great space with a different feel to nylon.

Lovely thread (weird that it started out as anti-bell tent thread!)

I stayed in one recently (not mine, sadly) and I was amazed at how comfy it was, even in the rain. My memories of camping many years ago, is of damp clothes and condensation everywhere. The bell tent was paradise, all airy and dry.

We have a motorhome so DH is never going to be persuaded that we need a bell tent as well, but I am cribbing ideas to make the awning lovely, so keep them coming...

MummyPigsFatTummy Fri 28-Jun-13 12:03:26

You know, we should have a Mumsnet glampers camping weekend. All welcome regardless of set up. Glampers come and show off your frills and fripperies and hard core campers come and be converted to the frilly side!

MummyPigsFatTummy Fri 28-Jun-13 12:06:50

Ooh white company chandelier is waiting in the post office. Ridiculously excited. Loved your photos shiraz.

Laura, your DH is probably right about the bell but there is no doubt your motorbike will be much the better for bunting and fairy lights, and dare I suggest, a chandelier in the awning.

MummyPigsFatTummy Fri 28-Jun-13 12:08:16

Motorbike? Stupid phone ( probably would be true for a motorbike too though)

shirazplease Fri 28-Jun-13 12:26:41

Get your running shoes on Mummy Pig and get down to that post office!

Glad you like the pics, not bad for a first season of glamping grin it truly is an addiction!

Glamping motorbike, now there's a whole new challenge must stop imagining overweight, leather clad biker with fairy lights

hazeyjane Fri 28-Jun-13 13:17:02

My chandelier has arrived (huge box!!!) along with table now just waiting for tealights, and obviously won't open them until birthday tomorrow!

I will be eyeing up everyones tents, bunting and chandeliers when we go to eweleaze in the holidays, maybe a small discrete mumsnet flag would be on order!

Obelink don't sell bell tents though do they? not that I have been browsing eBay etc since yesterday

shirazplease Fri 28-Jun-13 13:45:18

Obelink do sell Bell tents however they have an EU contravening agreement with Bell Tent UK to not ship them to the UK angry

TheRealMBJ Fri 28-Jun-13 18:41:19

Buying a tarp as we speak.

millimat Fri 28-Jun-13 21:54:34

Glad my thread could be of assistance wink still don't get them though!!

teacherandguideleader Sat 29-Jun-13 05:27:12

I don't get them either - I'm not into frills at the best of times so can't imagine getting into them for camping! I remember when I was a Guide we always thought of groups that still used Bell tents as being old fashioned and the poor relation, while we had our nice ridge tents. I don't much like the ridge tents either now - I hate all the open space, and like a cosy pod to sleep in.

My tent is nylon and I love it, I have a bedroom and a lovely porch. My bedroom is cosy and I have never been cold despite using my tent on my own (I do have an expensive sleeping bag and thermarest though).

If I was in to paraphernalia maybe I would feel differently, but I'm not. The thought of bunting sends shivers down my spine.

nooka Sat 29-Jun-13 06:05:51

I've never seen a bell tent. All the fancy stuff sounds very harem like smile We live in Canada now and camp because we can pretty much guarantee that it won't rain (dh would have never camped in the UK/Europe - too many bad childhood memories). Most other people we know have campers large and small (you can get some enormous fancy things here).

I've just bought a new tent because my mother is coming to stay and wants to go out into the back country. She has bad arthritis and can't sleep on the ground so we are taking a proper bed with us for her grin I've found blow up beds don't last for more than a few night (plus I do have a long pick up truck and the bed fits in the back)

Our tent takes me less than 5 minutes to put up and the new one says it only takes a minute.

Chubfuddler Sat 29-Jun-13 06:20:10

I haven't camped since girl guides/scouts when I was about 14. I now know that those "proper" tents we used to be in are called bell tents and they people still use them. Hurrah! I'm on my own and not feeling equal to camping with a two year old but it definitely appeals now I know there are other loons traditional campers like me out there.

Thank you bell tenters, love the tea lights.

zgaze Sat 29-Jun-13 21:33:56

White Company must have had a rush last week on those chandeliers, I bought two! Arrived yesterday and they're really lovely so thank you very much shirazplease

shirazplease Sat 29-Jun-13 22:25:39


MummyPigsFatTummy Mon 01-Jul-13 23:46:38

Shiraz - thanks so much for chandelier tip. I collected it on Friday but only opened it tonight (get me and my self control). In the end, I didn't open it properly but just had a quick peer and left it all in its very thorough packaging to await its inaugural camp at the weekend. it looks fab though from what I could see - can't wait to get it up (har har)!

Hopefully Tue 02-Jul-13 08:26:53

OK, those of you who love them, where do you put your clothes/wash stuff etc? DH and I are coming round to the idea, but a bit scared of the one room thing. We currently just live out of an assortment of tatty luggage while camping, but we hide it in a bedroom so I don't have to see it! Am I going to have to buy these so my poor eyes don't have to be offended?

MinimalistMommi Tue 02-Jul-13 09:41:59

We take draw string cotton laundry bags in pretty colours to put clean folded clothes and then a separate one for the dirty clothes.

MinimalistMommi Tue 02-Jul-13 09:42:36

Sheepskins: we also take sheepskin rugs, look lovely in bell tent and so warm to sit on.

Hopefully Tue 02-Jul-13 10:53:46

OMG that's genius. plus I have a slight addiction to making drawstring bags, so I could make hundreds. <cackle>

Hopefully Tue 02-Jul-13 10:54:37

We are confirmed sheepskin-aholics - always get mocked because our sensible little Outwell is always bedecked in sheepskin. Slightly ruins the serious-family-campers vibe.

Crap, I think I might have just talked myself into a bell tent grin

MinimalistMommi Tue 02-Jul-13 11:07:03

Bell tents are a pain but lush at the same time grin
Glad you liked the cotton bag idea grin

shirazplease Tue 02-Jul-13 12:22:09

Ok. Storage. You will laugh but we take this:


Think theirs a pic showing it in my profile.

(Since embarking on this camping obsession I'm now v experienced at inserting links!)

Mainly because it folds flat and the box all fits inside the lid. V useful as it stores loads. Think we transport it on its long side by kids feet poor kids

Also, we have one of those double height airbeds which hides all manner of crap luggage behind it.

Glad everyone likes their White Company chandeliers grin

Hopefully Tue 02-Jul-13 14:27:11

I think DH will actually die if I inform him we are taking an imitation leather ottoman camping with us grin

mountainspring Wed 03-Jul-13 14:10:50

I take a mesh pop-up laundry bag with lid (IKEA) and tip my stuff into this because its completely insect proof so can just put on clothes without looks OK - not super-chic but tidy-ish.

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