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Should we trial pitch our new bell tent this weekend, worried about rain?

(11 Posts)
victoriasmith Fri 05-Aug-11 08:47:03

Received delivery from the lovely people at Soulpad of our 5m bell tent this week and as our garden isn't big enough I was going to take it to my mums house when we visit this weekend for a trial run. However, the weather forecast looks a bit dodgy for the midlands this weekend and I'm concerned about the tent getting wet and then us struggling to get it dry.

thoughts? anyone good at weather predictions? I am so so desperate to try it out!!!!

AmberLeaf Sat 06-Aug-11 01:30:57

I have no idea, but I wanted to say im very jealous!

Actually have a look here;

Doesnt look too hopeful

lovecat Sat 06-Aug-11 09:58:37

No idea of weather, sorry, but does it have a zig or sig (zip in or sewn in groundsheet)?

I ask because we have a 5m Soulpad hybrid (zig) and damp on the underneath of the tent (even though it seemed dry when we took it down and folded it up) pooled in the bag and made my beautiful tent go stained and mildew-y. We now unzip the groundsheet and fold it away separately (in bin bags, but we are ordering a separate canvas bag to store it in) every time we put it away.

If yours is sewn in, put some tarpaulin/dust sheets down beneath the groundsheet before you pitch it, that should protect the bottom.

lovecat Sat 06-Aug-11 10:00:07

I've also seen this on ebay which I'm seriously considering...

mel2005 Sat 06-Aug-11 10:44:52

lovecat, i bought a secondhand tipi ground sheet for under the soulpad groundsheet, it was only £12 or something from e-bay it does give a bit more insulation as well as protecting my soulpad one. you have to make sure the outer one is slightly tucked under so rain doesnt get inbetween the two which is what happened to us on our first pitch. anyway a cheaper alternative to the ebay one would be the soulpad seperate ground sheet which i think is £30 or £35 and it has peg holes if you did need to peg it out while pitching.
i do use a couple to tea towels to dry the mudflaps and the ground sheets.

SalomeD Sat 06-Aug-11 11:08:06

Hi Victoria,

We're just home from 4 fabulous days in our bell tent at Thistledown.

Packed up this morning so now have a very wet groundsheet which I've unzipped from the canvas. Read Lovecat's earlier post when she pitched her bell and found it mildewed and decided it probably is safer to store canvas and groundsheet separately (next time, however, I'll zip them before I leave home as in 25c you get a bit hot and bothered matching the two together and zipping them up!

Definitely thinking it would be a good idea to get a footprint as groundsheet is wet and a bit muddy and it would be easier to hose off and store a lightweight footprint. BUT, £60!! surely that's a bit on the high side.

You can get a 5.4m x 7m tarpaulin from ebay for £15 and then you just have to cut it to size.

SalomeD Sat 06-Aug-11 11:09:39

Whoops! forgot to answer your original question:

I'd wait till you know it's going to be fine weather then your first pitch and pack up won't be marred by worrying that you will have problems drying the tent.

And have loads of fun camping!

victoriasmith Sun 07-Aug-11 11:57:48

thanks for the advice.

Lovecat I read your previous thread about the mildew and my heart went out to you! Hope you've managed to clean it up ok. After reading that I have constantly been impressing upon my boyfriend the importance of making sure it is as dry as the "sahara" before we put it away, he thinks i'm being ridiculous and a little too over protective of my new tent!

We got the 5000m lite with the seperate groundsheet so will definitely make sure it is stored seperately.

I did manage to get it pitched yesterday for about 2 hours before I got scared of the darkening clouds and took it all down, although it is so quick to pitch and take down it wasn't much of a problem. I must say I am now considering selling our house and living in the tent, its amazing and soooo big inside, can really understand the bell tent love out there! And oh dear am already lusting after candle chandelier and numerous rugs, surely these are necessities with a bell tent, no?

SalomeD we are also going to Thistledown in September did you enjoy your stay there?

ReshapeWhileDamp Sun 07-Aug-11 17:05:04

Victoria, that's the one we recently bought. We've kept it Sahara-dry both pitches - though the first time I put it up in the garden, it rained all week so we left it until such time as the weather started to behave again! The second time, it was just after Lovecat posted about her horrible mildew incident, and I forgot I'd spilled a glass of water inside the tent before taking the canvas down. I was so paranoid that the canvas would have absorbed that small puddle that I got it out again as soon as we got home and spread it all over the spare room (there isn't really enough room). It's still up there because there is no room in the house large enough to fold it up again properly, and it's still bloody raining outside!

I'm not tempted by tealights (we have two active DSs and naked flames and small hyper children don't mix) but I did search out some perfect fabric from my stash to make bunting. Don't tell Slubber. wink

SalomeD Sun 07-Aug-11 18:18:15

Victoria: had a brilliant time at Thistledown. My two DSs love it there and said how much they prefer it to the campsite we stayed in North Devon at the start of the holidays (allocated pitches separated by hedges and EHU). You won't believe the amount of space until you get there and there are so many lovely places to pitch. Are you in one of the meadows or in the elderflower orchard?

There are always loads of children there and they make dens in the woods and have great fun on the rope swings.

Take a good lantern as it does get very dark at night and have a wonderful time!

victoriasmith Mon 08-Aug-11 10:12:18

we're in the 3rd pasture, think we're going to need a lift down there with our beautiful, heavy, bell tent and numerous rugs, lanterns etc which boyfriend has no idea about will appreciate!

hope you manage to get your tent dry.

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