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Please recommend me a family tent that I can pitch by myself

(52 Posts)
LondonSuperTrooper Mon 12-Aug-13 16:02:21


Please help! I am looking for a family tent for 5-6 people that I can pitch by myself (on the odd occasions that my DH doesn't want to come camping with us).

I'm not keen on pop up tents as I do not think that I will be able to pack it up by myself! I absolutely love the Outwell Montana 6P but not sure about pitching it alone. I've been told to avoid fibreglass poles as they tend to snap.... I've looked at Vango airbeam but can't find any for under £550 (i like the enternity 600). I'm not keen on the bell tent as I like the separate rooms and think that bell tents can get messy very quickly.

Is it possible to find a decent sized tent that I pitch by myself? Any recommendations please?

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 13-Aug-13 16:29:04

Or, if you really want a bell tent, consider persuading your DH to holiday in deepest Netherlands near the Obelink warehouse and pop in on your arrival and buy a 5m basic bell for the equivalent of £320 in today's money (really not that much more than £250 wink). Then enjoy your Dutch camping holiday and many future camping trips.


LondonSuperTrooper Wed 14-Aug-13 12:37:58

LOL @ Mummy There is no chance of that happening! I tried to persuade DH to go to France for the week and he said no..... and that is a much shorter drive than Netherlands.

I've found an Outwell Nevada on sale now. It's last season's colour though.... would like to get the awning but was hoping to wait till next summer before buying it.

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 14-Aug-13 13:04:42

Oh well - it was worth a try to recruit another bell tenter. Outwells are fabulous tents though. I would love one if I had the patience to erect it.

Blu Wed 14-Aug-13 21:18:10

Decathlon have all thier tents set up, and if you go in at a not-too-busy time they will show you how to fold them, and help you, so you could experiment with doingg it by yourself before you buy?

I have a Decathlon op-up, not enormous, and fond it a doddle to fold by myself. After a few false starts, but that was stupidity, not sheer might. I should have asked them to show me how to do it.

LondonSuperTrooper Wed 14-Aug-13 22:47:39

Thanks Blu the nearest store is about 70miles away from me. I think that I'll have to pop into go outdoors and the weekend and get their advice.
I've already been told that putting the Outwell Montana on my own is practically impossible. Problem is that most of the decent tents in the sale are now out of stock sad

Blu Thu 15-Aug-13 00:31:46

Aha, sorry I was misled by the 'London ' in your name and imagining you popping along to Surrey Quays.

Good luck!

MummyPigsFatTummy Thu 15-Aug-13 00:49:03

Check eBay for decathlon popups. They had a few on there when I looked today.

Flossiechops Thu 15-Aug-13 07:21:44

We have an Outwell Montana - it's a beast and there's no way you can put it up alone - with struggle with the 2 of us and rope the dc in to hold the poles whilst we pull it up. We've got erection time (ahem) to 25 mins and it's super once up! You need to get your dh on side as he is missing all the fun. We are off to France for the first time in a few days and can't wait!

nooka Thu 15-Aug-13 07:37:58

We bought an Ozark tent this summer, it takes a couple of minutes to put up I usually do it with one of the kids but I think you could probably do it alone if it wasn't windy. We also have an E-Z tent which is a bit smaller and can be put up by a pre-teen on her own. Both were pretty cheap.

But I'm not sure if either can be bought in the UK.

LondonSuperTrooper Thu 15-Aug-13 07:41:09

Blu Surrey Quays didn't come up when I searched my local stores. I'll search again - thanks.

Mummy I'm always nervous of using ebay. I got stung a few years ago and still haven't got over the trauma!

Flossie My DH will camp with us. But I would like to have the freedom to go camping with DS when is he in on call etc. Camping in France sounds great! I think we are a few years away from doing that - need to get a biger car! I hope that you have a super time.

fossil971 Thu 15-Aug-13 07:48:48

I would go for something from Decathlon or Go Outdoors. If you go for a pop-up, get them to demonstrate it and see if you can pack it down (the hard bit). Or something like a Vango Icarus. If you're on your own, camp light, it's not just putting the tent up but putting it down, lugging the bags around, packing the car which is a bit of a drag.

If you are worried about space you could always take a gazebo. How many of you actually are there?

If it turns out you love camping, maybe invest in a more heavy duty tent later.

France is great BTW- you don't need a really big tent because the weather is so nice you just sit outside all the time grin.

perfect for you

LondonSuperTrooper Thu 15-Aug-13 09:10:23

Fossil thanks for your post. I'm intending to go Go Outdoors on saturday and buy the tent that you've linked to smile

We do have a pop up gazebo and may take it with us if the weather forecast is bad. We'll be camping for a week!!!

MummyPigsFatTummy Thu 15-Aug-13 09:13:56

I take your point about eBay, London. It can be hit and miss.

If Decathlon Surrey Quays or Lakeside is an option for you pop Ups are the best. We have friends who have a base seconds as a living room and then put small pop Ups at each entrance so it becomes like a sort of pod tent affair. That way if fewer of you are going you can take fewer pods. Clever but the family popups are probably easiest really.

Notonaschoolnight Thu 15-Aug-13 09:22:35

Don't forget to measure the width against what you plan to sleep on ie my icarus500 may well fit 5 bodies in a line, but can only fit 4 camping mattresses, that's often the norm

MummyPigsFatTummy Thu 15-Aug-13 09:44:18

Actually, I have just realised a family pop up won't be big enough for more than 4 on its own. You would actually be better off with a Base Seconds and three 2 or 3-man pop ups.

Or a non-pop up family tent of course. This looks quite good value, provided it comes with a groundsheet for the living area which isn't shown in the pictrure oddly: .

I don't know if you could put it up on your own though.

LondonSuperTrooper Fri 16-Aug-13 04:32:26

Thanks everyone. I've bought the Outwell Nevada M tent. I was hoping to buy it from the store on Saturday but they've sold out, so I took a chance and bought it online without seeing it first.
Many of the reviews seem to suggest that it can be pitched by 1 person so lets hope that I've struck it lucky and will be able to pitch it alone if required.
It's arriving on Tuesday and DH knows that he needs to be home early on that evening so that we can practice pitching it in the garden. I'm now getting very excited and looking forward to our first family camping trip smile We would like to go to the Isle of Wight - lets hope that I can find a decent campsite for the bank holiday week. I'm going to write a separate post about this next adventure wink
Last but not least, many thanks for all of your help and replies. It's been fab to have all if your input and suggestions x

Refoca Sat 17-Aug-13 22:32:14

Not that it helps now, and probably not big enough for you anyway, but just in case it helps anyone else...

I'm 5'1'' and can do the quechua 4.2 alone - putting up and taking down are now about 10mins each, or 5mins if I have someone helping.

Hope you find somewhere to camp and have a good break in your new tent :-)

LondonSuperTrooper Sat 17-Aug-13 23:20:11

Thanks smile
My tent arrived yesterday!!! We are going to buy some tarpaulin from b&q tomorrow and then we'll try pitching it and waterproofing before next weekend. I've been told that I must wet it and dry it 3 times! I just hope that the weather is good tomorrow so that we can pitch it without arguments.

We also went to camping world today..... Spent a small fortune on EHU, stoves, calories gas etc.... This coping marlaky is not cheap is it?!

LondonSuperTrooper Sat 17-Aug-13 23:26:10

Blooming spell checker! I meant calor gas!!

LondonSuperTrooper Sat 17-Aug-13 23:28:49

Refoca, thanks we've already got the tent now. I've been looking at the Outwell official video and pitching it seems to be very straightforward. I'm sure that in reality it's a different story altogether!!
Also, I'm a shortie too- I'm only 5ft smile

LondonSuperTrooper Mon 19-Aug-13 20:54:41

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to update the thread, especially as so many of you helped me out with your tent suggestions.
OK, so the tent was delivered on Friday afternoon and we pitched it on Sunday morning. It took my hubby and I less 25mins to put up. Bear in mind that we had to stop a couple of times to check the YouTube video.

Then we took it down and I tried pitching it by myself. It took me 25mins. It was hard work but totally doable. A bit of wind would have helped when pulling the tent up. Next time I'll open the tent door so that it'll be easier to pull up. I didn't like doing the guy ropes but hey ho.
All in all, I'm very happy with my Nevada m tent smile so much so that we 'camped' in it last night!!!
I'm really looking forward to my week of camping next week. And we are already planning another trip for the middle of September..... I think having the EHU has converted my DH!

lagoonhaze Thu 22-Aug-13 17:46:44

Brillant update. Glad it worked for you. At 5ft2 im looking for tents to pitch solo too so have been watching this thread!

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 22-Aug-13 17:51:06

How we keep our bell tent tidy.

Clothes in pillow cases that double up as scatter cushions/pillos. no suitcases. Beds made on one half, living in other half. Larder with cooker on top. Big box with lid for crokery, cutlery and pans which has baby's blanket thrown over it and it is used as an in-tent seat.

BBQ and water bottle outside.

MummyPigsFatTummy Thu 22-Aug-13 19:39:15

Great ideas Starlight. We are going away for two weeks and I was wondering what to do with clothes. Storage/scatter cushions will be perfect!

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 22-Aug-13 22:19:11

They fit better in the car too as you can just squash them into the packing gaps.

Though you have to have a tolerance for the odd crease.

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