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Boo hoo I can't pitch my tent!

(22 Posts)
MollieO Sun 12-Jul-09 14:20:30

Bought a Sunncamp Tarn 300 tent thinking I could pitch it on my own. Found out today that this idea was completely foolish.

So what tent is capable of being pitched by one novice like me and will pack up small? I have a sports car with a small boot!

I've read reviews here for the Vango Icarus 500 which looks good. However it sleeps 5 and there will only be me and ds (5)so it seems a bit on the large size for just the two of us.

BelleSeuss Sun 12-Jul-09 14:28:24

Vaude Mark II - expensive but very good and very quick to pitch. Packs small and light, dh and I can pitch in <2mins and would be easy on own.

MollieO Sun 12-Jul-09 14:36:49

Thanks Belle looks lovely but is probably double what I want to pay! Especially as I don't think I can get a refund on the one that I can't pitch. I think I'm looking for something up to about £130-£140 which if I only use a couple of times and decide I hate camping won't be a complete waste of money.

Frizbe Sun 12-Jul-09 14:40:08

Go to Decathlon and get one of their instant pop up tents for the two of you, save on lots of time and hassle!

MollieO Sun 12-Jul-09 14:48:50

Too big for my boot unfortunately and I'm crap with pop up tents. We had a summer shade from Blooming Marvellous one holiday that ended up being binned as I couldn't fold it back down small enough to get in the car!

Frizbe Sun 12-Jul-09 14:50:42

Technical hitch then! Terra Nova do some good small tents, but they can be a bit pricey. I have a bog standard 3 man with two poles from (either millets or yeomans) which I use if its just me and the girls going (Have a mansion if its the whole family! I kid you not it sleeps 10!)

Frizbe Sun 12-Jul-09 14:51:31

BelleSeuss Sun 12-Jul-09 16:18:24

Sorry, I know its ££ but it is good! I hope you find something suitable

troutpout Sun 12-Jul-09 16:50:56

what about this

troutpout Sun 12-Jul-09 16:56:11

or this?

troutpout Sun 12-Jul-09 17:04:35

or this?

troutpout Sun 12-Jul-09 17:20:14

Just had a look at your original tent

what went wrong? was it just that you needed someone to hold the other side while you had the other?

The kyham quick erect one looks like it may be the easiest out of the 3 I found (says it pitches in 20 secs)...but i'm sure there are others.

MollieO Sun 12-Jul-09 17:35:58

Thx troutpout. I like the look of the Khyam. 20 secs is about how long my patience lasts!

The problem with the Sunncamp was trying to put two very long poles at right angles to each other, crossing over at the top and then trying to get them stable to fix the guys to the tent pegs. It has a 2m head room so I think that was the problem - it was too high for my 5 yr old to do anything constructive to help. I realised that the problem was the poles crossing at the top. I'm sure there is a way of getting it pitched by putting both poles in flat and then lifting one at a time but I don't think I have the strength.

I will see whether I can get a refund (the t&cs say you have to return it within 7 days and I'm on day 12). If I can't then I might try it again in my garden. Tried it in my mum's which is pretty small - the tent took up all of her lawn! Mine is bigger but currently awaiting turf. I wonder whether it would be easier to lay the tent out, pin down the ground sheet and then insert and lift the poles.

It is similar to an Outwell Nevada so I'm going to have a look on line to see if I can find a video. It is a very nice tent so it will be a shame to be defeated. After I tried this morning I was tempted to go out and get one of those tents that you can barely sit up in, figuring that they must be easier to pitch!

MollieO Sun 12-Jul-09 17:38:07

Just checked youtube,my tent is nothing like the Outwell Nevada! Must be a Vango I'm thinking of.

Nappyzoneisabeetrootrunner Sun 12-Jul-09 17:44:35

have u checked on u tube for a demo of your tent - i would have thought it straight fwd tbh. Is it 3 poles? 2 that cross and one accrosee the middle? WHat order did you do it ?

troutpout Sun 12-Jul-09 18:33:08

The khyam is nice isn't it (rather fancy it myself grin). If you look on the Khyam website you can see a video of the Khyam igloo which is very similar. It's like an umbrella at the top with the poles already sewn into place. Very quick erect....piece of piss actually

I think that you should be able to make the cross shape of your sunncamp first on the ground and then put each pole into place one by one....once you have one side in you could maybe push against that side (with the other side) to make the arch shape.
Might be a good idea to have another fiddle with it.Most people find that they end up figuring out a way of pitching their tents which work easiest for them (we do both of ours differently to the original instructions)

Gwan...don't let it beat ya smile

Nappyzoneisabeetrootrunner Sun 12-Jul-09 18:48:11

I was looking for a tent for just me and dd whos 6 when i decided on the icarus but really one of these would have done us - vango beta i only went as big as the icarus as there is a slight glimmer of hope dh will come too now he has been told if he doesnt i will be leaving ds with him! The beta had lots of room in it but i couldnt stand in it - it wasnt super low so i think dd could.

MollieO Sun 12-Jul-09 18:48:32

I will have another go. Nappyzone it is only two poles with two more to hold up the porch.

Feel a bit of a prat actually for not seeking out similar tent videos on youtube before I tried to pitch mine. Can't find a video of my one but the Vango Orchy is similar in having the cross poles.

Once our garden is finished and I can walk on the lawn (in a couple of weeks) I will have another go. We are planning to go away mid-August so I will have at least a couple of weeks before then to have another go.

I liked it because the sleeping area is dark grey and the living area silver, so nice and bright. The last time I had to pitch a tent was 6 yrs ago in the desert in Africa and I had help courtesy of our tour guide!

Nappyzoneisabeetrootrunner Sun 12-Jul-09 18:55:42

Im sure then if you thread the poles through then just put one ring and pin thingy in off each pole you could bow one pole - the one on top so it doesnt have to bare weight and get it in situ then the other - just have another go when your not hot, sweaty and radged. GOOD LUCK! I totally sympathise though as i bought a tent last monday that was enormous and i couldnt win the battle alone so it went, i love my iccy though smile

FouFoucault Mon 13-Jul-09 13:10:58

I have an Icarus 500 - just for me and DD (age 6) - I think the size is about right - 5 is def an overstatement.
I posted on here about the hot sweary 2 hours it took me to put up - but that turned out to be because the inner bit was already hooked up to the top - which it shouldn't have been - I'm hoping for nearer to the 10 minutes it suggests when we go away next week.
Can your small person be of any help? Or could you ask someone else on the site to help?
I share your pain - I was so determined to put it up on my own.
Re those pop-up sunshade things- I actually cried in a Bloomin Marvellous shop when dd was a few weeks old when they were trying to show me how to fold down the pop-up cot!

biscuitsmustbedunkedintea Mon 13-Jul-09 14:13:34

MollieO I share your pain. I can never get those darn poles in and up to make the arch. However we purchased an Orchy at the weekend and having watched the pitching video I did find something that helped. The tension straps that are usually located by the ring and pin at the base of the poles need to be loose. Have always pitched a tent with them taught (mainly cos it's just where we've let down the tent last time and loosened them). When pitching the Orchy with loose tension straps, it was a heck of a lot easier to get the crossover poles into the ring and pin.

MollieO Sun 09-Aug-09 20:53:58

Am resurrecting this thread for a bit of wallowing and self pity. Tried to pitch tent again today in my garden. Managed to get it up but it was soo hard to do by myself - ds (5) did his best but wasn't much use. So now I am given up with this tent until ds is about 8 and bigger and stronger (I reckon he'll be the size of a 12 yr old by then!).

Have read reviews and comments about the Vango Icarus. Is it really easy to pitch? FouFoucault how did you get on pitching it yourself?

We are off for our first camping trip this week with a cheapy half price tent from Milletts that I can pitch. It is small and not really for more than a couple of days. I am keen to get one that is bigger than a rabbit hutch and will last for a week or more camping.

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