"Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is off no use, then you can discard it." Dalai Lama...

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Changing pool plans and Tent decisions

Plans for the pool have changed.We decided that the area at the top was not suitable.It was going to take far too much effort to level it enough to put the pool on.H has said she will be happy to take it back and sell it, so nothing lost.We will now get a smaller one that we can place nearer the house but without the risk of flooding the neighbours!

One good thing is that we decided it wouldn't take as much to get it level enough to start the work on a new patio:-)We will take down the old trellis that is being held up by some overgrown Ivy and re landscape,open up the top area of the garden.This is where we get the sun most of the day.One ton of sand is delivered tomorrow,so no excuses,we will have to get on with it:-)We are using some slabs we already have in the garden and some gravel we have leftover from a project last year.We also have some large stones from an old stone wall that was near the house and was dismantled for the sun room to go up.

Over the last few weeks I have spent a great deal of time researching tents.

Bearing in mind I have never camped,apart from a week in Wooler with the school when I was 14 and then only because I fancied one of the boys that was going(he looked so much like Donny Osmond!!).

I don't have many good memories about it. I do remember being very cold and damp a great deal of the time and hated the night time trips to the loo.So why camping?Emily finds being away from home and her pets quite difficult to do, so would not be keen to go away often without them and at least this way we could take Beauty most of the time.The tent set up would be a home from home for her and I think as a family it will benefit us all to just get away from the routine and to spend time away from home,to shake us up a little and to try new things.We won't have to travel far initially.We live in a beautiful part of the country and there are so many great places to visit and camping within an hour of home will open up the whole lake district.

I have been saving up throughout the year with a view to going to Greece next year.When we looked at the prices to go for two weeks, we began to question spending thousands of pounds on a couple of weeks in the sun.Much as I love the long sunny days I found it harder and harder to justify spending that kind of money on one trip.Buying a tent and equipment will mean we can go for 4 night breaks every 5 weeks or so and then a couple of weeks in the summer.We aim to go camping in France eventually and who knows maybe even a road trip to Greece could be planned:-)

One of the biggest decisions was whether to go for a smaller weekend type tent with less space or get a bigger tent that would be comfortable and have space to "live" inside as well as sleep.We decided to opt for a bigger tent with all the room we would need to have a comfortable stay in our Great British climate,with the likelihood we would get a smaller weekend tent to go away in if we get the bug:-)We wanted something that would have enough room for us and Emily,Beauty (dog) and a friend or two.Having been in Michelle's Vermont L I knew that the space and attention to detail were the things that were going to make a camping trip comfortable and therefore stand a chance of doing it again:-)

Someone at Al's work was selling an Outwell tent with great living space and three bed pods.Initially to my inexperienced eye it sounded and looked great.I went on to the Outwell site to look in detail.Then Michelle gave me a link to a camping forum and I began to see the light:-)

I loved the space it had but it was very spread out and there were lots of little details that it was missing. The ideal for me was to have an area of enclosed porch to come in to dry off in wet weather and store all the clutter of wet things.I wanted mesh to keep out the bugs and also a good sized living area.

We visited a camping showroom in Keswick to get a feel for different tents,both Alan and I were really impressed with a Robens poly cotton tent but it didn't have all the space we would need,and no enclosed porch area.Back home and lots of research later we narrowed it down to the Outwell Vermont XL and The Norfolk lake poly cotton tent.Still couldn't make a decision and spent many nights searching all the different tent manufacturers websites and the forum tent reviews just to be sure.Whilst browsing the forum site(admit to becoming addicted!)I found so many useful reviews about equipment and LOVED the fact that I could see other peoples tents set up.There wasn't a question that I had that hadn't already been answered.

So here we are, having decided that poly cotton would be the best for us, especially with future plans to go abroad, but wavering slightly about the weight of it,especially if it has to be packed wet,which in the present climate looks quite likely.We would have enough room (just) in the garden to pitch it again to dry it if needed but Alan isn't keen on the "faf" as he calls it.He is slowly coming round to the idea and I have left it up to him to read some of the reviews and get a feel for what camping could give us outside the"faf" ;-)

It is a great deal of money but we would have spent twice the amount on a holiday abroad and we can use the tent for many years to come.Having sourced a Norfolk lake online I am just waiting for Alan to mull things over and for me to just do a little more checking to ensure we do have the right tent!!!


Lisa G said...

Thanks for the forum link, am also looking for a tent and cannot make a decision!

Michelle said...

polycotton is better - quieter in the rain too. We have no way of pitching at home though as it is a tremendous weight - takes up more room to store as well.

Also, the colour fades more.

Having said all that, if we had space to pitch at home I think polycotton would have been an investment we would have made - if Marcus could lift it. The tent we have is beyond me and much heavier would be beyond M too.

I am mega impressed with your research. Spot on :-)

Heart Rockin Mama said...

Does this mean we could talk you into Unschoolers Rock the Campground next year? We would love it. Just think how much fun Drue and Emily would have!
We are in the process of putting something together for Miss Emily. Please tell her we haven't forgotten!
Have fun camping. We love it so!

Shirl said...

Thanks for the link to the forum; we too are looking into buying a tent!

Shirl x

Lynn said...

Lisa and Shirl,be very careful, strongly addictive site LOL.xx

Mich,I appreciate your comments cos I know we are on the same page with camping comforts!!The weight has been a big factor in swaying between the Vermont and the Norfolk lake,alongside the better configuration of bed pods in the Vermont!I am under no illusions that it will be easy to pitch or put away but think that overall the experience of being in a polycotton tent will outweigh the difficulties.Obviously never having pitched a tent that is coming from a place of complete ignorance;-)Just have to wait for Al to come to the same conclusion now:-)xx

Jean, would have a bit of a problem getting it all on a plane but would love to come over and camp in America one day! May have to borrow a tent and equipment LOL.xx

Heart Rockin Mama said...

You get here and we will do the rest!