The summer is, theoretically, on its way and we have warm days and sunny skies to look forward to. So what do we all do? We leap into our cars and beetle off to camping grounds across the UK (and the world) to enjoy nature and each other.
The thing is, you don’t get a full camping kit with your children, like some kind of package deal. You have to spend a lot of money buying all the right equipment and getting stocked up and, for some, this can be more than a little daunting. Today I thought it would be a great idea to look into how you choose the perfect family tent along with links to some tasty, tenty deals.
How big is your family and how much personal space do you need? For some, a little tent is fine and cuddling together is just lovely, for others that thought is akin to hell and some more space is required. Your best bet is to go for a tent that’s easy to assemble, is suitable for four to five people and that is aimed at the novice. We used to have the world’s most complicated tent and I remember giving up and sleeping in the car one summer…
Deals to camp for: A six person Gelert tent selling for £85 at Tesco using the voucher code TDX-RPMW (for first time customers).
While easy to assemble are the essential buzz words for any family camping tent, the other is rooms. When you have two or more children they can get a bit funny about sharing a room, and sometimes parents would like a spot of privacy too.
Keep an eye out for tents that have a certain amount of flexibility in the layout of your sleeping areas. It’s ideal to get one that lets you drop a section between you or between the sleeping and the relaxing areas. Some tents even come with designated living areas but whether or not you invest in one of these will depend on your budget and how often you camp.
Deals to camp for: Halfords are selling a family four-man tent for only £89.99 as a web exclusive. You can drop that price down with the discount code NUSMAY12 so you only spend £80.99 and the tent has lots of lovely extras like sleeping bags, airbeds and storage.
3. Insects and air
This may sound obvious, but some tents really don’t seem to cater for the proliferation of bugs that comes with living in nature. You need to make sure that your tent has a proper mesh covering that goes over the various windows without gaping holes, and give you the option to cover the front door.
Likewise for ventilation. There are few things worse than hot, sticky and airless tents, especially in summer so make sure that you find yourself well-ventilated tent that has adequate airing and mesh for insect control. You can actually find a brilliant series of tests and reviews at Which.co.uk that cover many of these aspects and help you locate a good tent.
Deals to camp for: ProAction four-man dome tent £24.99 at Argos along with a special offer to save 1.3 off selected camping accessories. It is easy to assemble, has two air vents and mosquito nets, but is only one room so better for a small family.
4. Extras and entrances
Most tents, especially the smaller and cheaper ones, will only come with one door. If you can afford it, then looking for one that comes with more than one entrance is brilliant as it keeps the air flowing, prevents gridlock when coming and going, and can help keep the mess down in rainy weather.
If you camp regularly, then spending more money on a tent that will grow with the family and has all the extras is a wise use of money. It will last for years and will keep on fitting you all in. A cheap and nasty tent with limited space will be a false economy.
Look for special features on your tent too. Many deals now come with all sorts of lovely extras like airbeds and porches or extensions, sleeping bags, canopies and more. You should also look out for storage compartments as they are pretty much essential for the family camper.
Deals to camp for: Take a look at some of these deals from Yeomans, they are expensive but ideal for people who want really luxurious tent. Up to 60% off camping kit at Argos until tomorrow so get cracking!