Monday, September 5, 2011

the sun goes down on another tent

We love camping, the outdoors, National parks ... as long as you have something comfortable to sleep in at night.

Our trusty hiking tent served us well for years, it kept us warm and dry and gave us shelter while we travelled for 3 months all around beautiful New Zealand.  Unfortunately it only slept two.

Then there were three, we squeezed in when she was little but we needed to upgrade. A bigger tent from Rays did the job for a few years, although it was a bit squishy, especially when it was wet.

When we went around Australia, we upgraded.

Our poptop Sunwagon served us amazingly well for 18months, towed by our 4wd it went places no vintage Sunwagon should go. We stopped travelling around Australia when number two arrived.  After some serious travelling the Sunwagon was a huge fix it job, a garden ornament, and finally we sold it.  Oh how I miss it.

We got the old tent back from our friends but it started to disintegrate, zips broke, leaks began.

We wanted to go camping with the five of us but were on a tight budget.
We bough the $99 Aldi tent, how bad could it be?
Very bad, very wet family of five.  We have found all the Aldi camping stuff to be terrible - leaking mattresses, broken lamps .... DON"T GO THERE

Ok we thought, we won't be so stingy next time
Lashed out and got a big spacious Oztrail Sportiva family tent for $400 on Ebay after much research.  It arrived in excellent condition, we were optimistic.....
On its first camping trip we had very heavy rain and - it leaked - not a full soaking Aldi leak, but a keep you awake worrying kind of leak. The space was great (4 rooms) and you could stand up in it, but we had some concerns. 

We erected the tent  this week before an upcoming camping trip to Wilsons Promontory  - to check all was ok. We found a small hole and bought a patch to fix it.

not a Hurricane,
but some serious wind gusts,
a foul hurly burly kind of day,
that broke two poles in two,
and tore two giant holes in it,
dead tent.

What a waste!

Hazel- Dene cursed winter away his week and I would like to say similar things to the wind and to tents! %^%%$%#*&(()&%^$%$

It's not really a disaster, tents can be replaced, it's only money.

Can anyone suggest a good tent for a family of five? I'm thinking canvas after this experience but I hate their weight and bulkiness, and we're on a budget. I hate to think we're going to add any more to Landfill - checking out Ebay at the moment.


  1. How I adore your Sunwagon!! Thanks for sharing a pic of it.

    Not sure about the tent options..we only have a 3 roomer with 'foyer' from ebay. It's only slept us in light rain, not torrential downpouring but I do love how light it is (compared to canvas) and how quick it is to put up. If you come up with a solution let me know :)

  2. eek! I just been re-reading. I didn't catch your tent died THIS weeknd, Oh, Kirsty, so sorry! It was ferociously windy, bugger!!

  3. Oh no Kirsty:( I haven't done any camping so I can't really help in the advice department. I do hope you find something you like so you can go camping again soon, hopefully some sunny spring weather arrives soon. :)


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Margaret Atwood

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young