Getting it up! (chortle)

If you are a tent camper you will probably have experienced ‘The Tent Pitching Argument’.  All those poles, remembering which bit goes where, small children ‘helping’ and all after a long car journey.  It can lead to a fractious start to your camping holiday.

Or perhaps you are a single adult who wants to take children camping by yourself, but the idea of struggling with all that nylon and poles by yourself is stopping you.

So what are the alternatives to the fiddly fibreglass pole tents that most of us have?

The inflatable pole tent, several brands have produced one.   This is Vango’ s smallest version at a pretty steep £600.


It looks just like a normal tent but is easily erected by simply inflating the pole structure with a pump, they claim it can be erected in less than 3 minutes!  Check out this Youtube video to see if it’s true!  I must admit I would be a bit dubious about trusting anything inflatable but you can’t deny the speed with which it is pitched, although you will then need to attach the inner in the usual way.

Quechua are the original and best when it comes to pop up tents.  This is the  Quechua Tent Base seconds 4.2. A really great tent.  Here is a Youtube video of how it is pitched. It is simple even for one person to erect and the inner tent is already attached.  If I were a single adult wanting to camp with kids this tent would be a very strong contender for me. It is also a very good price at £169.99. The only slight worry is folding it up again, there is a knack to it but it isn’t that hard. Just practice before your first camp!

Image from

Despite all this modern technology I still believe the best quick to erect tent  is the lovely, old-fashioned Bell Tent.    One person can erect a Bell Tent with ease within 15 mins (I do speak from experience!).  The space inside the tent is cavernous, and the experience of being under canvas is incomparable to sweaty man-made fabrics. One of the great attractions of a Bell Tent is the ability to roll up the side to create a sort of floating canopy.

bell tentImage from Baker and Bell

It really is very clever and brilliant to use as a den in the garden during the summer, or a venue for a kids party as well as being a practical and durable camping tent. Prices range from about £370 for a 4m tent. Can you tell Iwant one?

One thought on “Getting it up! (chortle)

  1. nutmeg says:

    Last year we camped with a group of friends – one family had the Quechua and so they had an audience putting it up and taking down – we all wanted to see how it worked (they made it look very easy). Another family had a Bell Tent – lovely space inside, I can see why you might like one!

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