The biggest camping mistake


The picture of the tent looked wonderful.   The tent looked spacious (all those extra rooms!) and the kids would love helping put it up.

And so begins a tale of shattered dreams and crushing reality.

At a campsite. 

And at dusk.

If you have camped before in a tent, you may have an idea where this story is heading….and if you haven’t camped, read on and learn a vital lesson.

The campers-to-be had purchased this wonderful tent for amazing adventures in the bush.  Adventures the whole family would love.      The trip was planned, and off to a National Park for a weekend of outdoor fun.   

(Note to the reader….the above tent is not the tent in this blog post – but still that’s not a tent I would want to put up in a hurry).

Well, the trip took a little longer than expected……and the kids had gotten hungry on the trip, so a detour to McDonalds was needed half way, and by the time the intrepid family had found the campsite (sure gets dark quickly in April), nerves were already frayed.

But now to the inaugural setting up of “the tent”.   Inaugural?   Isn’t that like, first time?  

Yep, new camper mistake number 1 – not trying the gear out before you camp.   

And so began a comedy of errors, copious amounts of swearing and palpable frustration as they tried to put up this mammoth beast of a tent. 

A lot of poles and ropes on some of these biggers tents aren’t there?    And where are the instructions?  And the sun seems to be setting unnaturally fast about now isn’t it?

That extra room that looked so good on the tent picture, is not looking so wonderful right about now, as the poles you thought should go in one part of the tent, really are meant for this vestibule.  Might explain why the tent is not looking so crash hot.   

And where are the kids during this?  Fed up with the fiasco and heated mutterings of dad, they abandoned camp, only to return to complain of hunger, and advise how dark it was getting!

We offered to help and speed up the process, but newbie Dad was determined (read:  stubborn) that this tent would be put up by him and the family better damn well enjoy it.

So dusk turned to night, and the beast wobbled, sagged but ultimately stood upright by 8pm.  And the new campers could finally rest…..well sort of.     They still had to tackle the sleeping bags and mats.

Have you ever made a mistake like this camping?      Share your experience in the comments below.

( photo credit: Faisal AlKhudairy \  فيصل الخضيري via photopin cc)