A new camping season and a new tent challenge – or is it just me?

Don’t you just love the first camping trip of the new season? 

Especially when you are trying out a new tent! Ah, a new tent, carefully shopped for and chosen wisely. Right weight and size? Check. Within budget? Check. Positive reviews? Check. Easy to put up and pack away? Well…let’s just say for me, in the past, this last part has involved a certain amount of blood, sweat, toil and tears. Being a grown man of a particular age, I don’t need to read instructions because I can figure things out with my innate logical reasoning abilities. Just ask Mrs PlaidCamper. She’d tell you about that time in Scotland…  The new tent looks secure from a distance…

The Scotland story? OK. We arrived at a campground just as it was getting dark and starting to rain. PlaidCamper Jr. was not quite ten months old, a happy camper in the making, but not at that precise moment. It might have been Junior’s tears, or my tears (and rather choice language) as I wrestled with a new tent in the increasingly blustery gloom, but rain or no rain, we drew a sizeable Scottish crowd there. By the end I think the Highland bush telegraph was really buzzing, and they were pouring in from the hillsides to watch the hapless Englishman. It was a bit like a scene from Braveheart, but more grisly. They all wanted to help I’m sure, but I think they realized there are times when it is best to leave well alone. Probably not my finest moment. The trip did get better, and Scotland (in the dry) is a beautiful place to be a camper. He watched the tent antics last week, but didn’t help… 

Back to last weekend and our new tent. With many more years of experience – I’m an older and wiser PlaidCamper than I was on our Scottish adventure, and tents are much more user friendly these days – it was shaping up to be a fun first excursion of the new camping season. 

 This one kept a beady eye on us

It’s worth repeating, I’m a grown man of a certain age, I don’t need to read instructions because I can figure things out with my innate logical reasoning abilities. Hmm. Who needs instructions? Where did I put the instructions? Why didn’t I read the instructions? There are times when learning by doing is great. It’s time to admit it: there are also times when a set of instructions should be read carefully before doing. Don’t tell anyone I said that. In the end, the new tent went up beautifully (or more accurately, was beautiful once up), there was less of a crowd than on that Scottish trip – all done before nightfall, and it was neither windy or rainy.  Looks good close up – now get those guy ropes secured!

It was chilly once the sun dropped behind the mountains, but we were prepared and kept warm as follows: 

Blue Buck, Phillips Brewing, Victoria BC

  Kept warm (I did use one match, sorry Ray!)

Another one of my beer geek asides here: Blue Buck is one of my all time favourite beers (although that’s quite a long list), perfect as a campfire accompaniment, even to those who normally prefer lager beers, so go out and find some. And save one for me! I’ve never tried a Phillips beer and not enjoyed it. Wonderful brewery!

Back to the camping. The following morning was lovely, warming up quickly once the sun rose above the mountains. The view from the new tent made everything seem just right with our little corner of the world:

 Mount Rundle, AB

Overall it was a pleasant overnight excursion, with the new tent a great success. This old PlaidCamper is hoping the tent will be a long lasting one, that way I won’t have to worry for a while about following instructions or another public display of campground ineptitude.

Have you experienced new tent frustration? Or is it just me? Thanks for reading, please feel free to comment, and keep your guy ropes secure.

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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

6 thoughts on “A new camping season and a new tent challenge – or is it just me?”

  1. As always, I enjoy your story 🙂 Got to try that beer!
    I’ve found a different solution to the tent problem..I’ve skipped the tent altogether for the last 5 years. Works great, you get to see the stars all night long, you can see bears before they sneak up on you, and of course less things to carry on the way to that magical place …

    Have a great weekend!


  2. Thanks for paying me a visit, love your story 🙂

    I went shopping today in search of an ultralight super space efficient backpacking tent. Too many options, not sure how I’ll pick.

    Right now I have a great little 3 person Sierra for car camping that seems to pop up and down with no issues. That said, an unshakeable paranoia always creeps over me when I get to a campsite that I’ll be missing a pole or the pegs or something. Awful dread. haha.

    So far so good though! No disaster tent stories to report yet (knock on wood).

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Tent problems? Man, I could probably write a whole chapter of the life on that subject. Solo, trying to set up a big tent in the pouring rain. Solo, in a crowded campground trying to toss the fly across the top of my 6-man home and trying not to cause a scene… Thanks for the memories… And what a beautiful photo of the mountains! As for Scotland, my daughter spent about 15 months there while getting her Masters degree, and definitely piqued my interest. I enjoyed posting a “Scottish Rambles” series from her travels there, as well.


    1. Thank you, I feel better already! I’m something of an introvert, so crowds of people are an issue, never mind even a small gathering as I fail in an attempt to look even vaguely proficient.
      I hope your daughter enjoyed her time in Scotland – it is a magical place, so much history and all the beautiful landscapes to explore.
      Enjoy your evening!


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