Always check the weather forecast. This one is self-explanatory. A “surprise” thunderstorm caused us to postpone our test run by one day because I didn’t do a last minute check of the weather.
- Even tents that are zipped up can leak. I had no idea this could happen, and our son ended up sleeping in a puddle of water.
- Our tent is too small. We found this out pretty quickly when we got the air mattresses blown up. The day after I posted this we bought an 8- person tent, so this problem is hopefully solved.
Now that you are up to speed, here is part 2.
- Cheap air mattresses don’t last very long. I remembered Dennis telling me the day after the thunderstorm that he had to top off one of the air mattresses with more air. I didn’t think much of it until I woke up two hours after going to bed flat on the ground. We never could locate the leak in the mattress, so it is now in the trash. I appreciate the heads up concerning using cots a reader left in the blog comments last week. We won’t be camping in cold weather for a while, so I don’t think we’ll have to worry about hypothermia. I did go ahead and order cots that should be here this week because we will need some circulating air this summer! (See my last item below.)
- Tiny tents are no place for a portable potty! Did you notice that this one got an exclamation point? The smaller tent you see in the picture was my more economical choice for what I really wanted which was Bass Pro Shops’ Portable Camp Shower/Toilet Shelter. Let me just tell you that it never occurred to me that I needed to be able to stand straight up when all was said and done. You cannot do that in a 2- person tent that is only 4 feet tall in the middle unless you are a small child. I am definitely not a small child!
- If we are going to camp in the South in the summer, we will need a fan in our tent. I am sure that the humidity from the water that leaked into our tent during the thunderstorm wasn’t helping anything, but I noticed when I checked the weather that the humidity level was at 86%. That much humidity accompanied by lows in the mid-70s is not uncommon in the South, so we are going to need something to help the air circulate in our tent if we are going to get some sleep.
- The thing that I was most concerned about was actually the easiest. For those of you who have been following my blog, you might remember that I was so concerned about cooking while camping, that I saved the planning for that category for last. During our test run, that was the best thing about the whole experience. The meal was easy to prepare on our new Coleman grill, and we loved eating outside.
If we can just get the sleeping situation handled better, I think we will be fine. We have a bigger tent now, and this week we will have cots to use, so hopefully our next experience will be a much better one. Pretty soon we will be taking the plunge and heading out into God’s great outdoors. We hope to see you there!