Tonight is the night. I finally broke down and purchased some new sleeping bags for camping. Our ‘wally world’ bags have served us well but are 12 years old, inefficient and worth the $20 we paid for them when we got them. They are not the type of bags someone would take on a hiking trip since they are heavy and don’t keep you warm unless its summer.
The new bags I got for us are from Sierra Trading Post and are Mountainsmith Redcloud 20′s. (If you sign up with my Sierra Trading Post link you can save $10!) This will be our first night out in mummy bags and add to that the weather is supposed to be quite chilly. Here’s the forecast for tonight in central Alabama.
Our accommodations for tonight will be our 8 year old Sir Edmund Hillary Tent (Sears) and two sleeping bag pads. The documentation for this tent states that it will accommodate up to 4-6 people, but honestly I’m not sure how well that many people would fit in the tent unless it’s two adults and four children under the age of 6! The view from the tent is of our picturesque surroundings (aka our back yard) and the resident wildlife (aka squirrels and the occasional bird).
Fingers crossed that I’m not running inside at 2am for the warmth of my bed! Hubby laughs at me since he’s used to camping in snow…this southern girl may be in for an awaking tonight!
We’re ready to go camping again and I found two more things to go with the new tent. From all the stuff we’ve picked up it’s a good thing we only camp close to the campgrounds because I doubt we could haul everything in! Over the past six years I’ve had two back surgeries for a ruptured disc, so stooping tends to make my back hurt and the last thing I want is surgery number three.
Our old tent wouldn’t allow you to stand up so we found one online that is huge! We can finally put our two air mattresses together next to each other and I can stand up in the tent, and enter and exit without having to stoop! We set it up once since it arrived just to see how large it really was. The tent we got is a Wenzel Sierra Pass 2-room tent. It is last years model and we only paid $67. Not bad since it’s a 18′ x 10′ and those are usually pricey.
We’ll respray the fabric and reseal all the seams. Truthfully after going inside it after we set it up I though “OH MY!” I think we should consider it a portable cabin! Hmmm….maybe I should glam this thing up and call it our glamping cabin! Did I mention that if I stand in the middle of the tent and reach up to the ceiling I can barely touch the roof. I’m 5’7″.
This past weekend was a busy one, but we wanted to try and get away for just a little while. Since we’ve been talking about going camping sometime soon we got out the tent and set it up in the backyard. It has been a few years since the last time we went camping and that trip everyone got soaked…every night! Nothing like going to the laundry mat in town just to dry out your sleeping bags!
So the plan was to get the tent out, see if all the parts were still there, clean it up if needed, then pack it back up the next day. Well we decided to sleep outside Friday night. Nothing exciting since the rain wasn’t going to be here until around 10am on Saturday.
Plenty of time to enjoy a night of backyard camping. Add to that we decided to bring Libby our dog along too. We weren’t sure how she’d like it, but after about two hours she finally quit wanting to bark at every weird noise she heard. Ok, I will say that the coyotes in the woods carrying on was a little nerve wracking for a bit, but I was finally able to get to sleep. We even got out the air mattresses too. I was afraid my back would complain since we’ve not been camping since both of my back surgeries. The air mattress was just great and neither one leaked either.
Saturday morning we woke up quite early. Since the tent is white it blocks very little sunshine. We didn’t notice that much when we used it last since we were in the woods under some large trees at the beach. Around 10am the rain started so we just left the tent up to give it a good washing. After a day of constant rain I decided to run out and check the inside of the tent for leaks. Nothing leaked under the rain fly, but the floor looked to be leaking everywhere a stake strap was sewn in, and around the tops of the vestibules. If I could find two more rain flys I could probably remedy the majority of the leaks. Well it’s still raining today (Monday) and I’ve scooped out more water from the inside. Hopefully everything will dry up soon and we’ll try a little waterproofing. I’ve also thought about getting a very large tarp and create a new improved larger rain fly.
I’ve debated keeping the tent or going to a newer model that has better reviews. Then I think of the age of this tent, it’s good condition and the fact that we could probably remedy the leaking quite cheaply. Plus I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve been camping. Hopefully next time we go camping will be soon, dry and uneventful. At least this time we didn’t get wet!
PS, this tent is a 4-5 person tent. Even with just the two of us and a medium size dog it was quite cozy.