Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Bell Tent

We are getting ready to take our bell tent out for it's first outing this weekend.

Now we have a slight reservation about out new tent.
For a start it is a canvas tent, we have never owned a canvas tent and have read loads about it.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to canvas tents,

A] It must be cured...ie fabrisil or some such.
B] Put it up, let it get wet, dry it out, the canvas shrinks and hey hoo a waterproof tent.

This is a 4m diameter tent, with even the 6ft 4in youngest son able to stand up in it and move around with ease, so it's huge, I am hoping option B is the one that is the right one, otherwise, we will get wet and once the blooming thing is dried out, we will have to find a way to cure it, I'm sure that will turn into a nightmare.

I have found a lot out about Bell tents through searching through the inter-net and it is definitely split into the cures and the not to cures camp.

I don't want to lose sleep over it, we will just have to take the chance that if it rains we don't get wet, although I am planning on taking a gas heater just in case it rains and the tent leaks.

You'd think with it being June, I wouldn't be worried about rain, but hey this is Britain ...it rains, so be prepared.

Talking about being prepared, I have made a list of things to take, well! actually I have made twenty lists, I keep adding and taking away stuff, then remembering something else, oh good grief this is going to be a long week........eek!!!!

One good thing I did decide on was the camp site, which is about 1hours drive from home, if it does rain and our new Bell Tent doesn't hold up, it's not so far to come home.

Bless, my sister, who is coming with us for the weekend. Myself and E, will be going down to the camp site by lunch time and Frances will come down on the train after work.
So it will be down to us girls to stike camp before the big man arrives and as I have never put it up before, I did think it rather brave of her to say she would come and help.
If nothing else it will be a laugh.

I am taking the camera, as even I think this will be funny, two mad old women putting up a massive bell tent for the first time. The rain I can deal with, it's wind I'm worried about, only I don't fancy flying through the air and ending up in the next county.

Anyway, while I have been typing this, I have thougt of about 6 things that need to be on the list...a mallet for starters...how could I forget that!
Then there's at lest 4 things to come off the list...where did I leave that last list?


  1. It's been very dry around here for a while so the earth is dry and hard. You definitely need a mallet!

  2. Discovered that the Belltent company send you one when you but the tent, result!

    Just as well really, trying to put in tent pegs by hitting them with your flip flops may just prove to be a little hard.

    Also, the tent pegs that come with the tent, must be the strongest and biggest we have ever seen, I will put a photo up of them, when we erect the tent. So it's more of a lump hammer, as opposed to a mallet.

  3. Hiya. Canvas tents nowadays are all sold pre-treated with a waterproofing agent so whichever school of thought you prefer, you don't need to do anything before you go. However, waterproof or no, you may get some seam leakage the first time the tent gets drenched, which is why people generally recommend you put the tent up and give it a thorough soaking in your garden first. I was at a camp a couple of weeks ago where there were lots of new bell tents (from Obelink, belltent.co.uk and SoulPad) getting their first outing and several had a few leaks the first night of heavy rain, but were perfect thereafter. I don't think any such leakage would be catastrophic anyway - just a few spots until the canvas gets the hang of it and starts to shrink. Just remember to slacken off the guys a little in the evening or if it rains, so that they won't be put under strain as the canvas shrinks.
    My bell tent is a Luddite-style one from www.armytents.co.uk, made from heavier-duty canvas than most of the new bell tents, and it's been great over 5 years of use. For some reason most of our camping trips have coincided with thunderstorms and I've never used any additional waterproofing agent. The tent has stood up to storms much better than many nylon tents on the sites we've been on. I think bell tents are brilliant and am just about to buy a nice new 5m one to give my growing family a bit more room!

  4. Hi guys,

    If your looking for a cool Bell Tent, I boughts a red colour one with zipped in ground sheet from these people at www.boutiquecamping.com

    They do them in 4 different colours, with next day delivery very nice ;-)

  5. help I put a bell tent two years ago . The tent hasn't got a sewn in ground sheet. The ground sheet has , is just a very large piece of heavy duty plastic . We have been camping several times and everytime we've got wet. Can anone tell us what we're doing wrong. I love bell tents ,but this is becoming a nightmare. thanks jen

  6. Hi...Your post really got me thinking man..... an intelligent piece ,I must say. Get more information about Bell Tent .


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