A fortnight or so ago, my husband and I took our five-month-old camping in Kielder Forest. The campsite was ace, deep in the forest with a real wild west feel, but it was also damp and as the afternoon drew in we were set upon by midges. With the extra amount of hanging around that camping with a baby involves, staying near our cheap Quechua tent was a miserable experience. We stuck out two nights then called it quits, knowing we were going camping again the next week… with a new tent.
We’d come across the Zempire Hubble at a Yeoman’s tent show the week before and were waiting for it to arrive in the post. At first glance, it promised to meet all our needs. A family tent with a semi-geodesic design, a non-flappy fabric and most importantly a spacious, midge-netted vestibule with a groundsheet. In other words, outside space, inside – what better for an English summer?
We weren’t disappointed the first time we pitched our new outside-inside tent in a midge-free campsite in Shropshire. With loads of pegs and guy ropes in addition to the extra poles, it was vastly sturdier than our old bog-standard family tent and barely fluttered in the light overnight winds. Numerous vents ensure it didn’t get stuffy when sitting out showers. And it was also fairly cavernous for a couple with a young baby and a dog – it would easily sleep four adults. Meanwhile, it has no less than 20 interior pockets in which to stow your stuff… heaven for us OCD mums!
The tent would be difficult to pitch without two pairs of hands and it certainly isn’t cheap. However, since having a baby, we’ve had to abandon plans for a couple of camping trips because we didn’t think our old tent would survive the weather and we’d had visions of trying to move camp at midnight with a screaming child. Now, with our more windproof tent complete with a guaranteed midge-free zone, we feel equipped for anything a British car camping holiday can throw at us…