Which retailer for a tent?

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Which retailer for a tent?

Postby cherish3 » Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:43 pm

Hi All

Just wanted to firstly say that this is a fantastic forum. Read as much as i could. Myself, wife and 5yo daughter are setting up to go on first camping trip in a few months. We will start probably with caravan parks or national parks (such as wilson prom) for the toilet/shower facilities. We are actually going to Wilson Prom in April to check it out but will be staying in a cabin. But thinking that we will head back there to camp a few months after that if it worked out well.

Anyways, budget is tight like most people and i think the biggest decision for us is the tent. So i would like to know if there is a significant difference between the tents at Rays Outdoors, Kmart and Anaconda? What would you recommend? Also, if i can get comments on what i will bringing with us. Whether it wont work or what we miss. We tried to save where we can to stretch our budget and looking to purchase more stuff when budget permits. We do intend to camp in all seasons and probably 2-3nights at a time. The frequency we are planning to do at the moment is 4-6 times a year.

1. Hiking/Camping foam (the blue ones) instead of airmattress - $10 each x3 from Aussie Disposals
2. Donnas/Blankets instead of sleeping bags from home
3. Weber Baby Q instead of a gas stove burner from home (what size gas bottle do i need)
4. Gas lantern with extension for night cooking and 1.25kg gas bottle (have to buy)
5. Aluminium table (have to buy)
6. Fishing stools (bought them at Anaconda for $1.90each)
7. Mini battery lantern for inside tent use from home plus we have headlamps and torches.
8. Icebox 40L with techni ice for food and smaller cheaper one for drinks (have to buy)
9. Plates and cutleries from home
10. First aid kit, fire blanket, fire extinguisher from home
11. Would i need a water container/jerry can for whatever reason?
12. Container for washing up

Thank you
Eric
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Re: Which retailer for a tent?

Postby Young Camping Family » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:30 am

Hi Eric, I can't help much as we are still to do our first trip in April.
We were/are in the same position though with setting up with least expense.

As far as the table, you may want to check out BigW if you have one near you. We just got an "ET" Aluminium slat table from there for about $65 (it's in the current catalogue which can be viewed online) and Saturday when we set everything up discovered it's actually a "Coleman" (has it imprinted in the top). It is one of the most compact ones I've seen because the legs all concertina together, and the slats on the top concertina together to make a nice little rectangle the length of the legs. Opened dimentions are 100x70x70.
It's on page 10.
http://catalogues.bigw.com.au/portal/dynamiccatalogue?CatalogueID=1186533672348&pageview=two&gotopage=1

As far as a retailer for tent, we chose Rays - only because they had what we were after on special at the time. We decided to go for the Coleman Lakeside 6 which they are wanting to get rid of this month for $180, and we were told of all the brands that Rays stock Coleman was best for water-tightness and mid range for wind strength. Have heard mixed reports on other brands of tents and for us it came down to either OzTrail or Coleman... but we are yet to actually sleep in it so can't comment yet! We did put it up on Saturday and for the first time putting it up it took about 1hr and wasn't that hard. Only took about 30mins to pull it down again though.

We also bought a water container from Rays - 25L for $17 + $3 for the tap. It was cheaper than I have seen elsewhere for a similar size. Where we will be camping does not have a drinking water supply, so we will need to be able to carry enough for drinking and washing up for up to 5 days (I would drink the most water, Miss 3 would rather drink milk and DH beer :lol: ).

Although we are planning to not spend too much I have gone and bought separate cutlery and plates/bowls/cups, can opener, tongs, tin foil, kettle, pot and frypan, detergent, tea towels, etc to have in a tub that is just for camping - then I know it's all together and I'm less likely to forget to pack things. I estimate that for the whole tub I have spent about $50.

I'm sure others on here that are more experienced will let you know what else you need!

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Re: Which retailer for a tent?

Postby Komodo » Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:45 pm

Water container - Bunnings or BigW are the cheapest. Camping stores are generally a little inflated.
Having said that often (if not travelling to remote places where refilling needs to be easy) its cheaper and easier to get those 5 - 10L disposable plastic water bottles from the supermarket usually equates to about $0.50 - $1 per liter where as a 25L jerry will cost about $30 plus $3 for a tap. They are a bit of a pain to store and can become tainted (though the bottle wash you get for home brew cleans them out well - I think its called sodium metabisulphate)

As for tables the small fold up type like YCF pointed you to in the BigW catalogue are fine. But they can be a little problematic and brittle. IMO a plastic trestle type table is a better option. More durable and generally a bit cheaper. They dont look as sophisticated but they seem to work better.
I have one similar to the one shown in the bigW catalogue and whilst its great it takes a got 3-5 minutes to setup. Whereas friends with a trestle type table can set theres up in 30sec. Also less parts to clean.

1. Hiking/Camping foam (the blue ones) instead of airmattress - $10 each x3 from Aussie Disposals Sleep on these in your lounge room a couple of times first - remember your lounge is flat, level and warm. I think that you will find bedding for camping will be the make or break - dont skimp on bedding. Even foam mattresses from clark rubber will be far better (actually a combination of the foam hiking mats and foam mattresses seems to work well). Avoid airbeds - ive given up on them they all eventually die and make for uncomfortable sleep which leads to cranky campers which leads to a not so enjoyable time
2. Donnas/Blankets instead of sleeping bags from home yeah thats fine a space blanket is a good idea too
3. Weber Baby Q instead of a gas stove burner from home (what size gas bottle do i need) Obviously you have this already - then good. Other wise maybe this is an expencive option. a 2.5kg bottle is what I use with an extension pole for the gas light. Make sure you have the right fittings - bottles smaller than 4.5kg dont have a POL fitting.
4. Gas lantern with extension for night cooking and 1.25kg gas bottle (have to buy) Is a gas lantern your best option? if you have young children prehaps a battery lantern is a better option safety wise. I use both - both have pros and cons.
5. Aluminium table (have to buy) Refer above comments.
6. Fishing stools (bought them at Anaconda for $1.90each) Very good! - are they comfy. Depending on what you like to do when you camp they might become uncomfy quickly. I know when I camp I tend to spend a lot of time on my chair - as such I've spent a fair amount of money on a good chair (and even so thats about to be upgraded!)
7. Mini battery lantern for inside tent use from home plus we have headlamps and torches. Good stuff. I've only just gone back to head torches - the newer LED ones are awesome. Cheap to buy, great brightness and batteries seem to last extremely well. Mine are now a permanent fixture in the camping gear (actually one lives in my glove box!)
8. Icebox 40L with techni ice for food and smaller cheaper one for drinks (have to buy)Good suff - but do you really need that much ice box space if only doing weekend trips. A 40L ice box will take up a bit over 2 cubic feet of space in the car plus you are talking about a second esky as well... Id recommend thinking long and hard about this one. I think the 40L is a good option but prehaps not the second esky. Your choice and obviously if you have the space its more flexible - but remember you have to travel in a car with all this gear.
9. Plates and cutleries from home I think this is a false economy. Plastic cups from bunnings are about $0.50 each. Bowls about $1.50 etc etc. For under $50 you could put together a "camp box" with plates, bowls, cutlery tea towels, salt & pepper and basic condiments - including the cost of the box. This means you know your not going to forget something on all your camp trips. You'll find the more camping you do the more plastic boxes you will setup. I have 4. One for cooking gear and chopping boards, one for plates, cups, mugs, bowls etc (and a smaller box which goes in this one with cutlery and cooking knifes), one as a basic "pantry" and one empty one which has any other foods we need to pack for our trip away. This works well for us. Also remember a plastic tub to wash up in!
10. First aid kit, fire blanket, fire extinguisher from home Good stuff safety first. Remember to keep your first aid kit well stocked and make sure you know how to use the fire extinguisher and can get your hands on the fire blaket and fire ext easily! (ie no point having it packed under everything in the car). If you havent done a first aid course - now is a good time to do one. The only time ive needed stitches was after a camping accident. Accidents and camping do happen.
11. Would i need a water container/jerry can for whatever reason? Depends on where your camping. A lot of places have water available but its not potable (not drinkable)
12. Container for washing up Yep after breaking our washup tub once I know how much of a PITA it is to wash without a good washup tub. Remember biodegradable washing liquid too

Tents are a personal preference. I have had domes and a-frames all my life. IMO bring back the a-frame. Domes are great but a hassle to setup and pack up as they don't have a good form to fold like an a-frame.
Im actually researching canvas "touring" tents at the moment. 4 pegs and 1 pole - does it get any easier? they are heavier and bulkier but dont tear as easily. That said a dome handles the wind better. Horses for courses.
A tent you can stand in is always better. but not always feasible.
A large tent is nice. But sites are small - particularly if you start going bush camping.
I would suggest a tent big enough for the family (a 4 person tent is a nice size for 2 adults - a 6 person is good for 2 adults and 2 kids...
A tarp is alway a good idea if you can stretch the budget. K-mart have a jackaroo tarp which includes pegs poles tarp the lot. Cost is about $70 from memory though they come on sale regularly. They are great but be prepared to upgrade your guy ropes to have spring tensioners and upgrade your pegs. Saves a lot of hassles in the long run.

Have fun!
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Re: Which retailer for a tent?

Postby markcrook » Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:25 pm

For Tents you cant go past a Coleman, we have been using a Chalet 9CV - which sleeps 4 of us in two seperate rooms and also has a central room for storage etc. It has great ventilation and is extremely weather proof. It has stood up to some strong wind when we watched others collapsing!

http://www.colemanaustralia.com.au/temp ... egory=1082

You can get some good deals at Ranger at the moment.

We are going to be selling ours as soon as we get the new camper trailer :grin:
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Re: Which retailer for a tent?

Postby rictal » Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:20 pm

we have been using a Chalet 9CV

We have just bought a Chalet 9CV for $399 on sale and will use it Anzac long weekend (but probably camp out in the backyard before that!). Looked at the OzTrail Bungalow 9 (with "all weather" entrance that isn't actually covered on all sides ie. waterproof) and Villa (nice extra front room but also 7kg heavier...and 24kg is enough thankyou very much!).
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Re: Which retailer for a tent?

Postby Derek Bullock » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:04 pm

rictal wrote: will use it Anzac long weekend


Hate to rain on your camping trip but Anzac isn't a long weekend this year. Bugga.
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Re: Which retailer for a tent?

Postby markcrook » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:24 pm

Derek wrote:
rictal wrote: will use it Anzac long weekend


Hate to rain on your camping trip but Anzac isn't a long weekend this year. Bugga.


We get a long weekend here, a public holiday on Monday 27th
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Re: Which retailer for a tent?

Postby Derek Bullock » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:41 pm

markcrook wrote:
Derek wrote:
rictal wrote: will use it Anzac long weekend


Hate to rain on your camping trip but Anzac isn't a long weekend this year. Bugga.


We get a long weekend here, a public holiday on Monday 27th


What is the holiday for??? Federal Government has decreed that there will not be a holiday on the Monday.
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Re: Which retailer for a tent?

Postby Young Camping Family » Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:49 am

This is totally off topic of the OP.

I was thinking the same thing Derek re: Anzac holiday.
I have heard mixed reports though - but officially there is no public holiday for it this year here in Vic.
http://www.vic.gov.au/Victorian-Public-Holiday-Dates.html

From looking at the WA website, it appears that employers (depending on sector) can choose which to give as P.H. So depending what your job is, you may not get the Monday.
http://www.docep.wa.gov.au/LabourRelations/Content/Wages%20and%20Leave/Holidays/index.htm

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Re: Which retailer for a tent?

Postby markcrook » Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:42 am

Here in WA it is dependant on your employer/agreement if you get a public holiday http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/LabourRel ... /index.htm

The schools are closed and both my wife and I are off :armsup

Sorry for hijacking the post!
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Re: Which retailer for a tent?

Postby cherish3 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:42 pm

I am leaning towards the Coleman Chalet 9 CV but wanted to ask if it will be suitable for CP and national park (such as grampians and wilson prom). I have been reading thru the forum and looks like more space the better. I have only one 5yo child who will one day want to sleep in her own room/space. Instead of getting a 4man tent, i was thinking of thinking ahead :-)

Also wanted to ask if anyone is familiar with the caribee or black wolf brand? Looking at the Caribee Massai or BW Mojave CG6 if the coleman one is too big.
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Re: Which retailer for a tent?

Postby Komodo » Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:00 am

I've always had Caribee tents.
Though the Blackwolf are supposed to be good also
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Re: Which retailer for a tent?

Postby cherish3 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:11 pm

Hi Komodo

How are the floors for the Caribee? I read that Blackwolf floors are thin. I havent seen a Caribee one in real life.

If I buy a caribee, it will probably be this one. If my dad or someone else comes along, they can sleep in the vestibule while my wife and daughter can sleep in the room with me.

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/2009-Caribee-Mas ... 240%3A1318

Cheers
Eric
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Re: Which retailer for a tent?

Postby Komodo » Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:19 pm

No compaints - reasonably thick poly material.
Never had a hole in the floor. The only hole I've had in a tent has been in the look where the poles thread through.
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Re: Which retailer for a tent?

Postby cherish3 » Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:40 pm

List is almost complete.

Just waiting on the Camping Expo happening in May in Melb to check if we can grab a bargain especially our tent.

For Komodo, what size plastic containers that you mentioned in your reply to my post?

Thanks everybody again for your help.

Cheers
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