In desperate need of a break from the daily grind and constrained by a limited budget, I opted for a week-long camping adventure in the beautiful North Wales countryside. As it had been ages since my last camping experience, I reached out to my friends on Facebook, inquiring if anyone had a tent I could borrow. Amidst the numerous responses, one suggested I try Tesco, as they currently had tents at discounted prices. Upon visiting the store, I stumbled upon the 2 Man Single Layer Tent, priced at a mere £17.50. Delighted at the apparent bargain, I purchased the tent, but regrettably, the saying “you get what you pay for” rang true in this case.
The tent, fashioned in vibrant blue and orange polyester, features a polyethylene groundsheet and a flysheet door with a 1500mm waterproof rating. Included were two fibreglass poles and guylines, which ensured the structure’s stability. With dimensions of L100 x W150 x D200 cm, the tent provides adequate space for two individuals to sleep comfortably, with additional room on the sides for storing personal belongings.
Upon bringing the tent home, I practised setting it up in the back garden. Although the instructions recommended two people for the task, I managed to complete it solo in just 30 minutes.
Fast-forward a few weeks, and I found myself in North Wales, ready to pitch my tent. Thanks to my prior practice, I was able to set it up within a mere 10 minutes.
Regrettably, our stay in the tent lasted only a single night. The following morning, we awoke damp, presumably due to condensation inside the tent. Furthermore, the outer polyester door lacked a zip along the bottom, allowing cold air to permeate throughout the night, which made for an uncomfortable slumber. Consequently, I sought out the nearest shop selling tents to purchase a replacement for the remainder of our camping trip.
Despite the initial disappointment, I repurposed the original tent as a storage unit for our belongings. Its quick 10-minute set-up and ample interior space made it ideal for this function, particularly as it protected our clothes and food from insects. This allowed us the luxury of unpacking and spreading out a bit. At this point, I no longer felt as if I had squandered my money and instead considered it well-spent on the additional storage.
Throughout the remainder of the week, the tent served its new purpose admirably. However, on the final day, we experienced high winds, resulting in the unfortunate demise of the tent as the fibreglass poles snapped.