My lovely wife and I just got back from a weekend trip to Rhode Island. We got together with family and went to some events.
Rather than rent a hotel room, we decided to stay at a campground. The campground was a lot cheaper than the area hotels. Not only that, had we stayed at a hotel, we'd have eaten most of our meals in restaurants. Instead we cooked in the great outdoors.
This was the first time we camped with our new tent. It's a L. L. Bean Big Pine 6. Normally we'd set up a new tent at home first. That way there's no pressure to get it set up before dark. That's also the time to find out if anything is broken or missing. Unfortunately, we didn't have a chance to do that ahead of time.
The Big Pine 6 has set up directions sewn into the tent's carry bag. Those were a big help. I decided to refer to them after making a false start right off the bat with the wrong pole. After putting my ego in check, it set up easily.
My lovely wife and I have been tenting for decades. We've owned many tents. I like this one a lot. It's good sized and has an attached vestibule large enough for a couple chairs and a small table. That's nice when the weather is bad. Everything is well made. The tent can be closed up tight for blustery rain storms or opened up for good ventilation on hot days. This is our first tent that has a full sized back door -a nice feature.
If I've got a complaint it would the tent pegs. It comes with those ubiquitous yellow plastic pegs. The pegs are fine for soft soil or sand. Most campgrounds have fairly hard packed soil and plastic pegs are rarely up to the job. With that in mind, we also brought a bag of metal pegs and they were needed for the compacted gravel of our site.
This is not a paid review as we bought the tent. It was on sale for half price, but was still a hefty $275. Of course, quality only hurts once. After using the tent, I'd have paid full price for it if I had to.
Our first night with the tent was on Friday. Saturday morning I woke up after an excellent night's sleep -better than I'd been sleeping in my own bed at home. In fact, I was happy to wake up in a tent.
We tried another Mountain House freeze dried meal. I picked up a half dozen breakfast packages. The label said it was hash browns, eggs, sausage, green peppers and onions. Yep, all that stuff was in there, but it was like a good breakfast was all thrown into a blender. It suffers from the transformation. The food wasn't bad, but it wasn't excellent either. Had I hiked twenty miles the day before and been on a mountain somewhere, it would have been great. However, for car camping I should have just picked up some real eggs.
All in all, it was a good trip and the camping part went well.