Tent and Camping Advice

Hi,

We have been looking into tents for our first event. We were hoping to get a canvas bell tent as we do like the look of them and although we will stick to the OOC area for our first few events until we are more comfortable we would hope to move to the IC area eventually. Would it be ok to have a canvas tent like this in the OOC area?

There is only two of us and we were wondering what size tent you think would work best, we have looked into 4m tents but weren’t sure if this would be too big? We are weary of getting a tent too small as we will have all of our gear with us and need room for that as aell as ourselves.

We were also wondering if you had any general advice for canvas bell tents and what additional things we might need to get, we are already planning on getting camps beds and an internal mat to try and improve insulation.

We also looked at getting a stove, does anyone use stoves inside their tents and have any advice or suggestions for how this works?

Thanks in advance,
Callum

Firstly, good idea camping OOC for your first event. IC is more conveniant in a lot of ways, but it’s extra hassle and you don’t need that when faced with the rather overwhelming first jump into Anvil :slight_smile:

Any sort of tent is fine in the OOC area. Bell tents, campavans, geodesic bright neon ones… whatever.

As for size, it rather depends. I’ve heard some pairs of folks do fine with a 3m bell, but it depends on how much equipment you bring. Camp beds are good, as you can stack things beneath them. Storage boxes are good, as you can empty them and then use them as seats (IC with a bit of set dressing).

Hum, generic camping at Empire advice only, as I don’t use a bell…
Bring some black bin liners. Useful for keeping muddy boots on, dry kit in, muddy kit in, etc.
LED lanterns are very useful.

If you’re after a wood burning stove, I would ensure you have it ventilated (I’ve seen some tents with built in chimneys) and still be damn careful. Fire and Carbon monoxide poisoning are a risk.

I have a camping gaz stove (one of the low ones, acts like a 1 ring gas burner) that I use in my tent. Carefully, checking the temperature of canvas above and near it. Works well, and allows hot drinks in the morning :slight_smile:

There may also be useful info in these threads:

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I have a 4m bell usually with 2 people on beds and there is loads of space. If you do want to be a bit cosier then a 3m will fit 2 people but with less standing up room.

Stoves are really only great if you’re planning on being in the tent for a good while. You shouldn’t have them lit overnight - carbon monoxide poisoning, and they can take a while to get up to temp, so if you’re just using the tent to sleep in and will be otherwise elsewhere a couple of extra blankets will probably do you better.

Bring a briefcase stove if you want hot water for drinks and hot water bottles.

Invest in a doormat, cotton rag rugs work well and enforce taking your boots off on the mat. That will keep most of the damp and the mud out of your sleeping area. Even dry events will have wet grass from the dew morning and evening.

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I currently use a 4m bell tent with my partner - if you intend to move into the IC field with it in future, then it’s a good size, as you can put your camp beds (or however you sleep) in the back half, then string up a sheet to hide them and keep all your IC kit/decorations in the front half (that’s assuming you intend to have your tent open and on view at any point).

Carbon monoxide has been mentioned, so I will add that if you intend to have a stove inside get a carbon monoxide detector. One of my friends bugged our Boyar about getting one, he eventually caved - and one night, it went off in his tent because his stove hadn’t fully gone out. They’re only small, and definitely worth it!

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Very useful advice here, thank you all so much.

Hoping to see you all at an event soon.