I’m not a huge, huge fan of camping but I have finally found the right mix of comforts to make it more appealing. For starters, we now have an 8’ x 8’ tent with an interior height of 7 feet – the Eureka Copper Canyon 4 Family Tent. For 2 people this tent is plenty big. The fact that you can stand up in it makes all the difference. Due to the Copper Canyon's vertical walls, it’s almost like being in an eco-cabin. There’s lots of ventilation, courtesy of the screened in “windows” on each of the 4 sides, which can be zipped closed at night or in inclement weather. I was concerned that it might not do as good in the rain as a tent with a full rain fly, but the first time we used this tent it rained heavily and we stayed dry inside. The Copper Canyon might not be the warmest tent in cold conditions, but it’s great for 3 season use.
|Eureka Copper Canyon 4 Tent|
The vertical walls of the Copper Canyon allow for the use of cots, and that’s just what we did, after purchasing a pair of Coleman Ridgeline III cots from Home Depot at the discounted rate of $40 each. Home Depot currently offers free shipping with this order. These Ridgeline III camp beds are sturdy yet portable, and, most importantly, quite comfortable. You can use the space under the cots to store gear. It’s almost like sleeping on a real bed. I got a much better night’s sleep on these cots than I had ever gotten from an air mattress or foam pad. We put an inexpensive indoor/outdoor area rug on the inside of the tent under the cots too add comfort and protect the bottom of the tent.
|Coleman Ridgeline III cot - $40|
Completing the camping triumvirate is a proper EZ Up/gazebo shelter. For some reason it’s reassuring to sit under a shelter while camping – perhaps it helps make your camp site feel like actual real estate. We opted for the Coleman 12’ x 12’ Gazebo. When compared to a 10’ x 10’ EZ Up, the extra 44 square feet of coverage of the 12’ x 12’ really makes a difference. It’s big enough for a large number of people to gather under and provides more protection, so items left out overnight under the gazebo don’t gather dew like they would if they were exposed. Two people can easily put up this Coleman shelter in under 10 minutes, and with 3 or 4 people helping it’s even faster and easier to set up. I’m glad we got this shelter instead of a smaller and/or cheaper alternative.
|Coleman 12' x 12' Gazebo|
Now that we have the right combination of tent, cots and shelter, plus some other essentials like the camp stove and table, shade tapestry and coffee percolator, camping is a lot more fun. We just finished our last planned camping trip of the season, but I’m ready for another one.