During the year, we lashed out and bought a new dome tent, to be used when camping away from the van, at times when we were just overnighting and did not want to put up the big tent.
The small dome tent that had accompanied us until now was unsuitable on a few counts. It had been holed by an exploding bottle. It had proven too flimsy to make us feel secure in areas where there were dingoes or feral pigs. It was too low for John’s ease in getting in and out.
The new one was made by the same company as our big tent – which meant that it cost much more than we’d budgeted for – but it would last forever. It was of a size that we could actually use it for extended camping, at least in good weather when we didn’t have need of an inside living area.
We decided on a quick trip away, in the September school holidays, to try it out and to get an outback “fix” again. John could only get two weeks work free, and there was a question mark over whether the lady I’d filled in for would be fully fit to return to duty. So, a school holiday jaunt it was – shades of the old days.
For once, we applied brains before the event, rather than in hindsight – and practiced putting up the new tent in the back yard, before the trip. Good thing too. If only tent makers could write logical and clear instructions……….