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Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Walmart.
I have to admit, anytime anyone would mention camping to me I would get sort of intimidated as I’ve heard many horror stories of other’s failed attempts at setting up a tent. Many have told me that putting up a tent is very difficult and I just assumed that this was true of all tents. When my oldest son came to me one day begging to go camping I knew I had better start doing some research. I’m not exactly sure why he is so interested in the great outdoors and has the desire to “rough it in the wild” but as a Mom of boys, I should have sort of expected it. While my oldest has been busy researching what all to do in the woods, I was approached as a part of the Walmart Moms and asked if I would like to try one of their newest tents, the Ozark Trail 4 Person Instant Dome Tent, geared towards making camping a bit easier. Talk about perfect timing! Soon, I was on my way to my local Walmart to pick up our very first tent.
Spring, I can already tell, is a huge season for camping. I was actually surprised at all of the neat camping gear that Walmart has in their stores. I think I should venture to the Sports & Outdoor section of Walmart more often. I easily found the Ozark Trail 4 Person Instant Dome Tent and picked up a few other necessary supplies that I knew we needed like a Intex Classic Downy Queen Airbed ($15.97) and a Intex High-Output Hand Pump ($9.88) to blow up our air mattress. I opted for a non-electric air pump for the simple fact that when camping I don’t want to have to worry about finding power.
After purchasing all of our supplies, I went back home to show the boys. As soon as they saw the tent they immediately screamed out “Can we go camping tonight?”. While they may have had the idea of going camping in the woods, the only wilderness that I could think of was at Grandma’s house. So I called her up and asked if we could borrow her backyard for our first camping experience. One reason why we opted to camp at Grandma’s the first night was because she is a camping expert. If I were to run into any camping woahs, I knew that I could rely on her to know a solution. After lightly packing our van with things we thought we needed overnight, we headed to Grandma’s. At about 9 o’clock at night, in the dark I attempted to put up our new tent. After following the instructions, this tent went up without any troubles. I was absolutely amazed at how easy it was to set up. All one has to do is unfold and lay out the tent flat. Then extend each arm of the tent until the safety locking button pops out on each pole. And you are done! This tent took all of maybe 5 minutes to set up. I’m not even kidding, it was super quick!
“It took longer to blow up the air mattress by hand than it did to set up the tent.”
After the tent was set-up then it was onto blowing up the air mattress which ironically took longer to do than actually setting up the tent itself. What I liked about the Intex Classic Downy Queen Airbed is the 2 in 1 air valve. One part is for pumping air in while a larger opening can be unscrewed to let the air back out for storage. Unlike other air mattresses that I have tried in the past, I didn’t hear or see any air leaking out when I took off the pump to close the hole. This made it much less stressful trying to get a perfectly blown up air mattress. Deflating the air mattress is as easy as unscrewing the air valve and letting the air release naturally. The flocking on the top of the airbed keeps sheets from slipping off. Speaking of sheets, regular queen size fitted sheets fit on this air mattress just fine so I’m able to use sheets that I already have on hand. However, I do have this Ozark Trail Air Bed Cover and Comforter set on our camping want list. I think it would be nice to have a set like this in our camping supplies as it is specifically designed to fit an air mattress and comes with everything one needs for the night like pillows, a zippered sheet, and comforter all in one.
Remember those days as a kid making forts out of blankets in the living room? Camping makes me feel like a kid again. There is something so fun about sleeping in a tent that is reminiscent of those childhood days.
Creating Your Own Backyard Campground: Camping Tips for Beginners
- Something to Sleep In: the Ozark Trail 4-Person Instant Dome Tent is perfect for beginners. There is no fuss with putting together the poles. When selecting your tent, be sure to pick the right size for your family. With our family of 4, my two boys and I were able to sleep on the queen air mattress comfortably with a little room around the air mattress to store our things. This tent will also sleep four in sleeping bags if you prefer.
- Something to Sleep On: sleeping bag or air mattress, it’s good to have something to sleep on while camping. We prefer an air mattress because it is more comfortable in my opinion than a sleeping bag just make sure you remember to bring the right size sheets plus comfy blankets and pillows.
- Something to keep you Warm: in the Spring it can get a bit chilly at night so be sure to pack warm blankets. We also like to have a fire when we camp just so we can roast marshmallows before bed. For a backyard campground, I think a fire pit like the one’s sold at Walmart would be a great addition to the camping fun. I prefer the firepits that have the steel mesh-like cage over top for safety.
- Something to Eat On: a patio set is a great addition to a backyard campground. Part of the fun of camping is being able to eat outside picnic style.
The Ozark Trail 4 Person Instant Dome Tent is currently on Rollback at Walmart for $59.97 (originally $79.97). This tent has fueled the interest my boys have in camping and inspired me to create our own “campground” area in our backyard. I love how easy it is to set up and that I can put it up by myself at a moments notice. The only trouble I did have with the tent was putting it back in the bag that it came in, however I am the kind of person that has always had trouble putting things back into their original packaging so it may just be me. Regardless, this tent, I’m sure, will be getting lots of use with our family. I like having a tent on hand so that our family can have an impromptu Staycation whenever the weather is playing nice. I could go on and on about all of the little details (some of which I’m still finding the more I use the tent) that the Ozark Trails Instant Dome Tent has like the ground vent to keep the tent cool, a place to hang a light in the center of the tent, that it has an electrical cord access place, or screened windows but for me as a first time camper all of these little details are just the icing on the cake compared to how easy this tent is to use. In fact, the boys and I will be camping in this tent again tonight in our own backyard campground.
Do you know what is great about camping in the backyard? Never forgetting something. Because your “campsite” is so close to your home, one doesn’t have to fear leaving something important at the house. Also, camping in your own backyard “campground” while it may feel a bit like roughing it, all of the comforts of home are just a short walk away. While the boys may still like to be boys in the “woods”, this diva still needs a few convenient, modern “luxuries” like a hot shower and necessary bathroom amenities.