Easy Does It

Story and photos by Kobus Botha

Natural Instincts Horizon 5 Dome Tent

These days, families are smaller, cars are smaller, and budgets, well… they’re definitely smaller!

So the challenge, if you’re looking for a tent, is to find something compact in size, generous in quality, and keenly priced. Look no further – this tent seems custom-made for today’s times; it’s perfect for the modern family of four, driving a small vehicle.

I erected this tent alone and discovered the process to be remarkably easy; in fact, I’d go as far as to say that this is one of the easiest tent set-ups I’ve ever experienced. When I took the tent out of its box and unfolded it, I thought I was in for a mission – but then I did the unthinkable. I read the manual. It’s one page long, and that’s enough to figure out how to erect the tent. Short and sweet, it was as easy as one, two, and three.

The tent has six fibreglass poles, each consisting of segments permanently joined together with elastic rope; they’re easy to assemble. Then you just slide the poles through the sleeves on the roof sections and anchor their ends with the steel pins that are attached to the bottom of the tent. Below the sleeves, two plastic clips secure each pole to the sides of the tent. Knock in a few tent pegs to stretch it out neatly, and your structure is up. All that remains is to fit the fly, which also clips onto the ground pins and gets pegged down with more tent pegs.

The tent is very spacious, perhaps oversized for me and my partner, but it’ll be perfect once the kids arrive. Climbing in and out is easy; your foot won’t easily tangle with the bottom of the entrance, as it’s nice and low. I’m 1.8 m tall and need to duck down a bit to get through the entrance, but, once inside the tent, I can stand upright very easily.

As is often the case with tents, this unit is rated as a 5-man tent but you’ll probably be more comfortable with a party of four under the canvas.

Features include a room divider which allows you to split the main room into two. You access this main room through the living area, or front room, which also provides your primary entry/exit point. A nice feature for me is the fact that you can also enter/exit the tent from either side of the main room. In other words, with the divider up, each room has its own escape route should an emergency arise!

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