Have you ever tried to get someone into camping who claims upon everything and everything that they’re not the camping type?
As a camper at heart, I have always taken this as a personal challenge of sorts. While a great camping trip is made better by camping buddies to enjoy it with, I get a different kind of satisfaction in helping turn someone into a camping buddy.
This is the story of a family going camping and needing a tent. We review the Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent.
- Convertible screen room with inverted "T" style door and inside flap zippered windows
- Removable seam-sealed fly
- Mesh roof vents
- 3 zippered side windows with inside flaps
Check out all the other tents we reviewed on a single page in our Best Tents for Camping With Dogs resource.
Whether it’s with the help of a great tent or just the right campsite locale, I’m proud to say that I’ve been part of the camping turnaround for a few different people over the years. That includes my wife whose only experience camping before me was heading off to her grandparents’ cabin and enjoying their satellite TV package.
I am proud to say that my wife has evolved from camping naysayer to a true camper at heart. She’s done most of it on her own volition, finding her love for nature walks and hiking over the course of several duo and family trips together.
So, when she challenged me recently with the Herculean task of helping guide her side of the family on their first real camping trip in the history of ever, I knew I had the best backup for what seemed like an impossible endeavor.
City Folks With Hearts Of Gold
My wife’s family have their roots firmly implanted in the Seattle metro area and they live a collective life which is very much the epitome of the city lifestyle. Her dad has built his reputation as an accountant over the past few decades and her mom has matched him step for step in her career as a commercial architect.
They’ve always been a tight-knit family, but one who has traded the ideal of the country house and picket fence for a metropolitan condominium and Starbucks gift cards. When I met my wife, I always felt like the Pacific Northwest version of a country bumpkin. I was surprised at how well and how quickly they warmed up to me, especially when I was the quintessential flip phone to their latest smartphone lifestyle.
I love my in-laws and I know how charmed I am to be so close to them. I have heard the horror stories from friends of mine and count my lucky stars that I’ve picked up an extended family out of my marriage rather than some sort of existential burden.
However, camping has always been a no-go line in the sand that has vexed me to no end. I figured her family would warm up to the idea once my wife had caught the camping bug, but repeated attempts to get them out into the Great Outdoors have been met with raised eyebrows and friendly rejection.
I didn’t expect that this time would be any different, but my wife hadn’t really been the driving force behind pushing the issue in previous tries. She seemed confident that she could convince them, but it was up to me to make sure the logistics were just right in case of a minor miracle.
From Minor Miracle To Stressing Out
One night in late July last year, my wife received the fateful text of our combined camping lives. Her dad had finally acquiesced to the idea of a short weekend camping trip a few weeks out.
In addition, her mom and two sisters would be joining my wife, myself, and my little daughter on this trip of trips. I was admittedly nervous! My wife had pulled off the unthinkable and gotten everyone to agree to a camping adventure, but it was up to me to ensure that they were all comfortable once we got there.
Oh, did I mention we also had our two pitbulls coming along!
I’m not usually intimidated by her family, but I was definitely intimidated by the prospects of screwing things up and ruining camping for them together. Furthermore, I didn’t have a suitable tent for such an unexpected wealth of new camping subjects. I needed to think fast and get my online shopping game going strong.
Lucky for me, the Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent exists. In fact, buying this amazing tent did a lot of the work for me.
The Right Tent Humans and Dogs!
I didn’t know what to expect when we first got the Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent set up and everyone settled in at the campsite, so I was pleasantly shocked and surprised at the reactions of my wife’s family.
“Wait, so this is camping? This thing is huge!”
“This thing has pockets? Are we glamping or camping?”
In short, the Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent isn’t your ordinary tent. Big enough to fit two queen-sized airbeds and taller than any tent I’ve ever purchased with 6.5 feet of headroom, this Wenzel gem is as close to city living as you’re going to get on the ground of your favorite campsite.
My mother and father-in-law both let loose audible sighs of relief when we first set up inside of it. A cool summer breeze was trickling through the mesh openings at the top of the tent. Everything just felt really comfortable and really easy, and I could tell they were enjoying that.
There’s a common misconception among a lot of non-campers that you have to sacrifice comfort in order to do camping right. That’s not the case with the Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent. With two medium-sized dogs taking a snooze right in the middle of the tent, there was still plenty of room for the rest of us.
It’s quite the opposite actually. The Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent comes with the option of turning the entry area into a second screen room for privacy when it’s needed. While we all spent the majority of the trip as one giant family unit of giggles and good conversation, it was relaxing to know we could split things off for one reason or another.
Add in that the Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent comes with deep storage pockets and is simply built stronger than most with its fiberglass frame and reinforced materials, and you have the perfect tent for first-time campers skeptical about the whole shebang.
The reviews from this camping trip were so great that we’re planning another one here in a couple of months with our canine pals. The Wenzel 8 Person Klondike Tent is a big reason why things went so smoothly, and it will be my extended family camping trip tent of choice for years to come.