Last September, our family decided to purchase a small land in a laidback area up North. It is a serene place away from the city where we have thought of building our dream house. The area is situated 37 kilometers away from the city and stands more than a hundred meters high from the famed Mac Arthur Highway. I must admit that the steep and narrow road leading to our new home is a bit of a challenge especially when another vehicle must get out of the strait path leading to the main road. You see, the entrance of the street was barely 20 feet and the inclination of the road leading to the highway is about 40 degrees. Suffice to say, Tarlac is a great province which so much to offer tree huggers and nature lovers like me.
With our new home having a vantage point although surrounded by trees, I could not think of anything better than having a gazebo next to a posh tent in between the large mango and coconut trees. So, without wasting any precious time, I hurriedly drove to the nearest outdoor equipment shop. No sooner than expected, I was at Home Depot specifically at the camping section. There were a couple of gears and tents, but I chose the Columbia Sportswear Belladome 4 tent. There were many things I had to consider since our country has only two distinct seasons and each may be very demanding at times. During the summer, the tent must be well ventilated; during the rainy day, it should be waterproof from heavy rain. Perhaps one of the most important qualities I had to really consider is the flooring of the tent. It should be rain and seepage proof, easy to fold and store, requires little space when packed, and can withstand the test of extreme heat and water exposure. All of these were easily addressed by the Columbia Sportswear Belladome 4 Tent that I had to buy another for my in-laws when they decide to visit and campout during summer.
You see, I have had experiences staying in some of the best luxury camping tents available in resorts. Clear Water inside the famed Clark Air Base had some of the best luxury camping tents which they upgraded with air conditioning, Wi-Fi connectivity, in-house telephone service, and a small fridge with bottles of mineral water and cans of soda. Nayong Pilipino is another hotel-and-resort which offers the same amenities. But the type of camping tent my family needs was more on its practicality than its overall beauty on Instagram or in a brochure.
I remember heading to the Mr. Handy Man hoping to find that best tent for my family. I had the dimensions all written down so I can check with the staff which will be the best options. I can vividly picture a cone-shaped teepee between the two huge mango trees and a possible one near the young coconut trees so when the camper wakes up, he or she can easily enjoy basking under the morning sun while scanning the area of the air base. I also remember one of the staff ushering me towards the section of outdoor gears and equipment to which I asked if they have some of the best luxury camping tents. I even had to explain what glamping is so she will know what I was after. After much help from myself in those sections of Mr. Handy Man. I have concluded that they do not have what I am looking for. One cannot find the best luxury camping tents in this store. This is what led me to the nearest Home Depot.
So, word of advice, in case you are into glamping, totally avoid Mr. Handy Man and head straight to Home Depot.