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… Well in a nutshell I’d say ‘Yes You Can!'
A bell tent is one of the easiest tents to erect – and it’s not only the easiest (in my opinion), but it’s also the most stable once erected. Stories abound of non-bell tents (which have probably taken ages to erect) flying off or collapsing in weather that bell tents have stood firm in!
I am 5’4” and have no difficulty in erecting either a 4m or a 5m bell. I’d say that the biggest issue for me when erecting a bell tent, is the point at which you have to take the centre pole into the middle of the canvas tent whether on your own or not – it does seriously give me a bad hair day!!
When there is only one of you, I’d advise that you enter in and under the canvas first without the pole, to find and arrange the canvas centre crown of the tent so that it is roughly positioned where you want it (in the middle) – and then go out and collect the pole, carefully carrying/feeding it back inside with you. Then you simply position the top end of the pole (with protective end cap) into the centre crown of the tent, then slowly pull the bottom end of the pole into the tent towards the centre of the groundsheet (with protective end cap), whilst at the same time heaving the pole up on your shoulder – so raising the tent.
There is obviously more canvas in a 5m bell than a 4m bell, so a 5m is therefore heavier than a 4m (and Pukka canvas is 360gsm – heavier than the more standard 285gsm) so erecting a Pukka 5m bell at this stage does make me a little warm – but importantly I can do it!
To be honest, apart from that part when I would prefer to have a second person on the outside ready to helpfully feed the pole through to me – there is no problem. Being on your own takes a few more minutes but it’s not difficult.
Basically it’s Plain Sailing!
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See videos of Pukka 4m/5m bell tent interiors and window details here:
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