Floating Tent for Camping

What’s better than being able to sleep on the water in a tent during your outdoor Adventures?  This floating tent for camping is one of the coolest tents I’ve ever seen.  When I told my daughter about this- the first thing she said was, “What if it sinks Mom”?

I did think this was funny- but I would not be writing this review if I thought it would.  Read on if you want to find out the durability, how it works, and the places to buy.

***I am not an affiliate with SmithFly so I can’t use one of their images.  😊     Their link is in the paragraph below however****

The Shoal Tent- by SmithFly

According to the SmithFly website– they are the original designers of the inflatable floating raft with a tent covering giving you the ability to sleep on the water. Their slogan, (which I love) is- “The World is Your Waterbed”.  I find being on the water extremely enjoyable- and I love sleeping in tents so for me this is like a kid in a candy shop!  With this tent, you can camp on your favorite lake, pond, or even river.


One benefit with this tent is that you no longer have to worry about getting dirt inside or sleeping lopsided. Also, it’s possible to be out on the water for hours with no worries about getting burnt from the Sun.  I’ve baked myself before falling asleep in the sun on an uncovered floatie before.

You also get bragging rights- this tent isn’t a Yacht- but hey, you got to sleep in a floating tent- how cool is that?  The gentle movement of the tent and cool breeze from the water, will surely ease your worries.

How to use the Product

This You Tube Video from Shoal has a great demonstration on quick and easy this tent is to set up:  https://youtu.be/YUrKPEEHXJk

Product Description and Features 

  • The tent structure is completely inflatable- which means zero tent poles.
  • Can stand up to high winds.
  • The raft body has three air chambers, two in the lower tube, one in the structure.
  • Floor – 6″ thick drop stitched high-pressure floor that doubles as an air mattress.
  • The tent fabric is heavy duty, waterproof, sealed with heavy duty #8 zippers.
  • A heavy duty hook is used to attach and detach the tent topper sides.
  • D-Rings on the sides allow for easy anchor attachment.
  • The tubes inflate to 3 PSI the drop stitched floor inflates to 10 PSI.
  • Shoal Tent packs down into a burrito roll style carry and storage bag approx. 60″x24″x18″.
  • Kit comes with Storage bag, patch kit, and manual foot pump.
  • Weight of tent is approx. 130 pounds.

Who is the Product for?

This floating tent for camping is for those who love adventure and are comfortable being around water.  It’s also great for families to go for a nice float around the lake or for lovebirds to have a nice relaxing afternoon together.  Last but not least, this tent is an excellent option for those who want to fish in comfort and get further out on the water.

What I like about the Product

I love how creative and unique this idea is! This is such a different experience from camping on the ground.  The Shoal tent also looks pretty easy to assemble and get out on the water.

What I don’t like about the Product

This relates to the product indirectly- the only downfall I see is that it’s such an awesome product they have a 6 week waiting period. If you don’t feel like waiting- here is another floating tent on Amazon.  It doesn’t look like this is as quality of a product- but this may be good for heading out for a day trip.  It’s almost half the cost of the Shoal Tent as well.



Final Thoughts

This floating tent for camping is definitely something different from your traditional camping gear.  Floating and sleeping on a tent in the water is a much different feeling from being on a boat because you’re so much closer to the water.

I would love to hear your experience or thoughts on this tent- please leave a comment below!


Happy Camping.

How to Take Great Shots with your 50mm Lens

posted in: Blog, Camping Recreation, Photography | 0

In my opinion, many people underestimate how much fun and useful the 50mm prime lens really is.   Sure, it’s a  “fixed” lens which means you have to employ the walking zoom, but it is one of my favorite lens because it’s so versatile. I think learning the functionality of this lens is a must for those who are just starting out.

I took my lens with me today to Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction, AZ. I combined my hike with my photography and it never came off my camera. I also love the fact that it’s lightweight compared to some of my other lenses as well.


Why Choose the 50mm

With this  prime lens, you have to work harder for your shots.  Since there is not a zoom feature, you must take steps closer in or steps further back.  By doing this though, it helps you to think about framing your shots more. These techniques can then be applied to any camera/lens combination.

The 50mm lens has wide apertures and moderately-wide angle of view. They are very versatile and they closely match how humans see. This is a lens that many newbies buy so they can take portraits with a shallow depth of field.


Creative Techniques

I have included some of the images I took today to provide you with inspiration next time you go shoot with your 50mm lens.  I was able to take close ups as well as landscape- you’ll notice the blurred background on the close ups which is very easy to do on a 50mm lens.

Get Close

Rule of Thirds

Isolate Your Subject



So you can see from these shots above how varied your images can be using a 50mm lens. It forces you to get out of comfort zone and get creative!


If you have never used a 50mm, I definitely suggest getting one! The less expensive ones start at a range around $130.  The 50mm is actually one of the most popular photographic prime lens focal length, so there are many used lenses available.  Whatever one you get, it will be fast and sharp. I have a Canon 50mm lens which is the one I used for the shots in the Blog.


Have other thoughts or questions on this lens?  Please leave me a comment below.

5 Ways to Save Money on Summer Camps

posted in: Blog, Camping in AZ | 0


Summer Camp is an exciting option for both parents and kids.  I know my kids love going to different camps during the summer.

Depending on the camp however- it can be expensive.  I wanted to share some tips with you on how you could save money on summer camps.  So the next time you look into a camp, review their website for the following cost savings- and then ASK about these various discounts.


  1.  Get an Early Bird Discount:  Camp Directors want to fill camp slots as soon as possible (so they get paid sooner).  There are only a few months out of the year that Camp Directors can make money.  Some camps may offer you a discount rate in exchange for an early registration. and sometimes pre-payment. So make sure you ask the Camp Director about Early Bird Specials.
  2. Sibling Discount:  You may not see this advertised for a specific camp, but you might as well ask if you can get a discount if Jr. comes along as well.
  3. Group Discounts:  Bringing a large group of kids vs. a couple could make a difference in the price as well.  For Camp Directors -they maximize their time and money to have more kids.  Ask to get a 10% discount if you are taking a large group.
  4. Camp Scholarships:  Summer camp scholarship funds mainly fall into two different categories.  There are summer camp funded scholarships and external, third party funded camp scholarships.  For example, here is a scholarship for Camp Huawni.  It doesn’t hurt to just ask if a scholarship is available at your chosen summer camp.  For camps that are accredited with the  ACA Camps, they can provide scholarships.
  5.  Lock in Rates:  Out of necessity, camps often raise their prices a little bit every year. Once you attend, ask if you can freeze your rates so you won’t pay the increased price the following year.


So here are 5 ways to look into getting a Discount or a Scholarship for your kids Summer Camp.  Don’t let the expense stop you from giving your kids a great experience this Summer.

Know other ways to save money on Camp?  I would love to hear your thoughts-please leave a comment below.


Happy Camping!



Gorp Breakfast Bars

posted in: Camp Food & Recipes | 0

I have made these bars for hiking- and they are one of my favorite snacks!  So I wanted to share this recipe because it’s great for camping as well.   These a bit messy in hot weather- but will keep your family going throughout the day.

This recipe is from one of my hiking books that I’ve had for years.

2 12-oz pkgs. semisweet chocolate chips

2 8-oz pkgs. butterscotch chips

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup chopped dates

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots (or raisins)

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup chopped cashews

1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal

1/2 cup muesli

1/2 cup wheat germ


Start by melting the chips in a double boiler and then add the honey. Next, pour over the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour the mixture onto a greased cookie sheet so it can cool.  Then-cut or break the bars into hand-size pieces.  You can then cover with  plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

Let me know what you think if you do try this recipe!  I would love to hear what you like or don’t like about these bars.


Happy Camping!