Tent Talk

I woke up in the middle of the night to something brushing my nose. Struggling to come to full consciousness, I realized it was the wall of our large, family-sized dome tent. The breeze that ruffled our hair before bedtime had turned into a full force gale at 2 a.m..

Our then two-year-old daughter slept soundly on as my husband unzipped the massive door and stepped out for a unique, sand scrub spa treatment while fixing the guy lines that had ripped free from the sand. If you’ve spent a few nights in a tent, I’m sure you’ve got your own tale to tell.

There are only three tents hanging in stuff sacks on the pegboard in our basement storage now. Over the years the quality, size and quantity has shifted through different phases of our lives – some of which I remember with great fondness.

There was the bright orange pup tent of my youth, sagging, no fly, no screens – but spent dozens of nights set up on mossy bluffs near home.

There was the first four-season, expedition-style tent we splurged on in our early years when money was scarce but the drive to get outside even stronger.

We bought a mid-sized family dome tent when our baby was born – heavy, but then the backpacking distances weren’t as long either.

We down-sized to a decent three-person, free-standing as our trips got a little longer and eventually bought a good two-person three-season tent and a single tent.

That worked until one of our daughter’s friends was coerced… I’m mean convinced… to come along on a camping weekend. Back we went to buy yet another, two-person domicile.

I haven’t yet had the chance to test out the Brooks-Range Rocket Tent – but I already like the idea of leaving a few tent poles behind and using walking poles instead. Clever, indeed.

Ready to move on to the next phase of tenting life? Almost – in fact, I think this zipper is starting to stick, must be time for a new tent!

What was the best tent you’ve ever had?

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