I have a history with tents. It’s a short history but it goes back to 2015 so imma call it ah history ;)
There was this one time when I thought we should plan a great trip to Oregon and Washington. My hubs and I are sort of known for our bad timing. So it only makes sense that the closing and key turnover on our new house landed three days before we left for this trip. To add to bad timing, we were renting which meant that we needed to be out of our rental before the start of our trip or we would need to pay for another month. So yes, Tim and I have bad timing but we also have a great family who loves a good challenge. #missionaccomplished
Only half of the lovely muscle that weekend!
In our new house packing for this trip, I’m having a melt down and about to pull the plug on this whole thing! I can’t fit a friggin tent into our checked bags! At 1am the only options I could see was to forget about the idea of camping on this trip, go to Meijer and buy three more bags that we can check at the airport, buy a seat for our 8 person tent, or squeeze the family into a two man tent.
Our tot didn’t make the cut for this trip because of his recent “enthusiasm” of airplanes, layovers and anything that required sitting or standing still. So we’re down to two adults and two kids at this point. Our tent options are the Kingdom 8 tent by REI or this two man tent called Grand Mesa 2 by Kelty. Both are wonderful tents. Neither really fit the need that we had for this trip though. Unless we were going to check this 8 person tent at the airport and get a bigger rental car so it can have its own seat...it ain’t happenin. Two man tent it was! For four people. Which is fine, if you’re a solo camper with just a backpacking bag. Then it’s fine. Fine. Skipping over the details and getting to the point, just picture sardines in a can. That was our first night. And then our 2nd, and 3rd…
Perfect size for two small kids or one adult!
I said never again. I would buy a tent and never go through that again. I would buy a tent that could accommodate an airplane trip and backpacking. Ideally we would buy a tent for the parents and a tent for the kids. So I would buy two tents.
It’s been 2 years and I didn’t buy two tents. Didn’t even buy one. I didn’t listen to my own advice. Shocker.
Instead, when an adventure recently arose, I dug out a tent that my kind brother gave to me. It was a 4 person tent and was much lighter. He had it for a long time and warned me that he wasn’t sure of its quality or if it even had all the parts. I let the kids sleep in it once in our backyard last year. Seemed legit.
Now, the hubs and I get this opportunity to be part of the 13th Annual South Bass Island Kayak Rendezvous (Highly suggest going next year. Read trip report here). Of course we jumped on it! Naturally, I grabbed this “legit” 4 person tent. Of course I did! And that sucker caved in when the wind blew. Thank goodness it didn’t rain because we took the fly off to help prevent the caving. It helped. A little.
It got worse...Good thing my hubs staked it to the ground well!
As I’m not sleeping at 3am because I can hear and feel the lovely sound of the tent caving and the wind flapping the storage pockets, I’m thinking of our trip to the Pacific North West when I said never again. Never again will I just “wing it” with a tent. Well, I did it again. See the irony? I preach that good gear and being equipped is a key player in having a good experience no matter the circumstance.
Once that weekend was over I pitched that tent right into the dumpster at the campground. I couldn’t consciously donate that to anyone. Sorry bro, but I knew you would understand.
Anyways, I’m buying a tent.