When I was a kid, we camped a lot. It was a cheap way to take a family vacation, and my parents had the back of the station wagon all tricked out with a cabinet to hold food, camping gear, dishes, and all the stuff we’d need. We started out camping in a tent – and I remember this tent very well. It was spacious – room for two adults and two little kids – and it was red. And it was canvas.
When it rained, or when the early morning dew hit that tent, the whole thing smelled like the inside of a Converse sneaker, and was as sticky and humid as hell. I learned to hate camping.
But times have changed. Camping equipment is created with high-tech materials, and can be amazingly light weight. I bought a tent this year, and finally put it up in the backyard to try it out, and the thing is an engineering marvel. The poles snap together with snazzy elastic, the tent has nifty pins and rings and clips that all fit together like a dream. I put the whole thing together by myself, and it’s deluxe, my friends. There’s easily room for two adults and two kids in this tent, but in my mind it’s perfect for two people – with room to walk in between. There are pockets on the wall to keep your stuff, and a little hammock on the ceiling to hold gear. It’s got windows, two doors and is tall enough for me to stand upright. And the best thing? It doesn’t smell like anything. Not like a wet sneaker, not like stinky plastic or nylon… what a surprise!
I’ll be taking my new tent with me to this Fall’s version of the Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) camp next weekend in Brenham, and I’m excited about sleeping outside for the first time in years (and years). I’ve got great classes scheduled – from camping to bowfishing to home butchering. Stay tuned for more info and photos! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go pack up my tent.