MY KINGDOM FOR A TENT
I’m a little worried. Worried that I’m enjoying the accumulation of gear a little too much. That I find too much joy in researching camping materials and gnatty little moisture wicking technologies. That I squee too hard when I find something that weighs next to nothing to put in my pack. That I bore people to tear tsunamis when I excitedly explain the twiggy-like properties of a tent to them.
I’m worried that I’ll look back on this time a year from now and say: “Well, that was the best part of the trip.”
Because that would suck.
But this part IS fun. Take the two items in this video. The tent and the sleeping bag.
The last tent I ever owned belonged to my brother, meaning I didn’t own it and could only borrow it from time-to-time. Ok, he rarely let me, but I used it a couple of times for sure. It was blue and boxy, and during the sweltering mess of an Australian summer it’d clutch the heat to its nylon body, and gleefully share that embrace with you. The pegs bent if you looked at ‘em wrong, let alone tried to hammer them into hard dirt with a rock. It was a pain in the butt to get back into the tent bag, too.
In other words, it was crap.
Things have changed. OMG, have things changed. Crap has left the building. The tent I bought – the Hubba Hubba HP – is a marvel of modern technology. I tipped it out of the bag, glanced at the instructions (I’m not much of a instruction follower), and put it together in under four minutes first go. Without really knowing what I was doing. It was, dare I say it, fun to do. And fun to look at. And yes, it stayed up for 4 days inside my apartment just because I liked to look at it.
Jot this down – it weighs 4lbs. Twiggy. Svelte.
As for sleeping bags, the only thing I remember about the one I had as a kid was that it smelt like fuel (I wrapped it around a lantern to stop it breaking in the Landy once and learned a hard lesson in why you should think things through). This new sleeping bag smells of pleasant, soft-lensed dreams. Yes, it’s probably going to be too warm, and I’m not even basing that assessment on the short time I spent in it jumping around my kitchen. I just have a feeling it’ll be a hot one. But I run cold anyway, so that’s ok.
I wanted to sleep in this one immediately. It took some serious resisting of urges not to lay it out on top of my bed and drift off into a magnificent slumber. Your time will come, my pretty. Not long now. It’s a Kelty Women’s Light Year Down 20 and it weighs half as much as the tent. I’ll probably end up just sleeping on top of it if it gets too hot.
With these two purchases, I have the beginning of my mobile bedroom. And with these two purchases, I will now reveal my true worry. It’s not that I’ll enjoy the planning more than the trip. Nope. It’s something simpler.
What if I don’t like camping as much as I did when I was a kid?
I might be too old to suffer night after night on a hard tent floor. I mean, think about it. After a day spent riding 65-70 miles, how keen would you be to take even 4 minutes to put up a damn tent?
Even with all this awesome stuff, even with the feeling of freedom from not being bound by four solid walls, I might decide I don’t like camping, say ‘Damn the expense’ and spend every night from then on in a hotel, flea bags included.
And that would be a shame. But at least I’ll have some great gear!