Friday, August 17, 2012


A little over two years ago, I posted about the surprising diversity of tents I encountered while camping at Hurkey Creek campground. Among the hundreds of tents that I found at that location, no two of them were the same. I marveled at the diversity of design and I enjoyed imagining the person whose job it is to reimagine and improve upon tent design.

I can just picture the tent people sitting in an office somewhere, pens between their teeth, chairs tipped back, feet up, coffee cooling on their desks, deep in thought. Sudddenly, one of them, a bookish looking twenty-something male with skinny jeans and a beard says, "What about an i-pod dock built right in to the tent?"

"Wired into the mesh pocket?" probes a crunchy looking female intern from the Univeristy of Minnesota at St Paul.

"Yeah," responds the aforementioned male, "with speakers overhead near the top of the dome."

An older gentleman, in slacks and a collared shirt writes the idea down on a dry erase board under a sign reading "REIMAGINING TENTS."

Not to be outdone, a second female, in her mid-thirties, sporting a Navy blue fleece and with black hair pulled back into a pony tail, sets down her nalgene bottle and says, "What about a clear tent?"

"No privacy!" guffaws the fellow with the i-pod dock idea.

"There are no wrong suggestions when we're brainstorming," reminds the older gentleman as he moves toward the white board to write down "clear tent."

"You know... so you could sleep under the stars even if it's raining," continued the thirty-something female.

"If it's raining then you can't see stars anyway," says the twenty-something male who seems oblivious to how abrasive and obnoxious he is coming off.

"I like the idea but it sounds hot, like a greenhouse," adds the aforementioned intern.

"Okay, remember the rules. Please don't criticize each other's ideas while we're brainstorming. It interrupts the flow," reminds the older gentleman patiently.

"I got it!" shouts a rather fat, twenty-something female with curly red hair and glasses. "Let's go old school! Let's create a tipi for the twenty-first century."

The older gentleman smiles and writes "Tipi" on the white board.

The assembled think tank nods their appreciation for a good idea, and the redhead begins drawing her idea in a sketch book which she keeps handy for that purpose.

*** *** *** *** ***

Earlier this week Sarah and I took what remains of our summer staff camping up at Marion Mountain, and while there I encountered a beautiful tent at a neighboring campsite. It evoked the classic tipi design with a spacious interior and married perfectly the wisdom of the ancients and modern materials. The tent's owners were kindly enough to allow me access so I could photograph it.

Our next tent will be a tipi. You can find an advertisment for this tent at Sportsman's Guide by following this link HERE.
...and here are some photos from our camping trip.

Our next tent will be a tipi.

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