Tag Archives: speed demons

You Might Think Tents Are Awesome, But You’d Be Wrong. Dead Wrong.

Does it keep Nature's unpleasant elements out, or human's unpleasant elements in?

This is your tent.
This is your tent on a tarp.
Any questions?

I think tents need a few more additions before they’ll be ready for prime time.

That’s right, more. Just because your tent has an airlock, a changing room, or you can house your livestock in it when not camping does not mean it’s ready for prime time.

Yes, I’m talking to you, MSR.

The mesh skylight was a nice addition to the world of tent architecture, and until this last weekend, I would have said, “Tent makers, love the skylight, welcome to prime time.”

Until this last weekend.

The missus and I took the kiddos camping for the first time this last weekend.

In a tent.

A tent not ready for prime time.

Oh, it started off a seemingly fine trip. It involved train rides and hiking and the ocean and, my personal favorite, fire.

And we’re not crazy. We didn’t death march them 20 miles into undeveloped Bureau of Land Management property with nothing but a roll of TP and a shovel. I vowed never to do that to my children.

Seriously. The missus made me include it in our wedding vows.

We went car camping.

In a tent.

A tent not ready for prime time.

This being their first camping experience, the kiddos were, quite naturally, excited.

About everything.

Train ride? Awesome.

Hiking? Awesome.

Ocean? Awesome.

The hand-painted “Firewood 4 Sale” sign we drove past on the way? Awesome.

The tops of their shoes? Awesome.

Inside the tent come bed time? Awesome…if you, for the purposes of this particular moment, redefine the word as such:

Awesome (verb): To scream at the top of your lungs while running rampant in a confined space like tweaked-out speed demons jonesing for another fix and convinced the sibling just in front of you not only has that fix, but is hoarding it for him or herself. Latin hysteric addictus infuriātus.

You’re thinking, “Oh, I see where Ian’s going. How predictable. He wants sound-proof tents to protect other campers from the audio horror that is his spawn. I’d say that’s a stupid idea, but I camped in the site next to his last weekend, and it is indeed a capital idea.”

No, no it is not. If that sound-proofing doesn’t prevent me from hearing the screams, other campers be damned, I don’t care. That’s what earplugs were invented for.

(Seriously. Max Negwer had legendarily noisy kids.)

Now stop thinking and let me finish.

What happens when you combine a spaghetti dinner, a before-bed milk bottle, lots of thick, absorbent blankets laid out on the floor for comfort, and this new version of awesome?

This is not a rhetorical question.

It is also not a trick question to steer you away from the ‘sound-proofing’ answer. That’s the wrong answer, and while not a bad idea and perhaps worth further exploration, just let it go.

You get vomit.


The Meal That Turned Around.

The chunky rainbow profusion.

Now if the makers of my tent, which, mind you, has a freakin’ loft (or so the manual calls it), had also thought to include hooks in the ceiling for vomit bags, my trip would have been a lot less unpleasant.

But sadly, my tent is not ready for prime time.

And now, unless the lingering stench clears, it never will be.

And now, a word from our sponsor: me!
My books are available!

Marlowe and the Spacewoman:

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So bad it won a Voidy for the next THREE consecutive years (would have been FOUR, but 2012 was a leap year)


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