The first tent I owned…and admittedly still own 11 years later, was a small 2-person tent from Sears that my Mom purchased for me so Joz and I would have a place to sleep on our road trip through the Wild West following high school graduation. It looks something like this…
Dave and I got to experience this tent together a couple of years ago and it was an adventure. This tent doesn’t fit an air mattress and barely fits foam camping pads.
I upgraded when I met Kevin into what I term “the mansion”. This 2 wing, 8-10 person Coleman tent was a monstrosity, but it was on clearance at the Coleman store and I purchased it before I moved West to Montana. It was a b*tch to set up, but it held all of our goodies and was a great place to hide out in a rainstorm.
I think I was just so relieved to not have to squish me, another person, and our bags into a small 2 man tent that 8-10 seemed much more reasonable for all of my junk. Looking at this picture, I can tell you that the only stuff that survived out of all of that camping gear you see is the striped beach bag inside, and the striped towel over the chair. The tent was sold via craigslist, the lanterns destroyed, the air mattress leaked, the chairs rusted, the cooler no longer kept things cool, the car is even gone. I use my camping gear HARD.
So, we decided to retire the annoying-to-set-up 8-10 person tent and compromised to my current and well-loved 4 person tent from Cabelas. I love this tent. Kev and I read reviews and they did not disappoint. It was reasonably priced and nearly 6 years later the tent still serves me well. But, tenting doesn’t serve my back so well.
Even with an air mattress, the crawling-off-the-floor stance doesn’t do me so well. Mornings are still the toughest part of the day for my back. 1.5 years after surgery, I still have to do morning stretches before I get out of a regular bed. Getting off a squishy air mattress in a tent? Brutal. So, now it’s time to retire my well-loved tent. I feel kind of melancholy even typing this out. I love tenting! I think of RVing as a wimpy-man’s sport, but honestly, my back just can’t do it anymore. I love my tent…but…it’s time.
So now, I’ve convinced hubby to start looking at these..
Meet the Scamp. AKA, the egg camper. It’s lightweight, so it can be towed by my other beloved possession: my Subaru Forester.
It has a sleeping area that’s off the floor and I believe that with a few good memory foam pads, it will feel MUCH better than an air mattress. We can keep our camping gear stored inside so no unpacking all the time and living out of the totes of gear I’ve accumulated over the years. And ya know what? We can pick up and go, anytime.
The gypsy-have-a-backup-plan-for-your-backup-plan in me gets excited about this. If we lose it all: house, jobs, money – hopefully we can at least keep the car, the camper and set out about the continent as we wish. And yes, my brain goes to that place about a dozen times a day half hoping it would happen so we could pick up and explore. I think about this a lot.
We’re just looking for now, so if you know of one that’s in good shape (with electric brakes, A/C for the pup and preferably an awning) please let me know. We would even road trip to you to pick it up.
My evolution of camping has come such a long way. Prior to the tent I first owned, my family grew up camping in puddles inside of an army green tent with color-coordinated poles that rubbed off over the years. I’m sure you know the one I’m talking about.
Camping has changed. I’m going to miss the tent, definitely, but not the back ache. Maybe someday this blog will turn into the adventures in the Scamp…I can hope!