Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pitching the Tent

I first took the boys camping in August 2007.  We used a tent inherited from my cousin, Sherri.  She bought it when her now teenage son was a toddler. It was a small, blue, three-man, dome-shaped tent:  perfect for a mom and two small boys.

(Look how little they were!)

We've used that same tent for the past four years.

Last year, when we pitched our tent at Shad Landing, it was showing it's age.  Some of the seams were frayed.  There were tiny holes in the mesh and you could clearly see through the sides that weren't mesh.  It rained pretty heavily one night and despite a can of water-proofing, our bed was in a puddle.  At the end of our trip, as we pulled out of the park, we pitched our tent in a different way--over the side of the dumpster.

It served us well.  May it rest in peace.

In early spring, I started researching tents.  I wanted to upgrade in both quality and size.  Our old tent was getting tight.  Our queen size air mattress (yes, I'm a sissy that way) filled the entire floor and we had to keep our clothes and gear in the car. 

(These old photos are pulling at my mommy heartstrings!)

With a basic idea of what we needed, I started my tent research.  I read several articles like this one by REI:  "How to Choose a Family/Base Camping Tent."  I read customer reviews on REI and Amazon.  I talked to other campers.  I narrowed down my list of potential tents and then. . .

I did nothing.

I completely forgot about it.

Then last week, I was excitedly telling a co-worker about the camping trip we have planned for next weekend.  Mid-sentence I realized, WE DON'T HAVE A TENT!

I went back to my desk and low and behold in my email box was an email from REI.  They were having a sale!  And after a quick trip to the store in Columbia and a delightful exchange with a salesman who laughed at all my jokes, we were the proud owners of this baby:

I pitched it in my aunt's backyard to make sure I could. 

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