Author: Compton, Cliff

Tent City

Itís festival season again, and I pull into the campgrounds looking with longing at the R.V.íS lining the pathways. Those mystical mobile houses that promise all the comforts of home. Soft beds, refrigerator, a closet to hang the cloths maybe even an air conditioner to office respite from the California summer heat.
And I meant to have one of them things, back when there were more numbers on my paycheck, but youíve heard them say that a fool and his money are soon parted,, and so it has been with me.

So itís back to tent city.

Ever since I started hanging around bluegrassers, Iíve been trying to come up with the perfect temporary abode for all the campouts and festivals Iíve wanted to attend. For a while I tried (and occasionally still do) to make do with the back of my van. Actually, I like it back there. I generally sleep as well as expected at a festival. But itís got itís challenges. Primarily Iíve got to take out the seats, carry them into the house , and stuff everything else needed into a little living space. Plus it getís hot in the middle of the day during my necessary nap time.

Now Iíve tried a few tents. Some worked pretty good. Some left me muttering under my breath. The perfect one may be out there somewhere, but I ainít found it yet.

There was the wife tent.

That was pretty fine. It was made by the swiss army knife people, and it could of housed a small army. My wife was able to get every possession we have every had in twenty seven years of marriage stuffed into the back half of the tent. It was luxury. Life at itís best. Unfortunately, it was like a two hundred piece p.v.c. pipe puzzle to put together, and worse then that, it all had to be unassembled after Iíd picked 12 hours of a day for a week and really needed nothing more than an ambulance just ride home.

The never-ending fiddle tent:

We had a little smaller tent. Still big by tent city standards, but definitely too small for the R.V. section.
Now tent city is a lot of fun at most festivals. Most of the truly crazy people camp thereÖa fraternity that I am a proud member of.
However with a tent like that you run the risk of camping in the middle of an old timey fiddle conflagration. And those guys never stop. For the first 7 days or so thatís pretty wonderful, waking up ever 30 seconds to the sound of angels sawing but, wellÖ.
We got rid of that tent.

The maybe we donít really need all this stuff tent:

Down size again. The wife decides sheíd rather be home than camping out by herself while I played all night. Therefore eliminating the need for 80 per cent of all the things I needed to camp. And the list was getting smaller. I realized you donít have to have the entirety of a small Raleys grocery store in your tent, though it does disappoint the small animals who habitually watch for an opportunity to picnic on your festival food.

The one minute tent:

The one minute tent really takes one minute to set up. It only takes
Four tent pegs, which even a large broken down man like myself can generally pound them into the ground without blowiní an artery from bending over. Itís just big enough for a mattress, a sleeping bag/ pillow, three changes of clothes, a bar of soap, a camp chair and a small bag of groceries. Set up entirely in 10 minutes, tore down and put away in about the same.

I think thatís gonna have to do until my ship comes in.
When it doesÖIíll sleep there.
Posted:  5/10/2013

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