Yesterday, I promised to share some of the other prep work I’ve done for my odyssey. Here’s just a little bit of it …
My tent is going to be “home” for quite a while, so I’m not going to skimp on quality or room … I’m a big guy and don’t want to feel cramped. I’ve looked at a variety of tents and have decided on a Coleman Cabin Instant 10-man tent. Two rooms, 10′ x 14′, lots of ventilation. (If you have a measuring tape, go lay out 10′ x 14′. It’s bigger than my in-home office, where I spend about 80% of my waking life right now.) Aside from the size of this tent though, the two features I liked the most on it are the seam construction and the “instant” setup.
First the seams – they’re part of what Coleman calls its “Weathertec” system that improves water and wind resistance. I could go into a lot of detail, but this YouTube video sealed the deal for me. If this family’s stuff didn’t get wet after what they went through, I felt pretty sure Frank and I are going to be okay.
Why an “instant tent”? Face it, as much as Frank thinks he’s human, the lack of opposable thumbs means he’s not going to be much help in making shelter! I wanted something that would give me spacious comfort, but wouldn’t leave me huffing and puffing for the next 3 days after setting it up. Again, after watching some YouTube videos of people doing setup (and in a number of cases, seeing some of the mistakes they made which made it more difficult), I feel pretty confident this will do the trick.
Here’s a video of a guy putting it up in his backyard for the first time (and as an aside, I think Frank would be a bigger help than the kid with him)! There were other videos that showed the wrong way to do it … one of which was a guy trying to set it up at the campsite … without reading directions … while his wife videotaped him as she kept reminding him of how much time he was taking. What I learned from it (aside from “don’t spend your life with a bitch”) was that you need to fully extend the top supports before you extend the legs. You basically want to make a “midget” tent and then extend the vertical legs to their full height.
The only issue I might have is getting the rainfly on, but I’m going to try some stuff in the dry runs where I add it during the overall tent setup and see if that works. My plan is to lay the fly over the tent while it’s in “midget” mode … fasten it if I can … and then extend the vertical legs. I’m sure I’ll figure something out once the tent arrives and I go through a few practice runs. And for those of you that don’t know, a rainfly is an additional piece of material that you put over the tent to deflect water off the roof (which in this tent is essential, because the main roof is mesh)! It also adds additional support through its separate guy-lines.
Per some of the reviews on Amazon, I’m going to buy better stakes than the ones that come with the tent. I’ll also buy more of them to use on the tarp I’ll lay down before doing the tent setup … since there’s only going to be one of me, I don’t want the tarp to move during setup.
I’ll also purchase some silicone water repellent and apply it to the tent and rainfly to improve their water resistance. Based on the reviews, I’m going to try out the “Kiwi Camp Dry, Heavy Duty Water Repellent” that comes in 12 oz cans.
For the groundcloth, I’m going to get two Grizzly 10′ x 14′ foot tarps … one for under the tent and another to lay down as a floor inside the tent to protect it from Frank’s toenails.
I’m going to end here … tomorrow I’ll continue on the with prep work – I’ll get into what I’m doing for cooking (and perhaps a bit more).