“So what’s it like living in a tent?”
That question has popped up, posed by a few of my friends. Yesterday, I finally took the time to snap a few photos of the inside of the tent, so you all can actually see where Frank and I have been living for the past month. I took four photos – two from outside the tent looking in to each side of the back section; and two shots of the front section while sitting on the bed. The “sides” I mention assume you’re standing in the doorway. You can click on any of the photos for an expanded view.
1. Right side, rear of the tent
I have a queen-size airbed made by Coleman and I have to say that it’s been incredibly comfortable. It’s sitting on a king-size comforter for insulation, so there’s a bit that sticks out in the front for extra padding when I’m sitting on the floor and leaning up against the bed.
In the middle of the right side tent wall, you’ll see my “closet” … a stack of Space Bags with my clothes, towels and extra bedding. (What you don’t see is my machete, which probably gives me more mental security than what it would actually provide if push came to shove and had to use it for defensive purposes). I usually throw my camera bag there, too.
2. Left side, rear of the tent
This is “Frank’s Place”. His bed and cushion sit at the head of my bed. He really doesn’t like to sleep with me anymore. I think downsizing to a queen bed put him in a position where he had to dodge my legs in the middle of the night too much, so he’s decided it’s better to either sleep on his bed or sprawled out on the insulation comforter in front of my bed.
His food and water is next.The aqua colored flooring is an additional tarp I put down inside the tent. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but that tarp makes teardown a lot easier … I just gather all four corners together and then pull it out of the tent – along with all the dirt, bugs and other crap that’s made it in despite my best efforts to keep it / them out.
The windows all zip completely up. I leave them down as much as possible. Frank’s discovered that he can turn the bed into a fully functional, 360 degree lookout tower when the windows are down. Here at Toledo Bend, he’s been particularly taken by the motor boats, which have to pass by our hill as they leave the boat ramp (we’re a little ways from the lake, but the view through the trees is pretty nice). When he hears one, if he’s not already on the bed, he’ll jump up and position himself in the one corner that gives him the best view of the lake. He’ll watch it as far as he can and then turn to me as if he wanted to say, “Man! Was that cool or what?”
3. Left side, front of the tent
The front corner is my “hamper” … dirty clothes find their way there, behind the tower fan and guitar. The middle wall is where the supply boxes have found a home. They also act as my entertainment center. The cardboard box has a bunch of cords for the SirusXM, the wifi extender and the like. Oh yeah, there is one pocket on each wall. This one has my car keys and the hand-crank lantern I use at night. The one on the other wall is where I store my headlamp. Thanks to my buddy Larry for suggesting that, by the way. It’s been incredibly handy, especially when taking Frank out for his night time “constitutional”.
The power cord is 100′ long and stretches from the power box at the end of the driveway. I have an extra 25′ one that you see on the floor here. I used it in Georgia, when the picnic table was close enough to the tent for me to simply connect it up and leave it in the tent. Here at Toledo Bend, I’ve had to physically move the cord outside when I’m sitting at the picnic table, but it’s really not been that big of a deal. And by the way … the green tint to the photo? That’s not an added effect – there’s a green tint in the room. That’s the result of the sun coming through the rain fly.
4. Right side, front of the tent
My one box of foodstuffs sits right inside the door for easy access. (There’s another waterproof supply box that I leave on the picnic table bench, under the canopy … it has all my kitchen stuff.) That’s where my shoes and walking stick are parked when inside, too. The grey flooring is a tent carpet. There’s just enough tarp left exposed at the front of the tent to catch any dirt that I’ve not been able to wipe off on the “welcome” mat that sits outside the door (or that Frank’s not been mindful enough to shake off before coming inside. I keep reminding him of that, but he keeps telling me, “You know I have no idea what you’re saying, right?”)
There’s not quite 100 square feet of open room left for us to stretch out in – there’s about 10 feet from the edge of the bed to the front door and the tent is 10 feet wide, so it’s 100 square feet less the space occupied by the stuff on either wall. It’s been great. About the only thing I’d like to add is an inflatable chair … if I can find a heavy duty one that can support my weight. I have to tell you this – Frank and I spent a night in a hotel this past Monday. It wasn’t the bed or the hot shower (that you didn’t have to walk a mile to take) or the television that was the most welcome luxury. It was the easy chair! You have no idea how wonderful it was to sit in a soft, comfortable, padded chair after either sitting in a car … or on a tent floor … or on a picnic table bench. Frank went right for the bed. I spent almost 2 hours just sitting in that glorious chair!
So that’s it. That’s our “Man Cave”. On the whole, it’s been pretty comfortable for the two of us. I’m glad I decided to move up in size from the 8′ x 12′ tent I was going to buy. Here’s hoping it lasts a long time before needing replacement.