Some of us in the over-35 age bracket have some very fond memories of camping growing up: long warm summer days in the woods or by the beach, setting up thick canvas pup-tents and eating hotdogs at night cooked over the open flame of the campsite’s fire pit.
However, while we may think back to those good camping days with a touch of nostalgia, those of us who went on camping holidays with our parents back in the early 1980’s also experienced some of the worst outdoor conditions. Those pup tents were complicated to set up and at times would fall over in the middle of the night; if it rained we were either stuck in a soaking wet tent or we had to go outside wearing big black plastic bags with arm and head-holes cut out as make-shift raincoats. Wet firewood made the de rigueur campfire an impossibility, and countless soggy mornings were grumpily spent eating half-cooked, gooey pancakes cooked on an old, wheezing World War II era camp stove.
The image of camping that many people now have is that of the bad times: when camping is mentioned, instead of thinking of the Great Outdoors, some think of cold wet, heavy and unmanageable tents and uncomfortable conditions all around. Times and tents have changed; because of the out-dated and erroneous thinking about what modern camping conditions are like, many people who could benefit from being in nature a few nights are missing out on an incredible experience.
First of all, modern tents, especially the smaller ones, are very easy to set up and do not fall down in the middle of the night. While it is recommended that a person should practice setting up a new tent at home to avoid any surprises on a camping trip, a camper can theoretically set up a brand-new tent straight out of the box at the campsite without too many problems.
Second of all, most modern, half-decent quality tents are double-walled, meaning that the outside wall is waterproof, and the inside wall is water-resistant. That means, unlike past camping episodes, that even unexpected driving rain will not soak or waterlog the sleeping quarters and dry shelter will be available when the weather makes a turn for the worse.
Finally, the new modern tents are taught; uncomfortable nights in a flapping, floppy, noisy tent have been banished to the past where they belong. Due to the new designs and concepts in tentology, the walls are pulled much tighter and the resulting temporary abode, when staked into place, is quite stable in moderately windy conditions. Therefore, while rain and wind would destroy the entire camping experience in the past, the present-day designs and options ensure a dry and comfortable outdoors adventure.
While the new camping sleep arrangements can guarantee a comfortable and dry shelter during bad weather, the only thing they can’t yet do is cook fluffy pancakes in the morning unless you have a mega tent or a screen tent to cook in with a safe camp stove. However, after a good night’s sleep in the beautiful fresh air and serene quiet, one is more than ready and almost looking forward to even the half-cooked hotcakes of yore.