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Re: [at-l] How to make a tent fly???

In a message dated 9/6/00 4:12:11 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
pvillen@imap1.asu.edu writes:

<< Anyone up for retrieving Datto's GALLOPING GROMMET post from the archives? 
 around January, 1999.
Don't bother, I've got it right here (big surprise, huh?)  I DO hope he 
finishes hiking soon, I am running out of old stories! I did get a good 
chuckle re-reading this one though.


Subject: [at-l] Galloping Grommet 
From: Datto IsIn <datto999@yahoo.com> 
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 14:45:28 -0800 (PST) 

A few days ago I erected my tent out in the back yard to prepare for 
completing the tests I've been doing on the Design Salt Silk Sleeping Bag 
Liner. I was going to do these tests over Christmas but something much more 
important came up. This week I have the time to complete the tests.

The temps are getting down to 10*-20*F now, which is the temperature I wanted 
to test the bag/liner combo at. The previous tests of a month ago were at 28* 
and the bag/liner combo worked fine at that higher temperature. 

The question is. . .how far down can the temperature go and still have the 
bag/liner keep me warm enough to allow me to get to sleep at night? Will the 
20* bag/liner combo work at say 15*-20*F or would I have to buy a warmer 
sleeping bag than my TNF Cat's Meow 20/35* bag?

After erecting the tent a few days ago, I'd forgotten all about the tent 
being out in my back yard. At about 5:30am this morning the light bulb in my 
head went on and I remembered that I'd put a tent out in the back yard a few 
days ago. I walked over to look out the kitchen window to see how the tent 
was doing.

Ahhhh...I couldn't see the tent at all. I squinted my eyes to see past the 
deck railing and. . .still no tent in sight. Well it's got to be out there, 
right? I mean, who'd steal a tent?

Since I was standing there at the kitchen window in my underwear I couldn't 
just hop on out past the deck railing to get a closer look. So I rounded up a 
coat from the front closet and walked out onto the deck in my bare feet. Geez 
it was windy! I walked right out to the deck railing, looked over and. . .no 
tent. None. But I spotted a 3' x 8' bare grass rectangle in the freshly 
fallen snow. Uh-oh. 

At this point I'm standing out in the cold, windy morning with a coat over my 
underwear, acting like Columbus looking for the New World, gazing far and 
wide looking for a long lost tent on the horizon. In the dark. At 5:30 in the 

Given the bare rectangle on the ground looked like a "fresh" rectangle 
(whatever that is), I assumed it hadn't been long since the tent had escaped.

More gandering across the field. A distant street light making shadows across 
everything in the distance. Looking...looking...wait. What's that? Way, way 
off in the distance near the woods. Some kind of oblong
thing going end over end. Is that a tent? My tent? More squinting. Now it's 
flat. Whoops, it's up and running again. Yes! It's a tent. Probably mine. Ha! 
The Eureka Zephyr was galloping across the field attempting an escape into 
the woods. 

I returned to the inside of the house to put warmer clothes on. Believe me, 
if I thought I could have gotten the tent while still in my underwear, I 
would have -- but the tent was too far away for me to be running out into a 
field on a cold, windy winter morning dressed in my underwear and a coat. In 
this neighborhood anyhow. Maybe back when
I was in college and streaking was popular. . .

After donning the requisite number of layers, polyester, regular fleece, 
Polartec, Gortex, I was ready to go on the Grand Tent Safari. You gotta watch 
'em. They're wiley creatures. Nocturnal they say. 

Out to the neighborhood serengeti. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Tents don't hear 
well so you don't have to worry about sneaking up on 'em. Walked right up to 
the tent, picked it up in one hand and started walking back to my house. By 
now it's 6:00am. Vrooommmm the wind picks up and carries the tent out of my 
hand and airborne across the field again. _____!! (Insert your own expletive 
here). Eureka Zephyr leading by a nose around the back stretch followed 
closely by Harangued Hiker, the 5:2 oddsmaker favorite. 

Geez the neighbors are going to be up by now and see me out here running 
headlong in the field chasing after a tent! "Lovey, come here! By Jove I 
think that wacky neighbor of ours is taking his tent for a
walk out there..."

I actually found all the stakes in the ground by the 3' x 8' bare rectangle. 
Wrestled the tent into the garage just like Jim Carey and the alligator. I 
chained it up, gave it some tent food and a little water and a short while 
later went to work. Came home this afternoon to discover little tent 
droppings all over the garage floor and I said, "No, No, NO! Bad Tent!" 
Showed it a rolled up newspaper. I don't think I got one of the smarter 

This evening I put the tent back out on a leash in the back yard and will 
probably do the bag/liner tests tonight since it is already 19*F and 
dropping. Yessir. Indiana: Wintertime Fun Capital of the World. 


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