In the age of high-tech fabrics and two-man tents that require you to spoon your hunting dog and leave your boots out in the rain, I had a revelation.
Wall tents are awesome.
The Romans knew it. And the Souix, the Vikings, the gold rush miners, the military, the Bedouin…
You can stand up. Room for the dog? Hell, there’s room for the dog and her kennel. Not to mention chairs, gear and that holiest of holy, a stove.
Yes, it weighs 60 lbs and no, it will not replace my dog spooning, ultralight, no-room-for-boots backcountry excursion tent.
It will however, keep me out of bed-bug infested hotel rooms where you can play “what’s that shape” with the stains on the sheets.
I don’t like hotels. I often don’t sleep very well in them and if it’s warm, I prefer a bedroll near the truck off some Forest Service Rd.
Of course, late season bird hunting and frigid, wet weather can sometimes mean cheap hotels. Not that I mind that they’re cheap. I like that part.
It’s the smell of stale smoke and mildew and lingering doubts that anything has recently been washed that makes it tough.
I stayed in a hotel a month back and as my dog surveyed a donkey-shaped area of discolored carpet, I wondered, “was DDT really that bad?”
Enter the wall tent.
It’s warm, roomy and comfortable and it is really no different from the tents used for hundreds of years by outdoorsmen of all sorts.
In the age of polypro, Gore-tex, nylon, pop-up campers and ultralight dome tents, it’s good to know that you can’t really improve on 10oz treated canvas.
That’s to centuries-old technology, I have a base camp. It’s dry and warm, free of bedbugs and since it’s mine, I can be sure there was never a burro massacred inside.