When I was a child, I desperately wanted my parents to take me camping. I had friends that would go during their summer vacation, and when they returned from their trips, they would tell me about all the amazing things they did. My parents never did take me, but as a young adult I started going with my friends. I always just borrowed a tent, but on my latest camping adventure me and my girlfriend decided to use a tent that she picked up at Wall-Mart – the Ozark Trail Wedge Dome tent. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to have your body punished on a torture rack, read on. The details are gruesome, but perhaps my suffering will spare you a weekend of agony.
When my girlfriend so generously decided to pick up a tent for us, she did so under the assumption that what the camping company wrote on the box was correct. You see, this is true of most things. When I buy a 1 liter carton of milk, I reasonably assume that it has 1 liter of milk. Apparently this whole “accuracy thing” isn’t the case for the camping industry. When a tent is labeled as capable of sleeping 3, what that really means is that the tent may be able to hold one small legless infant uncomfortably. In the case of the wonderful Ozark tent, this was exactly the case, sans legless baby. The tent was so unbelievably small that even with almost nothing in it, I still had a terrible nights sleep and, after having finally passed out from exhaustion, woke only to find that I had pressed myself against the soaking wet nylon wall. Lovely.
If you’ve never been camping, or you’ve decided to make the jump from having your friends supply all the gear, to bringing your own, do yourself a favor and size up in the tent department. You’ll pay a bit extra, but when you see your friends stretching and even *gasp* standing up in their luxurious 12 person tents (note: holds 3-4 comfortably) you’ll be glad you took my advice and spent the extra money.