As the idea of leaving begins to coalesce, we have begun to evaluate our biking and camping gear as part of the process of letting things go.
A new tent staked its place at the top of the “to buy” gear list. It is not that we have a shortage of tents in our gear closet. My super macho Moss Starlet served me well on many of my bicycling adventures, keeping me warm, dry and safe from nasty mosquitoes. It is extremely well constructed and durable, but unfortunately, this two person tent is really a one person + gear. Forced cuddling is no fun past the dating stage.
Sarah’s Eureka, while roomy, would last as long as the first little pig’s straw house on an extended tour. It worked well on the Trans America bike trip, but has seen better days.
Sarah’s created the criteria when we began looking at new cycling casas:
- It would not be the Moss Starlet,
- It would have two doors (no mistaking a late night call of nature with an awkward attempt at a mating dance),
- There would be plenty of room for both of us plus some gear,
- It was well ventilated to reduce the occurrence of singed nose hairs after beans and rice dinner.
Since our life is on a spreadsheet, I dutifully began to record interior heights, floor and vestibule space, materials and prices of prospective tents. This was done in parallel to a few scouting expeditions at REI and consultation with several issues of Backpacker Magazine’s Annual Gear Guide.
Value (price to specifications) became the predominant factor which led to serious consideration of the Kelty Gunnison 2.1 and 3.1 and the REI Half and Quarter dome in the 2 person, extended and 3 person versions.
However, just like bicycling touring, backpacking and travel in general, serendipity plays a welcome role. A combination of coupon codes, clearance items and secret handshakes from Sierra Trading Post blew my spreadsheet away like the big bad wolf. We are the proud new owners of a $112 (delivered) pumpkin, more specifically, a Marmot Titan 3 person tent in “Pale Pumpkin and Terra Cotta”.
Here’s to hoping that it turns into a luxury suite after midnight.