Is My Tent Really worth the Hassle?



I made a decision today. I’m going to keep my tent. I’ve owned it for nearly 30 years, and it’s a good tent, but I’ve got to return to England next week, to renew my passport, and I’m not looking forward to having the extra weight on my back.

A few years ago I decided to follow a minimalist lifestyle and began getting rid of all my surplus stuff. I had a lot. More clothes than I needed, nearly every book I’ve ever read, and fishing tackle I hadn’t used for over 20 years. Lots and lots of tools as well. Getting rid of it all simplified my life and, with my present lifestyle, I’m saving a fortune in self-storage fees. I own very little now and try to limit myself to things that are genuinely necessary or enrich my life. When I’m trying to manoeuvre my backpack (+ tent) through turnstiles at train stations, or my pack starts to feel uncomfortably heavy, “enriched” is not the word that comes to mind.

So I was going to throw away my tent.

But now I’m not.

I decided it would be nice to pitch my tent one last time and take a few pictures to remember it by. That was fun. It’s been so long since I erected it I had difficulty remembering how it is done, and the area I had available was not large enough for me to use the guy ropes. Not to be daunted I thought I’d just put it up as best as I could, snap a few pictures, and then hoy the lot in the bin. But when I crawled inside the tent and smelt that old familiar scent it made me quite nostalgic and, in a way, it kinda smelled like home. So I sat and thought things through. I asked myself if I plan to go camping again in the future and I do. My tent is also a good standby for emergencies. If I ever struggle to get a room, it’s there if I need it and, above all else, it’s a bloody good tent.

Partially Erected Tent
It looks better with the guy ropes in place (honest!)

However, many modern tents are quicker and easier to erect. I also presumed they are much lighter and more compact, but when I checked the specifications of a few modern tents I discovered there’s not much difference at all. My tent weighs 2.5kg. I saw a few lighter options, but they looked a little flimsy in comparison to the tent that I’ve already got. I also saw a lot of tents that were heavier than mine and there doesn’t seem to be much difference to the packed away size. So it looks like my tent may last me a lifetime, and that’s pretty cool because, being a Yorkshire man, I always like to get good value for money.

Tent (Packed)

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