Thursday, September 25, 2008

Home Away From Home...

Well, I have a replacement for my $25 Wenzel tent, which I mentioned in my previous camping blog. Having spent the night with soggy toes, and using a makeshift tarp rain fly, I decided to take a step up and get something that was a little more sturdy, a little lighter, and a little dryer. Enter the Eureka! Solitaire. Small, light, and by most accounts a good little backpacker's tent. It's not too expensive either, which was a key element in the selection process. You can easily spend a whole lot of money on bells and whistles in the tent world. The Solitaire is shy on bells and short on whistles, but it has the basics, and a bit more. I picked it up at Dick's Sporting Goods on sale. It features a 2lb. 9oz. packed weight (about half the weight of the $25 Wenzel), plenty of room to sleep 1, and a built in rain fly. (Yes...a rain fly. That's important.) How about some pictures, Jon?! Here's a shot with the rain fly rolled and tied up along the front pole. And one with the fly deployed. And here's Michelle, modeling for me to show the tent's size. I think she looks fantastically comfortable. So this will be my home in the spring on the AT for 7 or so days. We're going to hike the 16 mile backpacking trail at Vesuvius here soon, so I'll get to try it then. We're planning 8 miles out, an overnight stay and 8 miles back, just to get the feel for our packs and so forth. I for one am looking for a nice cozy stay in my little yellow house. Anyway, I just wanted to update everyone on the tent situation. By the way, I accidentally melted a hole in the top of the $25 Wenzel. I swear it wasn't on purpose. I was flipping it over while it was drying out, and it brushed the engine of our lawn mower which I had used recently enough that it was still quite hot. Well, if it was leaky before, it certainly will be now. :) Once we hike the Vesuvius trail and try things out, I'll give you an update! Talk to you soon! -J

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