A friend of mine once coined the phrase, “bedtime is the best time.”
I would go one further and say that bedtime is the best time if it is tent time too. I love my tent. I love camping out in it, zipper sounds make me happy. I have had a few in past years and one by one they failed due to the rigours of outdoor life on the wild wet/sandy/gritty/moldy coast. I needed something built for damaging winds, sand mixed with salt and of course the torrential rainfalls I would face kayaking around here.
One day a Snowfield tent made for MEC and the Canadian Everest team came my way. Okay, this one might actually handle what I will toss it into. I mean, if it can face-off with Mt. Everest then what will a little beach sand do to it? Not much as it turned out. The Snowfield can take it. Though it was not construction, or materials that have me wondering if it is time to upgrade once more, it is age. It was a decade-old when I bought it from a buddy. I have added a few more years to it since then and lots of regular usage. One by one, the poles are giving out. Creaking in the winds and the occasional geriatric carbon fibre snapping occurs. Duct Tape always at the ready these days in my kit bag.
Something else has changed in my paddling/outdoorsy life and that is Jen, my partner and now lovely wife. Squirming in and out of the end-to-end vestibules on my own was one thing, sharing the tent space is another and this brings new challenges. Not so much to our relationship as we are definitely campers through and through, no it is the mid-night need to pee that is the new issue. Inevitably one will inadvertently wake up the other while extricating from sleeping bags and zipper doors. My good old friend has one wonky door so really, there is only one way in and one way out again. The solution was to invest in a new tent for married couples with side entrance vestibules and no climbing over each other to get in and out. It is pretty swank and I am getting used to it. Change, like all things is the one and only constant of the universe. However images such as the photo of the day today brings back another constant of the universe.
Here I was camping on Vargas Island and my friend for the week, Lolita kept me company while gale force winds had me camp-bound. Her owner lives in a cottage up the beach (a well-known kayaking personality in his own right) Lolita never left my side, except for the occasional race up the beach to chase that pesky flock of birds.
Tent time is indeed the best time, no matter which tent you are in…and it never hurts to have good company.