My family went car camping at Guanella Pass last weekend and here’s what I discovered: You should take your tent poles and not your Ford Mustang.
Well, I didn’t take a Mustang. Don’t have one. I took my truck. But someone from Georgia (I saw the plates) drove a late model green Mustang up the high-clearance road to the campsite next to us. It was one of the neo-retro Mustangs that sound awesome in the lane next to you at the stop light. I like those Mustangs a lot.
But it was not made for 4WD roads. I can only imagine what the big stumpy rocks and deep potholes did to the tender underside of that sweet ride. Did it make it back to Georgia without a detour to the Ford dealer along the way? I kinda doubt it.
Moral of the story #1: Don’t take the Mustang camping.
But do take your tent poles. You know, the things that make the tent stand up. The things that transform your tent from a fried egg into a cozy dome. THE THINGS I FORGOT.
Yup. So when we had our tent all laid out, we realized that the poles were back in the garage, or somewhere other than in the flippin’ bag with the rest of the tent. I was not pleased. Not pleased!
But my smart daughter noticed that there was a loop on the top of the tent and proposed a workaround. We used some truck-scrounged cord and comealong straps and two fir trees to lift the center of the tent up pretty well. Then my other smart daughter figured out that we could bungee the tent’s side seam loops to our center rope and get more of the tent up off the ground.
The tent then worked. It looked somehow like a tiny, flimsy buddhist temple set in the deep woods; its top layer hung just so. But it was a success in outdoor improvisation. And don’t you think that improvisation is close to the heart of camping anyway?
Moral of the story #2: Take your tent poles camping. And your daughters.