Bug Out Gear: Pop-Up Tent

By , April 11, 2018

On the night we bugged out of the homestead to high ground after a tsunami warning (see Tsunami Scramble) we whiled away part of the time analyzing what we did, and brainstorming on how we could do it better. We quickly realized that, as quickly and efficiently as we set up Aly’s tent, we might do it a lot faster with a pop-up tent.

Pop-up or “instant pitch” tents have been around for a long time. In our region, they seem particularly handy in summer, when biting bugs can swarm horribly in the forest and on beaches. Such an instant shelter would also be very handy in an evacuation, where pitching the tent can largely take care of itself, despite the bumbling efforts of shocky, even injured campers.

After the tsunami evacuation, we began looking for a pop-up tent, and settled on the Coleman 4-person expansible tent.

Once it arrived, of course we needed to try it out! We did so on a recent afternoon.

Pop-Up Tent

The new tent, stowed and covered (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

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“It’s Worth a Shot!”

By , April 8, 2018

This is kind of stupid, but I’m inordinately proud of myself because . . . I shot a tree.

I wrote last time about the tree hanging over the trail, and my time management regarding it (see An Unhurried Sense of Time). The same day I wrote that, Aly came home in the afternoon; Michelle followed a short time later. I hiked out to greet Aly. On my way up the trail, I looked at the tree, and realized that the come-along line I’d affixed to it pulled the tree in exactly the wrong direction. If the come-along moved the tree, it would pull it farther into the branches of the trees near it, securing it more tightly.

Michelle had suggested the previous day that I shoot a branch on the leaning tree that held it against the tree next to it. I’d rejected that idea. Even though I’ve done it in the past, I regard shooting branches as a desperate move, reserved for the very last resort. I shot branches to help fell a tree years ago, but I think I avoided blogging about that detail then (see A Tree Falls in the Forest).

However, once I realized that my efforts risked securing the tree in its neighbors, I changed my mind.

When we all gathered in the cabin, we still had daylight, and the forecast called for higher winds in the evening. I favored making dinner and settling in, but due to the conditions, I mentioned what I needed to do, and we decided to make a family outing of it.

Michelle smiled and suggested, “It’s worth a shot!”

jammed "widowmaker" tree

Here’s the problem: that short branch braces the broken tree against a healthy neighbor (Photo: Sarah A. Zeiger).

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