Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Story of a Tent (and a Teenager)

For about a month now, I have been working on the technical details of how to build a tent.  Actually, it has been longer than a month because I started researching it back in New York.  I thought about buying special tent angles - the connectors for the poles - but they were very expensive.  In fact, everything about it was expensive.  Finally, I settled on the PVC pipe idea.

As I mentioned in my previous post, it has been a challenge to find enough of the required materials here.  If I find enough pipe in one size, I can't find the connectors.  If I have the connectors, I can't find the pipe.  My attempts to blend two sizes or types have failed.  In fact, as I laid everything out this afternoon and tried to assemble it, it became undeniably clear that, even with copious duct tape, this was not working.  I had visions of people sitting in the tent in Saskatoon when a gentle breeze causes it to collapse on them.  I really didn't want my margin for error to be determined by duct tape, but even that prospect was melting away in the face of cold, hard PVC reality.

My mind was in overdrive - how to do this?  Rope?  Poles from another tent we have?  Finally, I called Fin into it.  He has a gift of being able to look at something and figure out how it goes together.  He denies that this is a special gift but, as I pointed out, I am prime example #1 of someone without it, so you know, don't knock it.  He managed to assess the current situation and declare it pointless - it wasn't going to work.  He then looked over the various pieces of my other two attempts and created a list of what would be needed to make either of them work.  Either way, we needed to go to Canadian Tire.

Not surprisingly, Canadian Tire did not have enough of either size pipe to allow us to make the tent frame.  It was with a deep sense of doom and gloom that we made our way to the exit.  Then I decided to take a look at their tents just to see if any of them might be usable as a frame.  Lest you think I am a total idiot - I did consider this idea early on and dismissed it as too expensive and not giving me what I wanted in shape and size.

But clearly I had not been to Canadian Tire.  For, lo...

Exactly what I needed...a perfectly sized, stable frame that is easy to transport, set up and take down, and it is easily adaptable to my purposes.  Also, it has a water-proof roof in case of rain.

I think I heard the angels singing right there in the camping supply section!

Special thanks to Fin for taking up this challenge and putting up with seeing the big picture.  And for being amusing about it along the way.  It just might be his superpower.

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