This is an e-mail that Tony sent to several friends regarding his new boon in the fine art of camping. As I have been privy to this endeavor from the outset (since I share a bed with the man and all), I have wanted to document it. But I can’t say it any better than he did. See below:
I’ve been wanting to do this for the last couple of years, specifically for camping with Thad. We tried an initial version a couple of years ago with some wooden tent poles. I saw some flaws, which is when I came up with this design. On the day before Thad’s Cub Scout camp-out a couple of weeks ago, I finally decided that I wouldn’t take the tent, and I spent 30 minutes making this. I was living dangerously, because I didn’t fully put the whole thing together until we were at the state park and didn’t bring the tent as a back-up. I had a mosquito net that my mom had given to me, and used strong clips to hold it in place at the “door.” The thing worked great, and I’m looking forward to having some rain, because I’m confident it will do just fine. I’m going to work on some sort of porch for convenience when it rains. The section that you see rolled up is an extra 10 feet of tarp. Thad loved the idea of the adventure, and a couple of other boys were impressed and were expressing that they’d rather sleep in our set-up than the three-room tents that their dads brought.
It took about as long to set up as a large tent because it took time to center the tarp, but disassembling it took just a few minutes.
I’ll admit that I was tempted to drive home without disassembling it. My creation — along with my ah-ooga horn, the rusted front bumper that is bent, and no paint on the hood — could make Jed Clampett feel right at home, though I don’t think he had the sharp-looking white stripes on his tires.
The first time they did this in 2010, Thad declared, “We are sleeping in the back of our truck, cuz WE’RE NOT SISSIES!!!!” When he saw his Daddy building this much-mulled-over model in the back of the truck the night before the most recent camp-out he said, “Is this a prototype, Dad?” But the REAL prototype was the first attempt. Both times, the boy has been thrilled–and THAT (easy “tent” take-down not withstanding) is the goal.
Evolution of the Truck Tent: a multi-media presentation**
**”That’s not a multi-media presentation. . .that’s a slide projector and a bed sheet!” Name that “Silly Song with Larry.”