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Is That A Snake In My Sleeping Bag?

Nov 22, 2007
One of the first questions you must consider when camping or backpacking is whether or not to take a tent.
For me I can say I always have and always will take a tent. Yes, it sometimes is a lot of weight, yes it sometimes is trouble to set up and yes it can be very expensive to buy a good one in the first place, but it is worth it.

Imagine if you will walking into camp and you are exhausted and want to only get some rest, some food and get clean. Well, there are all of these mosquitoes buzzing around your head and it is hot and you try to eat anyway, you try to nap but they are constantly flying around your head. Maybe the wind is blowing also, hey maybe it is raining, get my drift?

Well here I come and in a few minutes I set up my tent, climb in to get a snack and I am peacefully dozing while you are miserable in your light weight fantasy. (this is a poke at those who go "lightweight" at all costs)

Believe me all of these conditions happen and I have had them all happen to me. I even had a snake crawl right under my tent. Luckily he just kept on going, no harm no foul. If I did not have a tent perhaps he would have found a warm place to sleep in my bag!

Now that you are more apt to consider a tent, what kind do you want? In days of old there were only heavy, cumbersome, unstable tents to choose from. There are many types and price ranges. I will not go into all of that except to say I always take a free-standing tent. These can be moved away from the big rock in your back you did not see when you set it up and are very handy and well designed.Most of them have two entrances for the backpacker in mind as well as a rain fly, which as I mentioned is essential to stay dry.

Some in the lightweight crowd will say they do not need or will not carry all of this weight and trouble. These are the first people to convert as soon as it rains and they are just barely dry sleeping in their ill-conceived "bivy bag" in the mud while I am warm and dry reading my magazine and munching on chocolate. How are you doing out there Joe? Wet enough for you?

Now sometimes it is fun to take your chances and go light, the days when it is hot and there is absolutely no chance or rain; but these days almost never come. I think even on those days I would be the only one carrying a tent and the only one happy if it did rain or the wind came up.By my little tirade you can tell where I stand, can't you?

My stand is basically one for worry-free sleep. One of the few things you can control when you are backpacking or camping is the equipment at your disposal. I consider a tent to be absolutely essential and no one will ever convince me other wise. I just keep thinking of that snake in my sleeping bag.
About the Author
Backpacking or camping, Tents, survival tips,tricks and gear.
www.backpackingcamping.com
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