Tents will self-destruct in order to cause us misery

I've said before that tents aren’t just fabric and tent poles. They’re despicable creatures that are determined to ruin your camping trip. And they’ll use any means at their disposal to do so, even at great cost to themselves.

Yesterday, I told you how devious tents are, and how they’re always trying to ruin our camping trips. The example I gave you yesterday involved water.

Sometimes another, more damaging, element comes into play with tents. Fire, especially in wall tents, has often been used by those tents to cause panic, misery, and hardship.

My friend Garth warned me of the dangers of setting up a wall tent in a meadow filled with tall, dry grass. He said a tent can’t resist the potential for destruction that resides in grass eighteen inches tall.

Unfortunately, Garth’s companions didn’t realize the danger when they pitched their wall tent an environment like that. To make matters worse, one of them glunked a few squirts of white gas into the tent stove to get a fire going. When he tossed in a match, the resulting fireball belched out of the stove and immediately set fire to the grass. Luckily, the grass burned too fast to catch the canvas on fire.

I’ve changed the names of all the people who gave me examples of tents doing horrible things in order to protect my chances to hunt with them. But this next person wouldn’t even let me use a fake name.

He said he used to camp with his dad a lot, and one year, his dad decided to re-waterproof his wall tent. Unfortunately, whatever he used to waterproof the tent remained quite flammable even after it had dried.

If you’ve ever used a wall tent and a tent stove, you know there are bound to be sparks that make their way up the chimney and settle on the tent’s roof. When the first ember drifted down onto this newly waterproofed tent, there was a prolonged “Whoooomph!” In less than twenty seconds, all that remained of the tent were the lash ropes that had recently held the sides of the tent out, a crooked, blackened and smoking ridge pole, and three slightly singed campers sitting around the tent stove.

Things like this are bound to happen when tents are involved. When the inevitable happens, and the tent disintegrates, collapses, or floats away on the nearest body of water, the only way to cope is to go pitch another tent.

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