Tuesday, February 2, 2010

We've moved

seeing as we live in tents this was a pretty simple proposition:


Also follow us on twitter to get up to the minute updates on sleeping conditions and issues facing tent life as we know it:


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Basics: Part 1

Generally speaking, tents are classified by two criteria:

1. Size.
2. Seasons

Size is pretty straight forward, a "1 man" tent is designed to sleep one man.  Or woman.  As far as tents are concerned these vastly different types of individuals are completely interchangeable.  It's weird. Seasons is a bit more complex yet still easily understood by virtually any mammal that walks upright.  A "1 Season" tent is good for 1 season, can you guess which one?  (If you said 'fall' or 'spring' you're hopeless.)  Right.  Summer.  You may be thinking it right now, and if you are, I'm glad to hear it, the "2 season" tent, doesn't really exist, due to spring and fall being fairly synonymous conditions wise.  So, to review, a 1 season tent is for summer, a 3 season for spring through fall, and a 4 season is for everything, though a bit much often in seasons aside from winter.  Probably the most iconic tent to the average man is a 4 season tent; the North Face VE 25.

It's that yellow dome thing that people sleep in before sacrificing all of their personal belongings, their family's well being, and their self respect to die on a mountain no one was ever meant to climb.  (If they were God would have put a hot spring at the top or a "Starbucks Everest" location at the least)

(Just for reference, the VE 25 is a 3 man, 4 season tent and retails for $500 - $600)

Kyle's tent is a Big Agnes Elkhorn 2, a 2 man 3 season.  Heavy on the mesh, light on the weight, and fits perfectly on top of a queen size mattress. (in case you hiked that in)  Mine on the other hand is the 3 man, 3 season EMS Thunderlodge. Premiered in the early 90s I think I've used this tent twice prior to this last month and one of the times was in my bedroom.  Kyle, with a mild online shopping addiction, acquired his tent off of www.whiskeymilitia.com for no better reason than that it was on www.whiskeymilitia.com.  (this phenomenon recently repeated itself, to be discussed later...)

You will note, as it is noteable, that no one between the two of us is sleeping in a 4 season.  There isn't some sort of strategy to this.  It's just a consequence of failing scouts and being short on basic reasoning.  However, we have engineered basic adaptive techniques to deal with the environment that is Utah in the winter.  Look forward to that in Part 2. 


Chapter 2 – Oceanside Tent Property

About 45 minutes outside of Las Vegas there is a little piece of heaven on earth, Primm, Nevada, home of the Desperado Roller Coaster.  In 1996 the Desperado was listed by the Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest roller coaster.  It is a tradition of mine to pay homage to the 8th wonder of the world whenever I am around Vegas, and this time through I rode it solo. 

A roller coaster is quite symbolic of the ups and downs of tent life.  It was a great way to open the next chapter of my tent life in Southern California. 

I would’ve spent all day on the Desperado, but I had to get back on the road and to the campsite before nightfall.  It is well advised to set up camp before the animals of night begin to prey, especially cougars.  Down in the Southwestern United States (specifically Vegas, Scottsdale, and Southern California), there are many cougars on the prowl; they thrive on innocent and unsuspecting young adult men.  I have yet to have been attacked by a cougar, but have friends that have barely escaped horrific encounters.

Once I arrived in Huntington Beach I immediately contacted Big Tent.  He had acquired some pristine property at a house full of 10 dudes; they were willing to let me tent squat on their roof, they liked the idea of another dude living on their roof in a tent.   I made it to the roof with an hour left of daylight, more than plenty to set up camp.  What I found was tent heaven – I had perfect camping weather and a view of the sunset on the Pacific. 

View from the front tent door 

Camp California - That cooler was my kitchen.  I love America.

I soon became acquainted with the chief of this tribe of dudes.  His name is Kui, and he taught me the ways of Southern California as I taught him the ways of tent living.  Kui soon relinquished his former lifestyle by selling his rental contract and purchased a luxurious 15 man tent to join me on the roof.  We began to establish a tent empire on the top of the roof; we envisioned a new society of tent dwellers with whom we could revolutionize society.

Me and Chief Kui at the Tent Majal

 We put my tent inside his tent...

However, Big Tent and I began to see that destiny had a different idea for us.  Big Tent also wanted to make the conversion to tent life, but had the foresight that tent life could not sustain itself – we needed some cash flow to support the lavish lifestyles of tent life.  We began brainstorming and plotting on how to develop a supplemental source of income.  Our idea soon developed and we knew that we needed to head north to Utah to lay the foundation of our business empire (We will provide details of such endeavors in further chapters of this saga).

I was only in California for a month before it came time to pack up and head north.  I wish I could’ve stayed there forever, but I knew where my tent belonged.  Our timing could not have been better.  Shortly after our departure, El Niño made a visit to Southern California and demolished Kui’s tent.  He remains a tent refugee to this day; my heart goes out to him. 

El Niño

Tent Devastation - Kui's tent was completely collapsed in the wake of El Niño

It may have been better for Big Tent and me to remain in Southern California and fight the wind and rain, we were headed to more treacherous territory in the winters of Utah.  We weren’t sure if we could survive the blizzards, polygamists, and the abominable Snowbabes….

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chapter 1 - Life Before The Tent

Prior to living in a tent I lived in something even smaller, an apartment in New York City.  For awhile I was living underneath an Ikea loft bed (seen below); a colleague of mine was sharing his 8’ x 10’ bedroom with me.  Times were tough...

My NYC Corporate Headquarters - that blue thing was my inflatable mattress 

Before accepting a job in NYC I had never spent a day in NYC, but it sounded like a good time and a healthy change from Utah.  NYC and I had a honeymoon that lasted nearly 8 months; we were madly in love, but then I started to see (and smell) the true side of the city.  I started entertaining thoughts of other cities, and even made a few trips away from NYC to see such cities.  A few of those trips turned into affairs, and my relationship with NYC never recovered.  The break-up was nasty.  We have since seen each other on what was intended as friendly terms, but we naturally go back to fighting and leave on an even worse note.  It was never meant to be.  I wish the best for New York.

During one of our fights I threatened to move out West and become a truck driver.  I’m not even kidding; I even laid out the financing plan for truck driving school.  Between my job and feelings toward the city I needed a change.  That same week I had an acquaintance in town that crashed on my couch, I will refer to him as “Big Tent” as he owns a spacious 4-man dome tent.   Big Tent helped me realize my irrational plans of leaving the city and becoming a truck driver. 

“What you should do is live out of tent.  I lived in my tent in my bedroom for awhile and I was never happier.  It’s like you are sleeping outside, but you’re not,” he shared with me. 

“Pure genius,” I thought to myself, “this guy clearly has all the answers.”

Big Tent was right, living out of a tent clearly made more sense then living out of an 18-wheeler.  It just so happened that I had purchased a tent online earlier that week.  At the time I didn’t know why I was buying a tent, but Destiny sure did.

I eventually parted ways with NYC and my accounting career.  I then spent time in North Carolina, Idaho, and Hawaii until I finally settle my tent stakes down in Utah for a few months.  At first I thought I was crazy for living out of a tent, but each night when the crickets would sing me to sleep I was reminded otherwise.

Left: A view of the foyer, Right: A view of the master bedroom

Soon winter began to move in and tent life wasn’t as comfortable as it used to be.  It was time to migrate south to sunnier skies, and I had my eyes on California.  I had been in contact with a friend who had procured prime tent real estate for me.  He mentioned that the camp site would be only a block from the ocean in Huntington Beach, CA.  That was all I needed to hear, so I quickly packed up my car with my clothes, my tent, and my moped.  It was in Southern California where I would once again cross paths with Big Tent…

Gas leaked from the moped while tipped to its side... The fumes left me high for a few days and my car still smells like Chevron 85 octane.

Friday, January 8, 2010


My intentions for this blog are to relate to the masses the struggles and successes of life in a tent.  This lifestyle started back in early August of 2009 as I moved out to Utah with nothing but the clothes on my back, a moped, and the commitment to live in a tent for an entire year and not pay rent.  Since that time I have observed myself blossom from a young and timid boy who did not know his place in this world, into a fearlessly driven leader of men (as seen in the picture).

I hope you find entertainment in this blog; continual drama occurs in my life since taking to my new habitat.  I will periodically recount the adventures that unfold from the tent, from the fight for survival on cold and snowy nights to the life threatening encounters with stray cats and dogs, and also the human drama of tragedy, romance, jealousy, friendship, betrayal, victory, defeat, perseverance, and the ultimate triumph of good versus evil!

Now I am currently a few months behind, so the course of this blog will be delayed for some time until we are caught up to the current situation.  This blog is based on true events; only in the interest of protecting the identities of those involved will facts be changed. 

Please stay tuned for the next update…