A visual ode to my Tarptent

I’m packing for a trip and was rolling up my Tarptent for what seems like the umpteenth time. I actually don’t like the gray color, I really prefer bright colors. In fact, bright outdoor gear colors often give me a little buzz and this tent is one of the only things I own that’s not a bright color.  However, I’ve come to accept and appreciate the muted tone, especially when tucked into a brilliant natural pallette  (or when trying to camp without drawing attention).  As I pack the tent, I’m transported with each roll to a different beautiful sunset, safe night, or life-affirming sunrise. Many of which I experienced from the shelter of my Stratospire.

I firmly believe in loving your gear. We’re way too privileged to consume at this level and not love each and every thing we buy. And that’s why I love this tent. It’s just so simply perfect, it functions so well, and I love it. I don’t know anybody at Tarptent.  I did some research, liked the company, appreciated Henry Shires’ philosophy, found a tent that looked like it would work well, bought it.*   Then it turned out to be awesome. Or I adapted to it/me so that it was awesome. Who cares. It’s a great relationship. And I just felt like sharing.

I really like tenting. “Cowboy camping” is great too, but sometimes when I’m a little gripped, or a little extended, I like the “home” a tent can provide. This tent is my home. I’ve had it in some widely varying geographic and climatic conditions and it’s been great throughout. I’m not yet in the habit of photographing all my campsites, but for those that I have, here’s a photographic ode to my Tarptent.

*I typically use this tent with trekking poles, but wanted to cross it over to some travel where I don’t use trekking poles (e.g. bikepacking). I ordered a pair of accessory poles from the website, but got a call the next day. I think it may have been Henry himself, but he explained that the poles I ordered were a lightweight set for things like propping the tent for a day trip, not as actually trekking pole replacements. If I wanted a set for primary use, I should order an alternative option they provided. That was the first and only time I’ve had an unsolicited call from a company that was checking and THINKING about me. Pretty cool.

Valle de los Cirios, Baja California

Northern Sierras, Baja California

Pacific Ocean, Baja California

White River, Wrangell St. Elias Natl. Park, Alaska

Mazatzals, Arizona

Joshua Tree Natl. Park, California

30 minutes from Las Vegas, Nevada

This is after I pulled the tent, but it was pitched this side of the shrub. Inyokern, California.  58mph wind recorded .5 miles away.

Sometimes you get stuck in a pay campground, California.

Jack River headwaters, Alaska Range.

Above Thoroughfare River, Denali Natl. Park, Alaska.

Stratospire & Moment, Wrangell St. Elias Natl. Park, Alaska.

Headwaters of Ernie Crk, Gates of the Arctic Natl. Park, Alaska.

Two Stratospires in a 30-40 mph wind event, Hammond River, Gates of the Arctic Natl. Park, Alaska.

Looking out at a packraft destination, Hammond River, Gates of the Arctic Natl. Park, Alaska.

Two Stratospires, Matthews River, Brooks Range, Alaska.

Arrigetch Peaks region, Gates of the Arctic Natl. Park, Brooks Range, Alaska.

Secret Spot, Pacific Coast, Big Island Hawaii.

Gravel Pit, Mana Road, Big Island Hawaii.

Makalawena, Big Island Hawaii.

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