Tonight I set up my tent for the first time. After extensive research and patient bargain hunting, I went with the Big Agnes Rattlesnake SL3 mtnGLO that I purchased from the REI Garage. A tent is an expensive, critical piece of equipment for my thru-hike; I was slightly trepidatious.
Before taking it out of the bag I noted how much lighter it was compared to my old tent and as I laid out the parts I was impressed with how flexible yet durable they seemed. I was amazed at how gracefully the poles unfolded and then transformed into a tent frame, as if they were putting themselves together. The fabric of the tent felt silky and breathable; it draped across the floor like a beautiful dress. Could this actually be a sturdy, livable structure? But then the tent clipped effortlessly onto the frame, the poles popped easily into their grommets and voila! suddenly I had a home of my own! Next I crawled inside with my buddy Hayley for the inaugural lighting ceremony. The strands of LED lights lining the inside seams of a third of the tent are perfectly placed for reading and have a low and high setting; it felt quite high tech to sit inside a tent engineered with interior lighting! I sprawled out on my back, staring up at the glowing ceiling thinking “This will be my home for the next six months”. I know I had a huge smile on my face.
I haven’t purchased a tent in almost two decades and the advancements in materials, technology and quality were astounding to me. I am very satisfied with my purchase thus far and look forward to being able to field test it during my hike. Tonight, I am one happy camper!