New Tent

I have had the same, Mountain Hardwear Hammerhead 3 tent for about 8 years.  It is a higher end backpacking tent, that came to me used, and is close to 15 years old.  I love that it is super durable, water TIGHT and easy to set up and take down.   I kept it well maintained, patching any holes or wears and washing it once a season with special detergent and then rewater proofing it.   It served me well in return and kept me dry and comfortable at all of our competitions.  Seriously, that stinkin tent could pretty much withstand all but a full out hurricane without a drip of water getting inside. 

A stock photo of my hammerhead 3 w/o its green fly

When the tent came to me it had a broken pole (I think a car had driven over it).  I called Mountain Hardwear, and they replaced the pole for free. 

Last summer one of the aged poles succumbed to 15 years of use and broke (no one’s fault).  Luckily it was when my husband was using it for a weekend so I was not to blame.  Mountain Hardwear directed me to a company on the west coast that specializes in making poles for discontinued and out of warrenty tents and I ordered a replacement pole (I would link you to them but I cannot remember their information.  But if you call Mountain Hardwear they will hook you up with the small family run company).  

Now skip around to our last competition two weeks ago.  We were camped out with excellent weather so I did not both to attach the fly until the third night when a storm was peeking on the horizon.  With short notice we went into “batten the hatches mode” and started to take down canopies and secure all items we wanted to stay dry.  I went to throw on the fly and noticed a pole had broken and was sticking up.  Oh crap, great timing.  This was, like the previous broken pole, no one’s fault.  Just 15 years of use choosing a fun time to give up.  We only had a few minutes, so I duct taped the pole into working order and threw on the fly and prepared to jump into my truck as the winds picked up. 

Yeah, so those winds, well they caught  a canopy and it flew, kite like, into my tent and the side of my truck.  Which luckily stopped it from flying into the pony pens.  But unfortunately, managed to make direct contact with the duct tapped pole, rupturing the band aid I had hastily applied, and within moments, the wind flapped the fly enough for the broken pole to pierce it and rip it from top to bottom.  Boo. 

With no time left I grabbed my bedding out of the tent and stuffed it into the back of my truck and jumped to safety as the lightning began to strike. 

Through the storm my tent still stood strong, ripped fly, broken pole and all.  And by morning was still almost completely dry inside. 

So, do I order a replacement pole and patch the fly or retire the Hammerhead and invest in a new tent?

I shopped around and opted for a new tent.  I figure I can repair the Hammerhead and replace the pole later this summer so we have a backup tent, but something new would be good for regular use.  I wanted something a bit larger and with a little more air circulation, being I do most of my camping in the hot summer and out of a car.  So I opted for the Kelty 3 season back packing tent, the Grand Mesa 4.  I found it considerably on sale at Bob Wards and placed my order.  Bob Wards is a fantastic company and even upgraded my already free shipping to make sure I would have my new tent in my hands before my next weekend excursion.  I will definitely be a repeat shopper there! 

The new tent arrived last night, and I love it.  I have never purchased a NEW tent before, and I really did giggle while I opened up the box and all the little bags designed specifically for my new portable hacienda.  I probably told my husband at least three times that the tent even has its own BAG! 

Even though I am an experienced tent setter upper I did not want any surprises over the weekend.  So I ran outside and set it up. 

That is Rich checking it out

I showed my friend Rachel this photo of the tent all set up with me and Daisy in it and she commented “I am a little surprised you got a pink tent.”  To be clear, this is not a pink tent.  It is very light grey and very light tan with maroon red details.  But yeah, now it does look pink to me in the photos too.

Its TAN not Pink

I can’t wait to try it out this weekend.  Woo!  It’s not suppose to rain, so I’ll wait until next week when I have more time to give I an extra coating of water proofer.

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