Early September brought with it a family reunion and 5 days sleeping in the Explorer Tent by Journey Tents along the cliffs above the snake river outside Ryrie, Idaho. I’d agree with you if you called that last sentence a run on sentence. I wrote it that way to illustrate the fact that the snake river meanders and runs on and on just like I do. Basically, we have a lot in common. Getting back to my experience on the family reunion. It was a fun trip. The weather wasn’t 100% favorable. We had light rainstorms 3 of the 5 days. We had high winds 2 of the 5 days and I got to spend the entire trip in my new Explorer tent. Sadly my wife and kids slept inside the cabin, but that’s because they were given a small bed to share and I was relegated to sleep outside with the men-folk. So I chose to test out my Explorer.
Here are the facts. 11.5 feet by 12 feet, 9 feet at the peak and I set it up alone in less than 30 minutes. That includes all stakes and tie downs. I didn’t have a vapor barrier floor at the time so I used a cheap Walmart tarp for the floor (not the best option at all). I set up my cot and laid out my luggage, sleeping bag, and even hung my Sundays best from the rafter. After settling in, my first night was peaceful and perfect for tent life. This is the largest tent I’ve owned and I’m thoroughly impressed.
In the morning I woke to what I thought was either a dying moose, or a cow struck with the classic “Mad Cows Disease.” It was 7 am so I wasn’t too furious about it and decided to get up and eat. The real fun came later that afternoon during our first windstorm. After a day of hiking and mostly chasing kids, I decided to take a nap while the wife and kids took a trip to Idaho Falls for a much needed grocery run. I need to mention right now that I love naps and I can sleep almost anywhere but rarely get to. However I was a bit worried because the winds were already reading 41 MPH on the weather.com app. It felt harder but I decided to go with their “expert opinion.” My cousins tents were the classic dome tents and all were taking the wind poorly, they were almost completely flattened under the pressure of the wind. My Explorer tent was still fully erect and other than the side wall sounding like a pirate ship sail, all was well. I headed in for my nap. Boy was it noisy in there, lots of wind and blowing against the side wall made for some fun sounds, but I never once worried the tent would go down. I endured the loudest nap of my life, and woke nearly fully rested. I have to say, I was absolutely impressed. My tent was still standing, I found out later that we took on wind speeds exceeding 50 MPH and those sad pathetic dome tents, didn’t quite make it. One suffered dislodged poles and the other two survived but only due to losing stakes and allowing the wind to “take down” the tents. All in all I’m very happy with my tent. I bought three of them for survival and long term camping so I was very happy to test it out in pretty rough winds. I can’t wait to try it in the winter with my stove and of course my cold weather gear. Thank you Vital Domes and Journey Tents for creating amazing survival shelters!