Scouts, Scouters and Parents: Coleman Instant Tents Mean Instant Outdoor Fun
Scouting has many joys and challenges – especially camping. For new scouts and their families attempting the great outdoors for the first time is daunting and find the right outdoor gear is critical.
In particular, selecting and setting up a tent is a big hurdle and if the parents buy the wrong tent it compounds the difficulties to where they might leave scouting. The leaders have the same need for quality camping equipment as they face many pressing needs which include helping new families unload and setup their tents to facilitate an easier and painless transition to scouting.
Sure, I love Scouting and as a graying Boy Scout I am painfully aware that in Cub Scouts we don’t tackle Philmont or cool high adventure like white water rafting – we lack many of the sorts of exhilarating outdoor challenges my 14 year old Star Scout yearns for and experiences in Boy Scouts (Read: Envy).
However, as I am the Cubmaster managing over 60 boys plus another 30 or so siblings ranging from ages 3 to 14, all of the parents and some grandparents during a campout for roughly 36 hours presents plenty of not so cool peril. Consider my camping history that includes a cub scout finding a coral snake, another time a copperhead and then yet again a water moccasin and then the grand prize: a scout suffering a second degree burn. These constant possibilities dictate an urgent need for constant supervision which forbids wasting precious minutes setting up a tent.
Enter the Coleman Instant Tent
Whereas my first tent sans canvas as an adult was a four man dome tent that required at least thirty minutes for one adult and one squirrely Bear Cub (I don’t think I ever got the fly on correctly) – I was thrilled to discover I could set up my first Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent ALONE in under 10 minutes and my new Coleman Instant in 4 minutes!
Pipe in the words to the song: FREEDOM!
Not only can you set it up in mere minutes but then you actually enter the tent and find yourself awestruck by the seemingly palatial dimensions. My first memory of the Coleman 8-Person tent is still with me from Camp Everglades: I marveled at the size, trying to acclimate to the idea of two rooms, a 360 degree view and that stunning sensation of air moving in a tent. How can this be???
Consider the irony that for the entire history of camping people would seek to travel to scenic places to spend at least half of their time in a tent with a fly covering every possible view. The Coleman Instant Tent pioneered an overdue revolution without my having to repeat the frequent risk of the no fly which periodically found me awake in a rainstorm. It took me a while to also ascertain that I could walk around without crouching! What a wonder!
However, as we like to say in technology, the true test of quality comes on how a vendor responds to a problem. My first Coleman Instant Tent didn’t survive the harsh and constant winds we suffered on Camp Sawyer on Scout Key in the Florida Keys. Let me point out that there were easily another half dozen or so of the exact tents that had no issues and still have not to this day so my tent malfunction looks to have been an isolated experience.
One of the tents corner legs became frozen and would not retract into the assembly. A single phone call to Coleman and then a minor process with an e-mail with some photographs and I had a new one inside of a week. Talk about making raving fans out of your customers – move over Rack Space – Coleman has it going on!
Flash forward three years after buying my first Coleman Instant Tent I found myself with a Webelo Scout graduating to camping with his fellow Webelos (Coleman Dome Tents – future blog). Abandoned now for the second time I entered the lonely parental twilight existence of a camping empty nester and reluctantly accepting my fate I moved forward to downsize.
I swear I tried, I did – I still have that claustrophobic one person coffin tent I am trying to give away.
After two campouts I couldn’t do it anymore:
• I missed the splendor of the vaulted ceilings
• I missed the ability to stand up straight
• I missed being able to have a cot
• I couldn’t stand having my backpack in a foyer!
• I got tired of banging my head against the hanging light from the ceiling
The Siren call of Coleman won out and I went back to the nearest retailer excitedly running my fingers over the many Instant Tents seeing that the selection had expanded and more choices presented themselves.
A few minutes later I found myself the beaming owner of a significantly reduced, much smaller, humbler, empty nester, downgraded and Spartan Coleman Instant Dome 7.
Hold it – I know what you are thinking but seven is much smaller than eight!! Plus my wife might come and what if my son was sick or my cousin came into town or my brother or sister or…I had to buy that tent! What if???
Seriously, the Instant Tent is analogous to seat belts in cars – why on Earth didn’t we have them sooner and thank God and Coleman we finally do.
Go buy one immediately here:
Then: Dispose of your old tent through a donation to that family you don’t like or the leader you want to see less of. Ensure those ridiculous tents with the color coded poles are gotten rid of and just for fun get a sharpie and color over some of the poles to watch the hour long process take two to three times as long.
Enjoy your camping time with your kids – it is truly a blessing.
All for now – Yours in Scouting and Parenting,