Camping in Style in an “Instant Cabin” Tent

This is the time of year when we often think of gifts to give to others, or for others to give to us, if they are so moved. So I will share an item which took a bit of research to lock in on, and which has worked out very well in practice.

When I was in my teens, I was content to throw a sleeping bag on a tarp right on the ground when camping. In my 20s, I used a half inch thick dense foam pad, a classic Ridge Rest. I wanted a little more cushion under me in my 30s, and so graduated to a 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) thick self-inflating sleeping pad like this Stansport. For backpacking in my 40s and 50s, I craved yet more air space underneath me, especially for curling up on my side, and got good usage out of a narrow, 2.5 inch thick inflatable sleeping pad.

Now my wife and I are pretty much done with roughing it. We still enjoy the great outdoors, but find we enjoy it even more when we have essentially all the comforts of home, which includes a full size queen air mattress. We inflate it either with an inverter plugged into the car cigarette lighter and a long extension cord to run the 110 volts into the tent, or more recently, using a rechargeable power pack which also keeps all our electronics charged. It takes a big tent to accommodate a queen sized mattress plus all our other gear, without feeling squashed.

I have had some large tents in the past, which were very tedious to set up. So I was pleased to find a huge, airy tent, which almost erects itself. This is the Ozark Trails 9-Person Instant Cabin.

Image from Amazon website

The main room is 9 x 14 ft (2.7 x 4.3 m), which is plenty big for glamor-camping (glamping) for two people. In huddled masses mode, probably 8 bodies would fit comfortably on the floor. The tent has a screen room across the front, for a bug-free place to sit. The fly over the screen room provides a roof over the door to the main room, keeping out rain even when the tent door is opened.  Here are two views from within on our latest camping trip, first looking out the door through the screen room, and then looking straight up through the roof before we put the fly over the tent at the end of the day.

As an engineer, I am tickled by the clever joints that allow you to make the structure arise with just a few strategic tugs. One of those joints over the roof is visible in the photo above. Going from stage 2 to stage 3 in the photo below takes all of fifteen seconds. Taking the tent down for storage simply involves doing all these motions in reverse. The tent itself stays always attached to the poles.

Image from Amazon website

The only major drawback is the price, about $300. That is a lot for a tent, but for us it was worth it. This tent gives us much of the space and utility of a pop-up camper trailer, for a fraction of the cost.

About Scott Buchanan

Ph D chemical engineer, interested in intersection of science with my evangelical Christian faith. This intersection includes creation(ism) and miracles. I also write on random topics of interest, such as economics, theology, folding scooters, and composting toilets, at . Background: B.A. in Near Eastern Studies, a year at seminary and a year working as a plumber and a lab technician. Then a B.S.E. and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. Since then, conducted research in an industrial laboratory. Published a number of papers on heterogeneous catalysis, and an inventor on over 100 U.S. patents in diverse technical areas. Now retired and repurposed as a grandparent.
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1 Response to Camping in Style in an “Instant Cabin” Tent

  1. rickpulling says:

    Scott – We had no idea that you two are tent-campers! We tent camped for years (up into our late 40’s) because that was the most economical way to take vacations with the family when we were all younger.  We segued into more “creature comforts” when our backs could no longer take the hard ground (even with inflatable mattresses) and when the kids persistently complained that they were not enjoying our “rustic settings”!  But I like your display and explanation of the Ozark Trails 9-Person Instant Cabin.  I think that we would have camped longer if we had known about this tent years ago! We understand that you are now down with Joy and family.  We hope they are doing well.  Please give them our best.   We have been down a couple of times visiting Mary and Mark on their back porch with masks and social distancing.  We look forward to the time when we can actually hold and cuddle the grandson! I apologize for not getting back to you on your excellently-researched and very well-done explanation of the Atonement in your “Letters to Creationists” a few weeks ago.  Unfortunately, the last couple of months have been a bit busy with my two part-time jobs of college teaching and pastoring.  COVID-19 has put a strain on — and added a lot of work for — most of us, including these two part-time jobs I have!  This week, Becky and I are on vacation in the Poconos.  It’s finally a chance for some breathing space and to get caught up a bit.   In addition, I lost the e-mail thread from your “Letters to Creationist” about the Atonement.  But I certainly appreciate your sharings.   I have tried over the years to make theological concepts understandable and relevant to lay people.  Here’s quote from Oswald Chanber’s “My Utmost for His Highest” that I have used with lay people.  I share it with you (hopefully it’s helpful, but I understand if it’s not) as we all continually get our heads around the reality of the Atonement.       “God is not some eternal blessing-machine for people to use, and He did not come to save us out of pity — He came to save us because He created us to be holy.  Atonement through the Cross of  Christ means that God can put me back into perfect oneness with Himself through the death of Jesus Christ, without a trace of anything coming between us any longer.” We understand that you folks will be spending Thanksgiving in Tennessee.  Hope you have a great time. Hopefully we can get together at some point after that.  Becky and I would like to take you two out to dinner. Our best to all your family.  God’s peace and grace, Rick Pulling

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