The tent and the sleeping bag are the most essential camping equipment. A good tent and a quality sleeping bag ensures that no matter what in no matter what weather, you have a warm, comfortable, safe retreat.
I remember one year, my husband and I went camping out on the Big Sur coast in California with a couple of friends. The campground was this beautiful walk-in campground, right off the cold, foggy California coast. On a calm Saturday evening in the summer, the large circular field was dotted with campers, cooking dinner and setting up camp. That night, a cold, rainy storm blew in from off the coast. And I mean, it blew in. Anything that was left outside the tents went flying. But I love camping in storms. I love hearing the rain fall on the tent and hearing the wind rustle through the trees. Since we have a single-walled tent (more on the green tent later), we don’t get the sound of the fly snapping against the tent which keeps the storm sounds on the outside. I love snuggling down deep into my sleeping bag and listening to the storm, warm and dry.
But if we were the piggy in the brick house, it seemed like everyone else was the piggy in the hay house, because when we emerged in the morning, there were tents collapsed and blown. Cold wet people with cold wet sleeping bags. We saw one person just dragging his soaking tent along the path towards the parking lot. Others had given up and walked the mile in the dark to sleep in their cars. It was chaos and no one was having a very good time.
As I inspected the scene, I noted two things. First, many of these tents seemed to be inexpensive, cheap tents. Second, many were not set up properly (at least not properly for a storm). And so, a good tent is not just the tent itself but one that is set up properly.