Look what I ordered this week!
That's a Guide Gear Single Wigwam Tent. A fully modern tent - made of nylon, with screen windows and doors that zip, fiberglass poles, a vented roof, and a tarp bathtub floor...that just happens to basically look exactly like the round bells by SoulPad that are so popular in the SCA. And for a fraction of the price, at only ninety bucks!
It's 12'x12' (it's round, so I was expecting a diameter measurement?), and 8'10" high - my current [Coleman] tent is 8'x14'. It sets up with only a single center pole, stakes and guide lines around the edge. I photoshopped a picture of me from another photograph into this promotional shot of the tent from the website, based on a 13-14" average height on those little folding campstools like you see in the picture - my kneecap is about 16" from the floor.
|image from soulpad.com|
My new tent is much smaller than a "real" canvas bell, but for what basically amounts to a starter pavilion, it ain't half bad! I think it's safe to say that it passes "the ten foot rule" (looks period and looks good from ten feet away to the passing observer). And it'll be even better once I get my hands on it.
First things first: as soon as I get it, I need to set it up in the backyard at home, both to learn how to set it up, and to hose it down with silicone waterproofing spray. I know it'll be waterproof because it's new, but I always double up on the waterproofing, and I re-spray every single time I use a tent. In eighteen years I've only gone through three tents, and the only leak I've ever had was during a torrential downpour and flash flood. I think that's a pretty good track record.
Anyhow, past that, here are some ideas I've had for sprucing this thing up and making it look even more period:
- Add a door flap to cover the zippered front door, since that's the most obviously modern part
- replace the nylon ropes with hemp, or with colored, woven cord; I could make little flags to hang on the rope, too!
- Paint or cover the center pole with something bright and pretty (or replace it).
- I may or may not paint designs on the walls of the tent. You can, with ripstop nylon; but I won't have time to do it for several months. Maybe someday.
There are lots of decorative things I need to get in gear on for this season - furnishings and hangings and covers and accessories - but that'll be another post.