WON Landing Page March 2022

The Happy Camper: Eureka! She loves this tent!

I have a confession. I have an emotional entanglement. I have a possibly unhealthy attachment to my Eureka tent.

Now, before you think this is a paid advertisement, it’s not. I’m not on Eureka’s payroll, or their radar. I’m not even on their mailing list.

It’s just that this tent has been a major part of our life for several years, and recently the question was raised of buying a new tent. I couldn’t breathe for a moment.

This tent has been and is so many things. It’s been a staging area for cheerleading practice, although we had to have a serious conversation about keeping makeup off the mesh. I use this tent in bear country, and I don’t want Mr. Bruin to mistake my dome away from home for a big yellow cupcake with Maybelline frosting and a crunchy nougat center.

It’s been my mobile laboratory for gear testing. I keep it set up in the garage for emergencies like testing a wind up alarm clock.  (Who the heck uses an alarm clock when you’re camping, anyway?)

The rain fly, draped over the kayaks, served as the maternity ward for the neighbor’s cat.

It was our first major purchase as husband and wife. Some people buy mattresses or appliances. We bought something that matters. This tent is both barometer and analogy for our relationship. I think you can measure a man’s commitment to the relationship by the tent he chooses. Did he pick the cheapo, gonna-last-one-season model, or did he get the one with the lifetime guarantee? I knew I’d picked the right man when he headed for the three-person tents, seeing as how he’d just inherited a stepdaughter who might be part of the camping landscape quite often.

And when the tent was flattened by a windstorm in southeast Kansas, breaking the poles and lacerating the rain fly, instead of chucking the whole thing when the going got rough, he found someone to repair the poles, duct-taped the fly, and pronounced the patch a “history of our adventures.” He said it gave the tent character. How’s that for an analogy of a marriage?

When the topic of a new tent came up, we even considered one-person tents, since occasionally we do venture off solo. But I don’t see the Eureka leaving the family anytime soon. In the end, we decided that battered and patched though it was, we knew what we had and just like our partnership, were satisfied with it. It will get passed to our daughter when we’re ready for a new one, and whether it’s tent or family history, it’s a model I adore.

Follow Traci Schauf’s blog, Adventures of Mother Nature.

  • About Traci Schauf

    Traci Schauf ia a blogger, a blonde, a bookphile and outdoor obsessed. She contributes "The Happy Camper" to The WON. She also hosts her own daily blogs about her family and outdoor life.