First rent, then tent

I want to go camping.

Last summer I didn’t go camping one time. The summer before that, I went on three backpacking trips and several overnighters.

This summer I want to find a balance, especially since I have very little vacation time. To me, a weekend camping trip is the perfect vacation.

With renewed genevieve, I have been researching campgrounds in the Philadelphia area. The Appalachian Trail is a mere 2 hours away, so that has been my main focus. There are plenty of opportunities to do some weekend hiking.

The only problem is, during the move to Philly I expunged a good portion of my camping gear, including 2 tents. Most of it was broken, old and tattered and needed to be tossed. But it was a taxing process, especially throwing out my old Kelty 3-man tent. I had logged many nights in this sturdy, watertight tent. A tree even fell on it in the 1999 July 4 derecho in the Boundary Waters, and the tent held strong.

But two poles were broken, one missing, and duct tape held one window together. To the landfill it went.

So I am in need of a new tent. Yesterday I began my research on and fell for this Marmot 2-person tent.

For $200, it is a pretty good deal.

I expressed as much to Lisa. Not really the outdoors type, Lisa has shown recent interest in backpacking after an ice climbing trip in the Adirondacks. Lisa and 24 classmates traveled to New York and spent 3 days ice climbing. She loved it and can’t wait to go again.

But one to always try new things, Lisa would like to try rock climbing or, God bless her, backpacking.

Since backpacking is something I am more familiar with, and cheaper, I am trying to take advantage of Lisa’s burgeoning interest in backpacking to plan a trip for late spring.

With this in mind, I thought she would be excited that I had found a decent tent at a decent price.

She wasn’t as enthusiastic as I anticipated.

“Are you going to live in your tent?” she asked.

“Huh?” was my reply.

“You haven’t been able to pay rent for this apartment, but you want to buy a tent,” said the love of my life. “Are you going to sleep in Rittenhouse Square?”

This is true. I haven’t paid rent since moving in with Lisa 3 months ago. This was an acceptable arrangement when I was unemployed. Now that I have a job, and am looking at ways to spend my paycheck, Lisa is quick to remind me there should be top priorities in my budget, such as rent, credit card bill and groceries.

Right now my top budgetary priorities are beer, tent and fantasy baseball.

Beer is a given, but the tent and fantasy baseball fees have been put to the wayside.

But as Lisa poetically pointed out, “first rent, then tent.”

So until the credit card is paid off, I will merely daydream about mountain streams and sunset views and continue my search online. And start researching the cost of a new pair of hiking boots.

Update: Maybe Lisa will let me buy a bubble tent!

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