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How NOT To Use A Tentsile Stingray

as Discovered by Team #WeLive of the 2016 Mongol Rally

A lesson on how NOT to use your awesome tree tent.

Setting:

Heidelberg, Germany, Monday July 18th, 2016

Mongol Rally Official Party

Cast:

Tentsile Stingray

Brianna Paquette and Tabitha Bigbee of Team #WeLive,

Brandon and Ali of team PvE

Several other random Ralliers

Tequilla

Heading to Heidelberg!

When we got the e-mail from Tensile that they wanted to send us a Stingray tent we were BLOWN AWAY!!! We’re still pretty stoked honestly. Now, this is the part of the story where I admit to you an incident that you get to decide whether it’s funny or terrible. Please refrain from decision until the end of the post.

We arrive at the official party campground area late (as would be our continual pattern.) and it was CROWDED to the point that there was almost no where to put our tents. Who needs ground space when you a tree tent!? Brianna and Tabitha decided it would be an EXCELLENT idea to put the tensile tent in the trees in order to utilize the space available to us. Great in theory. Also, we were feeling slightly smug about our super cool tent situation.

I don’t know how to truly explain what happened over the next 2 hours. The transition from sheer to determination to utter lunacy was slow but steady. In retrospect we should have done a test run and probably in the day light, but that's not very rally!

Note: this is NOT in Germany. But we really like this image by Blackstone Photography.

Step One: Rachets
Brianna is a champion and finally mastered how these ratchets work. Sadly not before Tabitha seriously mangled a ratchet and a strap. Woops. Thanks to Brandon and Ali of team PvE for their help! Ropes course training for the win.

Step Two: Finding Trees
So, the forrest was full of nettles, and we weren’t really even in the actual campground any more. There were some pretty major tractor ruts on the ground under the tent and the trees were awkwardly spaced. This process was the longest and most challenging step. The strong trees were at all the wrong angles from the tent, but we are full of optimism and ingenuity and finally with help from other teams the tent was in the air!

Step Three: Break A Tree
There was a brief moment colored by sweet, sweet success that saw two grown humans inside a suspended tent. It was beautiful. That moment came literally crashing down when the third body got into the tent and one tree BROKE IN HALF. They a;; hit the ground, then tree hit them, and Brianna’s laugh is forever burned in our minds because what else can you do, man? Really though, so funny. Note to self, make absolutely sure that all trees are alive and strong.
 
Step Four: Try Again Another Day

In the end we simply pitched the tent on the ground. Which is incredibly anti-climactic. But I will tell you that this tent does very well on the ground, too. So they’re doing things right over there at Tentsile!

What it looks like to wake up in the Stingray. SO GOOD.

Lesson:

Do a trial run. In full daylight. Without time pressures. And maybe without tequila. (But that's not very rally.)  We did actually attempt to suspend the tent between cars. We don't recommend this method either.

I recommend you scope the Stingray for yourself, and also watch the beautiful "how-to" video. Something we should have studied a liiiitle more closely.

Thank you Tentsile for the incredible tent! It's currently at home in the PNW where it can show itself in its true glory. Paula will most likely have images at some point so make sure you're following her!

There's one tree over there!! But it was kinda dead and we weren't interested in a repeat performance. Photo by Blackstone Photogprahy

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