Buy Nothing Update: Tent-tastic

Because I’m desperate for summer weather, I’m getting very excited about all our summer plans. One of these plans includes camping. And because we aren’t as cool as my parents*, we will be tent-camping.

When we were deciding on the rules of our buy nothing, we made an exception for items that will add to our memory-making adventures – those could be new. The biggest purchase we could think of at the time was a tent.

Miracle of miracles… we got a used tent! Didn’t even have to cry uncle!

Before purchasing this one, used tent conjured up some unfortunate memories. Used tent sometimes means a tent that smells like skunk. And not in the this-smells-bad-let’s-refer-to-it-as-a-skunk-smell way, but like in a some-actual-skunk-had-defended-itself-against-the-flapping-canvas way. Then, the unthinking human packed it into its small tent bag and left it in the garage for a year. Febreeze was used excessively that evening. (Disclaimer: this was not my family. It was a friend of the family – they borrowed the tent from a friend of their family. Complex, I know.)

Used tent also means a tent that was lent to 4 high school girls to sleep in on the beach at Rocky Point. This used tent was definitely never put together by actual humans, but could’ve only been designed for a much smarter species that could assemble poles and stakes in the whipping wind. People tried to help, but those 4 high school girls woke up to a tent collapsing on top of them. Sorry to whoever lent us that tent.

Anyway, Matt and I ignored my phobia and we bought a used tent. We went to the REI Garage Sale in Seattle. We stood in line for about an hour as they let 120 people in to shop every half hour. Translation: you have to wait forever and then the pressure is on to purchase anything that seems like it might be a good deal! Go, go, go, only 3 minutes left!

We went straight to the tent section, assembled the tent, sniffed the tent, checked that all the pieces were there, read the tag for the reason it was returned (“used” – so helpful), disassembled the tent, managed to get the tent back in the always too-small bag, discussed if we could fit in the tent, walked around with the tent for the next 25 minutes, purchased the tent. YAY!

Matt also got a belt that he’s been looking at for about 2 years. It was only $5! It’s one of those fancy belts that doesn’t have to come off in airport security.

I got a nice rain jacket (normally $100 for $15 because of a small thing with one inside seam). Also in case you were wondering, I did already own a rain-repellent jacket. Which is great for running in and out of the car and quick walks to the library. However, any longer than about 5 minutes in the rain means my clothes are wet underneath! So I finally got an actual waterproof jacket.

We got lucky on the tent portion of our buy nothing. Now if we could somehow assemble the rest of our camping gear used… We have 3 months to hunt and gather!

*Check out azmtnbkr1 on instagram for some awesome Carmen pictures. Now imagine us in the tent next to that camping machine. It’s gonna be great.


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