January 25, 2014

My Favourite Tiny Home Is A Tent

In the wilderness this tiny home is luxury accommodation.

I have never owned a house. But I have a great tent. It is like a tiny, tiny, tiny home that can be carried great distances on my back to scenic locations. It is perfect for the nomad in me.

According to the specs, my current tent provides an "exceptionally roomy" 3.34 sq. m (36 sq. ft.) of space that sleeps two comfortably. It has two doors and a skylight for stargazing, but no indoor plumbing.

It is a four season tent, meaning it can be used in most any Canadian wilderness situation imaginable. Indeed, I have had the pleasure of sleeping in it in all four seasons and in a variety of locations and conditions.

The tent has been luxury accommodation while sea kayaking in a raging summer deluge as dusk raced us to the campsite. After pulling up on shore among long shadows and setting up in the dripping trees, the dependable shelter kept us warm, dry, and happy until morning.

What more can one expect in the wild, several kilometres out and a few hours of paddling from the nearest road? At the time it felt like a secure fort in the middle of nowhere. More like a safety pod actually.

This 3 sq. m of safety has been set up on lonely beaches of sand where any hope of rescue comes in the form of a helicopter or boat. It has also temporarily resided on several meters of snow at backcountry sites in the Rocky Mountains.

Some of the best sleeps of my life have been in the tent in nature. On good nights, in the right location, say a mountain meadow, before falling asleep one can see starlight shining through the fabric. But I swear that very same flimsy barrier makes me feel better about being in bear country.

This tiny structure has made the difference on several occasions between extreme discomfort or death and a scary but otherwise secure trip. It is my backcountry security blanket, which to a large degree, is what we are talking about from McMansions to pup tents.

It is possible to live without shelter at all, at least for a while.

I have also spent nights crashed out on the hard ground, sometimes in a sleeping bag, and on hot nights, simply laying in the grass or on the sand. Of course, I have also woken up to mice jumping repeatedly on my sleeping bag and sliding to the sand, so some sort of shelter is nice.

And when it is time to move on my tiny, tiny, tiny home fits into a small packable bag measuring 51 cm x 25 cm (20" x 10") .

Stainless steel appliances optional.


  1. Anonymous1/27/2014

    Ah, I sense your sentiment for your tiny tint. I love my Kelty too. It has sheltered me in in comfort and peace all over the place, many states and a few provinces. What is it about camping gear that makes me form such a bond with it? Don't know, but I do know that I like it so much, I don't replace it until it is absolutely worn out and just will not work anymore. I repair camping gear for as long as I possibly can. Terri

    1. Terri,

      Good camping equipment (which can double as emergency gear) is a good investment. If used lovingly, some items can last a lifetime.

      I still wear the Merrill boots that I bought in 1988 to hike Vancouver Island's West Coast Trail. I found a place in town that will replace the soles, which are quite thin by now.

      I think the bond you speak of is created when your gear keeps you safe and sound in even the most severe and challenging situations. Like quality, dependable friends that have your back.

  2. Anonymous1/29/2014

    Love this Gregg. Thanks.
    I live in the south, U.S. and we just had a snow storm, not much snow though. It is cold for here too. I always think of my camping gear when storms are predicted, yes, it does have my back! Terri


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