In Dallas, we have about 3,000 walkers on the walk. While not everyone stays in camp (WIMPS!), that still leaves roughly 1500 tents. If you don't do something to make your tent stand out in the crowd, you could be wandering around for quite awhile looking for it.
That's not so bad at 7:00 in the evening.
But think about 3:00 in the morning. It's cold. The kind of cold that North Texas saves up just for the 3-Day walkers. (Out of four years camping, last year was the ONE that was comfortable. If that's global warming, it does have a positive side after all.)
But seriously, 3:00 in the morning. You've lain (laid? lain?) there in your tent for the last two hours in a semi-concious state thinking "reabsorb, reabsorb, reabsorb." All that hydrating is coming back to haunt you. You unzip the zipper on your tent, causing a chain reaction that wakes up 2900 other walkers, all of whom realize they need to pee, too.
You stumble to the closest porta potty. If you're smart, you're wearing a clip-on flashlight on the brim of your cap, or a headlamp like miners wear.
You pee, and of course that porta potty has no TP. You forgot to check. BUT -- you did remember to lock the door because I said so and you at least get to pee in peece. (No, not a typo. Just thought that would look cute.) At least it's peeceful if your teeth aren't chattering.
You stumble out, wipe your hands with a wipie (no running water, you know) and limp back to your tent. Your muscles are tight. You want to cry. Maybe you have a blister on your big toe -- I don't know.
What I do know, is that if you made your tent stand out because I said so, you're going to be really glad you're one of the four readers of this here blog. If you don't decorate your tent, I'm gonna tell you I told you so.
I'm getting old, and I can't for the life of me remember what we did for our tents the first two years -- probably nothing because we didn't have the first clue what we'd gotten into.
In 2008, we decorated some of the tents with pictures drawn by kids at our school. We also had blue laminated Tiaras that let us know who was sleeping in which tent.
In 2009, we had some cute tents in our group, but Suzi and I didn't do much with ours. (What you can't see here is that our tent was signed by hundreds of our sponsors and supporters. With that, who needs decoration??) LisaSudtelgte had the CUTEST ever -- it was dressed up like a ladybug. And Alicia and Mark slept in the Love Shack. Wendy made this cute little banner. And Cassie made us all tags to let everyone on the team know who was sleeping where.Now... We've already established that not all four of you are on Team Tiara -- and that's okay. BUT if you are, our theme this year is "Wild about a Whole New Way to Live."
(Can we just pause for a quick word from our sponsors and let me tell you that as I type this, there's a Freaking Fly buzzing around my office?? ARGH!!!!)
Anyways, we have come up with an easy way for the Tiaras to go with that theme, and make our tents stand out. You can check out your local Hobby Lobby or other fabric store and get 1 1/3 yards of some animal print fabric. Whatever you choose. There are SO many kinds out there right now!!! You might not want a kind that's really heavy -- because it might weigh down your tent. On the other side, though, it might offer a barrier against the wind.
Using an animal print shower curtain would be another option.
We'll drape the fabric over the top of the tent and use clothespins or binder clips to hold it in place. You MAY NOT poke holes in the tents with safety pins or other pokey things. And tape will not work -- been there, tried that.
If you're super creative and want to turn your tent into a zebra, lion or other zoo animal, that's great -- more power to ya. But for those who are creatively-challenged, this is an easy solution.
Suzi and I are going to have Zebra Print on our tent. Just got it today! (On sale at Hobby Lobby, by the way!)
That, my friends, is Tent Decorating 101.