For those who follow my Instagram feed (@nomispohsib) you will have seen a post a few weeks back showing my excitement when our new tent arrived! Last night was the first night I spent in the tent during a recent spell of good weather.
So, the tent is not your conventional, pitched canvas, pegged to the ground type shelter, but rather a floating blob. It is more like a tree house than a tent, but a portable treehouse, one you can fold up, put in a bag, sling over your shoulder and move on. The concept behind the Stingray tent is that you suspend it above the ground, keeping its footprint and any ground disturbance to an absolute minimum. This was the appeal for me, the fact you could pitch it anywhere - no matter the ground conditions, stay the night, and leave no evidence of your visit within the natural habitat.
Essentially, you tie it to three trees, crank up the tension in the straps so that it lifts off the ground and bingo, you have an elevated platform for sleeping on. The platform has an insect mesh layer stitched around its perimeter and when the two poles are inserted and fixed in position, this layer raises up and gives the tent its distinctive form. In the bag is also a waterproof fly sheet that you drape over and this will give you added protection incase of inclement weather.
For my first night, I didn't venture too far and found three trees nearby and strapped the tent at about 2m above ground. Whilst at this time of year the fly sheet is a necessity at night, it was so nice during the day to chill out with just the insect mesh cover, as you can see through it. This gives the impression that you are really amongst the trees and allows you to bask in the sunshine.
We are really looking forward to spending lots of time up in the trees this summer, so if you come and visit us, be prepared for a bit of camping!!