Monday, March 3, 2014

An Internet Surprise

My North Face Rock 22 home away from home.
I have a North Face Rock 22 tent. I’m happy with it, and it has served me well, but I’ve seen a couple stories about people’s unusual experiences with tents in adverse weather. The most memorable was from Rod Wellington, who was pinned down on a sandbar for a couple days by really high winds during his trip down the Missouri River. The wind was mashing the tent down on him. He would lie in his tent and have to hold the dome of the tent up to have breathing room. At the same time, fine sand was sifting through the tent’s netting and entering not only every corner of his tent, sleeping bag and gear, but every opening in his body. If planning on an expedition-type trip, not having a tent failure out in the middle of nowhere is critical. Shelter is the most critical item to survival, so a proper tent is indeed important.

Along this line, Morrall River Films did a 5-part interview with Cliff Jacobson for You Tube. Tent selection was one of the many topics covered. (You may find these interesting. Just Google “you tube cliff jacobson.”) He laid out some basic criteria, like you should expect to spend over $500 (the Rock is $168-$209), should have aluminum tubing, no fiberglass, black netting, a large fly overhang or vestibule, and numerous attachment points for holding the tent in place in high winds, etc.   He would not mention brand names, so I sent him a message to see if he‘d be more specific in a private correspondence.   To a point, North Face has incorporated these in the Rock 22, so I was curious about what else he had in mind.  I wanted to send along a picture of my tent as a reference point.

I Googled my tent and clicked on Google Images. I found a nice picture to illustrate my tent. As I looked at it, I found other startling similarities. The owner of that tent also hung his fly opening rather than rolling it up each time. Look at that! They even show a paddle cart just like mine sitting next to the tent. In addition, there’s a water bottle inside the tent like mine. This is my picture! They lifted my picture! Getting past shocked, I began to think, “Wow, this is cool.” To the right of the picture, they even gave credit to the blog, and had a link where anyone could see the original post, so all the proper etiquette and protocol had been followed. My little picture had hit the big time. Wahoo! I know that happens all the time, but when there is a 20-degree below zero wind chill outside, I really need to take my excitement where I can find it.

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