Why a tent?

Do you like to be cramped up for hours on end in a minuscule nylon compartment barely larger than the size of your body? Me too! I spend about 40 nights a year in a tiny one-person L.L.Bean Microlight Solo tent sometimes referred to as "the coffin". I use it on my cross-Canada road trips and when kayaking and backpacking. I prefer my tent to a hotel for reasons of health, security, nature enjoyment, and cost.

My trusty L.L.Bean MICROLIGHT SOLO TENT. IT can even withstand snow! – Esker Lakes Provincial Park, Ontario

My trusty L.L.Bean MICROLIGHT SOLO TENT. IT can even withstand snow! – Esker Lakes Provincial Park, Ontario

I can't imagine it's healthy to sleep in the same bed where thousands of others have, ahem, slept. Turn on your pocket-size body fluids detection device the next time you're in a hotel and you'll know what I mean. And have you seen those hidden camera shows that document how they "clean" hotel bathrooms where the same sponge is used to wipe the toilet and the sink taps? Gross. I'll take the outdoors, thank you.

Rather than lug your heavy and expensive camera gear up to your swanky sixth-floor room at Chateau de Plus Expensive, wouldn't you rather leave it locked up in your car and sleep right beside it? Bam. Tent! It's also why I prefer motels to hotels - I want to be as close to my gear as possible!

With your tent's fly off, you can literally sleep underneath the stars. With the fly on, you're still only a couple of zippers away from seeing the cosmos. In a hotel, you're probably not going to wake up at 3 AM to watch the Perseids meteor shower when you know you need to get properly dressed so that you can walk through the fancy lobby with its ornate ceiling chandelier without drawing the attention of the front desk clerk.

If your travel companion has her own tent, the two of you can still discuss the genius of Taylor Swift as you drift off to sleep. On the other hand, hotel neighbours don't appreciate it when you converse through walls, even when the topic is Tay Tay. Advantage, tent.

You can't beat the cost of camping. Even in Ontario where campsites are ridiculously expensive (sometimes over $50 per night!), they are still cheaper than hotels. Outside Ontario, campsites are much cheaper than hotels.

Tents provide a cheap way to enjoy nature that is healthier and more secure than a hotel. Use yours today!