The Family Adventures of DIY Camping in a Thunderstorm

My family really wanted to go camping last summer and decided we would go to Cape Henlopen so we might camp, visit the beach and fish all at the same place. Our children also really enjoy the hiking trails located throughout the park, which is best when they are tired of the boardwalk. Because it was off-season, we were able to get a camping site right away. We packed our camping gear, some hiking and fishing stuff and we were on our way. When we finally arrived, we were shocked when we opened up our tent to see gigantic holes that were in it. All of us questioned how this might happen until we realized we allowed our neighbors to borrow our tent and they must have gotten caught in a storm one night. We, however, did not wish to turn around and head home but we couldn’t  find a store that offered camping tents in Delaware that was within a 20-mile radius. It was then that we knew we needed to get innovative.

Fortunately, we had brought a number of poly tarps for fishing and camping. With a lot of resourcefulness and determination we started getting branches, rocks and everything we might salvage from our old camping tent. It was then we took stock of each and every poly tarp we brought to the beach. My husband had thankfully brought every tarp he bought when our hardware shop had poly tarps for sale. We had plenty of materials to make a tent and then some. While we knew it wasn’t going to be the most attractive tent in the world, my family was happy that we were still camping.

We began by laying down two blue poly tarps on the ground to make sure we did not get any dirt or sand in our sleeping bags. Then we affixed them to a brown poly tarp, and a canvas tarp using rubber tarp straps. We then secured the blue poly tarps to the ground with rocks and pegs that we still had from our old outdoor tents (not everything can be as good as we had wanted). Finally we covered the entire thing with waterproof canvas tarps to keep the rain out. It wasn’t pretty but it was steady and we might easily use it for a week after we used the rods and pegs from our old camping tent and some durable branches from around the camping spot.

Then the storm came. I have never seen my husband fix anything as rapidly as he did when he threw duct tape on every blue poly tarp, hay tarp and rubber tarp strap after he heard thunder in the distance. Somehow he managed to protect every nook and cranny in the tent to make sure not even a drop of water could come into the outdoor tent. The next day we looked around us and saw that everyone else in the park had retreated to their cars after their outdoors tents had flooded that night. Our poly tarp camping tent, branches, duct tape and all, had actually stood victorious among the camp.

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