I grew up with Scouting in my blood. My dad was scoutmaster when I was an 8-year old Cub Scout and he let me hang around with the older scouts, even going on camp-outs. I loved camping so much that I took advantage of every opportunity to go camping both with the Scouts and with my friends just for fun. This continued into adult life with Explorer Scouts and family, when …finally I was asked to be Scoutmaster 35 years ago in the Bountiful 8th Ward. I was so ready for this that I mounted a charge for a hike-in wilderness camp in the Uinta High Wilderness Area for my first summer camp with the boys. Our preparations included careful planning for food, back-pack stoves, sleeping bags and….light-weight tents. This is really where this story begins.
I MADE A TENT! Yup, I had found a company known as Frostline Kits from Broomfield, Colorado, who supplied the best of materials and patterns to make outdoor gear. The fabrics and materials - light-weight rip-stop nylon, mosquito netting, zippers, velcro (which was new, state of the art), thread, folding tent poles and pegs, nylon cords – were all first class, and the patterns and instructions were impeccable. All it took was a little time from a beginning seamster (as opposed to seamstress) and Barbara’s sewing machine and I had a top-notch 6-lb. back pack tent.
The generous size 2-man tent shown here was complete with rain fly and rubberized bottom for rough weather and a vestibule for ‘indoor’ cooking. Easy to set up, light to carry. What more could you want for a week in the Uintas. We hiked from our starting point at East Fork of the Bear River half-way to our destination the first day and camped overnight, planning on completing our trek to Norice and Priord Lakes the next day. Milt Anderson (Ass’t Scoutmaster) and I shared this cool new tent. Since it wasn’t raining, I didn’t put up the rain fly. Hmmmm…. when we awoke in the morning laying there on the ground we could see hundreds droplets of water all over the top of the tent. I thought that was interesting and reached up to give it a flip. Much to my surprise – and education – the droplets were all on the inside of the tent and we were drenched by a cascade of condensation that would have been prevented through the use of the rain fly.
My ‘Frostline’ has served me (and my family, who has also used it) well for 35 years – summer camps, winter camps, backyard camps – with never a leak, never a rip, never an open seam (good sewing even if I say so myself). Now, back with the Scouts, I’ve had occasion to use it again.
After a recent loan-out for an overnighter, I thought it would be a good idea to throw it in the washing machine seeing as how it had somehow missed this opportunity for…. well 35 years. Ooopps… not a good idea. The rubberizing material flaked and came off in little pieces. Amen to my Frostline TENT.
Wait … maybe there’s some life still in that old tent. Out came the scissors and back to the sewing machine. Out of one Frostline backpack PAST TENT came two more PRESENT TENTS.
TENT #1 – Here’s a new use for the rain fly – a rip-stop nylon cover for an air conditioning compressor. What could be better!
TENT #2 – Here’s a new use for the tent – a rip-stop nylon cover for a 6 HP Troy-Bilt Roto-Tiller. Perfect!
My FROSTLINE lives on!!