Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tentagomi, the Art of Tent Folding

Carl here! You just finish a long weekend of camping, and now it’s time to take down your tent.  Taking the tent down is pretty easy, but folding it up and making it fit in the original box is another story. It just never seems to fit.  Ever have that problem?  I have.

I could try folding the tent randomly and hope that it fits, or I could use my brain and figure it out mathematically.  I’m going to try the math solution, only because I already tried three times to fold it randomly and couldn’t get it in the box.  So much for quantum mechanics.

Kids, this is why they make you take math in school.  Let’s see, the tent is 16’ long, 10’ wide and 8 feet tall.  That’s 16 times 10 times 8, equals 1280 square feet.  The box is 3’ long by 1’ high and 1’ wide.  That’s 3 square feet.  So 1280 should equal 3.  Not!  I think this problem calls for fuzzy math, maybe even physics.  If I could just remove the space between the molecules of the tent, it would shrink the tent down enough to fit in the box.  No, I’m not a genius but I did watch Honey I Shrunk the Kids.  If I only had his shrink gun; I could shrink everything I need for camping down to pint size, put it in a shoe box, take it to the camp site, un-shrink it and be ready to go in just minutes.  How great would that be?  The shrink gun could also be useful in your marriage.  The wife puts on some extra pounds, BAM!  Problem solved.

Because of my math limitations, I’m going to look to the Orient for the answer.  It’s called Origami, the art of folding.  If you can fold a dollar bill into a small little shirt, I’m sure you can fold a tent into a box.  Actually, if I just follow the original fold lines of the tent I should be OK.  So after a couple times of folding and unfolding the tent, I almost got it to fit.  If I had only brought a Origami master with me!

The problem wasn’t the way I was folding the tent, the problem was trapped air.  How do you get the trapped air out of the tent……?  It’s called the Musilli Roll.  I named it after the inventor, me.  It works just like old fashioned clothes ringer.  You put the wet clothes into the rollers, crank the handle and it forces the water out of the clothes.  The tent represents the clothes, the trapped air is the water, but what can I use for the rollers.  Bonnie, can you come over here for a minute?”  I unfolded the tent just a little bit, to about a 3 by 8 foot section.  “Bonnie, lay down right here and start rolling.” ------ “WHAT” ----- “You called me out here to do what?” “What do you think I look like a ---------.”  Right there many things pop in my head.  Does she really want me to tell her what she looks like?  Does she really want the truth; no, of course not.  She can’t handle the truth.  Thanks Jack. 

So I end up doing it myself as usual.  I lie down on one side of the tent and start rolling.  As you roll, the air in the tent gets pushed to the opposite side and actually causes the tent to inflate. You just keep rolling until all the trapped air starts to dissipate. Then you fold the tent over again and roll again.  You keep doing the roll until the tent is small enough to fit in the box. It helps to have a non- curved body.  It’s better to be like a rolling pin than an hour glass.  That’s why men are better than women for rolling; less room for trapped air to escape.  Of course I wouldn’t mind watching Pamela Anderson do the roll.  I’m sure the tent wouldn’t mind either.

Camping fun with Carl, signing off.