Written by Harold
The idea for this particular “Bear Tale” comes courtesy of Dr. Art Ross, and although he originally referred to the story as the “Tale of 2 Tents”, when you do the actual count, there are actually 5 of them in play.
During our trips to the Bear we normally camp out, and part of our outfit is a “screenhouse” style tent that provides us with a place where we can prepare and take our meals without having to constantly pick bugs out of our food.
Generally speaking we have not had a great deal of luck with these tents, which is why we are currently working on tent #5.
Tent #1 met its demise because our Chef de pomme de terre didn’t dry off the potatoes all that well, so when the wet spuds hit the hot oil – woosh – up went a large fireball that transformed what was once our cook tent into a burned out shell.
Tent #2, which we stored at Branson’s Lodge between trips, also met a fiery fate when the lodge went up in flames in the early 90’s.
The destruction of tent #3 is the subject matter of the story “Tea…for one” which can be found in the Bear Tales section.
Fire played a staring role once again (are you beginning to detect a pattern?), and if I may borrow a quote from that story, we lost this tent “…because some asshole wanted a cup of tea.”
The ultimate disposition of Tent #4 remains something of a mystery. It was alive and well when we camped out in Deerpass Bay, but then it just up and vanished.
It’s likely fire had something to do with its disappearance, but that has yet to be confirmed.
Undaunted, we went right out and acquired tent #5.
As of July 2014, tent #5 was still in tact, which is a good thing because while the base price was around $100, by the time we got it up to the lodge from it’s place of origin, it ended up costing over $1200!
Needless to say this is a very special tent for reasons of cost alone, so when it eventually disappears or goes up in flames for one reason or another, we will no doubt shed a tear.
So what lessons have we learned, having now undergone several “baptisms under fire”?
1. There is no such thing as a $100 cook tent.
2. No one is allowed to fry potatoes inside of the tent.
3. It’s virtually impossible to buy fire insurance when you’re already down at least 3 strikes.
4. We should begin looking for tent #6 NOW – unless of course tent #4 mysteriously turns up in the meantime.
5. Never change a propane canister near an open flame.
6. Fire is not our friend, and
7. If some asshole wants a cup of tea, they can bloody well bite me and drink coffee like the rest of us.