Setting-up a 12'x12' Escort Screen Tent
July 28, 2014
While we were camping at MacGregor Point Provincial Park, a gentleman beside our site approached me and asked me for some help. It was already getting late in the evening. The gentleman and the rest of his family members were apparently working the entire morning and afternoon trying to figure out how to set up their Escort Screen Tent. He says it wouldn't stay up, the poles wouldn't line up, pull on one side and the other side starts collapsing. It was a total nightmare for them. It was a nightmare for me too when I first set it up. I wanted to just burn it.
I usually set up our camp alone whenever we go camping. I let my wife and our kids play, explore, or have a snack.
I have to always find a way to make things eaier for me around the camp when I set up and also when I clear out. With this in mind, I don't mean buying expensive gear or just settling with one of those cheap pop-up equipment. I want to stay practical and also, sigh... sometimes have to work on what I already have to not contribute to the over-populated wasteland.
This Escort Screen Tent is cheap - both quality and price. It does the job though. It helps keep mosquitoes out and provides good shelter for light rain, I repeat, light rain.
If you got stuck with this screen tent like me, don't get frustrated anymore and do not burn it. Here are the very easy steps to set it up even with just one person.
I almost always set up this screen tent with the picnic table already inside. First, it is easier to move the picnic table to where we want it to go without worrying about it hitting anything while we move it. Second, it helps minimise the dirt attaching to the tent during set up. The con, I have to constantly watch that I don't rip the tent from the rough edges of the picnic table. Table cloth and seat cover would help here.
The key to all this is securing the bottom four corners of the tent to the ground first. Omitting this step will result in costly anger management sessions.
When all poles are adjusted to your specifics, start securing the included guy lines to the ground. This will help stabilize the tent, and will also prevent the tent from collapsing during heavy rains and high winds.
Here's a photo of the tent after a heavy rain. My guy lines weren't attached here and so the tent started caving in. the water collects on the mesh walls, and becomes heavy. If you're stuck inside while raining, you better off sitting on the table and not on the seat or you'll get soaked from the splashes of water coming in from the mesh walls. The roof would work well as a shelter from the rain, perhaps after applying a seam sealer treatment.
It is really good for light rain only.