11:30 pm, all is quiet except for the bugs and frogs.
11:35 pm, the wind is howling, lightning is on the horizon and thunder is shaking the trees.
11:40 pm, the rain is pounding down sideways and the next flash of lightning is interrupting the last rumble of thunder.
2:30 am, back to calm and the last of the water dripping from the trees.Every time I have visited Florida with the intention of spending a few days outdoors it seems that Mother Nature wants to have fun with me. Five years ago she cut a planned 9 day kayak trip along The Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail in half with non-stop head winds and afternoon thunder storms. Last week I was back down there and so was she. The friends I was going camping with said that they hadn’t seen any rain in weeks until they were on the way to the airport to pick me up.
Fantastic.My tent for this trip was my two year old MSR Hubba Hubba NX. This is the latest version of the now classic tent that Mountain Safety Research introduced 15 years ago. Double doors and vestibules, full coverage rainfly, vertical walls, and plenty of headroom. Comfy for two adults or a 3 and a half pound palace for solo adventures. It has accompanied me on many backpacking, kayaking, cycling, festival and car camping trips.Once the storm passed, I flipped on my headlamp to survey the situation. A bit of condensation but no dripping or leaking from the rain. The fly, floor and seams all kept Mother Nature outside where she belongs. The next day’s weather was a repeat performance but earlier in the evening, just in time for dinner and continuing for 5 hours. On the final morning of our trip we woke up to bright blue skies and a nice breeze. I pulled all of my dry gear out of the tent and got it packed, moved the tent into the sun and gave the beads of water on the fly a quick wipe down with a bandanna. After eating breakfast, the fly was dry and I gave the body a shake out to get rid of the sand and pine needles it had accumulated. Another bad weather trip made fun by having quality, dependable gear.The MSR Hubba Hubba NX3 lb 7 oz Minimum Weight
29 sq. ft. Interion plus two 8.75 sq. ft. Vestibules84″ long x 50″ wide x 39″ tall at peak.$399.95 (2016 price)Photo: Ryan freshly wide awake at 11:40 pm.