Okay, people, this is it – 2018! The year for adventure!

Before we let the holiday buzz settle and the winter blues kick in, let us introduce our brand new series… #TentsileAdventure!

To help you plan your 2018 adventures, we’ll be bringing you tips, tricks, and first-hand stories straight from the great outdoors. Plus, how to use your Tentsile on more awesome trips this new year…

Our very first Tentsile Adventurer is Matthew Mangus, co-founder of Mangai Rollin, and all-round adventure seeker. On their trip across Oregon and Washington state, Matthew and his two sons scaled amazing heights rock climbing and hooked up one of the most epic Tentsile car camps we’ve ever seen…

See their awesome trip for yourself, in the video below:


Tentsile: Hey Matthew, so first things first – how do you start planning a trip like this?

Matthew: We’re really lucky here in Portland, Oregon, to have a great outdoor community; we can get loads of advice from friends and locals. Plus, the internet and technology is such a useful tool now. I use Outdoor Project and the Google Maps photo bar feature to scan an area for highlights and spots I wouldn’t read or hear about on my own. Check out Fly Geyser, Nevada, it’s incredible, and we found that on a trip to Arizona just by searching through Google Maps along the way.

Fly Geyser, NV, photo source: http://whereveryougoo.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/fly-geyser.html

source: http://whereveryougoo.blogspot.co.uk

The trip in the video was a three-night experience driving along the Columbia River in central Washington state, into some pretty remote areas. We also got to have one night at The Feathers nearby, which turned out also to be a great first climbing trip for my son, Hudson.

Tentsile: How has your outdoor travel changed with kids?

Matthew: My sons (Dillon and Hudson) love it! They mountain bike, they ski, they’ve gotten really good at being responsible around camp too. Now they know how to build fires and put up their own Tentsiles. They really look forward to these adventures and actually ask to get out and be outside. I just think this is great in today’s world, where we’re all stuck inside with screens. The biggest gift we can pass on to the next generation, in my opinion, is love for the great outdoors. 

The physical constraints of planning a trip are the same; it’s always hard to yank yourself out of normal life. For me, the boys’ school is totally important but the opportunity to have adventures is also important. It’s not that hard to get caught back up in school and work – when planned ahead! The life lessons and bonding that happen while out on adventures is invaluable.

Tentsile: And this was your son’s very first outdoor climbing trip?

Matthew: Yeah, I mean we’re not a climbing family, but our youngest showed an interest in bouldering last year, so we added in a summer camp at a local rock gym. This was his first time on a rope and first time more than 10 feet off the ground. My buddy Brian, who helped organise the trip, is an experienced climber. He offered the opportunity to learn and Hudson jumped for it! He was a little bit nervous, but overcame that nervousness and put his trust in Brian, who is an accomplished climber in terms of safety and knowledge. Hudson went scampering straight up the rock! Needless to say, it was a ‘proud papa’ moment.

pc: Matthew Mangus, rock climbing photo

Tentsile: How did you find car camping with Land Rover Defenders? And most importantly, how did you manage that amazing Tentsile set up!

Matthew: To be honest we spent all summer planning, trying to get these four vehicles and their owners together.  The Defenders meant we could drive through some pretty remote areas, and carry all kinds of gear with us. And actually it’s not easy to strap a Tentsile to a roof rack – there are a lot of factors at play! Roof racks aren't designed to be pulled on laterally; they're designed to transfer load down into the frame of the vehicle. 

When tightening the Tentsile straps - which are very strong to carry large loads - we realised pretty quickly they nearly pulled the rack right off the car. Figured that’s not such a good idea!

Instead, we ran the straps across the racks and down the opposite side of the rigs and attached to the wheels. This puts the forces on the rack in compression.

pc: Matthew Mangus, Tentsile Land Rover set up photo

So, it can definitely be done! But very strategically, and with forward planning. We had a Tentsile on a couple other trips and knew we had to try this out.

I understand the challenges with a hanging tree tent, but we value the opportunity to create a fun experience. Our kids love Tentsile and they love to share it. You know we even bring our Tentsile Tree Tent even if we aren’t camping overnight, just to hang out and relax on. Gives us a new way to experiment and play outdoors!

Matthew and his sons used their Tentsile Connect on this trip, with the help of three Land Rover Defenders. What an awesome way to camp when there are no trees in sight!

If you have any 2018 #TentsileAdventures planned, get in touch to see if your story can feature in our brand new series.

So go on, this year go out and explore more with Tentsile.

Play. Camp. Explore

Alex Shirley-Smith