Long term residence in a tent isn’t that hard, but still requires some extra thought. I’ve been here for 3 weeks now and have already moved/re-configured my tent three times. But I’ve got a pretty sweet setup. I’m staying in a 6 person tent and have furnished it with a portable camp table, chair, air mattress, rug and trunk of clothes. On top of that I have a huge tarp that provides a porch area for the front of my tent and a covering for my bicycle. It’s pretty posh.
The above pictures are of my tent and of La Posada, the climbing “resort” where I’m living. I like it here a lot – I know all the owners and managers really well and there are always lots of people who visit on the weekends. Its popular with Mexican families from the big city of Monterrey, with Mexican climbers, and of course with internationals. They have a communal kitchen, awesome pool, a spacious bath house and great landscaping.
The hard part of living here is that I arrived during their rainy season. My first week here it rained almost non-stop, and a lot of things in Hidalgo were flooded and damaged. I woke up my fourth night to a flooded tent – there was 4 inches of standing water outside my tent and it was quickly leaking in. I had to move all my stuff and live in under a covered porch area for a few days. When I returned to my tent I found a crazy new ecosystem had developed in and around it. I’ve never seen so many huge insects in one concentrated area – it seems everything evacuated the flood to the higher grounds of my tent. Besides the hundreds of ants, there were enormous grasshoppers, spiders, and poisonous centipedes all taking refuge on my tent. It was very disgusting. The centipedes are particularly disconcerting – they have “jaw-like pinchers” that can cause localized stinging similar to a bee sting. In the pictures keep in mind that the scale is that of a 6 person tent.
The flooding also washed away the access bridge to the canyon where all the climbing is, so now the access is only by walking (not hard) or by driving into the flash flooding-prone ditch. Surprisingly, most Mexicans choose to drive in the the ditch. The ditch has a stream of water flowing through it and is very rocky. While climbing, you can almost hourly hear peopling yelling and wheels spinning as car after car gets stuck in the wet parts of the ditch. It’s pretty hilarious.
So to sum up, the lessons I’ve learned:
1. Never setup a tent in a low area, even in an aird-desert region
2. Spread insect poison powder around perimeter of tent.
3. Always have a tarp over old tents.
4. Stay away from Mexican bridges when its raining.