I’m no stranger to tent living, but the first time we camped out at Big Bend we arrived at our site to find it occupied by a black bear. He graciously moved, but that night none of us slept for imagining that every sound we heard outside was the bear returning to have Goldilocks for dinner. The next night a thunderstorm nearly blew the tent over.
But on the balance I think tent living is worth the bears, the storms, and the inevitable rocks digging into your ribs. There’s nothing like falling asleep with only a thin net between you and the stars, listening to the cicadas and coyotes. There’s nothing like a campfire dinner after a long day of hiking, or a campfire breakfast as the sun rises in the morning—you can only hope the bears aren’t thinking the same thing.