At the Beach I Saw...Tents

Note: This is a short series about things I saw at the beach.

At the beach, there were a lot of tent people. Actually, they were more like canopy people. The actual term is pop-up canopies, I found out when I looked them up. They are square things with metal poles and a canvas cover, and they provide shade for those sitting underneath them. Unless it is early in the morning or late in the afternoon; at that time, you have to sit out to the side of them to be in the shade due to the angle of the sun. Here is an example of one, if you still aren’t sure what I am talking about.

I have noticed something interesting about these tent people as far as their schedule goes, and they are all about the same.

They arrive at the beach and spend 30 minutes (or more) putting up their tent. Then they spend a couple of hours at the beach. After that, they spend 30 more minutes taking down their tent. And then they leave.

So if you are good at math, you have figured out that they spend a third of their time putting up and taking down their tents. To me, it doesn’t seem worth it for the amount of time they actually spend at the beach.

One thing I have learned from watching these tent people is that those pop-up canopies are not easy to put up, no matter what it may say on the packaging. Not that I have ever tried to put one up, but I have just learned that from watching others. It takes at least two people to get the frame up. And then if there is even the slightest breeze blowing, it is even more difficult to get the fabric top in the right place. And there is always a breeze blowing at the beach, if not an all-out wind. Sometimes, that struggle leads to some heated words, too. So be forewarned, future tent people!

Don’t get me wrong. I firmly believe that some sort of shelter is absolutely necessary when you are at the beach. Without something, you can burn pretty quickly.

There are three types of people at the beach: tent people, umbrella people, and people without any shade. That last group usually turns into red people pretty quickly.

Personally, we are umbrella people. Although if there were many more of us, I could see why a tent would be more desirable, because an umbrella really only provides enough shade for two or three people at the most. And most of those tent people are usually larger groups.

Umbrellas aren’t always that easy to get up and keep up, either. We have seen people try all sorts of things to get their umbrellas to stay up. Fortunately, we have this little gadget that you screw down into the sand, and then you put your umbrella post down in it. It usually works well, unless a big strong wind comes up. And then we stay at the beach with our umbrella for 6 to 8 hours at a time. Which is something we definitely couldn’t do if we didn’t have any shade.

And no matter where we put our umbrella on the beach, someone will come along and put their umbrella or tent or even just their stuff right in front of us. Giving us a perfect view of them. Which of course is what we wanted when we staked out our spot. Who wants to spend all day looking at the beach, anyway?

Shade at the beach is important. Just make sure you don’t spend a majority of your time there setting it up.