A night in the trees

Sophie Radcliffe, Challenge Sophie - Tentsile

Not long ago I discovered Tentsile and thought it was one of the coolest things I’d ever seen. It’s basically a tree house tent, a portable tree house you can string up between trees or attach to rocks and enjoy stunning vistas suspended from the air. How amazing is that! The Founders of Tentsile are seriously onto a winner. They agreed to send me a tent to adventure with and I’m here to tell the tale.

Tentsile - wild camping, Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping, Chamonix

I put the feelers out with Heather Swift, Founder of Women’s Mountain Collective, and suggested an alternative Girls Night In. Technically a night in, except we were inside a tent inside a forest. She didn’t take much convincing and we started putting plans together for when and where this adventure was going to take place.

Beautiful film 'Girls Night In' courtesy of Heather Swift:

Girls night in- The Trial from Womens Mountain Collective on Vimeo.

Over the next few days we scoped out locations, looking for the ideal location with good views, easy accessibility and strong trees in a triangle shape. In the end we settled on a low level forest on the edge of the Chamonix valley. Armed with our sleeping bags, rolls mats, a bottle of wine, a few beers and some food to make dinner we headed to find our trio of trees.

Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix

As soon as we started unpacking the tent it was clear this wasn’t going to take long. It helped that Heather knew exactly how to work the ratchets that you use to tighten the straps around the trees,  but also the fact that the tent comes with easily digestible instructions. Within half an hour it was upright, secure and looking very cool indeed!

Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix

I unzipped the triangle shapped hatch door in the floor of the tent and hoisted myself in. It bounced around and feeling mega excited about our home for the night, we let out a few squeals.

Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix

“I think it’s beer o’clock” I said to Heather, noticing that the sun was going down and the mountains were starting to turn pink. “Let’s relax and enjoy it before cooking dinner”

Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix

With nightfall came a sudden drop in temperature. No where near as cold as my high alpine bivvy in February, but still a noticeable difference.

Tentsile - Wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - Wild camping Chamonix

We layered up and set to work at making dinner. We had chorizo, feta cheese, pine nuts and couscous. We boiled water and poored it over the couscous, waited a few minutes and mixed everything else in. So good!

Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix

After dinner we climbed into our tent and hunkered down in the sleeping bags. It’s a three person tent but says it sleeps up to six. With the two of us there was still tons of room and I can easily see how six people could sleep in it.

Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix

On the front side of the tent there’s a window you can unzip and use as an access point, or to enjoy the view. To protect from the cold during the night, we pulled the flysheet over the tent.

Tentsile - Wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - Wild camping Chamonix

Wrapped up in our sleeping bags and suspended in the trees felt utterly magical. We couldn’t stop smiling and talking about how much we we're loving this experience, something different. We talked about the endless possibilities with the tent and where we wanted to take it next time. High up in the mountains, overhanging the sea or half way up a big rock climb; the world is your oyster with one of these tents! For every tent they sell, they also plant 3 trees with WeForest.

Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix

Sleeping in it felt kind of like sleeping in water bed. There’s none of that uncomfortable feeling you get from sticks and stones prodding into you from the ground, or the ground being uneven, that I normally get when sleeping in ground tents. It was spacious, comfortable and bouncy.

Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix

After drifting off, the next thing I remember was being aware of the morning chorus and could feel light seeping through the tent. I unzipped the front door and tossed back the fly sheet. Morning was indeed there to greet us.

Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix

Beautiful morning to wake up in the forest to

Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix
Tentsile - wild camping Chamonix

By 8am, we had packed away the tent and were heading home to start work at 9am. As we hugged each other and said goodbye, there was this unspoken agreement that we’re shared something amazing.

What a girl’s night in!

Where shall we take it next time?