"There is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong gear.” This message, though often repeated by serious outdoors people, holds true for any of us who leave the comforts of insulated homes and air-conditioned buildings. Indeed, we all know layering quality clothes or wearing SPF protection (sometimes at the same time!) do wonders to improve our comfort outdoors, whether we’re seasoned explorers, cheering at a live football game, or just hanging out with our buddies.
This isn’t an article about clothes, however. This is about the ultimate all-weather shelter device, the awning. You can carry a compact, fast-deploying awning on the roof of almost any car with nothing more than an easy to find roof rack. So, why are they so useful?
1. Grab a refreshing beer… and some refreshing shade
Getting a sunburn when you’re just trying to relax or hang out with your friends is a major buzzkill. Next time you invite people over for a beer at the awesome spot you’ve staked out on the beach, or enjoy an apres-ski beer on the glaringly sunny spring-time slopes, deploy your awning to keep things cool and comfortable and save everyone from turning a lovely shade of lobster.
2. Go camping with a chance of rain
Uh oh. The forecast says there’s a 30% chance of rain. It’s warm and sunny right now, but: Should you risk it? Maybe you have bad memories of fiddling with some old tarps and trying to stretch your tie downs to that tree all the way over there, all the while getting rained on. Getting wet isn’t that fun after all! This is where an awning can make weathering a short bout of rain no big deal and make camping way more fun. It takes less than 2 minutes to deploy most awnings, and it turns out you’ll be underneath it for the last minute and a half, so once it’s up you can relax in your chair and put some tea on the stove feeling pretty darned pleased with yourself for being more dedicated than everyone else.
3. Be prepared for impromptu road trips
Road trips are awesome. Packing is not as awesome. But, rejoice because your awning is all ready to go, rolled up and awn-locked onto your roof-rack. It’s a low-profile solution that leaves room in your car for all the other stuff you’ll need (Beer and portable grills take up a lot of space, you know!) Whether you have a destination in mind or not, you have the ability to stop along the way and very quickly set up a temporary shelter to stretch your legs and take a nice long break under. A lake-side picnic and nap before the next leg of the journey sounds pretty good right about now…
4. It’s the better way to tailgate
When you go tailgating, you often see a combination of those open-sided tents, large trucks, and other interesting gathering-place devices. But wait, why not have a shelter from the sun and rain AND still show off your awesome tailgate-ready truck? You shouldn’t have to choose, so just stick an awning on your truck, load up the bed with beverages and delicious food and impress all your friends with your ability to throw an awesome tailgating party with a good-looking rig.