Tonight someone (who shall remain nameless) asked me to argue the case that all people should live in tents. I won’t go into what prompted the request, but I thought you’d like to hear my answer. Here it is:
1. It’s for good reason that many ancient societies preferred tents to permanent dwellings. They allowed great mobility, were relatively inexpensive, and could be replaced with relative ease in the event of destruction by natural disaster, accident or war. Modern communities that embrace paleo-accommodation have the edge over their ossified and windows-based neighbours.
2. Tents offer almost infinite scope for design innovation, modification, and seasonal variation. In short, a well appointed tent is an extension of the human imagination, in a way that a permanent rigid dwelling can never be.
3. Permanent rigid dwellings pose a significant burden on the natural environment, both during construction and for the course of their normal life, possible renovation, and eventual demolition. In these times of environmental and population crisis, it is imperative that we all do all we can to reduce our environmental “footprint.” We often think of ecological innovations in transport, shopping and waste disposal, but transitioning to a tent-based society would deliver enormous environmental benefits over a lifetime, and tents can be made from 100% renewable materials.
Every family should consider moving to a tent-based existence. It’s the only lifestyle that guarantees wholistic con-tent-ment.
Theologian, researcher, teacher, writer, foodie, husband, dad. Works at Moore Theological College.