The New Trend in Outdoor Camping: Goldfish Bowls for a Tent

There’s a great joke about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson that I simply have to share with you. Indulge me for a minute, will you? So, it goes something like this – Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson once went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine they lay down for the night, and went to sleep.

Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend awake. “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”

Watson said “I see a fantastic panorama of countless of stars”.

Holmes: “And what does that tell you?”

Watson pondered for a minute. “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, the blackness of the sky and the crispness of the stellar images tell me that there is low humidity and stable air and therefore we are most likely to enjoy a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you, Holmes?”

Holmes was silent for a minute and then spoke. “Watson, you idiot! It tells me someone has stolen our tent.”

Tch! Tch! Tch! It doesn’t do much for Sherlock Holmes reputation, letting the tent get stolen from under their noses, or as in this case, over their heads. However, had these guys existed in this day and age and been pally with French designer Pierre Stephane Dumas, the conversation would have proceeded on different lines.

“Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”

Watson said “I see a fantastic panorama of countless of stars”.

And Holmes replied, “It looks divine, doesn’t it? I sure am glad that we bought along this bubble tent. It’s such a luxury to lie on your back and look at the stars without having to worry about pesky bugs and mosquitoes.

Watson: Yes, Holmes. It was a great buy!

I would have to agree that these bubble tents designed by Dumas are quite ingenious. Sure, they look like goldfish bowls and living in one of these things need a little bit of getting used to, but they are such a huge improvement over the regular tents that block your view to the gorgeous milky way at night or the golden rays of the sun in the morning.

Can you imagine what it must be like sleeping under the sky in one of these bubble-like structures and watching the stars twinkle merrily away at you – not a false ceiling but real stars strewn like jewels in Aladdin’s caves? I can barely even begin to describe what kind of an experience that would be – looking up at the vast stillness of the whole universe with absolutely nothing to disturb or mar your view. Incredible!

The bubble tree series has three different kinds of inflatable tents. The CristalBubble is the completely transparent version that gives you a 360 degree view of the surroundings. On the flipside, there is very little you can do to prevent people from looking in at you like you were some sort of a specimen in a Petri dish. The cocooning version of CristalBubble gives you a higher degree of privacy thanks to the surrounding walls, while the transparent ceilings make the countryside just as accessible. The third design – BubbleLodge – is like a portable villa and has additional space to accommodate a bathroom or a small bedroom.

Once your tent (if you can call it that!) is inflated, it shape is maintained with the help of an airlock at the entrance and a pump that exerts pressure on the outside wall. The construction of the bubble is such that it keeps the outside sound to a minimum and the material is such that it keeps you protected from harmful UV rays of the sun.

As you can tell, there are plenty of fans for these things, even if they are steeply priced. If you want to buy one, you’d have to cough up in excess of 8,000 Euros. You could also rent these structures, currently only in Europe and France, for upwards of 400 Euros per day. Care to lend me some money anyone?

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