Cross-country paragliding is all about living light. Lightweight wings, lightweight harnesses, and of course – less in your backpack. That means no tent. So how does one deal with the occasional overnight in the outback? Simple. 24sqm of paragliding wing provides a lot of fabric. Why not just turn your wing into a tent?
Watch this wing become a tent.
"It's super easy," says Dave Turner, Red Bull X-Alps athlete and frequent flyer of the Palisades region of the rough-and-tumble Sierra Nevadas, where he's set up a tent like this anywhere from 3,500m above sea level to way out in the desert after a longer-than-planned flight. "I generally can have it set up in 4–5 minutes."
And all the tools required? His wing, trekking poles, a bit of string, and some sticks collected from the surrounding area. Watch the video above to see exactly how it works.
So what are the benefits of this makeshift shelter versus, say, sleeping outside? Shelter, and believe it or not, warmth. "It's easily warm enough to spend a night in freezing temperatures," says Turner. "The fabric isn't made to ventilate, so in fact, you can occasionally wake up a little too warm!"
And does the ground damage the delicate-looking fabric? Not at all. "It's more durable than people give it credit for," Turner says. "It's made out of rip-stop nylon, and even the lightweight, 27 grams per sqm is quite strong."
So will he be using this set-up during this year's Red Bull X-Alps? "I hope not, but it's great to know I have it with me all the time and that I can get it up in five minutes. No matter where you are in the wilderness, home is where you make it!"