Sometimes you just want to be outside!

But not with all the bugs! We decided to take on the task of creating an outdoor living space for ourselves. We were starting to grill often and wanted to eat outdoors. However, the flies and other insects wanted to come out to play as well. I instantly was on the hunt for a screened in tent!

Try #1

I ran off to the local “outdoorsy” type store and grabbed something that was more tent like with two collapsible poles that you string across the tent diagonally. Then you need to use string and stakes to make it stay up. Yeah, I struggled for an hour and a half before I threw it all into a garage bag and the receipt! I took it back the next day!

Try #2

This time I decided to go with an easy pop up tent. You know the kind you would see on the sidelines at a little league game or at a craft show. This was SOOOOO much easier to put together. I also grabbed the screen walls and on sun shade for one wall. I had it staked down at the corners and added some extra concrete blocks and wood that the park had laying around various sites to secure the corners. We used this almost every night! Then came a gust of wind, honestly it wasn’t that windy, and it picked up one corner and because the concrete block was still attached, it bent the frame. Clearly, this wasn’t going to work if I had to constantly take it down if it was going to be the least bit windy.

Try #3 – Third times the charm, right?

This time I hit the internet. The Clam Escape Shelter came highly suggested everywhere I looked. I ordered and anxiously awaited the TWO days it took to get to me! Crazy how sometimes even two days is too long! How could I NOT be excited? The video states it can be set up in 60 seconds! The Clam finally arrived and I went to setting it up! It honestly took me about 10 minutes from opening the box, to reading instructions, to opening it and putting down the stakes! I added some extra stakes to pull down the sides some more in case of windy days. I didn’t want to have to keep taking it down all the time. Check out this beauty and for the record that is a 6 foot table in there!

Reasons we love having added outdoor living space

  1. We grill out nearly five nights a week and we eat in the Clam, BUG FREE!
  2. The kiddos can go out there anytime they need to have some space from their other siblings.
  3. I can go out there with my MacBook and get some work done.
  4. It’s been amazing to go out there at night and just hang out with friends and not have to worry about being eaten up by all the mosquitos!

A few things to note about the Clam Escape Shelter:

  • The stakes that come with the Clam are plastic. While they are usable, I opted to use metal stakes I had on hand to go through the gravel in the picture.
  • We have had 20 MPH gusts come through and the Clam stayed in place! If the wind gets too much, the sides are meant to pop in, simply pop it back out.
  • There are screens you can buy to block out the sun.
  • Always be sure to keep the zipper CLOSED. This will keep any unwanted bugs OR other things of nature OUT.
    • True story: Ana left the zipper open and a crow flew in and couldn’t find his way out. I had to hold the zipper door open wide with a broom and had the kids scare him out from the other side. It took a few minutes but he finally flew out. I don’t know how long he was in there, but he sure made a mess!
  • We have since moved the Clam to grass and we notice WAY more bugs inside. If you want to be bug free, I would suggest getting a small rug to place inside on top of the grass. We are going to try the fake grass, I’ll update the post once we get that.

Do you have a Clam Escape Shelter or some other kind of screen house? Let us know how you like it in the comments?

Is Full-Time RV Living for You?

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Are you curious or considering the lifestyle? This e-book contains 9 popular topics all newbies should evaluate. Different Kinds of RV Living, Family Life, Living Space, Privacy, Downsizing, Home Base, Cleaning, Weather, Income


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