There is a particular genre of internet video dedicated to breathlessly showcasing products so stupid that surely it must be intentional. Perhaps you recall the Pause Pod, a miniature tent that allows you to nap on the floor at work, thereby relieving you of the stress of having once had a job. This weekend, Mashable added a fine contribution to this genre with the Shoal Tent, the inflatable tent that lets you die in a river.
Yes, at long last, you can now live out your dream of falling asleep while you lazily drift down a river, hit a sharp submerged stick, and awake in total darkness as cool, refreshing water rushes into your tent and a high-quality nylon body bag slowly entombs you and pulls you down to where the rescue divers will recover your waterlogged, fish-eaten corpse.
“70% of the earth is covered with water, now you camp on it!” declares the copy on manufacturer Smithfly’s website, implying that in addition to rivers, this tent can also be used in, say, the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
“Why camp by a river when you can camp on one?” Mashable’s tweet asks, a question to which Twitter users had no shortage of answers.
Additional reasonable concerns raised included alligators, waterfalls, and Jason Vorhees. But let’s ignore for a moment the very real threats of being eaten, drowned, or launched off Niagara Falls. What, precisely, is the best-case scenario with this product? Assuming all goes well, and you wake up feeling rested after a soothing night on the river, you still presumably are no longer where you were when you went to sleep, a scenario that is usually considered less-than-ideal when camping. Even if you were to tether your death tent to shore, there is still the issue of what happens if you need to relieve yourself in the middle of the night. Either you are expected to urinate/defecate off the side of the tent, or you must somehow find your way to shore in pitch darkness, and then we’re right back to the watery-grave situation.
The Shoal Tent retails on Smithfly’s website for $1,499. Unfortunately, however, it is currently backordered, so if you want to go to sleep on a river and never wake up, you’ll need to wait at least six weeks.