Inflatable Tent makes Camping Easier

Kelty Mach 4 Inflatable Tent

What is the most stressful part of camping? Trying to set up the tent! It can be extremely frustrating when you’re trying to figure out how to make a sturdy tent out of thin metal poles. Struggling to set up the tent when you arrive can easily put you in a bad mood. One company has figured out a way to take the stress out of tent set up and take down by incorporating inflatable poles.

The Kelty Mach 4 Air-Pitch Inflatable Tent is an interesting solution to this age old problem. While it is not perfect yet, it does throw a curveball to campers who are fed up with struggling to set up traditional tents. While it weighs more than a traditional tent, the Mach 4 has fewer Inflatable Tentpieces, is quickly assembled and taken down, and has lots of square footage.

The company claims that the inflatable tent can be pumped up fully in under a minute with their high volume, dual-action floor pump. Two separate inlets must be pumped up, but it does create a solid structure. Before inflation, the tent does need to be staked down. In an overnight test, the tent did not seem to lose any air pressure so re-inflation was not necessary.

For inclement conditions, the Mach 4 is made with a UV-resistant polyester rainfly with seams that are nicely taped. There are optional features available too. There are noiseless zippers, internal storage pockets, and upper and lower vents for increased ventilation. There is also a six person model and optional footprint.

The Mach 4 is definitely an innovative inflatable and camping product. The ease of assembly will make it a favorite with the casual camper. For around $400 you could take the Mach 4 with you on your next camping trip!

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MTA Hopes Inflatable Plugs can Protect Subways from Natural Disasters

Inflatable Plug

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been looking into some solutions that could shield subway tunnels in New York from flood waters. The need for this comes after the subway system was crippled by hurricane Sandy.

During hurricane Sandy, eight subway tunnels were flooded when the old disaster system failed. Previously, sandbags and plywood were used to keep the water at bay. However, the 108 year old system had never faced such a powerful storm. So the MTA knew that a new system needed to be invented to prevent future natural disasters from damaging the subway.

There are currently 540 places in Lower Manhattan where water can get into the subway system, including stairways, ventilation grates, and emergency exits. The MTA recently tested a giant inflatable plug that was designed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. They hope that the 30-foot inflatable plug could effectively seal off New York’s subways in the event of a natural disaster.

The MTA hopes to have this mechanism set in place by the end of the 2013 hurricane season. The city still needs billions to fix the damage sustained at the South Ferry station during hurricane Sandy. The MTA hopes the new inflatable plug can prevent such damages in the future. If a hurricane should happen in the meantime, they would have to use the previous system of sandbags and plywood.

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Inflatable “Ghost Army” Helped Fight World War II

Ghost Army

Bernie Mason spent World War II moving around Army tanks, trucks, jeeps, and artillery….all by hand. No, Bernie isn’t a real life Captain America or superhuman, he was a part of a secret “Ghost Army” sector of the military.

So how did the 21 year old lieutenant do it? Well, all of the equipment Bernie moved around were highly detailed inflatables. Along with a unit of artists and creative thinkers, Bernie arranged the air-filled rubber tanks, trucks, jeeps, and artillery to fool the Germans into thinking they had more firepower than they actually did or that the equipment was somewhere other than where it really was.Bernie Mason

The Ghost Army’s real name was the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops. Bernie, who is now 93, said, “It was like putting on a show.” The inflatable military equipment was so convincing, that the Germans bought it and attacked. Bernie had barely set foot in Europe back in 1944 when he found himself hiding in a foxhole from artillery shells. The Germans were trying to destroy what they thought was a U.S. artillery unit!

Along with over a thousand other Ghost Army members, Bernie would set up truckloads of inflatables and sound-effect recordings to create their make-believe units. The trucks blared sounds of armored and infantry units, while radio operators broadcasted false troop movements. When the inflatables were injured in attacks, the soldiers would patch them and pump them back up!

After decades of secrecy, the Ghost Army is finally getting the recognition they deserve. This month, Bernie will be featured in a PBS documentary that will describe the unit’s unique missions.

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Inflatable Stonehenge Travels to Hong Kong

Inflatable Stonehenge

A British artist created a full size inflatable replica of one of the world’s most famous monuments, Stonehenge. The inflatable model was revealed in Hong Kong this past April as a part of the Mobile M+: Inflation! event.

Named Sacrilege, the giant custom inflatable was created by Jeremy Deller. At the event in Hong Kong it was shown alongside five other inflatable sculptures by local and international artists. Alongside the other five works of art, Sacrilege took advantage of the promenade on West Kowloon with an iconic view over Victoria Harbor.Stonehenge Inflatable

Deller’s piece includes inflatable moss covered slabs at over 7m high and a 35m wide fake green base. Guests can jump, bounce, and explore the whole thing, giving people a very hands-on experience. The inflatable Stonehenge brought back to life one of the world’s most famous prehistoric monuments and sites of cultural significance. Monumental artworks of this scale have never been presented alongside one another Hong Kong, making Mobile M+: inflation! the largest contemporary art exhibitions in the city to date.

It was the event’s goal to foster interaction between the guests and the large-scale inflatable structures. Several of the works that were on display were derived from everyday objects that were inflated to outsized proportions as a way of rendering the familiar as unfamiliar, more tangible, and touchable than ever before.

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