Where can I get tents for the quake victims in Kashmir?
In response to the devastating earthquake in Kashmir, we are looking to donate two truckloads of heavy-duty family-sized tents and sub-zero-rated sleeping bags. Could you suggest some reasonably priced gear that we can buy directly from the manufacturer? This is very urgent. Irfan Hornell, New York
Indeed, Irfan, this is an extremely urgent problem. By now it’s been well documented that perhaps two million people are homeless in Kashmir, Pakistan, and India as a result of the devastating October 8 earthquake that killed over 40,000 people. And those homeless survivors now face a Himalayan winter without shelter.
I made some calls on this matter, Irfan, and e-mailed you a contact who likely can help you secure tents and sleeping bags at a good price. What you need are family-sized tents with as much solid-wall material as possiblenot tents with a lot of mesh. Good examples would be Eureka!’s Equinox 6 (sleeps six$300; www.eurekacamping.com) or Coleman’s Weathermaster 3-Room Tent (also sleeps six$200; www.coleman.com).
Sleeping bags are going to get awfully expensive when it comes to supplying enough for large groups of people. Even the most inexpensive synthetic-fill sleeping bags are going to cost between $50 and $100 each (Coleman’s North Rim bag, rated to zero degrees, is about the most reasonable at $55). Here I’d be inclined to purchase large quantities of good-quality fleece blankets, which can also cost around $50-$60 but are generally more flexible than sleeping bags and, to put a fine point on it, can cover more people at once. Do some Googling for “fleece blankets” and you’ll find some good deals.
For other readers, you too can lend a hand by offering cash donations to one of several organizations active in Pakistan (and yes, I know we have plenty of problems in the U.S. with KatrinaRita victims, so try to help them as well). Check in with these websites: