• SansBug has Canada covered

    SansBug has Canada coveredWhen you talk about mosquitoes in North America, the swampy Florida Everglades comes to mind… or Texas which hosts the most species.  But the highest concentration is actually found in the Arctic tundra where mosquito swarms can gray grey the sky.  The pesky skeeters even compel the caribou to gather in enormous herds (post-calving aggregations), sometimes numbering in the tens of thousands!

    We are now shipping the SansBug mesh tent within Canada just in time to catch the wave of mosquitoes expected in the next 2 weeks.  According to the City of Winnipeg’s entomologist, this summer’s mosquito infestation may be the worst in 5 years.

    Make the most of your summer by getting outdoors and reconnecting with nature… without being eaten alive (or carried off by those buggers!).  Buy the 1-person tarp floor on and get free shipping in most cases.

  • Choosing a mesh tent for your trip to Haiti

    If you have a 6-person-volunteer-team heading to Haiti, what kind of mesh tent do you get them?  A $200-professional-backpacker tent for each team member?  And if the place you’re going to be staying at has space limitations, are you looking forward to erecting a tent every single night and taking it down the next morning?

    With the SansBug mesh tent, you slide off an elastic strap and it explodes Mesh Tent into shape.  Blink and you’ll miss it pop-up!  Now you can plop into your sleeping bag without the hassle of joining poles while getting bitten by mosquitoes.  Rainy season in Haiti is May-July and you don’t want to take a chance with malaria.  One bite is all it can take.  Folding up your tent should take you less than 10 seconds even if you’re still half asleep!  The SansBug is a breeze to use, pun intended.

    But… but don’t you get what you pay for?  Dispel the thought of a poor-quality, heavy and tiny tent.  We’ll let our customers rave about the quality but let’s talk about the weight and dimensions for the 1-person.  Weight?  2.5 lbs.  Yes, that’s two and a half pounds… about what a 32 oz. drink weighs!   Dimensions?  More than seven feet in length and 3 feet in width… that’s even more than what a twin mattress offers!  With a height of 3 feet, a six-foot tall person can comfortably sit in it.

    The 6 tents could easily fit into two of our 28” x 28” x 3” cartons (62 linear inches and 18lbs total weight… well within the free allowance), which if shrink-wrapped should be flight-worthy.  If you’re traveling alone or if each group member is carrying his or her own net, the 1-person tent fits comfortably in the aircraft overhead bin.   So if you’re heading to Haiti or any other malaria-endemic area, the SansBug mesh tent is your instant refuge.  If you know of such a group, let them know about the tent and cash in on your reward points!

  • World Malaria Day is April 25

    It had not rained for months and the cattle had to be taken far in search of grass. “The European breeds are not used to walking long distances and milk production has dropped,” explained Abdulla as we looked at the cows chewing cud in the shade. It was March 2008 and temperatures were hovering above 90. With the humidity, it seemed more like 120. Suddenly he spotted a heifer on the udders of a cow and he shouted out in Swahili to his manager. Soon, the thief had a muzzle on. “We have to be careful to spot such vices; otherwise we come in the morning to find little or no milk.”

    I was in Gazi Bay, a quiet village 34 miles south of Mombasa, Kenya. In the international arena, Gazi is best known for its 2.4 square miles of mangrove forests and is probably the most studied mangrove ecosystem in the world. The resident population, about 1500 (most of whom survive on less than $2 a day), depends on the mangroves for house and boat construction, firewood and providing fish habitat. Some mangrove species are also used to make medicinal products, dyes and the green Avicennia marina logs are used to keep away mosquitoes since they are very smoky when burnt (the Kenyan coast is malaria endemic and about half of the hospital admissions are due to malaria). Overexploitation of the forest has led to degradation but thanks to reforestation efforts, more than 1 million trees have been replanted at Gazi.

    Abdulla invited me home for a delicious meal of biryani, a spicy dish of rice and meat which is very common in the muslim world. Behind his house was a tree with one almost-ripe jackfruit growing from the trunk, several meters high. I loved jackfruit but I never knew that they grew so high off the ground, much less directly from the trunk. It actually is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world, weighing up to 80 lbs. I wouldn’t want to be under one of those when it fell! Abdulla promised me he would send it to me in Mombasa when it ripened.

    After lunch, I got a tour of a boardwalk through the mangroves. It was built by the locals to provide a source of income to the community and to raise awareness of the need for conservation efforts. In South East Asia, villages sheltered by mangroves suffered less from the tsunami as compared to the open stretches of coast which felt its full effects.

    Not wanting to be caught in the Sunday evening traffic jam at the Likoni ferry, I left Gazi around 4pm after loading my car with oranges and apple mangoes (a mango cultivar whose flesh is firm, sweet and doesn’t leave fibers sticking in between your teeth). The oranges are a little dried out, Abdulla told me as he bid me kwaheri… hopefully it will rain soon…

    In commemoration of World Malaria Day on April 25, Hakuna Matata Tents would like to donate a share of the proceeds from its SansBug tent sales. Until April 24, for every 20 tents that are sold, we will donate one tent to a needy family in Gazi. Ahsante sana!

  • Return of the Bug

    While driving up to Montreal last summer, we stopped at a gas station in Cornwall, Ontario around dusk.  The moment we stepped out of the vehicle, we were greeted by a cloud of mosquitoes.  Unable to withstand the stinging assault from the tiny piranhas for long, we beat a hasty retreat back to the car, taking a few hitchhikers with us.road trip

    It was as recently as 1951, after almost five million house spray applications of DDT, that malaria was considered eradicated from the US.  In the past decade the number of mosquito-borne diseases has increased globally.  Although the numbers are much smaller than pre-WWII, there is still cause for concern.  There’s West Nile reported all over the U.S., chikungunya in Italy, dengue in Florida and even occasional outbreaks of malaria in California, Texas, Michigan, and near NYC.  Much of the influx is due to the expansion of global trade and travel.  In the mid ‘80s, importation of used tires for the retread market brought stowaway Asian Tiger mosquitoes to Houston from where they were trucked around the U.S.

    The SansBug mosquito net tent is a welcome relief for those seeking respite from mosquitoes, as well as anyone wanting to enjoy the outdoors.  Whether you’re a mother in Cornwall, Ontario taking your baby out to play in the backyard, a book lover who wants to relax with a novel without being bothered by stubborn flies, a picnicker who wants to ward off bees or a tourist looking for that perfect travel mosquito net, you can now look forward to bug-free outdoor enjoyment.

    I don’t know what I would have done without my SansBug during my 4-month tour of South Asia.  I didn’t have to look for multiple spots to suspend a mosquito net or join poles to erect a tent for each of the 120 nights (and as many siestas) that I needed protection.  Although I could use some improvement on my manual dexterity, I had instant refuge after a long day.

    We love the SansBug and we’re very excited to share it with you.  In the near future, we plan to launch a rewards program that will enable you to earn points for shopping and also for referring your friends!  Stay tuned for more info.  Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to share your bug stories while you’re here.

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