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Tents for Haiti
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Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Tents for Haiti on 02/12/2010 21:29:52 MST Print View

This may not be about lightweight backpacking, but it is about tents for people who are currently forced to live outdoors. Rain, cool weather, and malaria carrying mosquitoes threaten probably a million or more homeless Haitians.

I received an email from Jeff Basford of Paha Que Wilderness the other day. Paha Que is a small tent manufacturer based in San Diego, CA and makes amazing car-camping tents of which I have a few. After buying and being very impressed with two of their tents I worked with Jeff to develop a side-tent for camping trailers like my Chalet.

Back on the subject- The text of the email from Jeff follows:

You can help make a difference!

Paha Que' Wilderness, Inc., would appreciate your partnering with us, Rescue Task Force and the SoCo Group Inc. by sending tents to shelter tragically displaced Haitian families. As everyone is sadly aware, the catastrophic earthquake which struck Haiti, left millions of people homeless and has devastated Haiti. More than an unbelievable 50 aftershocks, registering magnitude 4.5 and higher have forced those already hurting families whose homes had not been destroyed, to now sleep outside.

Our goal is to provide tents for 2,500 people, and to have these tents in Haiti within 10 days.



Rescue Task Force, an International Disaster Relief Agency based in Carlsbad, Ca., has crews on the ground in Haiti right now, that will ensure the tents are used where they are needed most. The SoCo Group, Inc. has agreed to provide free shipping. Rescue Task Force has agreed to MATCH us tent for tent for every donation we receive, up to $20,000! That means 2 tents for every $39 donation!

Rescue Task Force is a program of
World Emergency Relief.
EIN 95-4014743

End quoted text.

The tents are basic 7'x7' family camping tents- not Paha Que's signature models but I'm sure they're decent.

I donated the cost of three tents, Rescue Task Force will match my donation plus SoCo Group will cover shipping so a total of six families will have dry, mosquito proof shelter. I'm embarrassed to say that this seemingly generous act cost less than I just spent on a pair of crampons.

To make a donation you can do it right from Paha Que's shopping cart- but this won't give you a tax deductible charity receipt. If you need that donate at the Rescue Task Force website - go to, click on Donate Now, in the drop down window you will see Tents for Haiti, where you can make the tax deductible $39 per tent donation.

Rescue Task Force
Paha Que store to order tent directly.

Questions can be directed to Paha Que:
jbasford at pahaque dot com
Or Rescue Task Force:
andrea at rescuetaskforce dot org

Thanks for listening.
Jim White

Edited by jimqpublic on 02/12/2010 22:00:32 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Tents for Haiti on 02/12/2010 22:43:43 MST Print View

Without questioning motives here, it should be remembered that many Aid Organisations still have warehouses full of donated gear from the Indonesian tsunami of many years ago. They just don't have the people to go through it all and sort it out. Their recurrent theme is don't send gear, send money.


Mark McLauchlin
(markmclauchlin) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: Re: Tents for Haiti on 02/13/2010 01:59:50 MST Print View

+1 on Rogers comments, thats the same message we are getting here, dont sent items, send money.

Having said that I am sure that any assistance is better than silence.

My dontations was through my employer that will double what each of us Donate, this a long standing arrangement they do for us with any non-for-profit.


Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: Tents for Haiti on 02/13/2010 06:57:05 MST Print View

Thanks for the replies. Roger I'm sure you're correct about logistics being one of the difficult issues. In this case the transport has already been arranged and Rescue Task Force has people on the ground in Haiti to arrange distribution and I would hope showing people how to set the tents up.

Here are two articles expressing need for tents:
CS Monitor article about need for tents.
BBC article about Haitian president's plea for 200,000 tents

Obviously piles of old or mismatched tents in a stateside donation center aren't going to do a lot of good. A plane or pallet full of matching tents delivered by an established aid agency to the point of need is another story.

The other issue of motive... Paha Que lists the retail value of these tents at $99, and they're offering them for $39. As far as I know in my dealings with Paha Que they seem like stand up guys. I suspect that the $39 price is roughly covering their out of pocket cost but not generating a profit.

Edited by jimqpublic on 02/13/2010 07:00:24 MST.