Today Coleman announced today it donated 1,000 tents for aid to people displaced by the massive May 12 earthquake in Sichuan Province, China.
Also today, SNEWS, an outdoor industry newsletter, announced pretty much every other tent manufacturer is donating its tents too, whether they like it or not. SNEWS says the Chinese government seized control of all Chinese-owned tent factories and existing inventory throughout the country as part of the disaster relief effort for the earthquake-ravaged region of central China near Chengdu. Textile factories that supply tent fabrics have also been seized. In all factories, military personnel are stationed on the factory floor to ensure that for at least the next 30 days, and perhaps as many as 45 days, all tent production coming off the factory floors is designated for the earthquake relief efforts. Fair enough. The latest reports out of China have indicate 3 million people have lost their homes. Almost all U.S. tent brands (and everything else) are manufactured in China, including Mountain Hardwear, Coleman, Eureka, Marmot, MSR, GoLite, Kelty, The North Face, and Slumberjack. It's unclear how this will change tent availability and price in the United States, but hey, who cares? You have a home.