Ru Hartwell – an adventurer, tree planter and inventor of the Escape M4 Tent.
58, born in South Africa. Hitchhiked around Europe and the Middle East as a boy and has since camped or trekked in 40 countries. He used to be particularly adept at crashing hang gliders.
June 2011. Ru wakes up in yurt at Glastonbury Festival. The mid-summer sun rises and hits the walls. Very quickly the greenhouse effect starts up and rapidly turns his tent into some kind of hateful nomadic sauna. Anyone who has been camping in hot weather knows the feeling. You are lying there in steadily increasing discomfort wondering how long you can handle it before you stumble bleary-eyed for the fresh air.
Before he does that, Ru has a thought, ‘There’s just got to be a better way........If you could only somehow open up the whole roof and cool the bloody thing down?”
One second to come up with a new idea. Five years to manifest it in the real world. Consider that next time you have your own ‘Eureka Moment.’ Just ask yourself: Do I have half a decade spare to make it happen?
Anyway, think of a baby in a stroller. If it’s raining, the parent closes the hood to give it some protection. Then if the sun comes out they open it up to cool the kid down. We take that kind of micro-climatic management for granted - you see the same thing in a standard shop-front awning but isn’t it surprising that no one has put this simple pram-hood functionality into a tent until now?
The Escape M4 Tent gives us something we’ve never had in a tent before – effortless temperature control and the facility to keep the weather out when it's bad yet enjoy it when its good.
Ru says, ‘Once you’ve experienced the versatility and climate control that you get with the Mollusc, you’ll never want to go back to one of those stuffy and limited ordinary tents!’