Laramie resident Elizabeth Minton has 100 things on her bucket list — including visiting every continent, summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro and being on a reality TV show — but recently her and her husband Daniel Minton were able to cross off one item on the list: completing a Guinness World Record.
After almost a year of waiting, the Guinness World Record for the fastest time to erect a two-man tent by a team of two belongs to Elizabeth and Daniel Minton. They completed it in January in Laramie with a time of 1 minute and 7 seconds.
“We were super excited,” Elizabeth Minton said. “We honestly thought it was going to be rejected because they kept asking for more evidence.”
They almost didn’t get the world record because their video was 10 seconds too short and didn’t show the tent standing once the record attempt was complete, she explained.
Elizabeth Minton said all their evidence had to be carefully vetted by Guinness — including the tent itself, witness statements and their video and photographic proof — with an average approval wait time of 6-12 weeks.
“That’s why we got the record in January and it finally got approved in December, because you have to go through such a long process of having everything approved and then redoing things and re-having it approved,” Elizabeth Minton said.
Before they could even attempt the record, Daniel Minton said they even had to get their potential attempt approved in a video audition much like the ones people use to get on reality TV shows.
“You have to have some kind of recording or evidence that you can do it,” Elizabeth Minton said. “So, we practiced getting up to that point, and you submit the video along with a whole bunch of different information about yourself.”
Daniel Minton said they practiced “probably about a hundred times” and found strategies to help save precious seconds, including a trick with the tent poles to snap them together faster and color-coded fasteners to correctly install the rain fly to the tent.
“The first couple of runs … we were rushing but not really accomplishing anything,” Daniel Minton said. “I would say our main strategy was to be organized and to have a plan of knowing exactly what we were doing, in what order and who was doing each step.”
The initial goal was to get the tent set up in “under a minute,” but Daniel Minton said Guinness had specifications that made that unreachable, including adding the rain fly and zipping the tent closed once inside.
“It was really easy to beat a minute when you didn’t have to get in the tent,” Daniel Minton said.
Guinness had other specifications, including using a timekeeper who had some official timekeeping experience and making the attempt in a public place. Daniel Minton said they completed it in the top floor of the University of Wyoming Union, since Elizabeth is a professor there and “it was open on the weekend.”
Although getting a world record was always Elizabeth Minton’s dream, it wasn’t always for the tent record. Daniel Minton said their first world record attempt was trying to stack as many fresh cupcakes as possible in a minute, which didn’t go so well. Elizabeth Minton said she and Daniel were both avid backpackers, and the tent record seemed more easily attainable.
“We set up tents in hail and rain, and you get experience with it after a while,” Elizabeth Minton said. “I was like, ‘Let’s just give it a try.’ We were actually pretty close to the existing world record, and I was like, ‘I bet with practice we could beat it.’”
Elizabeth Minton said she thought a Guinness World Record was “totally achievable” for the average person; even if none of the records on the website are doable, people can propose their own ideas for new records.
While there are no more world record attempts in the forecast, Elizabeth and Daniel Minton are working to check off more items on her bucket list, including a stay in an ice hotel in Canada.
Although Elizabeth said the items left on the bucket list are getting “more and more challenging,” Daniel Minton said everyone should make one.
“I’ve done a lot of things that Elizabeth wanted me to do that I probably wouldn’t try otherwise,” Daniel Minton said. “It doesn’t take that long to create a list, and then if you have a goal of working on one a month or one a year, it makes your life a little more interesting.”