Stingy postgrad spends entire year living in a tent to save rent
Apparently his girlfriend doesn’t mind
A masters student lived in a tent inside a stranger’s back garden for a whole university year to cut back on living costs.
Evan Eames, 24, asked people online if he could camp in their garden to save on the gigantic £20,000 international tuition fees at Manchester Uni.
The Canadian eventually received an offer from generous Stockport resident Charley Mantack after posting the adverts on Reddit and Gumtree.
In return for pitching in her garden, he tutored Charley, 34, in maths and physics as she was studying for a GCSE exam art the local college.
Thrifty astrophysics MA student Evan said the experience of camping in winter covered in snow wasn’t too bad, but found it more difficult in the damp constant Manchester drizzle.
Unofficial landlord Charley even offered him her spare bedroom when the snow got deep, but the Canadian was determined to keep on camping.
And he used the shower in the university’s Alan Turing building to keep clean.
In the cold winter months he wore two pairs of thermal pants, a sweater, a onesie and a jacket to keep warm.
Evan met his girlfriend on his course and she sometimes stayed with him in the tent.
He said she was the only woman he met during the experience who was completely unfazed by the fact he lived in a tent.
The pair are planning to maintain a long distance relationship as she will be moving home to India after graduation, while he will be moving to Paris to study for a PhD.
Mr Eames told the M.E.N: “It was a really fun experience, I am super glad I did it.
“There was some days I would wake up, there was birds around and reeds blowing in the wind, or you could hear the pitter-pattering on top of the tent some days of the rain, it was really enjoyable.
“There were two days I thought it was not a good day. In February there was a really bad blizzard, there was a lot of wind.
“When I got back it was quite late and the wind had picked up the tent and I had to re-pitch it.”
Inside the tent he kept some food, shelves for his toothbrush and floss, headlamp, book, sleeping bag and a mat, with his laptop locked up safely in his university office.
Charley Mantack, who nicknamed Evan her physics gnome, said: “I was looking for a flat mate. I saw he wanted to stay in a back garden and I thought, why not, it was weird enough.
“I loved telling people about it, I like weird out of the ordinary things like that.”