I have a choice for the Challenge.

Well NOT yet, but I hope to maybe have a choice.

The choice since I have now no longer got the TN Competition is going to be from

Wendy (the wonderful Stephenson 2R) now that she is repaired.

Wendy at Ingelborough before her disaster


A Trailstar (this would I think be using an Oooknest as well, because it gives that extra bit of midge and nasty ticky barrier, and I am a southern softy).

Martin’s Trailstar at Ingelborough
Oooknest (courtesy Oookworks site)
Hope they don’t mind me using the image

I am going to take an MLD Ultralight Bivy regardless because it comes in at 213g, which is about the same as the Rab Survival Zone Ultralight, but bigger and I think more robust and waterproof. This also means that I do not have to use the Oooknest if I decide not to.
And it also will fit the Neoair inside it!

The weight side comes down in favour of using a Trailstar, even with the extras
and then there is the bad experience Wendy had with high (ish) winds at Ingelborough.

On the down side, there is potentially a bit more potential for exposure on the Trailstar.

There again, I don’t need to carry tent poles since the Pacers will do nicely.

I really need to make a decision pretty soon, so that I can ensure I test whichever one properly a couple of times in the field before the great event.

My loyalty side says TAKE WENDY because she is wonderful.

My adventurous side says try A TRAILSTAR.

Oh Err Umm!!    Tis one to ponder!

Ok I did cut my hair, but the Soul is still there!


  1. Will the Pacer Pole handles support the Trailstar? I can imagine a more 'standard' straight pole like the Black Diamonds being okay but Pacer Pole handles are a bit of a funny shape.


  2. Al,
    My advice is, Go with what you know works. With it being 2 weeks long you don't want to find that a particular one doesn't work after 2 days and you wished dearly you had taken the other.
    Unless you have complete confidence don't just chance it. There you go. My 2 pence worth.

  3. That is why I need to decide now, so I can do a couple of multi day runs, hopefully in worse weather.
    James has just used his on a Wild Camp and seems more than happy with it.

    Of course this is why I am pondering so deeply.

  4. Tart!
    Wendy with her new guying system will be everything a gurl can want.
    A Trailstar and Ooknest is a pile of money you could be spending on beer.

    I'm going to get a Trailstar and Ooknest when Wanda gives up the ghost. I would feel like I would be betraying her to leave her in the lurch.

  5. If you have the Trailstar go with it. Space and bomber. If you need a Superlite bivy I have a spare. When its howling, and all those other tents are shaking and people are worried their little old shelter is going to blow away. You will be under a 90cm pitched Trailstar so happy knowing it will be standing in the morning. When its nice you have a 120cm palace. Midges, pah. Pitch high and forget about them.

  6. I cannot always pitch high unfortunately.
    But I know what you are saying.
    Last year, at Ault-na-Goire there were about 1,000,000 million midges per tent.
    I doubt I would have survived.
    But I am tempted as long as I can do some test runs before then.

  7. If you are considering a Trailstar (I'll be taking mine) then you need to get your skates on and order it now, if you hav'nt already, as it takes a long long time to get gear from MLD. It might be worth emailing them and explaning when you need it by. I also think Sean is pretty busy as well. You won't regret it it's a fantastic shelter.

  8. Martin and Shap have said it all.

    The Trailstar is a fantastic shelter, and, it will stand up to a real Scottish storm.

    And, …….. “Midges, pah…..” Even without pitching high, a bivy bag with bug net will be fine …………….

    If the midges are THAT bad – tent, or, tarp …….survival will be perilous, or, worse.

  9. I have actually sent 3 emails to Ron at MLD regarding the
    delivery of goods, over the last 2 weeks, but heard absolutely NOTHING back.
    Maybe he is on holiday, but I would have thought a response would be courteous.
    I may have to stop supporting his kit here!!!!

    Sean on the other hand is absolutely Brilliant

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